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Hospitals have a very ironic atmosphere about them, if you think about it.
These are buildings that are meant to house life-saving technology and be centers where people heal themselves. They are supposed to be places where people can seek out medical attention that could save their lives—but yet, the vast majority of people in modernized countries will die in a hospital.
Over the centuries, hospitals have been the place of horrific human experimentation, "healing" methods that kill patients, as well as a home to those who should never have been introduced to society at all. Evil doctors, tortured patients, and trauma haunt hospital halls no matter where you go.
It is the fact that hospitals see so much death, cruelty, and tragedy that makes them a perfect place to spot a ghost. Many nurses and doctors claim to have seen something paranormal in nature while they were on the job. So, perhaps there is some evidence to believe that they are hotbeds for hauntings.
That being said, some hospitals have way more tragedy associated with them than others. The most haunted hospitals in the world are ones that probably need to be avoided at night—unless you want nightmares, that is.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium—Waverly Hills, Kentucky
Few places have as dark a history as Waverly Hills Sanatorium, and that's what makes it one of the scariest haunted hospitals in the world. This sanatorium was designed to house tuberculosis patients and have the most cutting-edge treatment options the world had ever seen.
However, treatments often centered around "fresh air exposure," even during the winter. Other treatments included ballooning one's lungs, or even removing a lung entirely.
The majority of the treatments didn't work and at times, even would get the live-in staff sick. This led to a ridiculously high death rate among patients, and a reputation of being a place "no one left alive."
At one point, people were dying so rapidly that they had to create an underground tunnel to cart the bodies out without having patients see them. To try to avoid horrifying grieving family members, they'd use tanning beds to make it appear as if the patients were recovering.
Once TB rates died down, the Sanatorium quickly became a mental asylum that became extremely overcrowded. Patients often would undergo cruel treatments, involuntary lobotomies, "experimental procedures," and physical abuse by staff.
Staff members had commit suicide on premises, and some also may have been killed by patients. It's unclear how many people died here during the hospital's run. Most estimate that at least 400 people had died here, if not more.
These days, it's become known as one of scariest haunted hospitals in America—as well as one of the most haunted places in the country. Ghost hunters regularly report seeing shadow people, hearing disembodied voices, seeing objects move by themselves, and also seeing the ghost of a little girl who runs on the second floor.
The most haunted location? The fifth floor, which houses the room where a nurse killed herself after finding out she was pregnant with a doctor's baby.
The lore never seems to end with this place. It's one of the most haunted hospitals in America, and possibly the world. You can learn more about Waverly Hills ghosts online, or spend a night there... if you dare.
Old Changi Hospital—Changi, Singapore
Old Changi Hospital is not a name most people will know in the West, but in Asia, it's synonymous with being one of the scariest haunted hospitals in the world. This hospital gained its notoriety for tragedy when it was turned into a Japanese prison camp during World War II.
During the height of the war, the Japanese military used Old Changi as a place to torture anyone that was deemed even remotely anti-Japanese. It also allegedly housed the headquarters of the Kempeitai—Japan's secret police faction.
No one really knows what kinds of torture happened at Old Changi. Rumors of decapitation, rape, dismemberment, and more all have swirled over the decades. However, it's safe to say that the ruthlessness of the Kempeitai probably meant that few ever survived.
After the war, Old Changi Hospital was given back to the British, where it served soldiers for a couple of years. Those who were treated claimed that they felt a strange pall over the hospital, and would often wake up with feelings of dread.
Strange goings-on quickly began to crop up. People would hear disembodied voices, see shadows flitting from corners of the room, or even wake up to the feeling of being watched by invisible eyes.
Some claimed to be pushed by unseen hands, see a woman surrounded by a black aura, or have dreams of being tortured by men in uniform. No one, not even doctors, seemed to feel comfortable in the building.
Due to its dark history, the hospital soon began to switch hands from the British to the new country of Singapore, until finally, it closed down in 1997. The ruins still remain, and though no people live there, it seems residents can't quite get themselves to leave.
Apparently, once the building was abandoned, activity began to skyrocket. People claimed to hear screaming echoing from the empty halls, or even see full-bodied apparitions of bloodied people walking on the hospital campus.
