6 Haunted Abandoned Mental Hospitals (Paranormal Investigation)

Updated : Aug 28, 2019 in Articles

6 Haunted Abandoned Mental Hospitals (Paranormal Investigation)

6. “Body Parts at the Rancho Los Amigos Hospital”:
Just outside of downtown Los Angeles lies the Rancho Los Amigos [“Ranch-cho” “Los”
“Ah-mee-goes”] Hospital in Downey [“Down-knee”], California. The hospital itself is still in use to this
day, but other parts of the facility have been sealed off and forgotten long ago. Since the hospital was originally established
in 1888, some of these walled-off sections are extremely old . . . and extremely haunted. Starting in the 1950s, the hospital began
to focus on treating polio [“pole-lee-oh”] and shut down its other facilities, including
an old mental asylum [“ah-sigh-lum”]. This asylum was called the L.A. County Poor
Farm, and it was where the elderly, the homeless, the disabled, and the insane all lived together. There was also an army base nearby and even
a small zoo, though all of this was abandoned by the 1980s. One day two ghost hunters named Marsha and
Kirsten decided to sneak into the abandoned area and take a look for themselves. Inside they found a boarded up ranch home
along with tons of abandoned buildings. It felt like they were walking around in a
miniature city – except something wasn’t quite right. Even though all of the buildings were empty,
Kirsten describes feeling as if each place was still occupied. When they approached the army base, they both
felt as if hundreds of people were watching them at once, and they both felt this at the
same time without saying anything to each other. The atmosphere only seemed to get more and
more threatening as they wandered further inside. When they reached the mental asylum, Kirsten
noticed there was still lot of expensive lab equipment, books, magazines, and other important-looking
items laying around. The buildings themselves were old and full
of toxic asbestos [“az-spes-tos”]. They clearly needed to be vacated [“vay-kate-ted”],
but she still found it odd how the workers had chosen to abandon all of their belongings. It was almost as if something had scared them
off in a hurry. Overall, the experience left Marsha and Kirsten
sure that they weren’t alone during their adventure. Something else was with them the entire time
– they just knew it. To use their words, exploring the haunted
mental asylum felt “as though you are in another world, one that does not belong to
you and whose inhabitants don’t necessarily welcome you”. With this in mind, they are sure that there
has to be a hidden history to the hospital, a darker reason that would explain why the
workers suddenly decided to close off a large portion of the hospital from the rest of the
world for good. These two ghost hunters were not the only
ones to have a creepy experience on the old grounds. In 2006, United States Marines were using
the abandoned buildings as part of a basic training drill. As they were doing a sweep from room to room,
they came across an extremely old freezer that looked evil enough to catch their eye. The team opened it up and were shocked by
what was inside. The freezer was full of body parts that were
at least 30 years old, if not older. Severed legs, feet, and shriveled up brains
all filled the room with a putrid [“pew-trid”] stench. As it turned out, the marines had stumbled
into an old abandoned morgue area. These body parts were supposedly from amputations,
but nobody can say where they came from for sure. This begs one simple question: are there more
human remains on the property, and, if so, could this be why everyone who sneaks inside
feels like they are being stalked at every turn? 5. “The Death Tunnel of Waverly Hills”: The
early 1900s was an especially dangerous time to live in Louisville [“Lew-ee-vil”],
Kentucky. This was when a strange disease known as the
“white death” was sweeping through the nation. We now call it tuberculosis [“ta-bur-q-low-sis”],
but at the time, all Louisville citizens knew was that it made people cough up blood – and
if you got it, there was no cure. Their town was hit the hardest out of anywhere
in the nation. Those who caught the sickness were sent to
Waverly [“Way-ver-lee”] Hills sanatorium [“san-a-tour-ree-um”] to be experimented
on until they died painfully. When Waverly Hills first opened in 1924, it
was considered one of the best hospitals to treat tuberculosis. In reality, they were doing almost everything
wrong. For example, patients received plenty of fresh
air and sunshine to combat the bacterial [“back-tear-ree-ul”] infection, which did seem to help them to
a certain degree. However, this same logic meant they were left
by open windows all year long. It wasn’t uncommon to see a person dying
of tuberculosis while covered in piles of snow that had drifted in from outside, or
else dying from the blistering Southern heat in the summer. Sometimes they were left on a porch, but other
