This sanatorium was opened April 5, 1910 for the treatment of patients suffering from tuberculosis. It was renamed the Beck Memorial Sanatorium in 1949.
As well as providing treatment for tuberculosis patients it was also heavily expanded in 1917-18 for the care of soldiers returning from the horror of the battlefields of World War I.
The tuberculosis sanatoriums in Canada downplayed the truly astounding death tolls from this disease unlike many of the like hospitals in the USA. Also, no attempt has been made to allow paranormal investigations in these former hospitals like Waverly Hills in Kentucky. I am providing this knowledge so you (the website user) are aware of both the history and potential for paranormal activity.
The sanatorium was closed on September 6, 1972 as tuberculosis had been cured by that time with the use of antibiotics. Most of the site has since been converted into the CPRI (Child and Parent Resource Institute).
CPRI is still running on site
There were uncountable reports of physical, mental and sexual abuse of developmentally, physically or mentally disabled children from the staff and other residents. While the Province denies any wrong doing they have settled out of court on a class action suit.
Hot Spots: The area where the building that formerly occupied the southeast corner of property – basically just east of the swimming pool. The remains of the staircase down into the woods – follow the old sidewalk from where the building mentioned above used to be. The former surgery building is also very active.
The apparitions of former patients have been reported both within the buildings and on the former grounds. There are reports of doors and windows opening and closing on their own as well objects both disappearing and moving on their own.
Shadow figures have been spotted moving around the grounds. Also reported are feelings of unease, fear and being watched. Disembodied voices, cries and screams are heard as well as phantom footsteps.
Other activity: touches by unseen presences; empathic feelings of sadness, anger and loneliness; cold spots and unexplained winds; hot spots, light anomalies; electrical disturbances and mysterious mists.
(London Asylum for the Insane)(Ontario Hospital London)(Regional Mental Health London)
850 Highbury Avenue North
Status: Former Psychiatric Hospital (Asylum); Abandoned; Private Property (although you can enter the grounds); Being Prepared for Demolition
Photos Courtesy of Craig M
Despite Google Maps saying otherwise this Hospital is Closed Permanently not Temporarily
This institution was first opened in 1870 as the London Asylum for the Insane.
As many other similar asylums at the time this institution was opened in a rural environment and functioned as a working farm. It was thought the fresh air and farm work would help heal the patients.
Treatment also focused on social interaction which was seen as more moral than treatments in other institutions like lobotomies, cold water therapy etc.
In 1932 the name of the hospital was changed to Ontario Hospital London.
As the hospital population grew new more modern buildings were constructed and the original asylum was demolished – the original infirmary, chapel and horse barn still remain on site.
In 1968 the name was changed again into the London Psychiatric Hospital which is it’s most recognized name. Shortly before closing the name was changed to Regional Mental Health Care London.
In 2014 the facility was completed closed down with all remaining patients being transferred to other hospitals.
In 2019 a developer bought the entire property and will be converting it into a residential neighbourhood. Demolition of the modern buildings is set to begin in 2023.
The remaining buildings from the original asylum are behind the more modern hospital.
There are reports of 25,000 people buried on site in unmarked graves on the site. We were unable to verify this number and it seems excessive but not impossible. It is certain there is some number of remains buried on the site.
Reports of paranormal activity include: ghostly faces looking out of the windows before they were boarded up; disembodied voices; unexplained noises including loud bangs; cold spots; objects moving on their own; electrical disturbances; light anomalies; phantom footsteps; unexplained mists; empathic feelings of anxiety and feelings of being watched, not being alone and not being wanted.
Terry Fox Pathway
Status: Disaster and Mass Casualty Site
The Site Today
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In the late 19th century London was a city of about 19,000 people but it was rapidly growing toward the center of Southwestern Ontario that it is today. However, they needed access to a new supply of freshwater to keep the city growing.
This was resolved with the acquisition of the springs in Byron. A pumphouse and small dam were constructed at Chestnut Hill (now Reservoir Hill) to facilitate this. This had the added effect of increasing the water level for about 4 miles of the river.
This in turn led to the creation of Waterworks Park (now Springbank Park) which was well outside of the city at that time. The raised water levels allowed boat trips from the city to the new park.
The boats ran from a dock in downtown London – near where the 1st Hussars Museum is now – to a dock near the pumphouse – which is now gone but the foundations can still be seen.
The boats were built to sail over the varying depths of the river but not a lot of safety was taken into account. I mean what could happen the Thames River?
The worst of these ships was the Victoria.
In November of 1879 the London and Waterworks Ferry the Enterprise caught fire and sank through the ice into the Thames River at the downtown docks. In the Spring the ship was raised the hull repaired and expanded creating a new ship; the Victoria.
The Victoria – which was inspected by the Ontario government and declared safe in 1880 – had 2 decks, was capable of carrying 520 passengers and a brand new powerful engine allowing it to make the run to the park in 30 minutes.
