Sunday, November 20, 2011

Old Southern Sanatorium 11/11/11

~Per client request, I will not be revealing the name or location of the investigation site.~

The Sanatorium has been visited by members of our group before, although this was my first visit. The building itself was the main building of what was once a large complex built to treat people who'd contacted the contagious and often fatal respiratory disease Tuberculosis or TB.

A little history for you

In the early part of the 20th century, TB was an epidemic sweeping across the country. Sanatoriums were built to treat the infected, freeing up hospitals and helping combat the spread of the disease. This particular sanatorium, so I'm lead to believe, is the second or third largest sanatorium in the US. (Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky is the largest. Have you seen pics of the place? My entire High School population, including the staff, could easily fit in it!) The sanatorium admitted its first patient in 1908 and was in operation until 1973. Because it mainly affected the lungs (some strains affect other areas), TB would cause one to have chest pains, cough blood, have a chronic cough and also cause the infected to have fever, chills, appetite and weight loss, pallor and fatigue, among other symptoms. Aside from clean air and rest, treatment sometimes involved collapsing the infected lung, cutting away the infected part of the lung and, although I've only heard about this treatment, putting ping pong balls into the lung. The last one I've only heard about, I haven't actually found anything on that particular treatment. TB had an 80% fatality rate, which meant that many of the people coming to the sanatorium seeking treatment died there from the disease.

Now about the building...

The building has five stories and a basement. We'll start with the basement. It was here where the morgue and, from what I'm lead to believe, offices for the doctors. The coolers where the bodies of the dead were stored are still there. Now, the basement is used for storage for all sorts of mess. And trust me, its a mess down there. For many years, the sanatorium housed a haunted house and we see the remains of it in the basement, 2nd floor and the stairwell. Stories have it that a spirit resides in the basement that loves Elvis.
The first floor is still used for offices of the state business that owns the property. The stories on this floor is a spirit resides in the men's bathroom and the janitor has been reported cleaning the floors. He's so vivid that one of our members on a previous visit thought he was an employee.
The second floor is another mess having been part of the haunted house, the theme of haunted forest was evident with the branches in the hall posing as trees. This floor also contained several rooms for the infected.
The third floor was the location of the children's ward on one end and the prisoners' ward on the other end. The prisoners' end is evident with the glass and fencing. Story is a little girl resides on this floor. And on the prison side the story is women who venture past the doorway are harassed and made to feel uncomfortable.
The fourth floor... well I don't know any stories there, although there were signs that groups before us had done the flour test. Which is where you spread flour across the floor to see if any spirits walk across it.
Now the fifth floor is where the sickest patients were moved to. Basically anyone moved to that floor succumbed to their disease. It was the death floor, for lack of a better word. The floor where TB patients went to die.

Now for the part you've been patiently reading my ramblings for: The investigation

There were only five of us on this investigation. We arrived at sunset and we set up a "base" in a conference room. We did a prayer and then we spilt up. Originally, our lead investigator, Justin went up towards to 5th floor alone, but got as far as the 4th floor before he started getting activity and hearing voices over the walkie. At first he thought it was us trying to get ahold of him. We were doing an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session, thus we weren't calling him. After the second or third time, Brandon went up to join Justin, while Jack, Joanne and I continued to investigate the basement. We explored the history the basement held and did a few EVP sessions before we met with Justin and Brandon on the first floor. After we made the plan for the next hour, Joanne and I headed over to the men's bathroom while Justin, Jack and Brandon headed up to the 3rd floor. We did an EVP session in there but didn't experience any of the activity reported there. We tested the door, since the story was the spirit would push on the door if anyone tried to open it. We came to the conclusion that there was a tight spring on the pneumatic door closer which made it feel as if a force was pushing against the door. Joanne and I then made our way to the 2nd floor, where we immediately started hearing banging. We called up to the guys and had them make noise so we would know which end of hall on the floor above us they were. The noise we were hearing was coming from the opposite end. We never did find what was making that noise before the guys informed us they were heading to investigate the men's bathroom so Joanne and I headed up to the 3rd floor and went down to the prison area, where the story was that women were made to feel very uncomfortable and touched. Nothing. We were joined by the guys and all five of us went to the 5th floor. Justin saw movement in the bathroom and we did an EVP session or two.

After a break, we decided to head back down to the basement and do some more investigating. Joanne sang a couple Elvis songs to trigger activity from the spirit we were told was an Elvis fan. After doing a second EVP session in the morgue and showing Justin and Brandon the history hidden in the basement, we decided to call it a night since we weren't having anymore activity.

No, it's not all seriousness. There were a few moments that made us laugh. Including me walking straight into an a/c unit. Lets just say I hit it hard enough that the recorder left on a heater over halfway down the hall picked it up. I'm happy to say I didn't get a goose egg or a concussion from it. I have a hard head. I will venture to say I'm pretty sure that unit has a dent in it.

Well until next time, be safe and happy hunting