Abandoned Hospital

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The doctor will see you now...


ALL DEAD HERE
The Stand, scrawled all over the hospital in Stovington, VT.

The creepy abandoned hospital/mental institution is a common setting in horror. Dirty tiles, broken cabinets, corpses in bloodstained lab coats/nurse uniforms, and rusted metal bed frames are all common themes. Other themes include grisly medical experiments and deformed, inhuman monsters shambling about, as well as using medical equipment as torture devices.

Even without all these things hospitals are pretty creepy to begin with. Maybe because hospitals are associated with illness and death, as well as being places that should be clean. Or perhaps it's because most people are afraid of hospitals for several reasons: germs; the stale, blaring white atmosphere; doctors poking and prodding you with weird and often painful instruments... not to mention needles...

Many older, real life 'abandoned hospitals' in the U.S were properly called sanatoriums, and have probably contributed to the trope imagery. Their abandonment was sometimes related to loss of funding or new prohibitively expensive fixing due to new government regulations. Often the places were created to treat specific diseases at the time that were eventually locally eradicated (TB clinics in particular) without any later re-purposing of the structures. In popular fiction, sanatoriums also tend to get mixed up with sanitariums, which makes people think of sick and crazed as being one and the same.

See also Abandoned Warehouse and Never Recycle a Building. When a character wakes up in a newly-abandoned hospital, that's an Abandoned Hospital Awakening.

Examples of Abandoned Hospital include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The sixth episode of Bleach was set in an abandoned hospital. Having Don Kaonji involved pretty much removed all the scary, however.
  • Full Metal Panic!? Fumoffu had an episode set in an abandoned hospital—considering the non-effect it had on Sousuke (who kept scanning the corners for snipers and suspecting mines in telephones while ignoring the ghosts and blood-curdling shrieks), however, the scene was mostly played for laughs.
  • Ghost Hound features an abandoned hospital that was where Tarou and Mizuka were found when they were kidnapped. It is also the place Hideo and the others investigated in their youth and later became cursed from. It scores extra points for having been submerged under water since the area was dammed decades before.
  • Most of Doubt takes place in an abandoned psychiatric hospital.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Session 9 takes place entirely in a haunted, abandoned mental hospital being stripped of asbestos. The eponymous Sessions are audio recordings of the memory retrieval therapy of a former patient of the hospital who suffers from Split Personality disorder. In each session the psychiatrist speaks to two characters, both of whom refer in terrified tones to the 3rd personality, a demonic entity named Simon, whose presence is revealed in the ninth therapy session (as is her repressed memory). The movie eventually reveals that the main character--with memory repression and split personality problems, similar to the woman on the tape--killed everyone else, including his newborn child and wife, in brutal ways. The movie ends with an aerial shot of the months-later condemned hospital as the final session tape plays.
    • Not split. Split Personality is the translation of Schizophrenia, which is when you suffer auditory or other sensory hallucinations. The patient and Gordon have Disassociative Identity Disorder.
    • Actually, the film is ambiguous on the nature of Simon. Whether he is a a demonic entity or something more mundane is open to interpretation.
    • Moreover, the movie was filmed in and around a real-life abandoned hospital, the State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers in Massachusetts. In a truly bizarre postscript, the crumbling remains of the hospital have been reborn as a luxury apartment complex. For the most part, they've kept the central building (the same one used in the movie) intact.
      • And just in case things weren't creepy enough—you know what else happened in Danvers when it had another name?
  • The 1999 remake of House on Haunted Hill is set in an abandoned mental institution. (The original merely took place in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed haunted house.)
  • The climax of The Frighteners takes place in an abandoned hospital. Said hospital was also the scene of a brutal series of murders some years previously. Scenes from this rampage appear to the hero in visions while he's trying to avoid being similarly slaughtered by one of the original perpetrators and her dead boyfriend.
  • Alone in The Dark had a secret underground lab in an abandoned gold mine which has a hospital vibe, the hospital itself has been abandoned for 20 years.