times the patients were left on a roof to survive the elements. Other tuberculosis-sufferers were forced to
undergo much stranger treatments that seemed to border on pure torture. Their lungs were exposed to ultraviolet rays
in an effort to stop the bacteria from spreading, and sometimes large chunks of their lungs
were removed as well, if not the entire lung itself. It also wasn’t uncommon for doctors to crush
a nerve that controls your breathing so that one lung would be effectively paralyzed. This resulted in permanent shallow breathing
and all sorts of other deformities [“de-form-mit-tees”]. Waverly Hill patients would also sometimes
have as many as 8 of their ribs removed. Since tuberculosis causes the lungs to swell
with infection, surgeons performed this procedure so that the infected lung would have more
room to expand – but it didn’t really help. In fact, it almost always resulted in a painful
collapsed long, which is why less than 5 percent of the patients survived this procedure. Perhaps the worst treatment of all involved
surgically implanting balloons directly into the lungs and then filling them with air. Clean air was thought to help fight the infection
and strengthen the lungs, but it really did nothing other than increase the patients’
suffering as they slowly died in misery. Even though these operations all had a low
survival rate, doctors just didn’t know what else to do. So many patients died at Waverly Hills that
moving the bodies out became a real problem. Staff didn’t want anybody to know just how
many people were dying under their care, so they created a tunnel specifically for getting
rid of the dead. This “death tunnel” started at the hospital
morgue and opened up at the bottom of a hill by the railroad tracks. The bodies were then lowered into the trains
and sent away. It wasn’t uncommon for entire families to
pass through the death tunnel at one point or another. Fortunately, as tuberculosis became less of
a threat, the hospital became less needed. It was eventually transformed into the Woodhaven
Geriatrics [“Jerry-at-tricks”] Sanitarium [“san-nit-tare-ree-um”] – which is basically
like a retirement home from Hell. Here, electroshock therapy was administered
on a regular basis, and rumors of the elderly being terribly mistreated was also standard
practice. A lack of funding meant that the treatment
was just awful. In 1982, the facility was condemned and shut
down by the state for good. The property has since become the subject
of many ghost stories as told by anyone brave enough – or foolish enough – to go exploring. Most stories especially seem to center around
a mysterious fifth floor, which is supposedly where the mentally insane tuberculosis patients
were kept. This way, they were properly isolated from
the general population, but could still get fresh air and sunshine. Ghost hunters who come up to the fifth floor
often start to feel paranoid and anxious, and this might be because of the previous
staff as much as the inpatients. As the story goes, a head nurse once committed
suicide on the fifth floor in Room 502. She was 29-years-old and pregnant when she
tied a knot around her neck and hung herself from a lighting fixture. In 1932, another nurse is said to have jumped
from the roof. She, too, worked in Room 502. No records exist to confirm this story, but
many locals say there was a cover up to keep it under wraps. To this day, if you go into Room 502, you
might see shadows in the windows or even hear a voice sharply order you to “get out”
immediately. Ghost sightings aren’t just limited to the
fifth floor. A man dressed in a white chef’s coat is
often seen walking around in the kitchen, where visitors can smell fully-cooked meals. Sometimes you can even hear his footsteps
along with the smell of freshly baked bread in the cafeteria area. There’s also a little boy with an old 1930s
leather ball to play with, and a woman with bleeding wrists who comes screaming at you
for help. Other than that, slamming doors, shifting
shapes, and lights in the windows despite a lack of power are all commonplace. Of course, there is no shortage of video evidence
to support all of these paranormal claims. 4. “Mental Torture”: The Fairfield Hills
State Hospital in Newtown, Connecticut [“New-town”] [“Con-net-tick-cut”] opened in 1931 to
help with overcrowding at other state hospitals. Sixteen buildings spanned across 770 acres,
housing up to 4 thousand patients at a time. To the outside world, Fairfield Hills looked
like a charming place to stay – however, it was really the place of insane misery and
unspeakable cruelty towards the disabled. These methods of mistreatment included lobotomies
and other forms of highly invasive brain surgeries. There was also hydrotherapy [“high-dro-therapy”],
which is where a patient was forced to take a warm bath that would last for hours to even
days. These baths were administered in a quiet room
with low light levels and no other forms of stimulation. Sometimes the subject was simply sprayed with
