Haunted Places: Norwich State Hospital
As any ghost hunter or paranormal investigator, you can look at a building and just tell that it’s haunted. That’s the feeling you get when you look at the abandoned Norwich State Hospital in Preston Connecticut. The structure of this building is truly terrifying. I think the fact that it held over 700 criminally insane convicts proves it.
It opened it’s doors in October of 1904 to house patients with mental illness. It began as one building holding ninety-five patients and then expanded to over twenty buildings by 1930 holding over 2,000 patients. By that time, Norwich State started bringing in tuberculosis patients, chemically dependent patients, and the criminally insane. Like most mental hospitals, the building was at an isolated area.
Many deaths took place at the hospital and out of the hospital. In 1914, the first death was recorded at Norwich State. One of their patients decided to hang himself. This would lead to other unfortunate deaths. Two employees were killed in a hot water heater explosion five years later in 1919. Other employee deaths took place out of the hospital. One person died crossing the road and a woman killed herself in her own home. Usually after a patient was released after their stay, they would brutally be murdered or tragically have their life taken away. Coincidence?
The Salmon building is one of the paranormal hot spots of Norwich state. This building was the asylum’s maximum security building where they housed the criminally insane. It was one of the hospitals original buildings. It was basically then turned into a prison, putting up bars, steel doors, and rooms that were like cell blocks. Many brutal events took place here. In 1971, the Salmon Hall closed down. When Norwich was still opened, Nurses would report seeing children on the second floor. There would also hear screaming coming from this building. A man reported hearing a door loudly scraping open. However, the only entrance to the Salmon building was on the first floor.
Just like any mental hospital like Letchworth Village, Essex Mountain Sanatorium, or Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, the patients were tortured at Norwich State. The staff would do barbaric things to the patients. Beating patients, starving them, sexually abusing them, and even packing them in ice was something they practiced. You could just imagine how the residual energy of this building must feel after those harsh treatments.
In 1996, the hospital closed it’s doors and transferred the patients to other locations. It’s reported to be haunted. It’s said that at one time it was a Native American Village. Paranormal investigators say they’re disembodied voices, doors slamming, and objects moving on their own. Most of this activity takes place in the Earle building. The tunnels are active as well. Many ghost hunters have reported hearing a woman sobbing in the hospital and find nothing. Security Guards on the property have heard beeping sounds coming from the lobotomy rooms. Colds spots have shown up on hot summer nights. On Ghost Hunters, a man that was taking them on a tour said there were “stories of screaming” about a half-dozen times, so I think it’s safe to say that there are also stories of screaming coming from Norwich State Hospital.