Could there be anything more nightmare-inducing than an abandoned lunatic asylum? Not really. Haunted hospitals and insane asylum stories are the stuff of legends, often places of trauma, and death it’s hardly surprising when they become a source for a ghostly tale or two. Here are 13 frightening ghost stories of abandoned asylums and hospitals as shared by urban explorers and security guards
1. The Old Operating Room
Abandoned hospital in my town is very active. It was also used in the movie Bone Yard. When they blew the hospital up in the movie apparently they actually burned some of it. So they abandoned it completely. Still have tables, desks, chairs, boxes and boxes of files. Not sure if half of the sightings are squatters or paranormal, but friend of mine snuck in and had a series of lights turning off and on that lead him (and his friends) to an operation room. The light turned off and they panicked and ran out. They also had batteries drained and could only make out the light outside through the roof access hatch they used.
Also had a co-worker who worked at a renovated sanatorium turned tree farm. The basement had screams and grabbings. Still had an attendance board where the old nurses still signed in for duty even though there wasn’t any chalk. Some other things, that I cannot remember, happened that led him to quit.
2. 911 Calls
I’m a nurse that worked at a psychiatric hospital for five years. That place was haunted as shit. Police would call us in the middle of the night saying some little girl who identified herself as Satana was calling 911 from a certain extension in the hospital.
That extension? The arts and crafts room. Nobody goes there at night. Nobody. I assure you. Yet there’s obviously something there. And it calls 911 a lot.
Lots of other stories from that place but that’s the craziest, creepiest one.
3. The Power Was Still On
When I was a teenager (20+ years ago) my friends and I trespassed on a condemned insane asylum called Eloise in Southeastern Michigan.
The worst thing wasn’t that it was at night with shitty flashlights, the dirty patient records scattered on the floor, the broken furniture, the torn up walls, the leaking water pipes, or the huge fungal bloom from the leaking water. The worst part was finding a tunnel and following it to a place inside where power was still on. There was a light, an ominous looking double doors… and an active security camera.
It was like… why is this here? What’s going on?
Later on, I found out that the asylum and a nearby hospital were connected. However, the wikipedia page says it closed in 1984… but we were there several years after that.
I think I saved one of the patient records somewhere.
4. The Footsteps Above
I was the night watchman at an abandoned mental hospital turned state park for a summer in college. The only creepy thing that happened was one night I was with one of the state park police and we saw flashlights in one of the buildings. Kids constantly broke in and other people broke in to gut the old buildings of any copper they could find.
So as I was saying one night we saw flashlights moving around so we went in. The officer pulled her gun and flashlight and in we went. We could her footsteps on the floor above us and we slowly and quietly went upstairs. We checked every room and found nothing. Then we heard footsteps above us again. This happened for a few floors until we were on the top floor below the roof. We heard footsteps up on the roof so we went up there. Still nothing. We never found anyone or any indication that anyone had been there. It was friggin creepy.
5. Things Moved In The Night
There is this abandoned mental hospital in my town called Prudhoe hospital which is sort of the scary place kids go to show bravado. It’s surrounded by woods so obviously you hear lots about it.
You hear lots of stories from people after it was abandoned but the spookiest things come from when it was still in service.
My mam worked at an auxiliary nurse there for years and she said at night the crippled kids who couldn’t move due to severe diseases and birth defects would somehow get out of there cribs and into the middle of the floor on the wards. Whatever was doing this would also go around and remove blankets from all the patients and again pile them in the centre of the room.
Eventually security was hired believing it was someone getting into the hospital at night and doing all these things to scare people or to just be trouble.
However even with security they never found out who was doing these things at night.
6. The Praying Nun
My dad worked at a mental hospital that used to be connected to an abandoned nun’s home by underground passage. He says that one night he was walking down there when he saw a praying nun. He walked by her and said hello. She did not acknowledge him.
My dad does not believe in ghosts, but he says there was a nun down there that night.
7. The Séance
I had a guy I worked with who used to be a hospital wardsman. He was telling me about a night where a few young nurses and some of the other wardsmen were going to hang around late one night and conduct a seance in one of the older unused wards.
