Radford, VA is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, St Albans Sanatorium. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.
St. Albans Sanatorium was constructed in 1892, though it first functioned as a Lutheran Boys School. The headmaster demanded boys to perform well in classrooms and on sports fields. To meet such high expectations, many would turn to extreme methods. St. Albans developed a reputation for being a rough and competitive school where bullying was not only condoned, it was encouraged. Heated athletic rivalries may have allowed St. Albans to secure numerous football championships, but they also made homicides and suicides frequent occurrences on campus. In 1916, Dr. John C. King acquired the property to now fulfill his vision: introducing the nation’s first top-notch psychiatric hospital. Unhappy with the conditions at the Southwestern Lunatic Asylum during his stint as superintendent, Dr. King wanted to open an institution where patients would be both well treated and well accommodated. Thus, he made several renovations to the school’s remnants, even adding a farm to the property in order to give patients a proper place to exercise and play. Mental health patients were given electric shock treatments and sometimes lobotomies to try and “cure” them. The resulting therapies made it function more as a torture chamber than a hospital. One room in the facility had horrendous forms of “treatment”, and became known as the “suicide bathroom”.
Some of St. Albans Sanatorium’s most active rooms are where hydrotherapies were conducted. A hydrotherapy session didn’t always involve a brief, relaxing soak in the bathtub. Patients who weren’t mummified in icy cold towels were strapped into steaming water vats, where they lay immobile and confined for days. Others were “blasted with water from a fire hose.”9 No wonder one of these rooms is now known as the Suicide Bathroom10.
There are many other rooms in the sanatorium that are paranormally hot. The Bowling Alley in the basement, for instance, is known to be haunted by two female spirits: “Allie” and Gina Renee Hall. Allie is rumored to be the young daughter of one of the hospital’s patients, and Gina was a woman who was murdered on June 28, 1980 somewhere close to St. Albans Sanatorium, along Hazel Hollow Road.
This extremely haunted property has been featured in many television programs, including Haunted Collector, Ghost Asylum and Dead Files.
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