6248 University Park Drive, Radford

(540) 260-3111

Status: Former School, Former Insane Asylum, Haunted Attraction


Paranormal Investigations are Permitted


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All Photos Courtesy of BreezieBabyBrie


Previous to any structures being built on this land it suffered more than one tragedy and horrible act. In the 18th century the new European settlers clashed over the land with the Indigenous population. This culminated in a raid that led a number of pretty gruesome murders and hostages being taken. In the Civil War the Union shelled Confederate positions from the spot where the sanatorium is now in one of the most violent battles of the war.

This building opened in 1892 as a Lutheran all-boys school. Not only was bullying not stopped it was avidly encouraged as part of a competitive environment. The only real results of this social experiment were a large number of suicides – God culling the weak in the eyes of the Lutheran masters – oh, and a championship football team. The school closed in 1911.

With the school was shut down the building soon re-opened as an Insane Asylum in 1916. The asylum was originally designed to be one of the better ones of the time with a rooftop garden, a farm and a bowling alley.

Unfortunately, St Albans seems to have become an experimental treatment center; even more so that its sister asylums. All sorts of treatments were tried on the patients who were given no choice. Many of these so-called “treatments” ended the patient’s left or exuberated their conditions.

These treatments included prefrontal lobotomies, electroshock therapy – often used against something as common as depression, cold water therapy – wrapping the patient head to toe in freezing cold wet towels or hydrotherapy – leaving the patient in a bath for long periods; up to days at a time. There was also Insulin Therapy where insulin was injected into a patient resulting in a coma that was supposed to cure many mental illnesses.

St Albans also suffered from the same issues as other asylums in the same time did; overcrowding and under staffing. In 1945 it was running with 6,509 patients and only 48 staff making care an impossibility. Between the experimental treatments and terrible lives that patients led the building was – once again – home to a large number of suicides.

As with other similar institutions with the advent of anti-psychotic and mood enhancing drugs the population of the sanatorium began to fall and so did the budget. In the 2003 – after many cutbacks - the hospital closed and the doors were locked.

For a period of time, it was abandoned and thus vandalized and became a famous late night party spot.

Eventually a former patient bought the old sanatorium and refurbished it. It has been re-opened as a haunted attraction hosting events such as a haunted house. It also, periodically, hosts overnight paranormal investigations.  All events and investigations can be booked on their website.


Paranormal Activity

This location has been called the most haunted in eastern North America.

Full body apparitions are most often seen – and photographed – in the part of the building used to treat alcoholics.

The phantom sounds of old rifles being firing, the smell of canyon smoke and misty swirling mists are thought to be from the Civil War battle and are very common on the hospital grounds.

The bowling alley is haunted by 2 female ghosts: 1) Allie who is thought to be a young daughter of one of the patients; 2) Gina Hall who was murdered near the sanatorium in 1980.

People have been touched by an invisible entity in the “suicide bathroom” located in the female ward. No less than 4 people committed suicide in this room.

Disembodied voices have been heard in the former electroshock therapy room.

Shadow figures have been seen darting up and down the stairs.

Other Activity: warm and cold spots; unexplained winds and breezes; phantom laughter, crying, footsteps and screams; feelings of being watched, not being alone and not being wanted.