This Abandoned Prison is One of the Creepiest Places in Washington

Washington, with its abundance of natural wonders, harbors both enchanting landscapes and eerie, unsettling sites. Among them stands an abandoned prison, once housing some of the state’s most violent and notorious criminals. This derelict facility, now a haunted ruin, echoes with the lingering ghosts of its dark past. This is the chilling tale of the Northern State Hospital, a site that ranks among the eeriest in Washington.

Unraveling the History of the Northern State Hospital

Constructed in 1912 in Sedro-Woolley, a small town in Skagit County, Washington, the Northern State Hospital was envisioned as a cutting-edge institution for the treatment of mental illness. Boasting a capacity for 2,000 patients, the facility sprawled over 700 acres, featuring a working farm where patients cultivated their own sustenance. In addition to the hospital’s progressive approach, it housed a library, theater, gymnasium, and a cemetery.

Initially applauded for its humane mental health care practices, the hospital eventually succumbed to overcrowding and understaffing. Conditions deteriorated, leading to neglect, abuse, and even experimentation on patients. Tragically, many succumbed to diseases, malnutrition, or suicide, their final resting places marked only by unmarked graves. The hospital transformed into a chamber of horror, where the anguished cries of patients reverberated through its corridors.

In 1973, the hospital faced closure amidst scandals and legal battles exposing its atrocities. Left to decay, the buildings became a ghost town, haunted by the specters of the tormented souls who once dwelled within.

Exploring the Features of the Northern State Hospital

Spread across 225 acres, the Northern State Hospital comprises more than 40 buildings, some still standing, others in ruins. A network of tunnels connects these structures, once utilized for the movement of patients and supplies. Within these buildings lie remnants of the past, including furniture, documents, and personal effects.

Key structures include:

  1. The Administration Building: The central hub featuring a grand staircase, fireplace, stained glass window, offices, reception area, and a chapel.
  2. The Ward Buildings: Living quarters with dormitories, bathrooms, common rooms, and isolation cells for unruly patients.
  3. The Medical Building: The site for treatment and experimentation, equipped with operating rooms, laboratories, pharmacies, morgues, and instruments for electroshock therapy, lobotomy, and sterilization.
  4. The Farm Buildings: Essential for sustenance and income, including barns, silos, stables, slaughterhouses, fields, orchards, and gardens.
  5. The Cemetery: The final resting place with over 1,500 graves, most unmarked, and a crematorium for unidentified or unwanted patients.

Contemplating the Future of the Northern State Hospital

As a historical and haunted site, the Northern State Hospital merits preservation and reverence. It serves not only as a somber reminder of the troubled history of mental health care but also as a potential source of education and inspiration. Visitors can delve into the past, appreciate the present, and envision the future. Open to limited public access and guided tours, the site attracts paranormal investigators who claim encounters with various phenomena.

For those intrigued by the Northern State Hospital or wishing to offer support, detailed information is available on its website: Northern State Ghost Town.

This location transcends its role as a mere prison, embodying a complex amalgamation of hospital, farm, and cemetery. It stands as a testament to both horror and beauty, life and death—a place that etches an indelible mark on the visitor’s memory.

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