water instead. For most hydrotherapy baths, the temperature
was between 92 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit. For certain mental disorders, cold water anywhere
from 48 to 70 degrees was used instead. The patients were always restrained, and they
were never let out until their time was up, not even to use the bathroom. When the hospital finally closed its doors
in 1995, stories of strange happenings began to flood the small city. Apparently the abandoned area became a local
hangout for members of a satanic cult, and, even more famously, the haunting grounds for
a young female ghost who was always dressed all in white. This ghost was even the center of a paranormal
television show on MTV called Fear. According to many who have seen her, she will
typically stare at you through a certain window. There is always a glowing light behind her. Like the Waverly Hills sanatorium in Kentucky,
the Fairfield Hills State Hospital has a series of underground tunnels that link the 16 buildings
together. This way, staff, patients, and even corpses
could be moved from building to building as needed without causing a disturbance. These tunnels were also the source of many
paranormal encounters. It was not uncommon to hear screams coming
from the tunnels as well as from the buildings themselves. Perhaps this is why the tunnels have since
been completely filled in. If you are thinking of exploring the Fairfield
Hills State Hospital for yourself, you might want to think again. Local authorities have been cracking down
on trespassers and the penalties are fairly steep. If caught, you can expect to pay a hundred
dollar fine and spend the night in jail. Still, some brave explorers can’t resist
breaking into the property and having a look. As evidenced by the following footage, they
almost always experience something not of this world. 3. “Body Melt”: Established in 1868, the
Athens [“Ath-thens”] Asylum in Cleveland [“Cleave-land”], Ohio was originally meant
to house soldiers who were traumatized from battle during the Civil War. Here, they could sort through their own thoughts
and nurse themselves back to health by tending the area’s beautiful gardens and greenhouses,
or by working on the dairy farm. Ponds, fountains, and orchards [“ore-chirds”]
provided breathtaking scenery that would help them relax and find a new purpose in life. The Athens Asylum started out as a very nice
and well-meaning facility, but it would not last for long. The staff soon realized that they could make
a lot of money off of their patients and became more and more greedy, putting profits before
proper treatments. They overcrowded the hospital with far too
many patients and put them all to work, whether they were capable of handling it or not. They also became more lenient [“lean-yent”]
with who they accepted into their ranks. Soon the asylum became known as a place where
you could drop off your teenage son or daughter if they became too rebellious. Not that the other supposedly legitimate reasons
for being committed were all that great, either. In the late 1800s, it wasn’t uncommon for
people to be sent to the Athens Asylum for masturbating too much, an act which many thought
could cause a person to go insane. In fact, eighty-two patients were sent to
the hospital specifically because of this reason alone. By the 1950s, the Athens Asylum had more than
2 thousand people – some actually insane, and some not so much. Regardless, the hospital was three times over
its legal capacity. This large population overwhelmed the staff
and made them begin to act even more cruelly than ever before. Patients were forced to soak in ice water
baths, and they were beaten or restrained for days on end. They were even shocked with electricity straight
into their brain, or, worst of all, given lobotomies [“low-bot-tummies”]. A lobotomy was when a surgeon takes an icepick
and jabs it beneath your eye, straight into your brain. This “medical procedure” – if you could
call it that – was designed to disable the brain in an effort to keep a patient’s emotions
under control. It was never a good idea to begin with, but
at the Athens Asylum, they were effectively using it to create mindless work slaves. Eventually the asylum was shut down in 1993. By then, countless lives had been permanently
changed by the staff’s abuse. Many say that their unhappy spirits haunt
the grounds to this day. Nearby Ohio University students would hear
screams coming from the hospital. Those who went inside would see shadowy figures
standing in the hallway and otherwise feel extreme dread. Then there is the famous ghost of Margaret
Schilling [“Shill-ling”]. Margaret Schilling was a 54-year-old patient
who went missing on the first of December, 1979. The exact circumstances have most likely been
covered up by the staff, but Margaret was probably trying to get away from some sort
of abuse when she wandered into an abandoned area of the ward that was for tuberculosis