  • In A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors, it was revealed that Freddy was conceived in a mental hospital when a nun was mistakenly locked in there, enabling the inmates to have their way with her. Said hospital, having been abandoned for several decades by the time of the movie, is also the location of a Plot Coupon that provides the key to Freddy's defeat.
  • The (creepy version) hospital scenes in Jacobs Ladder (part of the inspiration for Silent Hill).
  • Part of the original One Missed Call takes place in such a hospital.
  • The X-Files: I Want to Believe has several motifs of this trope (rust, dirt, old things, dirtied plastic dividers).
  • The main characters in Accepted turn one of these into a college when they are rejected from the schools they applied to and decide to start their own.
  • Though barely recognizable as such, the Abandoned Smallpox Hospital on New York City's Roosevelt Island has appeared several times in movies. It was the site of Spider-Man and Green Goblin's final showdown in The Movie, and "Snow Storm", a particularly difficult level from Grand Theft Auto IV.
  • Diary of the Dead. The protagonists take a fatally-wounded friend to a hospital, only to find it deserted. It's only then that it really begins to sink in that the wild stories they're hearing on the radio are true.
  • Alien vs Predator 2's climax takes place in an abandoned hospital. Abandoned except a bunch of xenomorphs.
    • Aliens plays most of the trope straight (but in The Future!) with the abandoned Med Lab.
  • Japanese horror film Chakushin Ari features one towards the end, populated by only one green corpse in a wooden crate.
  • In the film Creep the heroine finds an abandoned lab/maternity ward/surgical theatre deep underground, which appears to be where the creature comes from.
  • The Halloween series.
    • This is particularly noticeable in Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween II, where protagonist Laurie searches the hospital for a nurse or doctor to help her, only to find the corridors, rooms and nurses' desk completely empty. She finally finds someone... outside the hospital.
      • Justified, as it was All Just a Dream (and Michael is shown to have mutilated most of the staff in the director's cut).
  • The Finnish movie Dark Floors. A wheelchair-bound autistic girl is being treated at a hospital, gets her father and some other people trapped in a parallel-universe abandoned hospital somehow, then defeats some kind of demon. It's not wholly clear what was going on, but it looked cool.
    • Well, since the movie is essentially a long advertisment for the monster-metal band Lordi, and the monsters of the film are the members of the band...
  • In the 2008 film Deadgirl the two main characters find the title character in an abandoned insane asylum they visit while skipping school.
  • Death Tunnel, which was based on the Real Life example of Waverly Hills Sanatorium. A group of young women must escape a haunted hospital.
  • The movie, Boo. Long story short, a psycho burned it down years ago, killing lots of people, some rather stupid teenagers sneak in to do whatever it is stupid horror movie teenagers do, and lots of them end up possessed and dead.
  • The mental hospital in The Dead Pit has all but one wing being completely abandoned.
  • A part of the Dying Dream movie Jacob's Ladder happens in what is supposed to be an hospital which isn't closed; the hero is dragged to the surgeons through dark and dirty rooms full of mad people, blood, and even severed organs.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Neil Gaiman's novel Neverwhere, Villains Croup and Vandemar use the lower levels of an abandoned hospital as their hideout.
  • In The Stand by Stephen King, The Stovington Plague Center in Vermont turns into this After the End.
    • Wolves of the Calla by the same writer features a hospital where doctors extract something from twin children that feed the psychic abilities of others. The children end up as overgrown idiots. It also turns into the abandoned version of this a little later in The Dark Tower story.
  • The Blackstone Chronicles, a series of short horror stories by John Saul, revolve around an abandoned insane asylum whose patients and former staff end up connected to a series of murders. It was later made into a computer game.
  • Hannibal. FBI agent Clarice Starling returns to the mental institution, now closed down, where Hannibal Lecter was imprisoned to dig up some old files. Most chilling of all is the fact that one of the inmates (who'd cut off his mother's head) is now living there as a homeless outpatient, though nothing happens between them.
  • In the novella Magic City, Nelson S. Bond's Meg the Priestess enters one of these, the Place of Stlukes, well known to the locals as a temple of HIM (Death).