Anyway, he agreed and one night they did it. He didn’t believe a word of it but took part for fun. He said they called through one spirit who identified himself as ‘Nigel’ and when asked if he was good or evil the planchette flicked straight to evil. At this stage my mate assumed people were pushing it and just laughed it off. After some more unintelligible responses the planchette started going ballistic, flicking from one letter to the next. Someone asked the scribe what it was saying and this guy goes ‘I can’t make it out….errrr hang on it’s saying ‘KILLBABYCASSYKILLBABYCASSYKILL??? Is it saying Cassy Kill Baby?’ One of the female nurses ran screaming and absolutely lost it, one of the girls running to help her.
Turns out this girl was named Cassy and she had had a secret abortion two weeks prior. She had told no one about the pregnancy, not even her boyfriend.
8. The Late Night Walk
A few years ago my cousin and his friends were walking in the woods outside of Fredrick and found an old abandoned Insane Asylum. It was all boarded up, grown over, dark, dusty; it looked like it was out of a movie.
Obviously my cousin and his friends broke in to look around.
The first room they went into was full of file cabinets holdings records of all the patients that used to be there, and they found a bunch of really creepy ass pictures. Another room was nothing but concrete and drains on the floor. The walls had chains attached to them, and in the center of the room was a table that had what looked like torture tools and beating sticks. Other than that they didn’t really see anything but they claim to have heard talking, footsteps, and demented giggling.
9. The Little Boy
I work night shift as a CNA in a hospital. I had a patient last year. He was in his 50s, totally with it. I had him for a week or two and never showed signs of confusion at night or otherwise. He liked to keep his door open at all times and he was in a room close to the nurse’s station, so he saw myself and plenty other staff walk by throughout the night.
One night, around 2:30 in the morning, he sees me walking by and calls me into his room.
“Is that your son or something”?
“Who”?, I asked.
“The little boy that’s been following you all night”.
I proceeded to ask what he looked like, because I could not see him. He said he looked to be about 7 years old, with short, dark hair and a baseball cap. Both of us were freaked out about the situation, and he requested to keep his lights on after that.
I’m getting chills thinking about it now
10. What was running around with us in that asylum?
I love anything that will get my heart pumping and the adrenalin flowing, from extreme sports to urban exploration, I’ve almost done it all. But, there was one time when I really considered my beliefs as an Atheist. I reckon that ghosts and spirits and all that cannot possibly exist, due to the lack of physical evidence, but one night really god my mind going.
It was about 16 years ago (I’m old now haha), when I lived in Topeka, Kansas. Now some of you will know what I’ll be talking about already, but for those of you who don’t, keep reading. I was a keen urban explorer, there was just something thrilling about breaking into abandoned buildings and exploring them. I had always known about the Topeka State Hospital due to the numerous ‘haunted’ stories around it, but I had never really thought about exploring it. My friend of mine, Reece, was also an avid urban explorer, and one night he suggested to me that we go check it out at night. Not believing in ghosts or scary stories as such, I instantly agreed to go. We got our bags ready with torches, phones and a snack or two (you have to travel light) and waited for sunset.
On arriving it was already pitch black, there were no lights as the place had been closed since 1990, so we flipped on our torches and crunched our way up the gravel to the front entrance. It was locked, as we expected, so we made our way around the red bricked exterior, looking for a way in. About halfway around, we came across a boarded up window, I offered Reece a parting glance and a slight nod of his head indicated we were thinking along the same idea. I braced my shoulder and bashed into the window. The sound echoed around the empty halls and the surrounding forest for what seemed ages. A second bash proved successful as the wood splintered and fell to the ground in a large bang. Reece whispered in my ear ‘honestly if nobody comes after us after that then we’re safe’.
