Many of today’s modern TV dramas center around a hospital for the simple reason that hospitals are, by their very nature, places of high drama and emotional excess. It all makes for great entertainment.
Whilst most of our actual, real-life hospitals present, on the face of it at least, an environment of scrupulous cleanliness, military-like order and high human virtue, this has not always been the case.
Some of our older medical establishments have a hidden history of abuse, scandal and malicious intent born from a less enlightened and caring era.
All of the residual negative energy resulting from this dark activity still remains within their walls and often gives rise to an environment that is replete with incidences of paranormal strangeness.
Many may fear to enter such places after dark at the risk of encountering the spirits of the dead but for paranormal researchers, such as Richard Estep, hospitals present unique opportunities for exploring and understanding a world that is inhabited by astral phenomena.
In his book, ‘The World’s Most Haunted Hospitals’, Richard Estep shares the research that he has carried out at various medical establishments in different locations around the world.
It includes investigations he has conducted at hospitals, mental asylums and sanatoriums.
Estep is in a unique position to carry out this line of research for he is not only a highly respected and experienced paranormal researcher but has also been a paramedic and clinical educator. With a foot in both camps, he is well-versed in the processes and procedures related to both physical death and the afterlife.
Life and Death
After working as a paranormal researcher within and around many medical establishments, Estep has noted that not only are they locations that are, quite naturally, populated with the lost spirits of those who passed over but can also be haunted by those who have worked within them for many years.
In his book, Estep explains that he has encountered numerous cases of the discarnate spirits of doctors and nurses who have been observed still making their rounds many decades, and even centuries, after becoming deceased.
He has also noted on several occasions the sheer sense of melancholy that pervades some medical establishment buildings. He describes such an atmosphere occurring in a massive American sanitarium – one in which tens of thousands of people had died from tuberculosis.
Here he felt that the resultant atmosphere generated by the sufferers dark energy
…pervaded every brick of the place. – a heady atmosphere which he describes as typically giving rise to such paranormal experiences as phantom footsteps, disembodied voices and shadowy figures.
Estep begins his collection of paranormal investigations at Asylum 49 (formerly the Tooele Hospial) based in Utah, USA.
Here he catalogs its recorded phenomena including a belief by local psychics that it is the location into another dimension and that it is the home of a frightening man dressed all in black who wanders the hallways after dark.
From there Estep travels to the UK and describes his researches into the old RAF hospital at Nocton Hall in Lincolnshire – a place recognised as a prized example of Gothic architecture and quite evidently a more than suitable abode of the dead.
From the Clark Air Base Hospial in the Phillipines to the Spencer State Hospital for the Insane in West Virginia, Estep not also reveals something of the paranormal nature of the places that he visits but also some of its history – which in some cases is gruesome and barbaric.
This turns out to be particularly true of the next two places that he features in the book, namely the Arndale Mental Hospital (formally a lunatic asylum) in Victoria, Australia and the Linda Vista Community Hospital in California which is well-known due to its having been featured in several TV programs and films over the years.
Back in the UK Estep describes the appearance of The Grey Lady at St Thomas’s Hospital in London, then vampires and plague victims in Venice, Italy, the black magic practising Nurse Emmie at the deceptively tranquil Rolling Hills Asylum in New York, USA and then describes the strange case of Jeremy Bentham at University College Hospital in London.
In each location Estep unearths strange events, weird stories and inexplicable phenomena that has troubled living occupants of the buildings for many years.
In his visit to the Yorktown Memorial Hospital, Texas, USA he also presents evidence of paranormal activity recorded by other research groups – some of whom were physically molested by unidentifiable astral entities.
At the Location of the Danvers State Insane Asylum in Massachusetts, USA where, at one point during the Great Depression, some 2,000 inmates were crammed into a facility built to house around a quarter this number.
One can only imagine the horror of life in the place at that time so it is perhaps not too surprising to learn that author H P Lovecraft used Danvers State as his inspiration behind the infamous Arkham Sanatorium in his darkly unnerving Cthulhu Mythos.
With final and equally unnervinng visits to Grace Hospital in Canada, Metropolitan State Hospital in the USA, the Old Changi Hospital in Singapore, the Old Yoakum Memorial Hospital in Texas, USA and St Albans Sanatorium in Radford, Virginia, USA Estep concludes his journey through the trouble hotspots of the paranormal world.
If this is a taste of what really lurks out there then psychic explorers and lovers of the paranormal have a vast reservoir of supernatural weirdness to call upon.
Our Review of ‘The World’s Most Haunted Hospitals’ by Richard Estep
In opening his frenetic foray into the world of spine-chilling bizarreness Estep warns the reader that
Many of the stories are extraordinary, standing in defiance of all conventional logic.
When dealing with the content of his book he also issues a warning to those who might purchase this publication out of idle curiosity.
He was not kidding when he made these remarks for this is a book meant only for those who, like Estep himself, have tempered and toughened dispositions!
‘The World’s Most Haunted Hospitals’ is an immensely fascinating and deeply enjoyable book. From its opening pages through many chapters full of hair-raising and conscious-unravelling accounts it holds the attention of its reader and pulls them into a very specific subset of paranormal research – one that reveals the subject of simple ghost hunting to be a very poor cousin.
Which means that rather than being a collection of odd campfire tales this book does move the subject of paranormal investigation into a new and exciting areas. A key element of this is the unveiling of the historical background that Estep provides for all the places that he visited. In most cases this places the actual paranormal events that he describes into a much clearer sense of focus and meaning for his readers.
All-in-all this is an imaginatively thought out and well-executed publication; one which will be enjoyed by a wide range of readers who have a variety of interests in the wild, weird and wonderful world of the paranormal.
The World’s Most Haunted Hospital is an excellently written book – one that is complete with fascinating historical details, personal and anecdotal stories, and supporting photographic evidence. Once again Estep shows how and why he is such an intrepid, committed and successful paranormal explorer and why his particular take on the subject is so utterly captivating.