  • Ravenhill in Psychoville.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Featured in the Torchwood episode "To The Last Man". It was the location of a time shift meaning people from the past appeared momentarily in the hospital corridors, giving a very spooky 'haunted' feel to the place. Meanwhile the Torchwood team were also appearing to people from the past, scaring them.
  • The Supernatural episode "Asylum".
  • Happens in the first season of Dexter, where the title character finds Tony Tucci. Initially a suspect in the case, Tony had been kidnapped by the Ice Truck Killer, and was near death.
  • The Staff Station on Lost. That this was the site of Claire's captivity adds to the creepiness, as does her spotty memory of the incident.
  • An episode of Highlander the Series involved an abandoned sanitarium, and flashbacks to when it was in use, along with one of the more tragic characters in the series.
  • Kingdom Hospital pulls this off even while still open and busy with patients. There's some kind of otherworld hospital, possibly under it...
  • One of the Messiah series of Serial Killer dramas did this with a largely abandoned hospital.
  • Technically, Scrubs was shot in one of these in Los Angeles. The cast and crew said they weren't bothered by this; in fact, Zach Braff would often duck into an empty room to catch a nap during long filming sessions.
    • Played for laughs in one episode. Budget cuts forced the hospital administators to close a wing of Sacred Heart until they had the funds to open it up again. Turk and J.D. go surfing on gurneys in the emptied section of the hospital.
    • At least once, people seeking medical treatment have entered the hospital which serves as the set.
  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined: Kara Thrace spends a really spooky episode in one haunted by CYLONS!
  • T.A.P.S., of Ghost Hunters fame, have visited a couple of these.
    • So have the guys on Ghost Adventures. As a rule, if great numbers of people have died there (somewhat inevitable with a hospital), there's gonna be some kind of haunting and paranormal investigators will come to check the place out.
    • So has the PRS at Paranormal State.
  • The History Channel series Life After People goes into an abandoned hospital from the 1970s to show how the building has been taken over by nature in only 30 years.
  • An episode of Millennium featured one of these when Frank and Lara went to investigate a killer nurse. The nurse would get his supplies from an abandoned hospital to avoid detection. To make things worse, the morgue actually contained a body that was forgotten and was used by the killer to test his skills and sate his morbid curiosity about death.
  • In a few episodes of Being Human (UK), an abandoned part of the hospital where Mitchell and George worked was used to allow George to transform without harming anyone.
  • In one episode of Face Off, the contestants are called to an abandoned hospital to start off the spotlight challenge. They had to sit in a dark room alone with a flashlight and come up with the concept of a monster that represents a phobia.


Music[edit | hide]

  • The video for "Stricken" by Disturbed took place in one of these for no reason.
  • The video for "Vengeance Is Mine" by Alice Cooper is also set here.
  • Nox Arcana's album Blackthorn Asylum. The titular hospital was formerly owned by a twisted surgeon determined to unravel the secrets of human illness and deformity - in the cruelest way possible. The point of the attached puzzle is for the listener to figure out what happened at the hospital that caused it to be abandoned.


Theme Park[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Nightmare House 2 has Never Lose Hope Hospital.
  • The entire story of The Dark Meadow takes place in one of these. Notorious for lobotomies and sub-standard treatment, the hospital was abandoned long before the main character arrives there. And when the player gets there, he has to fight off hordes of demonic monsters led by the White Witch.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines has one of its most terrifying sections take place in an abandoned hospital—the player follows a reality TV crew inside and watches them get torn to bits offscreen by what turns out to be a member of a very rare vampire bloodline that has to eat all of the human, not just drink its blood. You have to return to her several times as part of a series of quests.
    • It's a pretty refreshing subversion though when you get to pal around for once with the (very attractive) monster.
  • Psychonauts has the last leg of the game played in a fairly creepy abandoned mental hospital, which grew so big because the nearby Green Rocks emitted radiation that drove everyone in the nearby town of Shaky Claim insane, until more than half the town's population lived in the mental hospital.
  • Resident Evil 3 has Raccoon City hospital, filled with Zombies. They were also engineering Hunters in the basement, for some reason.
