St. Ignatius Hospital

Date of Establishment

In 1892 the St. Ignatius Hospital began construction to bring Whitman County better healthcare. The construction had many constructional setbacks and funding issues as the years ticked on. The Sisters of Charity began operation the “hospital” out of a wooden building in 1893 and awaited the main building’s finish. Finally finished in 1894 the Sister proudly opened the doors and began caring for patients in the proper setting. St. Ignatius grew to support major medical developments and changes for the state of Washington, until a lack of funding resulting in its closure in 1964.  The building stayed abandoned until 1968 when it went up for sale and transformed into an assisted living facility.

The hospital’s final days would be marked in 2000 when it was abandoned yet again to sit. St. Ignatius did not die quietly however; its spirits came alive to the locals of Colfax. In 2015, the building made the Most Endangered Properties list and shot into the limelight. Paranormal communities scrambled to welcome this building into the abandoned but loved category, and the tours commenced. However, the Colfax Commerce took over owners as of September 2020, and they plan to save and restore the building. Tours and other paranormal tourism have yet to have a stack in the plan, but only time will tell.

Name & Location

Abandoned and haunted St. Ignatius Hospital sits less than a mile from Codger Pole, on S. Mill Street in the heart of Colfax, Washington. The town of Colfax is located on the Palouse River in Southeast Washington. The town is the seat of Whitman country, which is a highly agricultural county. This area was once home to bands of Palouse and Nez Perce Tribe Native Americans. In 1893 Colfax was the host town to Whitman’s County’s first Hospital. Years after their original opening, St. Ignatius established a School of Nursing in 1911. In 1941 the school was celebrated for having the first 2 male nurses in the whole of Washington state. After its closing in 1964, St. Ignatius Hospital became an assisted living facility called St. Ignatius Manor. Today its traditional name of St. Ignatius Hospital is what locals prefer to use until its future is determined.

Physical Description

The hospital is an intimidating 5-stories high with its main rows of towering windows, it appears to gloom down at visitors. The building’s overall look is abandoned, broken, and worn with its heavy overgrowth of vegetation and cracking bricks. Many have reported that when it rains outside, it’s also raining inside. The interior of the building has seen much better years, as its walls are left cracked and peeling. Graffiti, holes, and burns cover the halls as the many years of abandonment show like old wounds. It is extremely dark and the air is stained with mildew mixed with various guanos. The maze of hallways seems to confuse and turn you in circles as you navigate your way through the wings.  Many nurses and tour guides would lose their way for months until they learned the wings and corridors.

The first floor held two emergency wings, the right was for “survivable” patients and the left was not. The left-wing was for “untreatable” patients and held a direct port to the morgue in the basement below. The second floor was the Obstetrics and maternity wings, again divided across the different corridors of the buildings. On the third floor, an infectious disease wing battled to treat or contain the pandemics of its years. Surgeries and X-Rays were done on the fourth floor. Leaving the fifth floor for the Sisters and nurses to have private living quarters, locker rooms, and meal areas. This floor was said to be off-limit to all patients and their families or guests.

As of 2016 the windows and doors were sealed in hopes to keep “amateur” ghost hunters at bay, as well as vandals. The building is being cared for and in hopes of being restored in the future ahead.

Origin

St. Ignatius’s was an idea born from Rev. Jachern in 1892 when he saw this area’s healthcare needed major improvement. Traveling to Portland he meets with the Sister of Charity and plans soon fell into a way to build the hospital in the areas around Palouse and Colfax. To fund buildings at this time, it was custom for religious orders in the United States to us private donors and sponsors for the funding. So, three towns were offered the chance to bid on being the official sponsor; Colfax, Pullman, And Palouse City. The Chamber of Commerce in the town of Colfax won the bid to be the private sponsors for building the hospital.  

St. Ignatius has been surrounded by urban legends since the 1960s because many of their rooms were named after patients that formerly lived or died there. The 3 main rooms that creep guests out are Rose’s Room, The Children’s Room, and Dave’s Room. Rose was a resident when St. Ignatius Manor was a care facility for developmental disabilities. Her room and ghost are very active in the haunting, she is on multiple recordings as being angry. Every October there is an annual St. Ignatius Haunted tour in the name of its first fatality, F.E. Martin (1893). He was crushed in a railway accident and taken to the hospital only to find he’d already died.

