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5 Of America's Most Haunted Hospitals

Hospitals, while places of healing, often play host to peoples’ worst tragedies.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, West Virginia

The Trans-Allegheny Asylum is a Civil War military post turned asylum turned tourist attraction. Present day visitors and staff of this asylum report ghostly children, slamming doors, and disembodied screams. In 1864 the state of West Virginia opened the facility with 250 beds, promising world-class care for its patients. Unfortunately, as is too often the case, it quickly became overcrowded, at one point recording nearly 2,400 in-house patients. The facility was shut down in 1994 due to the resulting conditions and has since reopened as a museum.

Rolling Hills Asylum, East Bethany, New York

Surrounded by hundreds of unmarked graves, Rolling Hills Asylum was originally known as the Genesee County Poor House. Established in 1827 as a working farm, it provided a place where societies’ most disadvantaged residents were called inmates. While as many as 17,000 deaths were recorded on the property, hundreds of unmarked graves suggest a higher toll. Nowadays the notorious structure stands open to the public, and visitors report seeing hulking shadows, moving objects and disembodied voices.

Royal Hope Hospital, St. Augustine, Florida

Operating between 1784 and 1821, the Royal Hope Hospital, also known as the Spanish Military Hospital, earned a sinister reputation among its staff and patients, reporting shouts in empty rooms, the sound of marching down abandoned hallways, and moving beds. Years after its closure, working crews discovered thousands of bones buried beneath the site, revealing its use as a burial ground.

Pennhurst Asylum, Chester County, Pennsylvania

In the 1960’s, a televised exposé revealed a litany of abuses being carried out at this Pennhurst Asylum. What opened in 1908 as a refuge for patients with physical and mental disabilities spiraled into a nightmare fueled by lack of funding and gross overpopulation. Now, despite its controversial past, Penhurst is being billed as a haunted attraction. Visitors to the location report a plethora of paranormal interactions, including ghostly apparitions and EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) recordings of the anguished residents.

Waverly Hills Sanitorium, Louisville, Kentucky

In the wake of a tuberculosis epidemic, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium was born. Treatments for the disease, at the time, could be particularly barbaric, from ingesting brass to the removal of ribs. When patients died as a result of the disease or procedures, a tunnel from the first floor to the bottom of the property allowed staff to discreetly remove the bodies. That tunnel, as well as a fifth floor room, are now purportedly the site of shadowed forms and voices.

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