    • Resident Evil: Outbreak included a level in another part of the same hospital filled with leeches.
      • Resident Evil: Outbreak 2 includes another level set in a different abandoned hospital, this time overrun by evil plants and plant-zombies.
  • Silent Hill features not one, but two of these hospitals, with Alchemilla Hospital in the first game and Brookhaven in the second and third. They're notable for being the rare locations that are just as scary in the 'real world' as in the dark Otherworld. The fourth game involves a bizarre abstraction of a hospital seen through the lens of a terrified child.
    • The prequel Origins takes this a step further and makes a massive abandoned mental asylum into the second level. If the rotting motif or floating harnesses didn't creep you out, then the pill puzzle did. And if it wasn't the pill puzzle, it was the final boss...
    • Silent Hill 3 technically has both hospitals in it. You spend quite a bit of Shaggy Dog Story wasted time in Brookhaven, looking for Leonard Wolf, and his talisman. When you get to the church at the end of the game, things take a turn for the surreal and hellish, with parts of it being transformed into Alchemilla hospital, due to Heather's memories as Alessa returning.
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1 features an abandoned hospital. Though it isn't really used for horror, it's pretty creepy, especially once the headcrab zombies turn up. Valve have said that the hospital was based partly on Chernobyl, and, as we all know, Chernobyl = instant creepy.
  • Deadly Premonition has a normal functioning hospital. However, in the "red world", it looks very abandoned, but it's still inhabited by the shadows.
  • Fatal Frame 4 is ENTIRELY set in an abandoned hospital.
  • Time Splitters 2 had a multiplayer map in some kind of Hospital/Chapel hybrid. Naturally, the default bot set was made of zombies.
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows has a positively terrifying level set in an abandoned insane asylum (prior to becoming an asylum it was an orphanage, and for a short while it was both, with arsonists and psychopaths in the same building as cute widdle children.
    • You may soil yourself in the process. You may need several breaks. You may be unwilling to go near orphanages after playing this mission. You may display an involuntary visible reaction when someone says "Shalebridge" or "The Cradle" within your hearing.
      • Even the first part of the level, which contains { no enemies or dangers whatsoever, not that you know that], is terrifying.
    • The treatment methods, described by expository letters, involved branding the patient with a hot iron.
  • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors features a hospital room puzzle, and a large portion of the ship was converted into one during its stint in WWI in the British Royal Navy.
  • Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within for the PlayStation had a scenario set in a mostly abandoned hospital. The only people left were you and a few others. Oh, and of course the occasional zombie.
  • The Blackstone Chronicles computer game was set a few years after the stories and has the main character, Oliver, hunting through the abandoned mental institution his father used to run in order to find his son.
  • The game Painkiller featured a level that took place in an abandoned asylum. The enemies consisted of guys wrapped in strait jackets constantly being electrocuted and undead amputees who you could also find waiting for you on the ceiling.
    • This level is even more tense if the player opts to play it with the optional level condition - that is, only being able to use the game's melee weapon, the eponymous Painkiller.
    • Fun fact: Part of the exterior facade of the Asylum level is based on an actual asylum, the Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts as mentioned in the Real Life folder on this page.
  • Doom 3 has plenty of this, even outside of the actual 'medical facility' there's several instances of propped up 'medical specimens' in vats of liquid, and a portion of the late game that features wide-windowed cells that, after having its inhabitants turned into mindless, head-to-glass zombies, looks increasingly like your typical abandoned asylum.
  • The first mission in Left 4 Dead involves the players seeking out a hospital with a helipad on the roof in order to get a lift out of the city. Of course, the only people left in the hospital are the infected.
    • A mild subversion in that it's a very modern, fully-equipped, well-designed and well-lit hospital. And any possible creepiness is removed by the sight of an infected in a surgical gown that leaves his greying arse on display. Or possibly amplified.
      • It's additionally subverted by the fact that the hospital is actually far from deserted...it's not occupied by anyone who is well or sane, but aside from that it's just packed with people.
  • Dead Space has you visit the Ishimura's Medical Deck twice.
