The Nurse Complete Lore and Controversies – Dead By Daylight

In the supernatural world of Dead by Daylight, where each survivor and killer come with a unique narrative, The Nurse as a killer has always stood out for me. 
Maybe it was her design, which is clearly inspired by the nurses in Silent Hill (and if you oppose this, you are in denial) of which I am an extreme fan, or all the controversies that her lore brought to the table.  

In this article I will tell you, my dear reader, everything I know about the lore of The Nurse in Dead by Daylight… and we will also talk about the fan backlash! 

Sally Smithson: The Nurse in Dead by Daylight 

The Nurse’s name was Sally Smithson, and she was a newly married woman moving to a new town with her husband Andrew during the period from the 1920s to the 1930s. 
She had but a simple dream: have her husband build a wooden house and fill it with children. She pictured herself as the perfect housewife, welcoming back her husband after a hard day of work in the forest. 

Andrew was a lumberjack, which has always been one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. According to Sky History, it is the job with the highest mortality rate in the world even in present days.  
Yeah, you know what that means, right? One day, Sally receives the visit of Andrew’s foreman telling her that Andrew died, his head smashed open by a tree. 

Sally Becomes a Nurse: The Crotus Prenn Asylum 

Sally’s world crumbled around her as she found herself excessively reliant on her husband. She was an unemployed young woman with little to no education. The chances of getting a job with these credentials were slim, particularly during an era when education for women was not as prevalent as in present days.  

Only one place in the city could welcome her with open hands, and that was a place that people avoided if not in extreme need of money: the Crotus Prenn Asylum. 
Asylums at that time are very well depicted in the horror media: those were prisons, where people were not cured or treated, but kept locked away from the outside society.  

The working conditions were miserable, but Sally had no other choice since she had no money left: she accepted a job as a nurse at Crotus Prenn.  

The Crotus Prenn Asylum System and Inmates 

Within the Crotus Prenn Asylum, conditions for both patients and staff were terrible. The funds to run the place were cut to the minimum, and that included security and infrastructure. The patients, although registered in the system with their real names, were then assigned a two-word name that represents their more evident characteristics. 

The Anxious Girl 

The Anxious Girl, whose real name was Marion Jenner, was a patient suffering from severe anxiety and panic disorder. She was one of The Nurse’s favorite patients, as it is stated that they have a deep connection.  
The Anxious Girl never left her room, despite The Nurse’s advice to go in the common room and admire the birds making their nest outside the windows. 

To know more about anxiety and panic disorders, you can read this great article from Cleveland Clinic 

The Bad Man and the Rancid Son 

The Bad Man was a violent individual that often managed to free himself from his restraints. When that happened, he always aimed for the weakest of the other patients, to assault them both physically and sexually.  
The latest documented victim was the Rancid Son, which The Nurse found dragged naked by the Bad Man, leaving a long trailed of blood.  

If the Rancid Son was alive or simply unconscious, we will never know unfortunately. 

The Foul Girl 

The Foul Girl suffered probably from a type of Impulse-control disorder. When The Nurse crossed her in one of the Asylum’s corridors, she was finally free after a month of being restrained. When the Foul Girl saw The Nurse, she made herself vomit on purpose to then continue to smile, happy of the results.  

If you want to know more about Impulse-control disorders, here is an article written by the American Psychiatric Association 

The Catatonic Boy 

The Catatonic Boy sat in a wheelchair and alternated moments of complete stillness to highly active ones, like that day that The Nurse met him in a hallway, and after staring a point behind her, he screamed to then laugh at himself.  

This can be probably related to Schizophrenia with Catatonia, which was formerly known as Catatonic Schizophrenia, but no longer recognized. You can read another great article from Cleveland Clinic about that

The Shoeless Imbecile 

The Shoeless Imbecile made my skin crawl a bit, honestly. It was seen slamming his jaw against a doorframe six times before removing a tooth from his mouth, which was dripping with blood.  

Standing at this little information, we can presume that the Shoeless Imbecile suffered from Self-injurious behavior (SIB), which you can read more in this article by the National Autistic Society.

The Broken Woman 

The Broken Woman was a former nurse suffering from delusions of grandeur, a symptom of mental conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or delusional disorder.  

A firm believer of eugenics, she saw the mentally ill and sick as an infection to the genetically dominant… it was something to be eradicated or, as the Broken Woman used to say, cleansed.  
This cleansing, of course, implied death. With a syringe containing a substance capable of inflicting severe pain on the subject. 

You can read more about delusions of grandeur in this fantastic article by Zawn Villines in Medical News Today.

The Nurse Endured The Crotus Prenn Asylum for 20 Years 

I can’t imagine what 20 years of working in an Asylum like that could ever do to somebody in a fragile state like Sally Smithson, but in this particular case, it did not end well. 

Day after day she was mentally and physically abused by the patients, while having zero respect from the staff (aside of an orderly, who was lewdly attracted to her) and no hope of turning her life around.  

While doing her daily routine tending to the patients, the Broken Woman would speak to her about her past and her beliefs. Little by little The Nurse started to believe in what The Broken Woman preached, up until one day, after snapping at the Anxious Girl because she found lice in her hair, she felt like all her emotions abandoned her.  

Weeks passed, and her behavior was increasingly distant. She made up her mind: the place was infected, and it had to be purified.  

The Cleansing of Crotus Prenn 

The day after, when the morning crew came to start their shift, what they found was a massacre: over fifty patients and four members of the night crew were found dead in their beds, some of them chocked to death, while others killed with the same substance that the Broken Woman used to use. Sally Smithson was the sole survivor, but the secrets of that night were never revealed. 

The day shift summoned an ambulance, and Sally was taken to a close hospital, but listen to this: that ambulance was later discovered wrecked in the forest, with the driver and medics dead. 

The Nurse had vanished. 

Why Was The Nurse Lore Controversial? 

The short answer is: because people on Reddit and Twitter should chill, really.  

The center of the problem was the original, short lore, which summed the Nurse without including all the eugenics and the Broken Woman thing. Up until that moment, people came to the general conclusion that The Nurse killed the patients of the Asylum out of mercy.  

They found their proofs in her “Memento Mori” ability (which insta-kills a survivor) where she strangles the victim and caresses their lifeless face, and in some items that hint on the connections that she had with some of the patients.  
Then the canonical addition of the lore came out and people freaked out, asking to remove it and to fire the writer.  

Look, I get it: the fact that The Nurse killed everybody because of eugenics makes her more of a b***h, but I see it differently. Eugenics are just an excuse. Sally was on the brink of madness and used eugenics as an excuse to carry her destructive feelings towards her life, her patients and the asylum. She never really believed in what the Broken Woman said.  

Guys, I don’t like when Boromir dies in The Lord of The Rings, but I’m not going to sign a petition with a couple of dozens degenerates against the Tolkien Estate to change the f******g books.  
It does not even work as a comparison, because his death redeemed him from trying to take the ring from Frodo…dammit. Well, you get the point. 

Conclusion 

This was an amusing article to write, and you can expect more regarding other killers in Dead by Daylight in the future! 
Since I talked about how The Nurse’s design is, in my opinion, heavily inspired by Silent Hill, you can check out this analysis I wrote about the first game of that franchise! 

As always, I hope that you, dear reader, enjoyed this article! I will surely see you in the next one!