Event Finish Time: 4:00am
Welcome to the extremely haunted St Albans Sanatorium
St. Alban’s Sanatorium has a dark and tormented past that calls out to investigators around the world. Featured on SyFy’s Haunted Collector, the Travel Channel’s The Dead Files and Destination America’s Ghost Asylum, this is one location that is every paranormal enthusiasts’ dream (or perhaps nightmare is a better word)!
In the late 1800’s the building was originally constructed as a Lutheran Boys’ School known for its harsh punishments and the encouragement of “bullying” to breed a tougher “Southern Gentleman.” The school was in operation for less than 20 years before it was shut down in 1911.
In 1916 the St. Alban’s Sanatorium opened for business leaving its own disturbing mark upon the landscape. Although the treatments used on patients were supposed to be “state of the art” the experimental nature left a trail of torture and death that is still etched into the walls of this former institution. Insulin Induced comas, lobotomies, electroconvulsive therapy, hydro shock therapy – it’s no wonder that tormented cries are still heard throughout the building.
The facility closed its doors in 1994 but remnants of the past are still physically visible. Guests and paranormal investigators can see the rooftop garden covered in mesh to prevent patients from jumping to their deaths and explore the electroshock therapy room where they received “treatment.”
Rocking chairs that move of their own volition, the “Suicide Bathroom” where at least 4 documented suicides took place during the Sanitarium’s operation, the bowling alley where a young girl has been caught in photographs and EVPs, a strange mist that settles over rooms with the mention of murder vicitim Gina Renee Hall, full-bodied apparitions, screaming, disembodied voices, doors slamming, footsteps, levitating objects – the paranormal activity that has been documented and experienced in this location is bone chilling.
The darkness that lingers in the air is a sensation that envelopes all who enter. Are the spirits simply wanting to share their horrific experiences as patients of the institution or are their intentions more sinister? Will you be brave enough to undergo a lone vigil in the hydro shock therapy room?
St. Alban’s Sanatorium has often been called the “Most active paranormal location on the East Coast,” but the voices seeking to tell their stories from beyond the grave are not simply former patients or students. The land itself holds a bloody and tormented history that etches pure terror into the hearts of humanity.
A fresh water source was a natural place for people to settle and the New River Watershed was no different. Members of the Powhatan, Shawnee and Cherokee tribes inhabited this land but soon pioneers began to locate in the area as well. In 1775 the infamous Draper’s Meadow Massacre soaked the soil in innocent blood.
The Shawnee War Party took the settlers by surprise. Colonel James Patton was killed in his cabin. Eleanor Draper and Kasper Bargar were tomahawked and scalped. Betty Draper’s infant was killed. And 6 others were taken prisoner, including a pregnant Mary Ingles and her two young sons. Barger was decapitated during the march and his head was returned to the settlers in a sack.
The Civil War also had its share of violence on this hill overlooking the New River. In 1864 Union forces defeated Confederate forces during the battles of Newbern and Cloyd’s Mountain. Union artillery bombarded the settlement of Central Depot (now the city of Radford) from the ridge where St Albans stands today.
In 1892, the St. Alban’s Boys School was erected on the site. The Lutheran Boy’s school was envisioned as an educational institution that would raise up “future Southern Gentleman,” the rumors that surround its time as a Boys Preparatory School are swirled with stories of harsh punishments, cruel masters, and suicide. One article describes the school,“The atmosphere at the school was rough and competitive. It clearly favored the stronger boys (or bullies as we would say today) and made short work of the more cerebral types like one E. Blackburn Runyon, whose painful experience at the school was poignantly summed up by a yearbook editor in 1904: “E. Blackburn Runyon did not return after Christmas, much to our sorrow, as it put a stop to the football games on the terrace in which he figured prominently as the football.””
The school was shut down in 1911 and was reopened in 1916 by Dr. John C King as a hospital for the mentally ill known as St. Albans Sanatorium. The staff was forward thinking and quickly began to use all the “new” forms of treatment such as Insulin Coma Therapy (ICT), Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Hydro Shock Therapy (HST). Unfortunately, due to the experimental nature of these new therapies, it resulted in a high number of fatalities among the patients of St. Albans.
St. Albans Sanatorium struggled financially but the dedication of Dr. King and his wife allowed the institution to remain open. By 1945, the total number of patients treated by a staff of 48 had reached 6509. Despite the overcrowding, lack of staffing and experimental treatments; St Albans thrived for several more decades and became a fully operational hospital in the 1960’s until it closed its doors in 1994.
Your ghost hunt at St Albans Sanatorium includes the following:
- Psychic Medium,
- Ghost Hunting Vigils,
- Structured Vigils,
- Ghost Hunt with experienced Ghost Hunting Team,
- Use of our equipment which includes, trigger objects and EMF Meters,
- Unlimited refreshments available throughout the night including: Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Coca Cola, Diet Coke, and Bottled Water.
- Selection of snacks.
Guests are strongly advised to bring extra warm clothing with them.