victims. No one has any idea what got her next. Some say it was spirits, some say it was starvation. Whatever it was, when employees found her
42 days later, she was completely naked and face down. All of her clothes were neatly folded next
to her corpse. An autopsy showed that she died of heart failure. Her body had started to melt into the concrete,
and the stain remains there to this day . . . along with her spirit. Why the outline of her body is permanently
in the concrete is something no one can properly explain. Some say that it was a chemical reaction from
the way that the sun was hitting her, but others say it is an angry sign from beyond
the grave. Her death will not be forgotten, they feel
she is saying with her stain. If you scrub up the stain, it will reappear
moments later as if nothing had happened. Try as they might, no cleaning chemical has
ever been able to solve this. There is also an anonymous cemetery that has
become the subject of much paranormal speculation as well. This is where patients with no family were
buried. Instead of a headstone, they were just given
a white rock and a number. Thousands of bodies have been buried throughout
the property, including many Civil War veterans. Aside from nightly ghost visits, there is
also a patch of land near a creek with multiple hidden graves. This is where you can sometimes hear screams
and see eerie glowing lights. At another part of the cemetery the graves
all form a circle. This is where witches would reportedly conjure
spirits and cast mystical spells. 2. “The High Street Ghost House”: Built in
1892, the Sai Ying Pun [“Sigh” “Ying” “Pun”] mental hospital was originally
built to house European nurses until World War II broke out. According to legend, the place was taken over
by Japanese troops and used as an execution hall for quite some time. Countless prisoners of war were allegedly
murdered here. Eventually the Sai Ying Pun estate was converted
into a mental hospital. It was abandoned in 1961 and badly damaged
by two fires. Since then, there have been some extremely
strange sightings. One is of a ghost who wears traditional robes
on the second floor. You wouldn’t expect anything was wrong until
he suddenly runs at you and explodes into flames. There are also headless figures running down
the hallway at all hours of the night. These are presumably the executed prisoners
of war. Finally, a woman often loudly cries into the
night and footsteps boom throughout the property at random. 1. “The Manson Retreat”: The Trans Allegheny
[“Tranz” “Allah-gain-knee”] asylum was built on the backs of prisoners in 1858. This gothic building is so old, it first housed
inpatients exactly one year before the end of the Civil War. It sits on 666 acres of land. With the way patients were treated, it’s
no wonder as to why this place is so haunted nowadays. For example, it was not uncommon for the staff
to lock patients in literal cages and let them rot while covered in their own filth. They were often chained down and forgotten,
left to scream and wither [“whither”] away – sometimes until death. Within a few decades, staff were already hearing
screams in areas that were unoccupied, and experiencing other strange ghostly sightings. Sometimes they would hear insane bouts [“bhouts”]
of laughter or else painful groans coming from floors that were otherwise completely
empty. By the 1950s, the hospital was housing up
to 2,600 patients, which was more than ten times past the maximum capacity. By this time, patients were treated as little
more than prisoners. They had little light, almost no furniture,
and certain sections even lacked heat during the frigid [“fridge-jid”] months. Even as late as the 1980s, the criminally
insane were still being helplessly locked in cages. Even the infamous serial killer Charles Manson
briefly stayed here. Thousands of patients were believed to have
perished at the asylum over the years. Many of these cases were from neglect, while
others were from suicide or failed psychiatric treatments. Their bodies are believed to have been buried
in mass graves throughout the hospital grounds. People often claimed to hear voices hold full
conversations within the walls themselves. Even the staff haunts the property to this
day. Everyone from janitors to nurses are known
to stalk the hallways before disappearing shortly afterwards. Perhaps this is because the staff themselves
were disturbed by the institution, sometimes as deeply as the people under their care. One psychiatrist was reportedly haunted by
the ghost of a man who committed suicide while under her watch. She claims the ghost followed her everywhere
she went, even after she moved multiple times. Another time, a nurse was found dead and rotting
at the bottom of a stairwell. Other nurses were often attacked and forcibly
raped. Their spirits all seem to reside in the asylum,
refusing to ever leave.


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