Another ghost from south of the border, La Planchada or “The Ironed Lady” is a Mexican ghost that haunts hospitals.
The story of La Planchada is varied, with a number of legends as to the origin of the spirit. In all of the stories, the ghost is invariably a female nurse. Some tales say she was in love with a doctor who spurned her, leading her to take her own life, and in others she is simply a curmudgeon who disapproved of younger nurses, or perhaps she killed a patient in an attempt to ease their pain.
One origin story places her at Hospital Juarez in the early 1930s, where she fell in love with a doctor who was secretly engaged to another woman. She was unaware of the doctor’s engagement, and began a torrid affair with the man. A few months later he told her he was going out of town on a business conference, but in reality was going on his honeymoon with his new wife. While he was gone, a co-worker found the woman pining for her lost love and revealed the doctor’s secret. The nurse fell into a deep depression which led to her contracting some sort of disease. This disease killed her, and she is said to return to the room where she died.
Whatever the origin, the ghost is associated with hospitals, where it can be seen walking the halls at night and checking on patients. The ghost is alternatively described as floating or walking, but always silent, and in some accounts it glows. Sometimes it appears as a normal nurse, a full human manifestation, and other times it is an evil looking creature. The uniform it wears is usually out of date.
Despite the possible horrific appearance of this ghost, it often times heals patients it visits in the night, curing them of disease or healing wounds and then moving them to other rooms to recover. The patients usually describe a nurse who appeared in the room and somehow made them feel better.
Hospital Juarez, being one of the possible origins for the ghost, is known for appearances of La Planchada. It is said that the ghost returns to the room where she died and heals whoever is inside.