5201 Glenn Dale Road, Glenn Dale, MD

Status: Former Tuberculosis Sanatorium; Abandoned; Private Property; Being Redeveloped


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By <a href="//" title="User:Rosa Pineda">Rosa Pineda</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0Link


Contrary to urban legends this site was never used as an insane asylum.

In the early 1930’s a virulent pandemic of tuberculosis – also called consumption and the white plague – swept through Washington DC quickly overwhelming the hospitals. Patients had to be sent to hospitals in Virginia and Maryland.

The solution was to build one massive facility to house everyone afflicted with this terrible disease as it was communicable and often a death sentence at the time. Glenn Dale Hospital was built to fulfill this need – originally it contained 23 buildings over its 216 acres.

Before the discovery of antibiotics, the main treatment for tuberculosis was fresh air and lots of it. So, the campus was created with large open-air patios, roof top gardens and many acres of manicured lawns.

It is unclear just how many died at Glenn Dale but based on the number of patients the campus could hold and the fatality rate of the disease it would be quite a large number.

Antibiotics were discovered in the 1940’s and become widely available in the 1950’s and 60’s. The hospital population began to decrease dramatically.

In 1960 the sanatorium was repurposed as a nursing home.

In 1981 the upkeep became too much – including 20 million needed to remediate all the asbestos in the buildings – and the facility closed in 1982.

For many years the site could only be sold if the buyers would redevelop the site into a continuing care facility which kept it abandoned and falling apart for decades. Currently the core of the site is in the process of being redeveloped into a residential neighborhood with great effort being made to save the historical buildings.

This site is owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission who patrol the site with their own police force. The buildings cannot be entered without their permission.


Paranormal Activity

Apparently, there is a video on the internet claiming to have disembodied voices on its audio track. We were unable to find it but we did find a review that said most of the voices cannot be heard but there is a whisper and breath that can be clearly heard.

Another story says a bystander near the park heard a gun shot and called 911. When the sound was tracked down it an officer was found frozen in fright. He was unable to remember what happened and why he fired his weapon.

Other Activity: apparitions of former patients both inside the buildings and on the ground; shadow figures watching from the empty windows; touches, pokes and prods by unseen entities; light anomalies; electrical disturbances including equipment failure and batteries being drained; disembodied voices; phantom laughter, whispers, crying and breathing; unexplained noises including bangs; cold and hot spots; mysterious mists and breezes and feelings of unease, being watched and not being alone.