It is known as one of the most haunted buildings in Alberta, Canada: it is the former Charles Camsell Hospital in Edmonton, which holds long forgotten secrets still waiting to come to light.
Some have said they’ve seen figures in the windows and there are lot of locals that think their ancestors spirits haven’t found peace and they’re still wandering, because for a lot of people it was not a happy place.
First established as a Jesuit College in the early 1900’s, it was then used as a military base for U.S. army soldiers building the Alaska highway in world war two and it eventually served as a hospital for service men with tuberculosis and other respiratory problems.
In 1946 the federal government turned it into an “Indian sanatorium” mainly for those suffering with TB, that was rampant and especially devastating to the Indigenous population in those days.
The government organized x-ray tours that sent planes to remote communities to screen for the disease. Across northern Canada and the prairies any found with symptoms were shipped to the Charles Camsell hospital for treatment between 1946 and 1966. This included men, women, children, babies.
Many of them never made it back home again.
It is rumoured that horrific medical procedures were carried out at hospital that included shock treatments, nutritional experiments and sterilization further adding fuel to the notion of the building’s haunting.
There was allegedly a mass grave for children and infants that died while in care of the hospital building, though this has been denied by officials. Often the families of deceased patients were told of their passing, and patients were buried in a mass grave by a residential school in St. Albert.
Based on these stories, some say that the ghosts of patients who were wrongfully treated in life and death still haunt the halls of the hospital. Their vengeful spirits still lurk the halls, trying to find their way out to return to the family they never got to see again after being admitted in the hospital.
The original Camsell Indian hospital was torn down and rebuilt in 1967 as a provincial hospital. It housed a tuberculosis sanatorium, a surgical ward, an occupational therapy unit, a psychiatric unit and more. It operated until 1996.
It has been abandoned ever since, partially due to asbestos contamination.
Since its closure, visitors have claimed to experience feelings of discomfort and overall eery and unsettling feelings within the vicinity of the hospital. According to an urban legend the screams of former patients can be heard from the 4th floor (the hospital’s psych ward) as well as footsteps throughout the building. Some have claimed to have seen a ghost of a teenage girl who appears to have ripped out her fingernails. Terribile.
Some of the residents say they feel uncomfortable every time they pass by the hospital, and they feel as though someone is watching them through the the broken windows of the abandoned building. Though the ghost stories of the hospital are based on urban legends, and absolutely not verified, you cannot help but feel uneasy when you think about the patients that died without saying goodbye to their families.
For more than 20 years, the hospital went through various developers who planned to tear down the hospital and building housing complexes, but the cleanup of asbestos delayed any project.
It seems that a developer recently bought the property which sits in the residential neighbourhood of Inglewood in Edmonton. The company is working on removing asbestos from the building with goals of eventually turning it into a residential condominium project.
In any case, the abandoned building is still standing today, and is known for its flickering lights, screams at night, and the legends of a mass Indigenous grave nearby. The hospital regularly has guards posted to keep would-be ghost hunters away, but that doesn’t stop people from trying….
Images from web – Google Research. The source is my brother.