The strangest regularly-cited paranormal phenomenon happens to ghost hunters who decide to go to the building at night. Many go in a group, and have one member of their party missing for a short amount of time.
In the missing member's eyes, they were following a friend to a remote part of the hospital. They then notice that the person they were following no longer looks like their friend, but rather, someone—or something—else. The apparition then tells them, "You don't belong here; it's dangerous. Please leave and do not come back," then vanishes.
All things considered, its reputation for being one of the scariest haunted hospital is well-deserved, no matter how you look at it.
Beechworth Lunatic Asylum—Beechworth, Australia
Australia is filled with terrifying wildlife that seems to be designed to kill things. So, it comes as no surprise that you might die of fright when you check out their contribution to the scariest haunted hospitals in the world: Beechworth Lunatic Asylum.
For over 125 years, Beechworth was the home to some of Straya's most unstable, violent, and tortured criminals. It was a place that was infamous for abusive staff members, as well as a number of very mysterious disappearances that were surreptitiously brushed under the rug.
The lore tells that there were very few nurses and aides who were actually kind to the patients. Matron Sharpe was one of them, and might just be one of the only comforting ghosts in the area.
The hall that once housed those deemed "hopeless," as well as those who were deemed "suitable for electroshock," on the other hand, still brings chills to those who go there. Rumors have it that the disappearances that were reported were because of lethal experiments doctors ran on these patients.
Many people who go to Beechworth claim to feel a sense of dread in the shock therapy hall—or even feel poked by those ghostly residents of the haunted asylum.
However, there's also a very sad side to this haunted asylum. Adults were not the only residents here, which is why many people claim to hear the sounds of children playing around the area. In fact, it's not so uncommon for child visitors to be seen talking to invisible people—then claiming they were talking to boys who "lived there."
Over 3,000 people have died at Beechworth, so is it really that surprising that it's considered to be one of the scariest haunted hospitals in the world? If you ask us, absolutely not.
Severalls Hospital—Colchester, England
If you haven't figured it out, a lot of the scariest haunted hospitals in the world are former psychiatric hospitals. To a point, this makes sense. Psychiatric hospitals house people who have tortured minds and equally tortured souls.
Severalls Hospital was, for a very long time, the leading hospital for electroshock therapies and lobotomies in all of the UK. This was a place where psychiatrists reigned supreme—and any kind of rule that mandated kindness or empathy towards the patients was thrown out the window.
Many of the people who were given "treatments" at Severalls weren't mentally ill at all. In fact, there have been records where everything from moody teenagers to women who gave birth out of wedlock were given these treatments against their will. Many were never the same again, and some even died during their stay.
This hospital was also affected by tragedy in World War II. 38 women were killed in Severalls due to German bombings, with many more injured.
It's hard to really peg what makes Severalls one of the more terrifying haunted locations in the world. Most people describe a very deep sense of fear, sorrow, and mourning when they get on the campus. Plenty more claim to see shadow people lurking in the corners of rooms.
Once in a while, people will claim to feel like they are pushed—or that they feel unseen eyes watching them pass by. However, much of what makes this such a scary hospital is the fact that it just doesn't feel right.
Severalls doesn't allow visitors, and it's now abandoned. However, some lucky (and foolhardy) people might still choose to take the classic urban exploration route to see if stories about hauntings are true... if they dare.
Taunton State Hospital—Taunton, Massachusets
Let's just be real: the US doesn't have a good record when it comes to healthcare, especially when it deals with mental health. With Taunton State Hospital, you have a perfect example of why being mentally ill was a death sentence in the past.
Much like other haunted hostpitals, Taunton State had all the makings of a perfect slice of hell. The doctors were given free reign over patients, and that often meant that they would be subjected to cruel and inhumane experimental treatments—often in hopes that the doctors would find the next miracle cure for mental health.
Rumors constantly swirl about what really happened in Taunton. Many people believe that some of the doctors used peoples' bodies for Satanic rituals, or that those who broke into the hospital after its closure decided to do so instead.
