Once owned by the Sisters of Hope, Burbury was a beautiful orphanage at one time. The children there were loved dearly and well cared for by the sisters as well as the caretaker. His large wolf like dog could often be seen romping and playing with the laughing children.
In the 1920’s, the area was hit hard by the influenza epidemic, and the orphanage wasn’t spared. Every day, the caretaker could be seen digging tiny graves, as one by one, the children succumbed to the illness. Burbury was no longer the happy place it had been. At night you could hear the caretaker’s dog howling with sadness. Everyone could see that the sisters and the caretaker were devastated by the loss of the children. Each one being like a tiny knife to the heart.
For several years the home remained empty and fell into disrepair. The feeling of sadness was almost a tangible thing that never lifted. More than once, the caretaker would be seen tending to the tiny graves. He had vowed to care for them and their deaths didn’t change that. Eventually drinking himself to death, the caretaker himself was buried there as well.
Years later, the home was sold and turned into a retirement home for the areas more influential and wealthy people. There were many complaints about the tiny graves on the property as residents found the sight of them depressing. Eventually the tiny graves were moved to the larger public cemetery. As time went on, most people forgot about the old orphanage and its tiny charges. As the building was added on to, the past seemed to be erased. I had taken a night shift nursing position there, already having heard the rumors of a haunting. In truth, most hospitals and nursing homes have them so I really didn’t give it much credit. I was mistaken.
It was around 3 a.m. on my first night working and everything was very quiet. I was reading a novel that I had brought from home, when I suddenly heard giggling. I walked down the long hallway thinking that one of my patients was having a really good dream. Hearing nothing more, I made my way back to the nurses station. Just as I sat down, I heard the sounds of several little feet running down the opposite hallway. Then of course, came the giggling again. More accurately, the sound of several children giggling. Unnerved, I again walked the hallways and heard nothing.
Again returning to my desk, I refused to acknowledge the sounds. Perhaps it was a trick on the new nurse and they would just go away if I didn’t act. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark shadow. Turning to look at it, I saw the distinct shape of a tall man and what looked like a huge dog. Grabbing the phone and calling security, I whispered that there was an intruder and he had a large dog with him. After remaining silent for a few seconds, the security guard told me there was nothing to worry about and he would be right up.
When the guard made it up to my desk he informed me that he had seen nothing at all. Again, the giggling started up. Completely terrified and beginning to cry, he told me the story of the old orphanage. The children frequently made appearances to check out new residents and have some fun with them. The children didn’t want people to forget about them.
From then on, whenever I worked; I would bring in some toys and children’s books. I also brought in doggy treats for the shadow dog. I would place all the items on a table, out of my line of sight, and call to them. Let them know I was there and had things for them. At the end of each shift, I would find the strewn about toys and pack them away. I never did find the dog treats though.