Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ghost Hunting at South Pittsburgh Hospital in Tennessee

Hiding in the verdant hills of Southern Tennessee, hidden in the rural landscape of the South is a famously haunted hospital  that was once the South Pittsburg hospital.  Situated  at the base of a hill by the housing projects the old hospital decays.   You would expect it to be a silent place, filled with ghosts and old tears, but it is strangely alive, living someplace on the edge of a surreal dream.

The hospital is broken and decaying and filled with random odds and ends that don't always fit the setting.  The smell when you step in the door is so overwhelming I almost turned and headed to the first Holiday Inn available, but I pushed forward because the place was so surreal it felt like it belonged in a Tim Burton film rather that part of the real world.  This hospital isn't dead, despite the decay.   When you pull into the parking lot the front entrance has been taken over by an antique store.   Fountains and water features cover the steps that lead up to what used to be the main entrance to the hospital.   This sound of running water cuts through the loud music blaring out of the projects across the street.   It cuts through the broken, overgrown parking lot and adds a magic to the hospital that looms above it.   Only a small portion of the hospital is taken by the antique shop, and the rest sits empty, glaring out at you with vacant windows.

To enter the ghost hunting section of the hospital you must drive past the housing projects to the back of the hospital, which is pressed right up against a very steep and very large hill.   You enter through the emergency room doors.   The emergency room waiting room has been converted into a large sitting room that seems like a temple to Tim Burton.  Movie posters and art celebrating his movies line the walls.  After you get over the the heat, you move forward into a hall  with an alpha romeo parked in it.  Pressing on is imperative at this point as the oddness of the place only grows with every step forward.  

I was then introduced to the hospital's keepers.   A family lives in an apartment amidst all the rubble and stench with their little boy giving ghost hunting teams access to this strange place.   This little family was interesting and their story I will save for another day.   The ghost hunting team I joined was lead by Steve from Southern Ghosts.   His team were very professional and set up their many infrared cameras, DVRs, EVPs, etc at different points throughout the dark hospital.  Electricity was limited to only a few rooms so flashlights were imperative.   I will discuss the actual ghost hunting in more detail later too.

Exploring the hospital was like walking through a horror movie.  Walls molded and pealed.  Junk sat cluttered in rooms.  The clothes of the dead had never been removed from the hospital and sat piled up in the rooms people had died in.   As we travelled from room to room the KP and EVP meters went off from time to time, indicating some supernatural presence.  The darkness grew and stretched and your eyes played trick on you turning shadows into monsters.   The trigger items left to record paranormal activity moved.   A pair of little girls boots flipped. There was a strange mattress in the basement that lit up the EVP's like a Christmas Tree.   The hospital wrapped around a courtyard with a gazebo and an incomplete fountain that was overgrown and filled with mangy looking dogs that barked at you when your light shone out the window.  At night, when you wonder alone,  the sounds of the water outside fill the dead silence and the whispers you hear could be formed from a collection of your imagination and the ever running water. 


I was lucky enough to go to this hospital with Courtney from Haunt Jaunts!   I just hope I get to ghost hunt with her sometime again soon she was a really joy to meet and work with.  She was even more wonderful in person and I know she will have some very interesting things to say about our journey into darkness.   So,  over the next week I am going to post blogs about the different aspects of our trip to South Pittsburgh.   If you still crave more, visit http://www.hauntjaunts.com/ to hear Courtney's take on the visit.    Also visit http://www.southernghosts.com/ to see the ghost hunting data collected at the site.  Keep an eye on http://www.ghosteyes.com/ for more information too.  Tomorrow I will blog about the ghost hunting itself and then I will blog about the amazing family that calls this bizarre place home!!  

On a side note,,,, Unfortunately,  I never got to sleep here because the sleeping arrangements here were not good.   Most of the team stayed to ghost hunt all night, but I retired to the Comfort Inn at 3am and put my pj's on there.

5 comments:

Above the Norm said...

Sounds like you had an interesting night. Can't wait to here more.

Brenda Hooser said...

So happy to hear you did get results, and the fact you weren't wearing a teddy during the hunt. :) I "see" a couple of really good catches in your photos, by the way. Can't wait to hear more!

Brenda (Heart Centered Psychic)

PS. Again, thanks for caring & sharing on Twitter. You know what I mean. ;)

Jessica Penot said...

Any time Brenda!! Thank you for caring and sharing.

pr0udmom0f3 said...

It sounds like you all had a wonderful time, exploring and investigating.

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