  • The Suffering features one of these levels as part of its nearly exhaustive tour of Horror Tropes.
  • BioShock has the Medical Pavilion, which isn't quite abandoned.
  • Siren: Blood Curse has a very frightening segment where you play a defenseless little girl in the Sagai Hospital where everyone else is a Shibito.
  • City of Heroes has a late-level mission set in a dilapidated hospital... filled to the brim with people who've been driven insane by Mother Mayhem.
    • The various Facemakers shops in City of Villains look exactly like this, down to a corpse in a body bag on the front porch, but the chain is an active and very busy concern. One wonders why more villains don't suffer post-operative complications...
  • Condemned 2: Bloodshot - After receiving a brick to the head from a gravel-voiced hobo with glowing eyes, protagonist Ethan Thomas enters a spooky evil world. As you proceed through this other world, you find yourself entering a decayed asylum, which slowly turns into a black sludge nightmare complete with black slime monsters popping out of the ceiling and walls to come and get you.
  • F.E.A.R. has two of these, one of which apparently used to be a mental asylum. Like the rest of the game you find that most of the resistants died suddenly and violently, leaving only battle damage and blood.
  • Urban Dead is full of abandoned hospitals which survivors try to hold onto for the first aid kits and the zombies try to raid for the brains.
  • Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne starts out in one of these, but it's weird because you have two friends with you and there's lots of sunlight coming through the windows. Perhaps the creepy factor is increased by the fact that the hospital is home to an apocalyptic cult who sort of destroy the world within the first five minutes, that the hospital is basically empty except for you and your friends, who wait in the lobby and make you investigate the basement for them, and that after the pseudo-end of the world it turns into a flipped-around blue-tinted ghost-and-demon-filled alternate version of itself. Oh, and later on you have to return. Not so scary anymore, is it? Till you meet the resident boss... .
    • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment's hospital is a tea party by comparison, but still unsettling. Following a lead on a serial killer, the party journeys to a mental hospital only to find the inmate they sought to question has escaped, leaving hacked & slashed bodies in his wake. The blood trail ends at the killer's cell, which has been turned into a Room Full of Crazy.
  • Fallout 3 has one called Our Lady of Hope Hospital located in Downtown DC. The place is swarming with Super Mutants, Centaurs and skeletons.
    • Plenty of other hospitals, both permanent and temporary, abandoned and manned, can be found across the wastelands. Many hold records/offer glimpses of the horrors of the period just before and immediately after the war.
  • The 2009 Wolfenstein features a mission set in a hospital that, while not quite abandoned, fits the look quite well. See, it's been commandeered by the Nazis, and by the time you get there, the place has been totally ransacked, and most of the patients and staff have been either abducted to serve as test subjects for their sick medical experiments or eviscerated by the invisible, Axe Crazy assassins that prowl the hallways.
  • The first Map Pack of Call of Duty: World at War contains a Nazi Zombies map called Zombie Verruckt, which takes place in the abandoned Wittenau Sanatorium.
  • One of the locations in Zork: Nemesis is an abandoned insane asylum, which manages to place rusty brown and creepy right next to clinical white and creepy. Being a Zork game, it has its moments of hilarity, but with Nemesis being the Darker and Edgier installment of the series, it also has plenty of nightmare-inducing qualities as well.
  • Episode two of Ju-On: The Grudge Haunted House Simulator literally uses the trope name, although it would be more aptly called a deserted hospital. Still, some scares courtesy of Kayako and Toshio are on-hand.
  • House of the Dead: OVERKILL's second chapter is set in a mutant-infested hospital. It actually manages to be a little creepy, considering the boss of the level is a cross between Alma Wade and the Witch who shows up repeatedly across the level.
    • Did we mention the chapter is titled Ballistic Trauma?
  • In Chapter 8 of Dark Sector, you visit one as well.
  • American McGee's Alice has many levels designed to play on Alice's awareness that she is locked in a mental institution, especially the Mad Hatter's asylum where he carries out experiments on his patients.
  • Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness has two levels inside a sanitarium filled with genetically modified mutants in straight jackets.