All that we really know is that Taunton had two female serial killers, Lizzie Borden and Jane Toppan, as residents. We also know that doctors and nurses also reported lots of strange occurrences in their time there.
One of the most common issues doctors noticed was the fact that they'd often have an unseen force that would block them from entering the basement. It was as if an invisible wall was placed in front of the bottom step, but obviously, this isn't possible. This would happen at all hours.
Once night would fall, the kind of hauntings that began to come out quickly changed. Disembodied voices would beg people to leave, or growl like an animal about to strike. Shadow people were regularly spotted throughout the halls, poking their heads out and lurking right out of the line of direct sight of most people.
The most unsettling apparition here is known as "the creeper," and it's a shadow person who regularly is seen crawling up the walls and on ceilings.
Much of Taunton has been demolished, but some parts of the building still remain—and seemingly emanate evil. If that doesn't make this one of the scariest haunted hospitals in history, we don't know what does.
Sai Ying Pun Psychiatry Hospital—Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Sai Ying Pun Psychiatry Hospital is one of Asia's scariest haunted hospitals—and rumor has it, it's also the inspiration for at least one or two horror films. This is a mental hospital that had been in action for over 100 years, and seemed to be the focal point of all of Hong Kong's anguish during its time in use.
Along with having all the typical grief that a mental hospital would have, Sai Ying Pun Psychiatry Hospital also had the misfortune of being taken over by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Much like Old Chiangi, the soldiers used it as a place to house prisoners of war.
According to local legend, Sai Ying Pun was used as an execution ground during the war. And, even though it went back into action, it never quite shed the vibe of grief, dread, and hatred that it gained during the war.
The ghosts that have been seen run the gamut from decapitated people walking through the hallways, to shadow people, to voices that plead for their lives from years ago.
One of the more unusual "residents" is a devilish-looking man in traditional Chinese clothing who bursts into flames after making eye contact with people. No one knows who he is, or why he appears to those near Sai Ying Pun.
The hospital has seen so many ghosts, it's commonly called "the Ghost House on High Street" by locals.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum—Weston, West Virginia
Much like other American hospitals on this list, what makes the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum so terrifying is the sheer amount of recklessness and barbarism that it's seen during its time as both a tuberculosis sanatorium and psychiatric hospital. (It's also one of the most popular haunted hospital tour venues in America for that reason.)
Even before it started, bloodshed was the name of the game. Civil War soldiers were killed on its grounds, even before the building and layout were fully erected. Perhaps that was an omen for things to come—or, perhaps that's just the way things were.
Either way, Trans-Allegheny ended up becoming home to more violence than anyone could have seen coming for the next century or so. Sadly, it seems to have left a mark on the aura of the area that keeps the dead there.
At the height of its use, West Virginia's Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum became infamous for being home to extreme overcrowding, staff abuse, and having extremely violent patients who were often left unattended.
It seems like every ghostly denizen has its own tragedy attached to it. One of the more tragic tales is of a full-bodied apparition of a young girl called "Lily," who died alone just wanting someone to play with. These days, she's still there and looking for a playmate.
Ruth, another ghostly denizen, was placed in Trans-Allegheny because she was so violent. To this day, she still seems to have a vendetta against people—and many have claimed to be attacked by unseen hands that allegedly are her own.
No matter how you look at it, it's one of the most haunted places in America.
Rolling Hills Asylum—Bethany, New York
Rolling Hills Asylum was part poorhouse, and part mental asylum—and all hellish. Truthfully, it wasn't so much a hospital as it was a repository for anyone who was deemed to be unfit for society for one reason or another. Since its inception in 1827, Rolling Hills Asylum saw over 1,700 documented deaths.
Considering that the insane were treated brutally during the 19th century, it's unsurprising that many potentially sane people who were admitted ended up going crazy. Patients here were known to undergo torturous treatments and also be left barely clothed in the middle of winter.
Due to overcrowding, most orderlies would turn a blind eye when inmates—erm, patients, would get into fights. A lot of people who died at Rolling Hills were believed to have been killed by fellow patients or at times, even by staff members who had a vendetta.
By the 1970s, the hospital had to be shut down due to the lack of patients and the poor living conditions. But, it seems like many of the former patients didn't get the notice—and that's what makes it one of the scariest haunted hospitals in the world.