I climbed in through the small gap, before lending a hand to Reece to do the same. Once we were inside, we flipped on our torches and were met with a view of peeling wallpaper and a heavy, musty smell. We crunched our way through the first room, just enjoying the rush of adrenaline as we tiptoed our way through the halls before we heard footsteps running in the room above us. Immediately my heart skipped a beat and I glanced at Reece who put up his finger to his lips and indicated that we should turn our torches off. In the pitch black, I must admit I started getting scared, but I carried on and we made our way up to the second floor to see who was with us in the house. After three minutes of looking, we turned up empty and were about to leave when we heard more footsteps running, and this time we were sure that we weren’t just hearing things as a light rain of dust fell from the room. We immediately thought we were being pranked, so we ran up to the third floor in hope to catch this person. But once again, it turned up empty. We had had enough and just started going down when we heard a door creak from above. This was it, our chance; we sprinted up, barged though the door and we ended up on the roof of the Asylum. Empty. Just then we heard a door being slammed from the floor beneath us and some guttural whispering noise.
I can’t tell you how fast we got out of there, but I can tell you that we probably ran faster than the time we got chased by the police. To this day, I still have no idea what was running around with us in that asylum, I’d like to believe it was some bad prank, but I have this nagging feeling that it wasn’t. Ghosts and spirits don’t exist do they?…
11. She Was Right Behind Me
A friend of mine was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and was so upset over it that she made a suicide attempt. She landed in the mental health wing of the big hospital, and I went to visit her one evening. Had a hell of a time finding the right place and felt like I’d walked through miles of increasingly decrepit hospital before I found the right wing. Went through a set of double doors and found myself staring down a dimly lit hallway with an incredibly creepy, weathered-looking old lady in a housecoat standing right in the middle of it.
I walked down the hallway nervously, not taking my eyes off of the old woman. She didn’t take her eyes off me, either. I flinched as I walked by her, but she didn’t move. Ten feet beyond her was the doorway to the waiting room of the ward I was looking for. I breathed a sigh of relief as I reached the doors, then glanced over my shoulder to see if the woman had moved.
She was right behind me, staring into my face. I don’t know how she managed to silently cover that ten feet just as fast as I had moved, but she did.
12. The Night Shift
A few years back, prior to sworn LEO, I worked as a Security Guard at a hospital. Sounds cool, and it was, except for the fact it was 9pm to 7am, I worked alone, and the hospital I guarded was abandoned.
A year prior, the hospital built a brand new facility to replace their five story tall, 1900’s building. When the employees and patients left, they left everything in place. It looked like the people just disappeared in a hurry. Partially full coffee mugs, uniforms hanging on coat racks, wheelchairs in the halls, everything as it was, with a good coating of dust.
I was always a 3rd shift kind of person, I don’t get night ‘jitters’ or scare easily. But this place could do it to the best of em. Every night I would walk (or ride a wheelchair) through the halls that were supposed to be empty/unused. Every night I would end up having to close doors and re-lock them. I would walk one floor, move up to the next, and continue on.
I got a little shaky when an hour after already walking a hallway, I would have to turn off the same hall lights and close the same doors AGAIN in the building. Or when I would be walking a hall and then I would hear footsteps on the floor above me, doors opening and closing, elevators moving from floor to floor, phones ringing, nurse call lights going on, etc.
There were only 3 times I got the “I hate this sh*t” feeling. 1st time I was checking offices on the 4th floor. There was a light on in a locked hallway (no surprise). This hallway hadn’t been renovated since the place was built, short of electricity, so everything was from the 1920’s. Unlock the door, flip the lights, walk out, re-lock the door, and turn to leave. Behind me I hear the “flip” of a light switch. Through the frosted glass I see the lights went back on. I left the hallway alone that night.
2nd time was riding an elevator between floors. I was taking the elevator to the top floor, when at about #4 of #5 floors, I hear laughing and muffled talking. It kept getting louder as it got higher. Elevator makes it to #5, doors swing open, and absolute silence. Of course, every light was on on the floor, even in the patient rooms. I checked high and low, not a single living and breathing person in that place except for me.
