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This New Mexico Hospital is One of the Creepiest Places in the State.

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The natural beauty, history, and culture of New Mexico are abundant. However, it also has its fair share of eerie and enigmatic locations where ghosts from the past still haunt the present. Fort Stanton Hospital, a former tuberculosis sanatorium that is now a psychiatric hospital and museum, is one of these locations. There have been a lot of tragedies and atrocities at this hospital, and some people believe that evil spirits and restless spirits still reside there.

The History of Fort Stanton Hospital

As a military fort, Fort Stanton was first constructed in 1855 to defend settlers against Apache incursions. Several well-known people, including Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, and the Buffalo Soldiers, used it as a base. It was briefly taken over by Confederate forces during the Civil War, but Union forces quickly retook it.

The fort was transformed into a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1899, housing a majority of Merchant Marines and other military personnel. It was thought that those who suffered from tuberculosis would benefit from the dry and sunny atmosphere of New Mexico, even though the condition was at that time terrible and incurable. Over time, the hospital underwent expansion and modernization, growing to become one of the most sophisticated and expansive establishments of its kind in the nation.

For the patients, though, life in the hospital was neither easy nor enjoyable. Numerous of them underwent grueling, experimental procedures like lobectomies, thoracoplasty, and pneumothorax. Some of them committed suicide or were slain by other patients, while others passed away from illness or surgical complications. Over 1500 tombs can be found at the hospital cemetery, many of them are simply numbered or unmarked.

The Hauntings of Fort Stanton Hospital

It is hardly shocking that Fort Stanton Hospital is regarded as one of the most haunted locations in New Mexico given its tragic and fatal past. A wide range of paranormal occurrences, including cold spots, odd noises, apparitions, and poltergeist activity, have been recorded by both personnel and visitors. Among the most frequent sightings are:

  • A ghostly nurse who roams the halls and checks on the patients. She is believed to be Julia Staab, the wife of a wealthy merchant who died of tuberculosis at the hospital in 1925. She is said to be friendly and helpful, but also very protective of her domain.
  • A phantom soldier who patrols the grounds and salutes the visitors. He is thought to be Captain Henry Wright, who was killed in a duel with a doctor at the fort in 1862. He is said to be loyal and respectful, but also very strict and demanding.
  • A shadowy figure who lurks in the basement and attacks the unwary. He is suspected to be a former patient who was violent and psychotic, and who was locked up in a padded cell in the basement. He is said to be angry and aggressive, and to cause scratches, bruises, and bites on his victims.

The Future of Fort Stanton Hospital

The hospital is still in existence today, although with a smaller patient population of about 200 involuntary patients brought there by civil court commitment cases, in spite of its eerie reputation. In response to worries about overcrowding, a new institution in Galen opened its doors in 2024.

The Fort Stanton Historic Site presently comprises the former hospital along with a museum, visitor center, and multiple restored structures. The location is accessible to the general public and provides educational programs, special events, and guided tours. Nonetheless, several sections of the hospital are inaccessible to outsiders due to safety concerns or patient privacy issues.

The history and mystique of New Mexico are reflected at Fort Stanton Hospital. This site is a coexistence of the living and the dead, a collision between the past and present. It’s an intriguing, frightening, challenging, and inspiring place. It is unquestionably among the state’s creepiest locations.

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