Status: Former Salvation Army Maternity Hospital; Former Nurses Residence; Former Nursing School; Abandoned
Opened in September 1923 by the Salvation Army, Grace Hospital was Newfoundland’s first maternity hospital. It was first built for the benefit of unwed poor mothers who had nowhere else to go. Those wonderful single mothers we all sanctify, without whom many of us wouldn’t be here, who so often face(d) judgement and distain both now and in the past.
When the hospital first opened it only had 22 beds but had quickly expanded to 100 beds and added a children’s ward by 1929. The site was chosen as the second nursing school in the Province and Mary Southcott was brought in to create it – she had just left her position as the nursing supervisor at St John’s General Hospital over a conflict with her methods.
In the 1950’s the facility was expanded to 200 beds and they began taking in more patients than just pregnant mothers. In the 1960’s the hospital was updated and the nurse’s residence – which is all that remains of the campus now – was added.
In 2000 it was decided by the Provincial Government that a further expansion of the Health Sciences Centre would be cheaper than updating Grace. Grace was closed and slated for demolition.
In 2008 most of the campus – including the main hospital with its iconic smokestack, the 2 residences on Pleasant Street and all the out buildings constructed in the 1920’s were razed to the ground.
Only the nurse’s residence remains on the site now with an estimated cost in the millions to just remove all of the asbestos. It will be much longer before there is nothing here to remind us of a facility that faithfully served part of the population that had no where else to turn for almost 80 years.
Reports of paranormal activity date back to before the hospital closed, through the demolishment and into today.
There are reports of an apparition in what was the main hospital parking lot clearly not animal or human as it had no legs or anything visible below its waist. It wonders where the parking lot once was and has been known to stop and let out a mournful loud howl into the night. It is most often seen in the so-called dead hours between 230am and 430am.
A nurse leaving work in the dead of winter saw a woman walking toward the building. What immediately grabbed her attention is that the woman was not wearing any winter clothing and it was a bitterly cold night. The woman disappeared around a corner and the nurse followed thinking it could be a wandering patient. When the nurse rounded the corner, the woman was nowhere to be seen; only footprints in the snow that led to a solid brick wall before suddenly stopping.
A member of the demolition crew in one of the residences kept seeing someone peeking out of the doorframes in his peripheral vision. The workman eventually walked toward the room he was seeing things from only to find an empty room – no furniture and no one. After returning to work the person started peeking again. This time he got a good look – good enough to identify a small boy in a hospital gown who was floating above the floor.
Other Activity: apparitions of former patients and staff many of whom have reacted to the living; disembodied voices; unexplained noises including phantom footsteps, screams, babies crying, breathing, laughing, knocks and loud bangs; light anomalies; shadows watching from and moving past the empty windows; electrical disturbances; cold spots; an eerie feeling that permeates the area the entire campus once sat on and feelings of being watched and not being alone.