Sedro Woolley, Washington
After the economic crisis of 1893 the town of Sedro Woolley was struggling to stay alive. Even though 2 other hospitals for the criminally insane already existed in the area, to keep the town on the map they decided to build a mental institution to liven up the economy. In 1906, 800 acres of land were purchased to build Northern State Mental Hospital which would house non dangerous, but mentally unstable patients. In fall of 1910, the first hospital building opened, serving as a administration and a construction building, but the first 200 patients were not admitted to the hospital until 1912. Northern State became very well known for it’s humane practices, which in that day that were almost unheard of, and many people were very intolerant of these practices. The hospital served its purpose in helping the local economy and nearly everyone in the area was dependent on the hospital in some way. While it was open, the hospital expanded to almost twice its original acreage and opened vocational schools such as farming, printing and more.
The first known murder at Northern State occurred in February of 1922 when it was being run by Dr. James Winfield Doughty. Reports of the incident say that a patient was murdered by another patient. In the 1940’s the hospital took on a young renowned surgeon by the name of Dr. Charles H. Jones. Jones was known for his participation n the highly experimental surgery known as the trans-orbital lobotomy. In 1945. he assisted Dr. Walter Freeman who perfected the controversial surgery. After Dr. Doughty was no longer running the facility in Jan 1950, the new controversial methods of Dr. Jones began to take over as normal treatment practices for patients. At this time there were about 2000 patients residing in the institution and many were sent away. After this time, Dr. Jone would take in about 650 patients a year and only discharge around 400. The other 250 patients are said to have either died here or been transferred to other facilities. The total number of patients that died behind the walls of the institution is not known but rumors place it in the thousands. There’s even a graveyard of unmarked graves on the premises behind the gymnasium.. In 1976 the hospital officially closed and today parts of the facility are used for Job Corps and a Drug Rehabilitation Center.
There are many ghosts said to roam the premises of the hospital. One of these spirits is said to be named “Fred”, who is known for his playfulness and is a bit of a prankster. Reports
of “Fred’s” activity are that he throws things like sheets and bed pans across the room. While working in the hospital, many nurses complained of random cold spots throughout the building, even in the middle of summer. In the nurses dormitory a little girl with a bouncing red ball is often seen and an adult male ghost is encountered while constantly search for the playful child. Other people have claimed to see a full bodied apparition of a nurse hanging by a noose in the window of the old nurses station. In the old superintendent’s building people have been frightened by strange bright lights on the second floor. There have been claims of paranormal activity near the gym where possibly thousands of unmarked graves lay since the 1950’s. This hospital has been featured by a number of paranormal investigation teams including Syfy’s Ghost Hunters.
For many thrill seekers searching for haunts this might be the place to check out. Don’t forget though that this property as well as many of the other properties listed do not enjoy uninvited guests of the living variety, so make sure you have permission to enter the property or you may find yourself behind lock and key for trespassing.
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