Haunted hospitals across the UK continue to give shivers to the living. RICK HALE tells us about five of the most paranormally active!
According to psychical researchers and paranormal investigators, places where high amounts of human emotion is expended may become haunted.
The eerie laughter of children echoing through the halls of long closed schools is one. Prisons may still retain the souls of those who suffered and died behind their stone walls are another.
And of course hospitals that see the entire spectrum of the human condition, for good or bad.
Here are 5 hospitals where those who experienced life and death still wander the halls. And even the souls of doctors and nurses are still caring for their patients from beyond the grave.
St. Thomas’ Hospital, London
Our first stop on our tour of haunted hospitals brings us to central London’s St. Thomas’ Hospital.
A well respected teaching hospital that many believe may just be the home of an angel of death.
For almost a thousand years, St. Thomas’ Hospital has been providing healthcare for people suffering from serious illness, thanks to charitable donations.
The hospital is the namesake of St. Thomas Becket, the legendary archbishop of Canterbury who was martyred for his defense of the faith and canonised by Pope Alexander III.
This venerated hospital may have a long history of healing the sick and seeing to the poor, but something else makes the rounds with the doctors and nurses.
An angel of death is said to haunt the hospital. And if she visits your bedside, you may never leave.
Late at night, when all the visitors are gone, the apparition of a grey lady is seen floating down the halls of the hospital.
This grey lady is believed to be a long dead nurse who thinks she’s still seeing to her patient’s needs.
Visitors have been fooled into believing she is a nurse until they approach her and realize she is lacking legs. She then vanishes before their incredulous eyes.
Another story concerning the grey lady has her visiting the bedside of terminally ill patients. It’s said if she visits you, you will be dead before dawn.
Stories of this sort are common in hospitals the world over, but it appears to have originated here in this central London hospital.
University College Hospital, London
Not far from St. Thomas’ Hospital, in the Fitzrovia area of Camden is University College Hospital.
A hospital forever haunted by a nurse who made an egregious error resulting in a tragic death of a patient.
In 1826, London University saw a need to open a hospital where medical students could get hands-on skills on how to treat patients properly.
8 years later, UCH or as it was known at the time, North London Hospital was opened to train the future doctors and surgeons of Britain.
Today, UCH is a world renowned teaching and medical research hospital.
And although UCH is deeply rooted in science and would deny any kind of paranormal activity, the hospital is said to be haunted by a former nurse. A former nurse who made a simple, but terrible mistake.
Lizzie Church, was a promising young nurse who came to work at the hospital in the early years of the 20th century. And like most young nurses she was enthusiastic about helping the sick and saving lives.
One day while attending to one of her patients who was in great pain, she did what any nurse of the day would have done, administered morphine.
What Lizzie didn’t realize was she gave her patient a little too much of the painkiller. Before she knew what she had done, her patient died of an overdose.
Rocked to her core by the regrettable error, Lizzie hung herself in a hospital stairwell. A sad end to the promising career of a young woman who only wanted to help.
Perhaps this is why Lizzie Church has remained at the hospital.
When being discharged from their stay, patients have reported being cared for by a kindly young nurse.
They have also remarked that whoever this is is wearing a uniform from a bygone era. They then learn that the kindly young nurse is a ghost.
According to some doctors and nurses, Lizzie Church watches over them as they administer medication.
They report feeling a cold hand guiding them as they give their patients shots or setting up IVs.
She may no longer be among the living, but Lizzie Church is considered to be an important member of hospital staff.
North Wales Hospital, Denbigh, Wales
In the mid 19th century, Wales, along with the rest of the United Kingdom, recognized a need to reform psychiatric hospitals and the care of their troubled patients.
Historically, these hospitals were abysmal places where patients were subjected to inhumane, almost torturous treatments. Among these so-called treatments, bloodletting and whippings.
When North Wales Hospital was opened in 1848, it was built on the ideals of treating the patients with the dignity and respect they deserved.
Regrettably, the hospital failed in its intentions and the hope it was built upon.
The Lunacy Act of 1890 turned the hospital into more of a workhouse and patient care and treatment became less important.
The hospital eventually shut down for good in 2002, and the building was given Grade II status. However, many of its former buildings are ruins.
And it’s in this decrepit old insane asylum where the patients of old still walk.
Courageous people who explore this abandoned asylum have come away with intense encounters with the unexplained.
The unmistakable sound of opening and slamming doors echo throughout the hospital followed by an unearthly scream and cackling laughter from an undoubtedly troubled mind.
This activity alone may be unnerving, but it’s the apparitions of former patients that are truly terrifying.
The ghosts of former patients have been known to rush visitors while raving like a mad person. They vanish before making contact.
Others have reported being violently shoved or manhandled by unseen hands. Clearly, North Wales Hospital is not for the novice ghost hunter.
Newsham Park Hospital, Liverpool
Before Newsham Park hospital began taking patients, it served a much different purpose.
It was known as the Liverpool Seaman’s Orphan Institution and it took in children who lost their fathers to the unforgiving depths of the ocean.
The children lived in the building until 1949, when the Newsham Park hospital was opened.
After opening, it developed a comprehensive programme to treat patients in psychiatric distress. Even the ones who were considered to be dangerous.
In 1997 it was closed and purchased by a development company that has big plans of turning it into an events venue, a bar and restaurant.
Sounds ambitious, however what they didn’t know was their business venture was haunted by some very active ghosts.
Even before the hospital closed, patients could be heard conversing with people only they could see.
And a nurse that worked the night shift hung herself after having several encounters with an aggressive ghost that made her life miserable.
The apparition of the nurse who was being bullied by her spectral tormentor has been seen walking the halls of the hospital.
A row of cabinets leading to the attic that was used to punish unruly children holds the soul of a little boy.
Allegedly, he was locked away in the attic after acting out and died of suffocation after being forgotten.
He is known to slam the cupboard doors and has been seen timidly peeking out of the cupboard when people approach.
The boy isn’t alone haunting the old hospital. Shadowy figures are seen running between rooms.
Disembodied voices are heard in empty rooms and phantom footsteps follow people as they wander the building.
Researchers believe the ghostly inhabitants of Newsham Park Hospital are both the children, as well as the psychiatric patients.
Pool Park Asylum, Clawddnewydd, Wales
Coming in last on our list is Pool Park Asylum in the small rural village of Clawddnewydd, Northern Wales.
A former psychiatric hospital where the owners implore people to stay away. And not because the ghosts are dangerous. But because the building is practically falling down.
Before housing overflow patients from nearby Denbigh insane asylum, it was a deer park for nearby Ruthin castle.
In 1862, Lord Bagot built the Tudor style house that we see today.
When the psychiatric patients came, the building was only zoned for 87 patients but would swell to over 120 patients almost immediately.
In world war II, the hospital was closed and the building was used as a prisoner of war camp for captured German soldiers.
Although the owners strongly discourage any kind of trespassing, ghost hunters can obtain permission to safely explore areas of the building that are stable.
Several instances of unexplained activity have been documented in the former hospital over the years.
Loud bangs and disembodied voices and screams have been heard coming from the rooms of former patients.
And ghostly figures are known to throw stones at people as they wander the halls of the old asylum.
If you should visit Pool Park Asylum make sure to get permission. Because you don’t want to have an accident and become another ghostly denizen of Pool Park Asylum.
My wife who is a nurse once said to me, “People don’t go to hospitals to rest. They are going to get well”.
An odd distinction I learned all too well when I was going through intense chemotherapy treatments.
Now add on to that ghostly apparition. I suppose they could only make your visit stay that much more interesting.
Have you seen a ghost in a hospital? Tell us about it in the comments section below!