|Stevens Clinic Hospital-Circa 1940s|
That story was a tale from Panther, McDowell County in which witnesses were seeing a phantom fire engine, often described as having no driver, but always described as being an older engine, possibly from the 1950s. Locals feared seeing this engine drive by because within the next three days, a house nearby would inevitably burn down. At one point, this vehicle was being spotted so often that a local news channel, TV6, picked up the story. I had heard about it because our local WSAZ channel also picked up the story.
There are a few mentions of this tale online, but not a lot of details that I didn't already know from memory. And, surprisingly, the BEST information came from a McDowell County TOPIX post on haunted locations throughout that county. It was this TOPIX thread where I found an overwhelming amount of stories from another location: Stevens Clinic.
The Stevens Clinic opened up in Welch in 1930 under the direction of the Bluefield Sanitarium. It was named for Dr. W.B. Stevens, who along with Dr. Harry Camper worked with two other Bluefield doctors to get the hospital up and running as a 100 bed facility. The hospital closed to patients in 1987. However, it already had a reputation for being haunted.
According to the TOPIX thread, both staff and patients alike had reports of paranormal activity...and many of the personal stories that dotted the conversation were eerily similar.
One of the most prolific experiences involved a tragic death of a four year old girl who was the victim of a fire. Sounds of a baby or small child were often heard throughout the building and one nurse who was working at the hospital at the time of the girl's death reported that immediately afterwards, you could hear the child actually crying out to make the fire stop and that you could catch whiffs of a fire smell run past you in the halls.
The apparition of an unknown woman could be experienced in the former OB ward and the third floor was home not only to an unearthly moaning sound, but a man who would leave one room, only to walk into another and disappear. The second floor is also active, with lights flickering on and off on their own and sink faucets that would turn themselves to full blast.
|Stevens Correctional Center-Present Day|
*Looking for more McDowell County haunted places? Check out Welch Community Hospital!*