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Does the Haunted Hospital Exist?

Updated on October 30, 2011

Every year, stories surround a haunted hospital appear and every year the urban legend renounce its existence. The website Snope, the ultimate resource for urban legends, dates the story back to the 1980s. Despite no proof that the haunted hospital exists, those that want to believe the story just can’t seem to let go of the myth.

The Myth

The basic idea behind the haunted hospital is that it is a Halloween-themed attraction made so scary that almost no one can make it all the way through. According to the story, you pay $25, $40, or $50 to gain admission to the attraction. If you get through the entire space, you get your money back. Modern versions of the story claim that you get a certificate of completion or a special grand prize. Forum posts from people who heard the story from a friend of a friend, make the prize even larger. In the newer stories, you get a percentage of the entire night’s take from the owners and in some stories, the haunted hospital even offers you a job.


Growing up in Dayton, Ohio I always heard the story as a Cincinnati attraction. During my teen years, the location shifted from Cincinnati to Dayton and back again. After moving to Indiana, I discovered similar stories told about Indianapolis and Chicago. The story also appears in parts of Kentucky and Michigan, but oddly enough, the details rarely change.

The Basics of the Story

According to the haunted hospital legend, the attraction is so scary that very few people ever make it out, at least not alive. Depending on which version you hear, the hospital has two floors, four floors, five floors, or even six stories. Most stories claim that you must sign a waiver, which gives the employees free reign over your personal safety. The workers can shove you, hit you, and even push you down stairs or out windows. No wonder it is so hard to escape!

Where's the Proof?

In 1996, a Dayton area radio station ran a story on the haunted hospital and discovered that it was just a legend. No one that claimed to visit the hospital could ever give a location or even any clear details. In most cases, the stories came from a friend of a friend or a distant relative. While there are several attractions in the Midwest with the haunted hospital theme, the story most know does not actually exist.

What Makes it a Legend

When you have the story in front of you, you can easily see why the haunted hospital it just a legend. Haunted location and haunted attraction forums have posts published every year from someone claiming that they visited the hospital or had a friend that went, yet no one ever lists any real information. No website, phone number, or any type of contact information exist for a haunted hospital of this type. A Facebook page for the haunted hospital includes images from a real abandoned building, but not one used for the haunted hospital.

According to Snopes, the haunted hospital story is just a story. I published a piece years ago on that legend and it still gets comments from readers asking for its location and from readers that swear they were there. Until anyone finds a website or steps forward as the owner of the haunted hospital, this has to remain an urban legend.

If you still believe a haunted hospital exists in Cincinnati, Lexington, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit or anywhere else in the Midwest, just consider the liabilities. Imagine a single person getting shoved down the stairs or pushed out a window. I’m sure that if such a thing existed, we would hear about the lawsuits, if nothing else.


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