Many reports flood the web about St. Ignatius as it returned to the limelight, however, many workers and guides have reported never really see the same ghosts twice. Though the ghost may not repeat, the encounters with them do. Whether traditional pokes and jokes or violent and disturbing; this hospital has no shortage of lore.

Mythology and Lore

During these guided tours visitors are told there have been “thousands and thousands” of deaths during this building’s history. The famed “haunting” has even caught the eye of many TV and paranormal researchers. However, no matter the guest, they must be with a tour guide. Many of the guides have heard on recording how unhappy some spirits are, like Rose. They have also nicknamed a 1st-floor hallway as “left is dead”, this is because the left-wing held the untreatable patients and lead straight to the morgue below.

Tour guides have also reported full-figure shadows about the grounds, they do not seem to take shape or human form. They also hear snatches of conversations and slamming doors when the building was empty. The 4th-floor area by the surgery ward is rumored to be a highly active area where you hear footsteps coming toward you, but never see a figure. There are many reports of figures looming in windows, lights flickering, and unworldly screams.

Televisions Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures’’ reportedly captured “authentic” paranormal evidence upon investigating. Using a full-spectrum camera they captured an anomaly of a “white misty apparition’’ roaming the halls.

Modern Pop-Culture References
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Is there anything we missed about St. Ignatius Hospital? Let us know in the comments section below!

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

Date of Establishment

St. Louis Cemetery is one of the oldest extant cemeteries in the country, it was founded and built-in 1789. This cemetery attracts over 100,000 visitors each year as one of the most haunted travelers’ destinations.

Name & Location

The cemetery is located close behind the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Before New Orleans was a big city the cemetery sat at the swaps edge of the city. It is now nearly the center of New Orleans, thanks to draining swamp lands letting settlers move past the French Quarter and continuing to build. Author Mark Twain nicknamed St. Louis’s Cemetery “the Cities of the Dead”, and to this day there is not a better fitting nickname.

Physical Description

When you first enter St. Louis Cemetery you are greeted by the bank of “oven vaults” and “wall vaults”. These tombs or vaults are stacked cabinet styles all across the left side of the cemetery. This is because of the swampy nature of this region, which wouldn’t allow for in-ground burials. Across the rest of the grounds, you can see raised or partially visible graves, due to the city sinking.

The tombs themselves do not hold a common description, however. Most are made of stone and carved with decorative designs, while others simply bare a family name and dates. Some of the more famous tombs and graves have offerings and memorial left, some even bare vandalistic marks. Most of the memorial architecture was inherited from France and Spain and matched the city’s overall look.

The character and look of the cemetery show the illusion of days past. Broken shells and cobblestones, crumbling and chipped crypts or tombs, and not to mention the labyrinth of navigating the grounds. These characteristics and more lead to the eerily quiet atmosphere over the St. Louis grounds, and what aids in fueling the “ghost stories” and uneasy feelings.

Origin

As the city of New Orleans grew, they needed a proper place to lay their fallen to rest, and not rise from the swampy wet grounds to scare the locals. In 1788 the city suffered a great fire and an epidemic that overloaded the other cemetery’s around the city. In 1789 the St. Cemetery No. 1 was built about 40 yards from the Charity Hospital, a picket fence lined its borders, and burials began immediately. They soon learned that in-ground graves would not due, as the area surrounding the city is low-lying and flooding caused the graves to rise out of the ground. In 1803 the city mandate called for above-ground tombs and vaults to put this problem to rest and unknowingly gave birth to the classic New Orleans cemetery look we now see today.  

Mythology and Lore

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 has no shortages of myths and lore’s surrounding its history, as it holds some of the most well know “horror figures” within it. For around 40,000 you can grab a spot next to some of the biggest and most haunted graves within the City of the Dead. Nicolas Cage has a tomb within this cemetery awaiting him. “Omnia Ab Uno” (all from one) is engraved in the 9-foot-tall gleaming white pyramid, which leads the world to question if he’s a closet Voodoo practitioner as well, though no proof has been found.

