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Sunland Hospital

RRRRRR Posts: 8,218 Officer
Sunland was an old mental hospital in the Pine Hills section of Orlando Florida. Many residents today have reported poltergeist activity, voices, and screams in the area. Its origins as a tuberculosis hospital date back to the 1940’s. When a cure for this disease was found, the site became part of the state’s system of mental institutions known as Sunland (some may know the place as the Sunnyland Hospital). The large imposing hospital ultimately became a home for the severely handicapped, and either due to concerns for the inability of many of the patients to evacuate the site in case of a fire, or due to an intense study of the State that resulted from accusations of patient neglect and abuse, the hospital permanently shut its doors in 1985.

Conditions in the hospital were nightmarish without the ghost stories that still circulate. Innocent children were housed in the same area as violent offenders. Reports of a less than moral orderly were followed by a mysterious pregnancy of one of the patients. From these horrors or perhaps from the knowledge of the routine use of electroshock therapy to the scarcity of adequate medical treatment (there were hundreds of mentally and physically handicapped patients assigned to a single doctor), the allegations of patient abuse and neglect found their basis. It’s no wonder it was closed down.

For over 15 years the site, associated with ample aguish and despair, stood abandoned and neglected. Broken out windows and walls laden with graffiti gave the site a very foreboding atmosphere. Several have journeyed to the old hospital to catch a glimpse of its creepy walls and share ghostly stories.

On one occasion two explorers roaming the third level were met by two of the defunct hospital’s ghostly residents. The first was the spirit of a young boy. He was observed to be frantically searching Sunland’s upper level, ducking from doorway to doorway on an eternal quest for someone or something unknown. This young ghost briefly paused in recognition of his corporeal visitors and then continued his quest. The second apparition was that of a terrified young girl found screaming on the landing of the third floor stairs. Her silent cries of fear came to an abrupt halt when she was witnessed throwing herself off that third floor landing.

When 23 year old Keith Murdock fell three stories down the elevator shaft, from the third floor in July of 1997, it was just the sort of incident that residents of nearby Pine Hills needed to push their demands for the building’s demolition. Murdock and his friends had trespassed into the building around 4am, when he thought he was entering another doorway, which turned out to be the elevator shaft. When his traveling companions finally found the source of the noise that had occurred when he fell, they found Murdock lying perfectly still, eyes wide open, in a pool of blood. They left him there and called 911, but learned that rescue workers searched for over 40 minutes and did not find him. His girlfriend later returned to the site and led rescuers to where he fell. Although he suffered a fractured skull and severe injuries to his spine, he survived the incident. The hospital on the other hand did not and was finally torn down in 1999.

Today, where the hospital once stood, you'll find an isolated and deserted park (on the exact spot where the hospital was originally built) and a playground. People have reported seeing ghosts wander around the park at night as well as smelling roses. It is believed that this fragrance was the imprint left over from when parents, who felt guilty about leaving their impaired children at the hospital, would bring in roses. You'll also find a large brick building that was originally the hospital administration area.

The demolition and subsequent replacement (with a playground), has apparently not discouraged the spirits from returning to the site of despair once known as Sunland Hospital. Perhaps by recognizing and acknowledging these events these spirits can somehow be encouraged to find their rests.


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