Hospitals are a frightening place to visit just by their nature, the sterile corridors and the knowledge that they are the last place that many people will ever visit makes them especially foreboding, and asylums are equally as terrifying. Perhaps unsurprisingly then that many hospitals and asylums are alleged to be haunted, here are five of the most notorious.
5Newsham Park Hospital
Long abandoned, Newsham Park Hospital in Liverpool has a tragic past, originally built in 1874 as an orphanage it was later converted into a hospital for the mentally ill until it was closed down and left derelict in 1992.
Patients at the hospital who had no prior knowledge of its history as an orphanage would often report children pestering them at night and several members of staff have reported the sounds of children laughing and crying echoing down the corridors at night.
There are rooms in the attic that have come to be known as the “naughty cupboards” as orphans who were misbehaving were often locked in their as punishment, many have reported the doors to these “naughty cupboards” will swing violently open and shut, as if pushed by some unseen angry force. One nurse reported seeing the apparition of a young boy in one the rooms also.
With over 16,000 recorded deaths having occurred on the site it is perhaps little wonder that Newsham Park Hospital is considered one of England’s most haunted locations.
4Pennhurst State School And Hospital
Constructed in 1908, the gigantic Pennhurst State School and Hospital was designed to be a place of peace, to offer respite and help for mentally ill patients of all ages. Unfortunately, this was not to be its legacy.
The hospital was shut down in 1978 when it came to light that members of staff at the facility had been abusing and torturing patients, the list of abuses included severe beatings and even forcing patients to fight each other; amid public outcry all the patients were moved to other facilities and Pennhurst now lies abandoned.
But, people who have visited Pennhurst since its closure have reported that it may not be so empty, as voices crying out for help have been heard in the dark, and shadowy figures have been seen darting in and out of rooms.
Things seemed to have been going routinely one night in 1972 at the Bedford Hospital, Bedfordshire. That was until two nurses working a night shift had an encounter with a truly startling apparition.
The two nurses were doing their rounds when they saw a tall lady in a long, flowing dress walking down the hallway, as visiting hours were long since over the nurses confronted the woman; to their shock not only did the woman completely ignore them, but she seemed to be hovering a few feet above the ground. The woman went into a toilet, and when the nurses finally plucked up the courage to enter, she was gone.
This story gets even stranger when 28 years later at the same hospital three members of staff reported that they saw a tall woman in a dress suddenly walk out of a store room and pass right through a wall.
2Taunton State Hospital
Built in 1854 as a psychiatric hospital, Taunton State Hospital in Massachusetts has had some notable guests spend time in its wards, including Jane Toppan, a sociopathic serial killer who confessed to the murder of 33 people.
As well as the notoriety of some it’s patients there have long been rumours of dark goings on with the hospital's staff. Tales persist of doctors and nurses performing satanic rituals in the hospital's basement and using the patients to practice on.
While the validity of the claims is not known, it is known that Taunton State Hospital had been the site of many reported paranormal encounters before its closure in 1994.
Patients and former workers have reported strange sensations of being watched, disembodied voices have been heard coming from empty rooms, people have reported the touch of invisible hands, and most horrifying of all, former patients have reported the presence of a strange, spider-like shadowy figure that would crawl across the ceiling and stare at them all night until the sun came up.
1Athens Mental Hospital
Athens Mental Hospital, Ohio earned itself a gruesome reputation from its opening in 1874 to its closure in 1993. Known for the variable frequency of lobotomies, as well as its infamously dangerous patients, a graveyard on the site contains the bodies of 1,900 former inmates and patients.
In 1978 Margaret Schilling, a patient vanished one day, her naked body was found hidden in an abandoned wing of the hospital weeks later, her clothes folded up next to her. It’s unknown to this day what exactly caused Margaret’s death.
However, what is known is that many have reported seeing a stain the shape of a woman on the floor in the room Margaret was found, a stain which appears and disappears as though of its own free will.
As well as the reappearing stain visitors have reported strange figures lurking in the abandoned wings of the hospital, as well as an overwhelming feeling of dread that seems to come from nowhere.