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Sunland Mental Hospital

Ever since it closed in 1987 this old five-story hospital on Phillips Road in Tallahassee has been a hotbed for local myths and ghost stories. First opened in 1952 as the W. T. Edwards Tuberculosis Hospital it was closed in 1968 when a treatment for TB was discovered. It re-opened under the name Sunland Hospital as a 400-bed facility to treat mental patients many of whom were children. Sunland was one of the first places to use electro-shock treatments on patients suffering from seizures. There are several rumors of how lobotomies were performed and a deep, dark pit where the deranged patients were put for days at a time.

The problem is that there isn’t much information available about what really went on inside this hospital; however, the stories about lobotomies are most likely fabrications, since there were no known surgical facilities at Sunland. The basement has also been a focus of tales about a morgue and crematorium that was used when it was a tuberculosis hospital. On the other hand, during Sunland’s time there were numerous allegations of patient abuse and neglect. According to newspaper accounts, the alleged neglect may have been caused by a lack of government funds, which caused a shortage of workers. In 1978, the Association of Retarded Citizens filed a class action lawsuit against the hospital for neglecting patients. These complaints in part led to Sunland being closed down in 1987. Following the closing, nine patients died after they were transferred to a less institutionalized environment in private care homes.

Another reason why the old hospital was shut down may have to do with the fact that the place is filled with asbestos, which is a good reason to stay away from it. Still, many transients have used it for shelter and so many urban explorers and ghost hunters have ventured into the abandoned building that it is now surrounded by a tall security fence. It is a definitely an asbestos hazard and not worth the risk of exploring. The “No Trespassing” signs are for real and the police constantly watch the place. Even with this, curiosity seekers still violate the law and sneak into the spooky old hospital.

Moaning in the Morgue at the Old Asylum
The hospital was closed because of experiments that were going on there and I read where there was a lawsuit over the patients being abused. All I know is that it is a creepy place and before they put up the fence we went inside and it is absolutely huge. Even though there is no electricity in the building the lights will turn themselves on and off for no reason. We couldn’t figure that out. It has a basement where a morgue was at and down there is where there are moaning sounds. We did not stay there very long, it is just too creep. I think it is haunted by mental patients who died there. –seminoles04

Follow the Sound of the Bouncing Ball
When I was a freshman at college we sneaked in there, about four of us, to see if the stories were true. We had three flashlights that went dim soon after we were inside and down one of the long halls there was a rush of ice-cold air like somebody had opened a freezer door––but there is no freezer there. On the second floor there was a sound like kids bouncing a ball and laughing. We stopped and were very quiet and still and could still hear the sounds. We couldn’t explain any of the anomalies that we experienced and did not stick around. No way would I ever go back to that place, it is the most supernatural place that I have ever been. –ghostbuster

The Scariest Place They’d Ever Been To
Sunland was an insane asylum for many years and some weird stuff happened there. There were two of these hospitals, the other one was in Orlando and it too was shut down at the same time for neglecting and abusing the patients. I don’t know much about the inside of this place but some friends of mine went in there one night. They were members of a ghost hunting group and they came running out of there and said that they heard loud screams inside and that they felt strong feelings of anger. They also heard a loud crash like somebody threw something on the floor like a metal tray or something. They said it was the scariest place they had ever been to. It is now sealed off and you cannot get inside anymore. –tallahasseegirl

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