Royal Hospital Haslar

Haslar Road, Gosport, UK

Status: Former Royal Navy Hospital; Retirement Community

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History

In 1745 the 4th Earl of Sandwich partnering with the British Admiralty presented plans for a new naval hospital to King George II. Gosport was one of three possible locations for this facility.

Records are spotty of the construction and opening of the hospital but October 12, 1753 is generally accepted as the date the facility opened.

Even before the building was opened injured sailors were already living on the grounds in tents the need for the facility was so great.

In 1762 the two wings on the either side of the building were constructed. However, this still didn’t alleviate the continual overcrowding. There were so many patients either waiting for, or recovering from, medical treatments that unused ships needed to be converted into patient accommodations.

By 1790 the site’s population was 2,100 partly due to the medical staff’s families living there. Pensioned sailors with their families were also living in the attic space having no where else to go.

Because most of the sailors in the Royal Navy had been press ganged into serving a stay in the hospital was used by many as a hopeful means to escape the Navy. Due to this the facility was designed more like a prison than a medical facility.

All room doors were locked at night and the perimeter was heavily patrolled by armed soldiers. During it’s brief abandoned period many people remarked the top floors were like a modern hospital and a maximum security penitentiary on the floors where the patients were housed.

The staff wasn’t the best either. Nurses smuggled in rum in pig’s bladders through the sewers and many were drunk on duty. Patients also complained of staff stealing their food and threatening them with poisoning and/or violence if they told anyone.

In the 19th century massive causalities from both the Napoleonic and Crimean Wars filled the wards. There was no triage system at the time and treatment – no matter your wounds – was first come; first served. This led to large numbers of sailors dying from their wounds in the hospital.

In the 20th century the hospital cared for the massive casualties of both world wars including being completed emptied of all patients on the eve of D-Day – the British, Canadian and US invasion of Nazi occupied Europe – in anticipation of overwhelming casualties.

The hospital continued to operate in through the rest of the 20th century and into the 21st; with partnerships with the public hospital system and the NHS (National Health Service). The facility closed in 2007 and was opened as a public hospital until 2009.

Between 2018 and 2020 the facility was converted to a retirement residence which it remains today.

 

Paranormal Activity

It is unclear how many people have died at this facility, but it is in the thousands and possibly tens of thousands.

Archaeological digs on the site have found some graves stacked 5 deep with bodies. It is estimated between 8 and 20 thousand bodies lie in the burial grounds – which is just a grass field today – at the site. This estimation does not include the plague pits (mass graves) on site.

This location is one of the most haunted locations on Earth.

One ghost that has been named Michael was active long before the hospital closed. He was known most for poltergeist activity in the kitchens and playing pranks on the kitchen staff. The taps would often turn on by themselves, the radio volume would turn down as well presumably when Michael didn’t like the song playing.

Objects also were reported as moving on their own including papers being knocked off of a desk in an empty room multiple times.

The apparition of a woman named Margaret was often seen on the spiral staircase. She is described as being an elderly lady and often disappears shortly after being seen. She is thought to have died accidentally in the vicinity of the staircase.

A man named Derek, who is reported as being eternally angry, is reported as an apparition who obviously died from multiple stab wounds. Cutlery suddenly flying across the room and doors opening and closing on their own is also blamed on Derek.

When new construction accidentally dug through one of the plague pits the paranormal activity quickly reached an insane limit. Things were thrown at the windows of the hospital when no one living was outside and screams that were described as “unholy” echoed through the campus.

Thankfully, the activity subsided after the pit was blessed.

A Grey Lady apparition is often seen walking the grounds. She is usually seen after dark and will walk right through buildings that did not exist in the past. She is thought to be either a former nun or nurse.

The Canada Block – built by money raised by Canadian women – is one of the most active areas. It was built during World War I and the most reported apparition is that of a nurse who hung herself there during that war. Unexplained noises and electrical disturbances are often reported here.

The apparition of a man is frequently seen wondering the grounds and seeming to be looking in windows. If approached he will disappear. He is most often seen near the corridor outside of the gallery which is reported as often going suddenly cold as ice.

His reflection is also frequently seen by those in the corridor, appearing behind them in windows. When they turn around no one is there.

In what used to be the Senior Rates Mess unexplained puddles of water will appear, some areas are freezing cold well others are warm and unexplained tapping sounds are heard.

Large amounts of etheric energy is often felt in F Block which used to be the psychiatric ward.

In a corridor outside of the operating theatre staff have reported a feeling of being watched and fell a sudden sensation of fear. Phantom footsteps are also heard in this corridor. A medium has identified the ghost of a man who died when hole was drilled through his skull in a failed attempt to alleviate swelling due to a blood clot.

In what used to be Children’s Ward A the ghost of a little girl is often seen running in the hallways and rooms. Long ago there was a disastrous fire in this area that resulted in the deaths of many children.

The cellars, which are closed off now, were once used as operating theatres and to hold the insane patients. Phantom screams and the clanks of chains are reported in this area.

There are many other reports of pretty much every conceivable type of paranormal activity throughout the site.