The Victoria cost $5,000 ($140,000 in 2023 dollars).
On Victoria Day of 1880 the Victoria had a minor collision with the Forest City in a frightening premonition in what would happen one year later.
On May 24, 1881 the Victoria made 3 trips up and down the river with no incidents. At 3pm the Victoria docked in downtown London and upon seeing another ferry had been grounded – a second ferry was trying to pull it free to no avail – the captain ignored his schedule and immediately overloaded the boat – probably in order to make as much money as possible – and set sail for Byron and the park.
The vessel was sitting low in the water, but it is said passengers joked about how it was impossible to get into trouble on the Thames River. Apparently, the Victoria had once become stuck on the river bottom because it ran over the tin can.
The lucky passengers going to the park completed their journey, but the ship’s lower decks had become awash with water from the overloading. Regardless, the captain overloaded the boat again and started back for London.
The boat immediately began to sway back and forth so much many people jumped ship and swam/waded back to shore. The rocking got worse as the passengers ran to one of the side of the ferry to wave at the people on another ferry passing beside them; the ship nearly capsized.
By the time the ship was approaching the dock at Woodland Cemetery the water was ankle deep on the lower decks. The Captain docked there but while he took on new passengers inexplicably, he continued on although it has been said he knew the ship would never make it to London.
The rocking on the boat worsened as the passengers became increasingly excited and no one seems to have thought to make any attempt to calm them down. Near the present day Greenway Park the captain – despite not staying at the Woodland dock – decided the solution was the ground the ship on a sandbank.
As the captain was weighing his options 2 members of the London rowing club took it upon themselves to race. The passengers all ran to the starboard side to watch the race rocking the boat dangerously. Aware of the danger the passengers than raced to the port side to try to right the boat.
This resulted in the steam boiler tearing loose not only killing a number of passengers but also ripping out the support beams between the upper and lower deck. The upper deck crashed down resulting in more deaths. Now free of all it’s weight the ship righted itself and promptly sank trapping even more passengers under the river.
Two men who were swimming nearby attempted to rescue the passengers. Tragically, they were also drowned in the wreckage.
To make matters worse most of the women were in heavy Victorian dresses which dragged them down to the river bottom. Many people who escaped did not know how to swim and drowned as well.
The water below the ship was 12 feet deep.
No one recorded the number of passengers on the ship, so the estimate of deaths is between 180 and 200 people.
While the majority of the bodies were recovered quickly by another ferry it took days of searching through the wreckage with grappling hooks and poles to recover all the remains.
The wreckage, of course, has long since washed away; although, the boiler remained in the river and local teenagers used it as a jumping platform for many years.
It is still one the worst maritime disasters in Canadian history. The disaster made headlines throughout Canada, in the United States and even in Europe.
Since 1916 there has a plaque at the disaster site as a memorial to large number of lives lost.
This site is most active on the anniversary of the disaster, May 24, as well as the days leading up to and after.
There is a pervading sense of sadness and grief that still hangs over the site. This is especially strong after sunset with all the family picnickers, bikers and romantic couples gone home.
Misty apparitions are seen both in the water and climbing out of the river and up the steep bank.
Unexplained noises have been reported including phantom screams; splashing sounds in obviously calm water, the screech of the boiler ripping loose and cries of terror and for help.
On the anniversary of the disaster – as well a few days before or after – the sinking has played out before the eyes of witnesses.
Although very infrequently, there are reports of soaking wet people in out dated clothes wandering the area in obvious distress and confusion. They will disappear the minute someone is distracted or looks away.
Other Reported Activity: disembodied voices; unexplained mists usually coming from the river; phantom footsteps; electrical disturbances; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone.
(Ontario Hospital)(Regional Mental Health)
467 Sunset Drive
Status: Former Psychiatric Hospital; Some Parts of Building Repurposed; Majority of Building has been Abandoned; No Access to Grounds or Building
This location is patrolled by the OPP. Do not enter the grounds and especially the buildings without permission. Our Paranormal World does not condone Trespassing.
Construction was begun on what was then known as the Ontario Hospital in 1937. It was built on land that had previously occupied 6 family farms. In April 1939 the first 32 patients were admitted and by August of that same year the facility's population had swollen to 1,100.
Soon after the hospital opened World War II broke out in September of 1939 and the patients were moved to other facilities while the province turned the facility over to the Department of National Defense to use as a training facility. When the war ended, the site was returned to the province and became a psychiatric hospital again.
The hospital opened again in November of 1945 and was called "the most advanced in the Dominion" by its Superintendent in 1958 when its population peaked at 2,238 patients. During this time the facility operated its own farm which provided food for the entire hospital.