3rd, and worst of all, was just an average night. I’m on the lower level locking a door in a corridor. The door had a glass middle but on the backside it was covered by white tape. The room it led to it was dark and the hallway a few feet behind me was partially lit, so the glass acted like a perfect mirror. Everything normal, key in, lock clicks, turning the key… When behind me I see the full outline of a person walk past me in the hallway. Clear as day, just a full shadow of a person walk past. I froze only for about a second, and then ran into the hall after the supposed ‘person’. No one, just silence.
Awesome gig, but after a year it felt like I should’ve been an exorcist with all this stuff happening. The other guards that worked on the days opposite to mine had the same stuff happen, except they always saw nuns walking into rooms just outside of an old rectory/chapel on the 3rd floor. Better nuns than something else I guess.
13. The Ambulance
One fall afternoon a buddy of mine and I decided to visit a massive abandoned mental hospital to take some photos. We’re talking 11 wards of two floors and a basement all connected from ward to ward. In total it must be 200-300 linear yards of winding connecting hallways on each floor. You get in and see open cell after cell after cell, peeling paint and graffiti all over the walls. We check the basement, walk through the majority of the wards and are now at ward 8.
We got there early in the afternoon maybe around 2 or 3 because we were too pansy to go at night. Mind you, we’ve heard there are cult gatherings and people have been known to stumble across the occasional hobo on their visits, so we came equipped with a couple of kershaw’s, praying not to get in some fucking knife fight. But, shit, its better to have one than not right? So. Ward 8.
We’re in a connecting hallway with a couple of wired off windows that can see outside, and my buddy say’s “yo, yo get away from the window”. We look outside and there’s an ambulance, no lights on, creeping slowly around the hospital. He must’ve been going at about 5 miles per hour, so we thought dammit, if there’s an ambulance, there must be a cop somewhere (bad logic, I know, but we we’re just worried about being busted for trespassing). The ambulance disappears from our line of sight from the windows, and must’ve driven around all of the other wards at the same pace because a minute or so later, we see the ambulance pass right alongside the hallway we were standing in. Still fucking creeping. Thank god, the ambulance drives away, so we think, okay shit that was just a scare, there’s no cops around, let’s just keep on going.
We slowly advance for another 3 or so minutes and come across a huge lobby, probably the cafeteria and start taking a couple shots of the collapsed ceiling. we walk a bit further into the cafeteria and are by the windows again. The see the ambulance again! Creeping, just like last time, along the perimeter of the building. We hide from the windows hoping that we weren’t seen as the cafeteria is full of windows to the exterior. This time, we start to shit ourselves a little bit more.
He disappears from our line of view again, and of course, comes across the other side of the building, circling it just like last time, 5 mph, just like last time. This time, however, he doesn’t go leave the complex, he drives up to ward 11, the last ward and parks in a cove with no exit that was right out of our line of sight. We hear the door open and close, and another door open and close. We were able to tell that there was only one person in the ambulance from the first time we sighted it. What the fuck is going on?? Was this guy here to shoot up? seemed like a bad place for a trip. Was he here for some sort of drug deal? Or was he back to “play” with us because he saw us on his last ride around?
We stay put, and at this point, we’re maybe 50 yards from ward 11 and 100-200 yards from the exit that we came in from. We know of no other exits except for the ones at each end. Trying to be as quiet as possible, we begin to hear footsteps on the floor above us. seconds later the footsteps turn into running. Towards us! NOPE, we both instantly go for our knives and begin to book the fuck out of there. The fastest 200 yard dash I will do to this day.
We finally reach the exit. We’re safe goddammit we’re safe. We continue to book it a ways out of the hospital till we’re on the path that gets us back to our car. On the way back to the little lot with my buddies car we see there’s a truck, one of those ford rangler types parked right next to my buddies car. We get maybe 50 yards away from it when he turns the car on and starts driving down the road towards us. In the car is another middle aged man, looked real real sketchy. He drives past and thats the last we saw of both of them.
I never got a shot of the ambulance as I was too scared to go near the windows and that my flash would go off, but I did get a shot of the rangler in the parking lot.
What the fuck were these guys doing there? An ambulance??? I’d love to hear what you guys come up with, we’ve been playing it over in our heads for quite a while now…