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.
|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
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
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
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.
|On the intersection
of S. Royal and E. Brazos
Photo by Dana Goolsby,
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
© Dana Goolsby
"In The Pines With Dana Goolsby"
April 1, 2011 Column