Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weyburn Mental Hospital

Weyburn Mental Hospital, Saskatchewan Hospital, Souris Valley Extended Care - whatever name you call it this hospital was a large mental institution. Built in the kirkbride architecture style this building was one of the largest in the commonwealth when it was built in 1920. The hospital officially opened in 1921 and had room for 900 patients and 120 staff. The hospital was self sufficient with houses for nurses, power plant, main building, farming, water tower, etc. This building is rich in history both good and bad. The use of LSD testing and treatments like lobotomy, electroshock and hydrotherapy were controversial. 

People admitted here were of any age that had mental illnesses but at one point they started accepting people that maybe did not want to deal with their relatives of any age, maybe because they had a stroke or something else not related to mental illness - this lead to overcrowding at the hospital.

With this much history and hundreds of people living in the building for many years is it
any wonder why this place is a known hot spot for hauntings?

People have said there are voices throughout the halls, shuffling of feet and shadows of people walking into patient rooms. Some people have seen a woman in the fourth floor window. The fourth floor is was open the entire time despite some writings online stating it was sealed up. 
My time photographing Weyburn Mental was an intense experience.  Walking the halls, entering patients rooms and taking in the silent halls and imagining what life must have been like living there in overcrowded conditions with a mental illness or sometimes not even any illness must have been hard. The building had weird feelings in every hallway, some good and some bad - there were even some hallways I was not able to walk down completely due to being suddenly physically sick to my stomach. This hospital definitely has some residents still around both active and those who are just replaying their life in the hospital. 

Weyburn Mental is still nothing like Fort San but it was interesting with how huge the building was, the history and the feelings you get being inside. Unfortunately the hospital has been demolished and nothing is left but a patch of land.

However, why not walk the grounds - maybe those sticking around don't need a building to haunt.

If you want to know more about the Weyburn mental hospital I suggest you visit the museum in Weyburn. They have a section on the hospital and artifacts. I would also suggest visiting the Weyburn cemetery where thousands of patients have been buried with no grave markers.

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