Maysville is a city located in Kentucky, on the south side of the Ohio River. A large, imposing building that was once used as Maysville’s hospital sits derelict up on a hill, overlooking the city. But its future is uncertain.
The first building on the site was constructed around 1842. This wooden building became a private girls’ school in 1886, known as Hayswood Female Seminary. It was sold in 1907 to a widow named May Peale Wilson, who gifted it to the town of Maysville as its very first hospital.
Mrs. Wilson died in 1909, bequeathing an annual sum to the trust overseeing the hospital, at which point it became known as the Wilson Infirmary. In 1915, the town took over the running of the hospital and planned major renovations. The old building was demolished, and a new brick hospital was constructed on the site, now called Hayswood Seminary.
Further work was carried out to expand the hospital, and once completed in 1923 it was re-named Hayswood Hospital. For many years it served this relatively small community well, even caring for patients suffering from psychological trauma following the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941.
Hayswood Hospital was again expanded in 1971, but by now the site had reached its limits. It began falling behind with advancements in medical care, and as the city itself grew, the hospital’s location was no longer optimal for serving the community. A larger and more modern hospital opened on the city’s outskirts, at which point Hayswood finally closed its doors in 1983.
After sitting empty for eleven years, the building was sold to a property developer in 1994, who had plans to transform it into a modern apartment building. But the project encountered financial obstacles, and attempts were made in 2000 to sell it back to the city of Maysville. Once it emerged that renovation costs would be around $1m, they understandably declined.
With the costs of demolition also prohibitively high, the building has since been left to decay. By 2006, copper thieves had stripped most materials of value from inside. But it turned out that Hayswood Hospital had other attributes: it began attracting the attention of ghost hunters.
Hayswood Hospital Ghosts
People visiting have long since spoken about feelings of being watched, both inside and outside the old derelict hospital. There have also been reports of shadows of people, assumed to be former patients, seen roaming the corridors.
From outside, glowing lights have been observed through windows, and an alleged large apparition, taller than a grown man, has been witnessed on many occasions, standing with its face pressed to a third-floor window.
In 2007, a paranormal enthusiast was keen to investigate alleged sightings at the hospital. He managed to set up his camera to record video footage of the alleged third-floor apparition.
The footage shows a white figure at the window. Zooming in, the figure appears to have distinct facial features; but after a few moments it pulls back suddenly from the window, and the person filming drops the camera with a gasp. The video has been much viewed on YouTube, and even broadcast on US television.
Other ghostly reports include sounds of crying babies, and the moans of people clearly suffering in pain. These are all thought to represent people who died at the hospital at some point in the past, but who have since been prevented from going over to the ‘other side’.
The figure of a young woman holding a newborn baby has been reported on a number of occasions, walking through the hospital’s old maternity ward. They are thought to be the ghostly apparition of a woman and baby who both tragically died during labour. Many believe the woman was unable to accept the death of her baby, so she continues to roam the hospital building looking for peace.
Other ghostly forms seen at the hospital include staff who once worked there. Shadows of doctors and nurses have been reported throughout the building. One claim was from a former patient at the hospital before its closure. The man says he woke from his surgery to find two nurses watching him. But after a moment, their image faded.
The hospital building was sold again in 2018, much to the delight of the local community, who were keen for the building to be given a new purpose at last. But plans for its development seem to have been scuppered once more, with estimated costs now around $2 million – much of this being the disposal of asbestos used in its original construction. These days, the hospital is still a place of interest for those investigating paranormal occurrences – both officially and unofficially. Local police are frequently called to the building to investigate unauthorized intruders. According to some rumors, ghosts from the hospital still haunt the entire town of Maysville.