  • The Half-Life 2 mod Korsakovia starts in a hospital of insane nightmare architecture.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum has an abandoned hospital ward, which happens to be home to your first encounter with Scarecrow. It's easily the scariest building on the island.
  • Legacy : The Realm of Terror features an insane asylum on the 3rd floor. Unfortunately, while abandoned by any semblance of normal people (if insane people can really be called normal), it is now happily inhabited by zombies and other mutant freaks.
  • SAW, the video game based on the horror film series of the same name, takes place entirely within Whitehurst Asylum, an abandoned insane asylum.
  • The Hidden Object Game "Nightfall Mysteries: Asylum Conspiracy" is set at, you guessed it, an abandoned insane asylum. Well, mostly abandoned.
    • Sometimes it seems like 1/4 of all Hidden Object Games are set in abandoned hospitals/asylums.
  • The Godfather has an abandoned hospital...because of bribery. The only people left inside are Don Coreleone, a wounded mafia soldier and your love interest. And the window in the next room has just shattered...
  • Dead Nation has Marrow Hospital as a level. You only get to see a brief glimpse inside of the hospital (as in, one room in a comic book style cutscene), but it is definitely abandoned (well, except for the zombies), and the parking lots/roof are definitely swarming in crazed barely-human monsters consumed by bloodlust and bioweapons that came as a result of government genetic experiments.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Mordin's loyalty mission takes place in an abandoned krogan hospital. Complete with a Mad Scientist who is Playing with Syringes in order to try and cure the genophage.
  • Chapter 2 of Super Meat Boy takes place in one.
  • The PC game Sacra Terra: Angelic Night takes place in a massive complex that is part hospital, part cathedral, part mansion. The player character was a patient at the hospital, the specialty of which seems to have been extracting the Seven Deadly Sins from patients, but he has no memory of being admitted and he's the only living thing left in the compound. There are plenty of evil spirits, though...
  • Sanitarium begins in a creepy asylum where some of the inmates are banging their head on the wall.


Visual Novel[edit | hide]

  • In the second chapter of G Senjou no Maou, Maou hides in an abandoned hospital, along with the kidnapped Hiroaki. Haru and Kyousuke manage to locate the hospital, but not before Hiroaki is safely returned to Tsubaki's family.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • All three islands used in the three Survival of the Fittest seasons have had an abandoned clinic, usually small buildings. The location name on the forum is usually some variation of "Abandoned Hospital".
  • An Abandoned Hospital is the focus of this flash game/photo essay: Stay awhile... stay forever..
  • Ruby Quest is set in one of these.
    • And it plays with how abandoned "abandoned" really is. Sure, no one's using it as a hospital right this exact second, but it's implied that Ruby is doing-slash-discovering some of these things for the second or third time, raising the question, "How, exactly, does she end up back at the start with no memory of doing this stuff if the hospital isn't operating on some rudimentary level?"
  • Everything2 has "The Blacke Asylum".


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Danny Phantom episode "Doctor's Disorders" mostly takes place in the abandoned North Mercy Hospital, where the sign outside the building has weathered so that it now only says "No Mercy".
  • You could say twice on Adventure Time.
    • In Heat Signature, the back drop for a big part of the episode appears to be an abandoned and delapidated old hospital building with a helicopter plate.
    • The second time this happens, Finn wakes up in the abandoned hospital wing of the Candy Kingdom, only to realize the only one in the whole area is Jake.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The old Alexandra Hospital in Singapore was the site of a massacre of doctors and their patients by the Japanese during World War II, and has a reputation for being haunted.
    • The abandoned Old Changi Hospital, another haunted hospital in the same city, has a torture chamber added by the Japanese secret police, with bloodstains still set into the floor.
  • The Saint Louis City Hospital was built in 1845, and was shut down in July 1985. It was not demolished however. Parts were in 2002, but the remaining buildings are being retrofitted into Condos.
    • They've done the same thing to an old asylum in Melbourne, Australia, that was rumoured to be haunted. Now it's an apartment building.
