Have you ever wanted to visit a haunted hospital? Have you ever wondered how they get that way? Well, hospitals, sanitariums and mental hospitals, especially old abandoned ones, have always been fertile ground for ghost hunting. People can often times die very traumatic and painful deaths in these places and then become stuck there, sometimes for hundreds of years at a time.
You also have to take into account the fact that some of the so called “treatments” employed by our ancestors were a bit less than painless or humane and sometimes were outright sadistic.
Everyone gets creeped out at the thought of entering one of these places. Just being in the vicinity of one can make one feel uncomfortable. Even hospitals that are currently active and working have sections of them that feel “creepy” or “deathful”.
Add to this a building that has been derelict for many years with all the attendant decay and degradation of the building itself and you have a paranormal paradise on your hands.
You walk into one and the floor is littered with broken coffee cups, old newspapers, overturned chairs, old rotary phones, and maybe an abandoned TV or two. The paint is peeling off of the walls, the windows are all shattered and the remaining shards look like broken teeth.
The air inside is heavy with the stench of decay. You could almost cut it with a knife. The only light is the weak, feeble beam emanating from your flashlight, which illuminates just enough of the environment to remind you that you’re basically blind and will never be able to detect a threat until it’s right on top of you.
The worst part of it are the sounds, sometimes so faint as to be almost undetectable, a faint undercurrent of brooding, simmering malevolence, set to explode violently any moment.
Dripping water, wind howling through empty, cavernous rooms, the scurrying footsteps of rats and other vermin who have taken up residence and last but not least, the sighs and moans of those who can’t bring themselves to move on to the next level.
Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Here are a few examples of haunted hospitals!
Royal Hope Hospital
Salford, UK – Originally a Spanish Military hospital during the late 18th and early 19th centuries it was discovered, long after the original hospital had been demolished, that it had been built on top of what was believed to be an Indian burial ground! So Poltergeist had at least some basis in fact.
Patients staying at the current hospital, despite the fact that it is not the original building, have reported hearing wails and screams, equipment shaking and beds jumping up and down on their own.
Considering the era in which it was active as a hospital where there was no anesthesia, amputations were common, there was little or no attention paid to sanitation, and being hit by a musket ball anywhere on your body was pretty much a death warrant, no wonder it is considered the most haunted hospital in Florida.
People report hearing screams, sobbing and being suddenly overcome by a feeling of despair, dread and hopelessness. The chaotic, frantic and panicky feeling of a military hospital in the middle of battle have also been experienced, along with the stench of blood, rotting flesh and excrement.
Tranquille, Kamloops, British Columbia (CA) – Tranquille was originally a hospital exclusively for the treatment of tuberculosis that became a full on hospital in 1907. Due to financial difficulties it was closed down and then reopened as a psychiatric hospital in 1958. It continued as this until 1983 when, among allegations of abuse and mistreatment of patients, it was shut down.
This haunted hospital is currently abandoned and empty, awaiting demolition so that a resort can be built on the spot. During its heyday there was a whole community that sprouted up around it, with its own city government, a fire department, shops and restaurants and even a police force.
There is a warren of tunnels under the buildings that connect the main building with the various out buildings that is reputedly the hotspot for hauntings. Orbs, floating lights, an ominous mist that is supposedly an ex patient and muffled moans have all been seen and heard.
The fact that the building has been empty now for over 30 years and has fallen into such disrepair only adds to its reputation as a haunted hospital. It sits there like a long neglected, insane old relative, locked up in an attic, never spoken of, gibbering and muttering to themselves as they wallow in their past misdeeds and disappointments and slip slowly and inexorably down the downward spiral into blackest oblivion.
Severalls Mental Hospital
Colchester, Essex (UK) – Severalls is a turn of the century “classic” insane asylum, right out a bad horror movie. Built during a time where it was thought that the best way to treat the mentally ill was to isolate them in institutions, it housed as many as 2000 patients at a time. During the late 1800s and early 1900s there were quite a few asylums built around various places in England as this theory and method of treatment gained popularity and therefore, profitability.
Severalls was also known for its lax attitude towards experimenting with “new” and “better” treatments during its heyday which, at that time, meant lobotomies and electro convulsive shock treatments. Basically the doctors there were allowed to run amuck with these “treatments” that made the iron maiden and the rack look like a Sunday School session.
Add to this the fact that families, back in days of Victorian properness and repression, sought to get rid of their more “troublesome” members by having them committed to an institution for “mental illness.” This was especially true if that troublesome relative happened to be female.
Girls were often committed for no other reason than getting pregnant out of wedlock, having the misfortune of getting raped, having sex at all and just for being too much of a free thinker. For this, they wound up getting 50,000 volts sent through their brains or even worse, getting an ice pick shoved up into one’s temporal lobes and waved about.
Take injustice, forced incarceration, physical pain, gruesome surgical procedures and cruel and suppressive “therapies” and you have the perfect gumbo for a haunted hospital and ghosts. Numerous videos and recordings of various hauntings have been recorded. There is at least one video that shows what appears to be a nurse walking through a corridor carrying a tray.
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