As the 1970's began, as with most other psychiatric institutions of the time, emphasis began to change from institutionalization to moving patients back into society to lead productive lives with the help of pharmaceuticals and ongoing care. The forensic (criminal) mental health department also opened at this time and can still be seen today - evident by the bars and wire on the windows.
In 2001 St Joesph's Health Care took over the facility and changed its name to Regional Mental Health and the hospital became part of a family of healthcare institutions all over Southwestern Ontario.
In 2013 a new much smaller building was opened on the site and the original hospital was closed down. It is rumoured that a developer will be tearing down the old site and replacing it with a commercial government property.
Apparitions of former patients and staff. Lights going on and off on their own as well as unexplained lights seen inside buildings. Empathetic feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness and loneliness as well as feelings of being watched, unease, not being wanted and not being alone. Curtains moving on their own; often times with a misty apparition seen. Unexplained bangs, cries and other noises. Disembodied voices and whispers. Light anomalies and unexplained mists.
Many urban legends have been spawned from this site but it does seem to be genuinely haunted.
96 Moore Street
Status: Former Private Girl’s School, Abandoned, Fire Site, Demolished, Residential High Rise
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History and Paranormal Activity
Alma College for Young Ladies is, or rather was, in St Thomas, Ontario. The school was opened in 1881 as a private school for girls and was closed 1988 due in part to a teacher’s strike.
It has been featured in movies including Silent Hill and Orphan.
Sadly, it was burned to the ground in 2008, ironically right after a demonstration to save the building. The fire was ruled as arson but it was set by 2 boys aged 14 and 15 and their names cannot be identified. Stories indicate they were playing with matches in the basement.
In the years 2007 – 08 one of our investigators was able to do an investigation of the site with members of the team and others.
Alma College, much like Whitby Psychiatric Hospital, was rumored on websites to be impossible to access with 24 hour security and high fences. In the summer of 2007, we decided to check it out for ourselves due to its close proximity to London.
As with many other locations, the difficulty in getting onto the grounds and into the building had been much exaggerated. We simply had to slip around the fence and we were in.
All that was left of the site was a music building, a church (which proved impossible to get into without causing damage), the main building and the ruins of the amphitheater. The grounds proved to be highly active, as they still are, leaving everyone present with an uncomfortable feeling of being watched and studied on a constant basis.
Upon entering the building, we found that the inside had nearly been gutted. Only the wall frames and the floors were intact as well as the three staircases. Individual rooms could be identified though such as dorm rooms, classroom and a library. In the library my hand was actually grabbed by a small child.
The basement was found to extremely active with a very strong feeling of not being wanted. Many light anomalies were both seen and photographed by the team as well a feeling of being watched and objects moving on there own. The most impressive EVP captured in this location was a man’s voice saying, “leave now”.
The main floor included classrooms and administration. Many voices were heard on the digital voice recorder, sometimes so many they would overlap so much specific words became impossible to hear. Despite the school being set up by a religious institution there is a surprising amount of foul language heard on all EVP tapes.
The upper floors were used as dorm rooms and by far the most active parts of the building with the exception of the staircases.
The east tower was a hotbed for dark entities, even more surprisingly these entities were easily identifiable as not only dark but also most probably former students as they were teenage girls – mean girls indeed.
Great care had to be taken in this part of the building as the girls would attempt to trip us up especially at the top of the stairs. Abusive language, threats and general disgust was picked up repeatedly on the digital recorder in the east tower.
The west tower at the rear is also called Angela’s Tower due to a legend of either a student or a teacher being tormented by other students and locked herself in a closet to escape this torment. Unable to escape she eventually suffocated to death. The very top of Angela’s Tower is said to be Angela’s room. In this area we found the residents to be very friendly – knocks were responded to and questions answered including is this Angela? The response being a very low whisper of “yes”. The apparition of a teenage girl with dark black wavy hair, a very pale complexion and a white night gown was frequently seen in this area.
Finally, we come to the main staircase which was used as a location in the film Silent Hill. The staircase formed a square of open space from the basement to the top floor. Numerous EVP activity was picked here including “Who are you?” and “Why are you here?” indicating at least some sort of awareness of the team by an entity possessing intelligence. The apparition of a woman in blue was captured as a picture here and seen many times.
It was a very sad day for us when Alma College was burned and it haunts me (forgive the metaphor) to this day. To look at the grounds now where a grand building once stood is very depressing. Paranormal activity aside, the province of Ontario lost one of its greatest heritage buildings that day.
Currently the grounds are still very much a hot spot, possibly even more active than the building itself was. I would still highly recommend doing further investigations at the site.
Paranormal activity after the fire includes: apparitions of young women, powerful of dark energy coming from the former church as well as on the ravine side of the rubble, general feeling of unease as well as of being watched and not being wanted, light anomalies, slight feelings of nausea, unexplained noises including bangs and cries coming from both the rubble and the surrounding forest and empathic feelings of loneliness, sadness and loss.