      • That would be Willsmere, Kew. Enormous Second Empire building (think arches and towers), formerly Kew Lunatic Asylum. Nice apartment building, actually. And, yes, reportedly haunted.
  • If you've said the words "haunted" and "hospital" in the Philadelphia region over the last thirty years, then you've heard of Byberry Mental Hospital. Built in 1906 and finally demolished one hundred years later, it reads like a nonfiction checklist of haunted house cliches. Subterranean tunnels? It's got 'em. Total lack of electricity? Check. Some brilliant fluke of architecture that renders most of the building pitch black even during the day? All yours, daddy-o. This place would give Dr. Vannacutt nightmares.
  • The Waverly Hills Sanatorium: it's definitely got a reputation for being haunted.
  • The Lima Tuberculosis Hospital in (oddly enough) Lima, Ohio. Pretty darn creepy.
  • The Chicago State Hospital, now known as the Chicago-Read Mental Health Center in the community of Dunning on the Northwest Side. An insane asylum, sanitarium, and poor village was built there back in the 1860's and it eventually changed hands to the city. Many were taken there, to the point where it got horribly overcrowded in the 1910's. Eventually sections got closed down, including a small school and one of the hospitals, a rather big facility. Both of them lay abandoned for years, but the big hospital was eventually torn down for condos a few years back.
  • According to the rather eerie book Ghostly Ruins, which features photographs of various places around America which have fallen into disrepair, the Danvers State Mental Hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts falls squarely into this category. Danvers was once named Salem (yes, that Salem), and changed its name due to the associated trauma, and the hospital itself was constructed on the site where one of the fanatical judges had lived. As the book puts it, "The Danvers State Hospital may have the worst bad karma of any abandoned site in the country." This is in fact the hospital on which Lovecraft based Arkham. It was a model facility when constructed, but eventually succumbed to abuse, overcrowding, and disrepair; when it closed in 1990, it held 2000 inmates (and was meant to hold only 200). What makes things even more fun is, after the hospital was torn down in 2006 and an apartment complex was built, there was a mysterious fire that destroyed a large portion of the construction...one which is apparently still unexplained. Cue Scare Chord.
    • And to worsen the karma even more, it seems it was pretty much the birthplace of the lobotomy as we know it.
    • Danvers was also the filming location for the thriller Session 9 (see above for details).
  • Another abandoned place in Pennsylvania- the Pennhurst State School and Hospital in Spring City. It used to be a hospital and school for the mentally retarded and mentally ill. The patients were abused mentally, physically, and sexually. Patients who were repeat biters had all teeth pulled. All teeth. The school housed more than 10,000 people in its 79-year life. About 5,000 of them never went back to their real homes. The place only closed in 1987. And it's still standing today.
    • Not only was it left abandoned, it seems that everything was just left behind. Based on various first-hand accounts (and experience), much if not most of the equipment (and patient records, particularly older ones) that's been removed was done so by urban explorers looting the place, and as of about 2003, the floors were still littered with equipment and paperwork.
    • There's an active movement to preserve Pennhurst, as it seems it may be torn down and the land developed in the near future.
  • The abandoned mental asylum in Poveglia Island, near Venice, as seen in an article by Cracked.com. The history of the island itself is a kind of Nightmare Fuel and goes real hardcore with the addition of the hospital. No one inhabits the island and, sincerely, no one will ever will if we are to believe that more that 160.000 people died there and God knows how many sane and insane were driven to murderous madness by the doctors there.
    • Urban legend. When the plague hit Venice in the 1500's, a different island was used as a hospital. Poveglia spent maybe three decades as a quarantine island, and was most lately the home of a retirement community for about sixty years. There never was a mental hospital.
  • Many large hospitals in London have abandoned or little-used sections. This Troper has worked in a couple, and let's just say you don't want to make a wrong turn late at night.