One of the most well known and most visited tombs is that of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Laveau was a Voodoo practitioner who used herbal remedies and spells to nurse and heal those that suffered from the yellow fever epidemic of the 19th century. Many still believe her magick is working from beyond the grave, leading visitors to leave “XXX”s etched into her grave hoping for their wishes to come true. The caretakes no longer let you etch into the stone but will allow you to leave your offerings at the tomb. Her ghost can be seen wearing a red and white turban in her hair and brilliantly colored clothes. She walks between tombs and will disappear at random, only to pop up again later. For those that disrespect her or her beliefs, she will scratch, pinch, and shove you around the cemetery until you leave. Visitors of her tomb have also reported gentle touches, unexplainable feeling ill, hearing voices from inside the tomb.

Another well-known figure to lay at rest within St. Louis’s Cemetery is Homer Plessy. The main spark in the creation of the Civil Rights moment, when he refused to move from the “whites only” section of the train. The St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 holds a large number of historically and culturally significant African American’s, which earned it a place in the African American Heritage Trail.

Another spirit that roams the grounds of the cemetery is that of Henry Vignes, a poor man who had his family tomb stolen from him. Buried in an unmarked grave in the pauper’s section, Henry’s spirit continues to appear to this day. He is described as tall, with blue eyes, so worldly appearing visitors they even speak to him. He approaches visitors and asks where the Vignes tomb is and that he can’t find it. He can also be seen at funerals grieving asking the grieving family if there is room in the tomb for him. Henry’s spirit is also able to be caught on camera as well as on EMP proclaiming “I need to rest!”

The ghost of Alphonse is also like Henry in haunting in the hopes of finding rest. Alphonse’s spirit is known to take the hand of visitors and stop them to ask if they will take him home. He’s been seen gathering flowers off other graves to place on his tomb. Some believe that he was murdered or betrayed by the Pinead family because he appears to warn anyone near their tomb to stay away.

There is no shortage of “ghost” or “spirit” sightings in this cemetery. There are almost 300 years of ghost stories and sightings reported to have happened on the cemetery grounds. To make a complete list of interacts let alone the ghost that did it would be impossible. There are too many ghostly forms to identify which is which. Reports of experiences range from friendly waving, handhold, poking, and games; all the way to attempting to truly cause harm by biting, scratching, or pushing. Scores of people and paranormal teams have examined the grounds finding various results and “proof of hauntings”, yet we still don’t have a complete list of ghostly presents just yet.

The Cemetery no longer lets visitors free-roam the grounds, due to vandalism you must be accompanied by a tour guide or caregiver. Those with family ties or tombs in on the grounds must have a pass to visit their loved ones; all others must have a licensed tour guide with them, which only cost about 15$ to 20$. The Historic Preservation Project is working with the Abandoned Tomb Imitative to restore as many tombs as possible, wither it’s because of old age or vandals recking havoc.

Modern Pop-Culture References
Books & Literature
Movies
Index
  • French Quarter.com
  • Louisiana Feed Your Soul
  • New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries
  • Ghost City Tours



Is there anything we missed about St. Louis Cemetery No. 1? Let us know in the comments section below!

Storsjoodjuret – Sweden

The Swedish monster Storsjoodjuret which roughly translates to “great lake monster” is one of Sweden’s most famous monsters. This creature has allegedly been seen by hundreds of people possibly even thousands by now. Storsjoodjuret has been investigated for years and accounts may go as far back as the early 1600s. The lake creature is described as anywhere from 10 to 30 feet long in different accounts with humps on it’s back and a possible horse-like head with large eyes and a largemouth. The color in sightings varies from black grey to red-yellows and browns. There is at least one account of video of the creature by Gun-Britt Widmark a 67-year-old man who captured the creature on his camera. A few years later investigators including Loch Ness researchers launched a campaign to capture the creature on film with no luck. So far we have yet to discover the Widmark video online though.