One former resident called "Hattie" regularly still clamors for a nurse in her room, and EVPs have been obtained to show it. Former employees were shocked to hear her voice on tape. The morgue still has a lot of whispers and groans that aren't quite explainable, too.
However, it seems like shadow people are the name of the game at Rolling Hills. The entire East wing of the second floor is known as the "Shadow Floor," and as the name suggests, has become famous for shadow beings that seem to flit from room to room. Sometimes, these shadows even end up crawling on the floor towards you.
Perhaps the most famous shadow being here is "Roy," a resident who died at Rolling Hills due to his gigantism. When people see a towering shadow person standing at over 7 feet tall, it's Roy. In life, Roy was a gentle giant, but these days, it's hard to tell what's really going on.
Weird NJ did an article on Rolling Hills, and they uncovered this terrifying detail about a former staff member who ended up running into Ron:
"Sharon tells a story about running into a rat in the infirmary about two months after moving into Rolling Hills. Terrified by it, she screamed and ran away. The very next day she found the rat dead on the stairs, blood oozing from its mouth as if its neck had been broken. On the wall above the rat was a giant bloody handprint. Sharon believes that the ghost of Roy witnessed her distress and killed the rat for her."
Poveglia Island—Poveglia Island, Italy
At first glance, it's hard to think of this picturesque Italian island as being one of the scariest haunted hospitals in the world. In fact, most people probably would think it to be a nice island getaway.
However, since the entire island was a quarantine zone during the Bubonic Plague's time in Europe, it definitely fits the bill. If that isn't "hospital" enough, then the mental hospital erected on the island here during the 1920s definitely will make you think otherwise.
The hospital itself was a nightmare, with one particular doctor being known for performing wicked experiments on patients—often with no anesthetic, sanitization, or interest in actually keeping the patient alive.
Rumor has it that karma got to the doctor, and he began to suffer from all the tortures the dead put him through. Eventually, he flung himself from the hospital's belltower, killing himself in hopes to free himself from the torture. (Hint: It didn't and he still haunts the place.)
So many people died here, it's rumored that 50 percent of the soil here is human ash. Due to the death and despair of having Italy's mentally ill and "doomed to die" dumped here, Poveglia Island definitely earned the right to be a magnet for paranormal activity.
People who have risked their safety by going to this now-abandoned island all come back shaken, claiming that they constantly feel watched. Most claim to have seen shadows that followed them around the place, heard voices, or seen things move by themselves.
Terrifyingly, these ghosts aren't about letting the living do their own thing. Quite a few people have claimed to have been attacked by unseen hands, with one of the more horrifying things to have happened at Poveglia being an incident involving a ghost trying to rip a visitor's face clean off.
Almost everyone who goes here says that they here someone say, in clear Italian, "Leave, and do not return."
To date, Poveglia Island is one of the only locations that was abandoned strictly due to the hauntings that take place her on a daily basis. That basically says everything about why this is one of the scariest haunted hospitals known to man.
Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital—Gwangju-Si, South Korea
Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital has all the makings of a terrifying horror story, and that's precisely why it's one of the scariest haunted hospitals on Earth. Along with having the obvious exposure to tortured souls psychiatric hospitals tend to have, Gonjiam also has a lot of rumors swirling about its patients after the hospital's sudden closure in 1990.
According to those who remember the place, Gonjiam was known for having an abnormally high death rate with its patients. Legend has it that patients would suddenly die in their beds, and when staff would come to clean up the body, they'd find the corpses sitting at their desks.
Many people allege that the owner of Gonjiam was actually keeping patients hostage, and that grieving families asking for the bodies was what caused him to decide to close the hospital down prematurely.
Skeptics will point out that there are a lot of sewage problems that made Gonjiam close down, rather than a murderous doctor. However, that doesn't explain the scratch marks people find on their bodies or the strange shadow beings that seem to show up at the corner of visitors' eyes.
What the truth is and what the legends are seem to be difficult to discern. However, it's safe to say that Gonjiam's lore alone makes it a creepy place to ghost hunt regardless of why it shut down.