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Friday, December 6, 2013

The boy in the hospital room: A story that challenges my skepticism

Before you read this, it should be noted that I am a truly skeptical person, but not skeptical to the point where I do not believe there are numerous possibilities.. Skepticism aside, I was talking to a friend last night when I encountered a very chilling moment. 
 Let me first set the stage. Stay with me ..

St. Catherine's Hospital in Ashland Pennsylvania closed last year, the owners declared bankruptcy, all the workers were then fired and there is an ongoing attempt to sell the building and the property.. The hospital has a great value to the region, and a very big historical significance. Before being named St. Catherine's, it was the Ashland Regional Medical Center...  The location dates back well over 100 years, and it was originally a medical facility for coal miners who were suffering injury and often death due to the dangerous job they were performing. The name then was the State Hospital for Injured Persons of the Anthracite Coal Region at Fountain Springs.  The construction of the building concluded in 1882.. The original building was demolished and a new one took its place in 1967--this is what still exists on the property, though it's obviously inactive, closed, and bankrupt.. When it first was established, the rule existed that the order of patients being accepted would be 1) Miners, railroad workers, and textile workers. In the early 1900s women and children began to receive care.. 

In a setting like this, with a rich history of life and death, it would be without question to contain strange tales of paranormal activity, ghosts walking the hallways, and weird noises and creeks from the building and the walls around it..

I myself was born in this facility, my grandfather died in this facility--so the history of the building hits very close to home.

During the period of time when the hospital was closed since 2012, I had the opportunity to speak to many people who worked there,  and those who were still working there tying up loose ends until the middle of 2013.. those people consisted of nurses, administrative support, and custodial employees. None of them are employed there at this time. After the hospital was shuttered and all of the patients transferred out, there were reports given to me  of some odd things. For one, there were buzzing noises being hard at the nurses station -- no patients were in any rooms, but yet the call buttons were still sounding... Mini blinds were moving without any windows being open... And (this always seems to be a tale told in various locations) there was mysterious woman dressed in all white, appearing ghostly and walking the halls of an old closed down maternity ward on the fifth floor. 

Without going into detail due to a promise made, I can only tell you that I also witnessed some of these things first hand.. that is the only thing I am at liberty to say at this time.

But the most chilling in strange tale I have heard was told to me by more than one person. 

A story was relayed of a young boy in coal mining type clothing wandering the floors of the hospital, often the boy would show up in the room with someone who was seriously ill or undergoing an intensive procedure.. So says the tale told. 

Stories like this, the so-called crouching boy as someone named him, could be chalked up to just old wives tales, superstitious workers, or patients who are highly medicated and literally seeing things that did not exist. A little pain reliever can do that to you.  To be perfectly honest with you, though I heard it from two different people, I myself became extremely skeptical of the crouching boy story and dismissed it entirely.

Until a conversation I had last night, I was willing to say the crouching boy never existed. 

I was speaking to a friend who, back in 2006, was in the hospital for an extremely life-threatening ailment. I had forgotten that he spent time in the hospital recovering, seven years ago seems like an eternity these days..

I jokingly asked him during our conversation "did you see anything strange?" He became serious and said, "yes"..

My friend went on to describe how he saw shadows of people walking around him, whispers in the darkness.. but most important: A young boy in 'weird' clothing, vacantly staring at him from the corner of the room. As matter fact, he said he saw the boy two times. The first time when he was highly medicated on pain medicine, and the second time when he was fully recovered and leaving the hospital. He said he turned and looked in a room holding the bed of someone very sick and saw the same boy staring at that man. According to my friend, the boys stopped showing up in his room when a local priest came and performed a blessing  on him.

The story hit me very hard. It was like a giant 50 pound bag of potatoes falling down onto my stomach.

The profound part of this was that I spoke nothing of this boy or stories of him to my friend. He was not aware that I knew of this boy, and when I told him that I was skeptical of stories of him, my friend told me with 100% honesty that, the boy was there and he did not see him only when he was on pain medicine..

I was creeped out by this at initially... But then made me very sad.. If there are these souls that inhabit this old vacant hospital, what are they doing now? The electricity is cut off, there is no life within the building, and during the nighttime, the building appears as a large shadow with no light emitting from. It's like a black hole on a hill, or a monster breathing darkness and it lurks in inactivity.  If there are troubled souls who roam that hospital, they must be confused as to where all the other life is gone..

It is amazing to me that my friend told me about this boy, and the fact that he was adamant that when he was recovered completely and walking out of the hospital, he saw the boy staring at a man who is about to die.. It would seem to confirm what other staff people told me.


My friend did not say much when I told him that often patients see the children before death.. 
I asked him if he told the priest but he saw the boy. My friend said he did not. But he did ask the priest for an intense blessing..

I suppose it is something that one may keep to himself.. It's between the patient. And the crouching boy in the corner of the hospital room...

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