Ruins of Lazaretto de Isla de Cabras: the crumbling remnants of a 19th-century quarantine hospital that hint at the touristy island’s darker past.

Isla de Cabras (traslates as Goat’s island) in the town of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, is known today for its beaches, spectacular views of Old San Juan, and other recreational activities, including swimming and fishing. However, atop a hill overlooking the coast, are some ruins that are seemingly out of place. Their past reveals that the island wasn’t always a beautiful tourist destination…. During the early 19th century, the island served as an inspection port for ships coming from Europe, when the threat of cholera was imminent. Thus, as a…

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Edith Cavell: the heroine nurse of England

Every year, two chosen nurses lay a wreath on the statue of such as Edith Cavell near Trafalgar Square in central London. Meanwhile, some 320 km north-east of the capital, a memorial service is held in the church at the rural village of Swardestone, where she was born. Edith was a nurse working in occupied Belgium during the First World War and was executed by a German firing squad on this day, October 12, 1915 , for helping about 200 British and French soldiers to escape the country. She was…

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Hellingly Mental Hospital: the story of an asylum

We are in the village of Hellingly, in East Sussex, England. Here, on 20 July 1903, the Hellingly Mental Hospital was inaugurated: an asylum, the best in the area because, apparently, the most innovative treatments were experimented there. It was also the refuge for patients who had to flee West Sussex due to the First World War. The main complex comprised an administrative block, central stores, kitchens, a recreation hall and the assistant medical officer’s residence. Like most large institutions of this age and type the sexes were separated into…

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The Truth behind Edmonton’s Haunted Hospital~

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…

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Weissensee Abandoned Children’s Hospital – Berlin

We are in Berlin, where an empty, tumble-down, complex sits amidst handsome new apartment buildings in Weissensee neighborhood. Though a curious passerby probably never wouldn’t guess it, this crumbling graffiti gallery was once a cutting-edge pediatric medical facility, abruptly banished 20 years ago to a bizarre limbo that continues to this day. The story of so-called Kinderkrankenhaus-Weißensee (Weissensee Children’s Hospital) began in 1908, to help combat rising infant mortality rates at the time. Construction got underway in June 1909, overseen by the prominent architect Carl James Bühring, who built a…

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St. Ignatius Hospital: abandoned but not forgotten

St. Ignatius Hospital is a former manor hospital located in Colfax, Washington, United States, established in 1892 by the Sisters of Providence from Montreal, a religious institute of Roman Catholic sisters founded in 1843 by Mother Émilie Gamelin (beatified in 2001 by Pope John Paul II). The Hospital, the first to serve Whitman County, operated from 1893-1964 and during its early years, nurses treated patients in a wooden building on-site, as construction of the hospital wasn’t complete until 1894. Historically, the first patient was a pneumonia case, and in the…

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Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane of New York: Its history and the 400 found suitcases.

Perhaps the Victorian buildings may be falling to pieces, but the contents inside them betray a lot about the sometimes happy, sometimes tragic lives of patients at Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane. Even if asylums often carry connotations of dark and terrible existences, Willard and other institutions like it were intended to be a better alternative to systems in place for taking care of the mentally ill. Historically, in the early 19th century, those without anyone to care for them and incapable of taking care of themselves were left…

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