  • The Hugh Gallen State Office Park in Concord, New Hampshire, is comprised of a variety of re-purposed old buildings that were originally collectively known as the New Hampshire Asylum until being renamed to the less threatening "New Hampshire Hospital." Some buildings on the campus - the Acute Psychiatric Services building (APS, 1989), the Anna Philbrook Center (1960), and a few others—continue to provide care and housing to New Hampshire's mentally ill adults and children, and halfway housing for rehabilitated patients transitioning back into society. The other buildings on the site—which date from 1842 to 1941—have been converted into office space for state government workers. The oldest building in the complex, called the "Main Building," was erected in 1842 as a medical facility specifically designed for the housing and treatment of the insane, and was the 17th such hospital established in the United States.
    • Rumors have long persisted among locals that there are walled up portions of the Main Building's basement that contain the remains of tuberculosis patients who died during a time when TB ran rampant. "People say" that excavating these walled up rooms could end up infecting the workers in the building with tuberculosis, which could then spread to the greater population. This is a completely unfounded and illogical rumor, but if you've ever been in the Main Building's basement (as this Troper has), you would be hard-pressed not to wonder what's in the walls.
    • Many of the older buildings in the state office park have been renovated but still retain a lot of their original structure, both internally and externally. Some sections of these buildings, particularly the Main Building, have not been renovated at all due to the cost of asbestos removal and other improvements that would need to be made to make those areas safe and usable. This has left portions of the interior of these buildings in a state of eerie desertion and decay. One unrenovated wing of the Main Building has been dubbed the "Stephen King Wing" by state employees who have had the opportunity to check it out (and yes, it really is that creepy).
  • Thanks to the Community Care Act (1990) in the UK, there are still a number of old abandoned mental hospitals, in various states of decay. Unsurprisingly developers have been less than keen to move in.
  • One which is far creepier in reality than any fictional Hospital is in the island of Guernsey, and yes it is in as in built underground. Constructed by Those Wacky Nazis in WW 2 during the island's occupation it was used as hospital, mortuary, ammunition store, and * research centre* on Slavic Labourers. See a video of it here.
  • An abandoned hospital figures in the Goiânia accident, one of the worst nuclear radiation leaks in history.
  • Ironically, Danvers and many of these other places were originally supposed to be actual asylums; places of humane treatment according to the Kirkbride plan. The problems occurred with overcrowding due to warehousing. Not just the mentally ill, but drug addicts, immigrants with nowhere to go, the unemployed, the "friendless", homeless people. Danvers was supposed to only have about 600 clients; it ended up with well over two thousand.
  • The Glenn Dale Hospital in Maryland was not a place that people visited to get better. As a sanitarium for tuberculosis, anyone who wound up here could only hope to die in the most dignified way possible. And yes, there is a children's compound. Features of note include the incinerator, refridgerated morgues, the flooded underground hallways, and the elevator shaft that "breathed". The sad thing is that it really was a beautiful place in its prime, and probably could be again if any restoration were put into it. Budget shortfalls and copious amounts of lead paint make this unlikely, however.
  • Due to a combination of budget cuts and a report about the absolutely deplorable conditions by Geraldo Rivera, The Willowbrook State School was closed in 1987 and the patients were turned out on their own. Shortly after this it was discovered that several people were living in the tunnels under the facility. It was speculated that the residents might be former patients. Short after that, the body of a recently missing girl was found in a shallow grave on the property...
  • A hospital in Khovrino district of Moscow was abandoned after five years of construction in 1985 and has never been finished. It is commonly called "Umbrella" by urban explorers because of its shape that closely resembles a Biohazard symbol when seen from above.
  • The hospital portion of Ellis Island in New York was this until the entire site was revitalized into the tourist center it is today. Those who spearheaded the renovation spoke of finding various abandoned equipment and the like. Another abandoned hospital on the grounds of the island, and other quarantine wards, are fenced off from the main tourist sections and are off limit to the public.
  • Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, New Jersey's state mental hospital since 1876, has persistently been overcrowded and required new construction. Older buildings have not all been demolished, giving the entire campus something of a creepy atmosphere-especially considering some of the abuse scandals that took place in those buildings...
  • Charity Hospital in New Orleans was somewhat rundown before Hurricane Katrina. Afterwards...
  • The historic buildings on the western campus of Washington, D.C.'s St. Elizabeth's mental hospital, has been abandoned since 1987. It is expected to become the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.