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Columns | "In The Pines With Dana Goolsby"

The Haunting of
Old Memorial Hospital
In Palestine

By Dana Goolsby
Dana Goolsby
The old Memorial Hospital in Palestine appears to be little more than a dilapidating building these days, but was once a busy medical center, where area residents sought care, worked, or visited loved ones. Locals also say the basement of the building was once the city morgue, where bodies were stored until either identified or claimed.
Palestine TX Haunted Memorial Hospital
The old Memorial Hospital in Palestine
Photo by Dana Goolsby, October 2010
The old hospital has been abandoned as a care facility, however locals claim the facility has not been entirely deserted. Supernatural tales have lived within the old hospital far prior to the closing of the facility. Former patients that checked in, but never checked out are believed to haunt the building, as well as the stirring spirits of unclaimed bodies in the basement.

Apparitions of deceased patients have allegedly been seen in the building. Spirits have allegedly made their presence known over the years in many ways. According to local legend, apparitions of deceased patients have been seen in the building. Spirits have allegedly been making their presence known over the years in many ways.

Claims of paranormal activity in the building resonate through legends of the old hospital, and continue to drive fear into the hearts of locals to this day. Former employees who once walked the halls of the old hospital, checking patience and dispensing meds, say they would never return to the building where they witnessed the living dead.

Apparitions of patients are said to wander the halls of the old hospital in search of their loved ones. Some have reported seeing a man in a wheelchair traveling the hallways. The man bound to the wheelchair is said to be looking for his wife, who passed just days after he did in their home. The man can allegedly be heard weeping and moaning in great sorrow as he passes through the halls calling out for his beloved.

Others who lay claim to ghostly encounters have reported unusual noises that have no explainable origin. The sounds of doors opening and closing, and footsteps shuffling down the halls can reportedly still be heard in the facility. Some who are not quite brave enough to enter the building have said they have heard sounds coming from within the building while passing by on foot or while riding their bike along the bordering sidewalk.

The old ICU area of the building is said to be full of mysterious noises and voices. Some say that they have heard what sounds like a ventilator, working diligently to supply oxygen to someone. Others say the faint sound of a heart monitor flat lining can be heard in the ICU area. Reports of voices mumbling aimless banter and chattering prayers are said to fill the halls of the old ICU unit.

Locals say unexplainable cold gusts of air rush out of broken windows and can be felt while standing near the building, even during the dog days of the East Texas summer. Some of the now vacant patient rooms are said to harbor cold air that could chill one to the bone. The cold air is reportedly almost always followed by individuals sensing the looming presence of someone or something unknown.

Records are still stored in the old hospital building, and occasionally must be accessed. Those who must venture into the building to obtain the records are said to do so as quickly as possible. According to locals, no one willfully enters the building of their own accord for fear of encountering the spirits that loiter in the building.
Palestine TX Haunted Memorial Hospital
On the intersection of S. Royal and E. Brazos
Photo by Dana Goolsby, October 2010
Just standing near the old hospital can be a haunting experience. One’s imagination will reel while gazing at the building, and into the broken windows. Blurry images from within begin to take shape if gazed upon in curiosity too long.

The old hospital, though not in use, has seemingly not been entirely abandoned. The city of Palestine may no longer have use for the building, but the spirits within seem to be restlessly busy inside. If you are passing by the old hospital, where some lives were saved and others were lost, beware of the spirits that may seem to beckon to you from within. The calls and cries that can allegedly be heard, are not calling for you to come in, but rather they are calling to be set free and reunited with others from the other side.

© Dana Goolsby
"In The Pines With Dana Goolsby" April 1, 2011 Column

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