Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stevens Clinic/Correctional Facility

Stevens Clinic Hospital-Circa 1940s
When I sat down to do some internet research this evening, I had a very clear goal:  I wanted to find out more about a very interesting "ghost" story that I had heard several years ago and add it to my growing list of Haunted Places in West Virginia.

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
In 2001, the property was bought by the county's Economic Development Authority.  In 2006, after renovations, the former Stevens Clinic reopened as the Stevens Correctional Center, a medium security prison with 322 beds.  There is no word whether or not the inmates or staff are experiencing paranormal activity!




*Looking for more McDowell County haunted places?  Check out Welch Community Hospital!*

18 comments:

  1. My daughter worked at Stevens Correctional Center and said that down the commisary floor, D building and the laundry room was haunted.

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    1. Thanks for visiting the website, and thank you for sharing those haunted hot spots of this eerie building! I'd love to hear any stories of what went on in those locations.

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  2. I have worked there since it opened in 2006 and there is quite alot of activity tat goes on, especially on the fourth floor.

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    1. Thanks for your comment; please feel free to share any more details you might have about the paranormal activity of this location!

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  3. A small child has been seen as well as a woman walking around wearing a long dress. A tv has also fell off of its stand during the middle of the night. The second floor has a real heavy feel to it at times and one time a light came on by itself in the basement that was not plugged in at the time.

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    1. Oh, wow. That definitely goes along with the previous stories I've heard. Thank you so much for commenting!

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  4. there was a little blonde headed boy spotted at the shower doors on the 3rd floor D building by a correctional officer one night and you can hear a ball bounce against the floor and the wall. When That is not heard you can hear like a kid jumping down the steps and laughing.

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    1. That's definitely unnerving! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. the commissary room used to be the morge

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    1. Thanks for the information! That would make sense why it seems like a lot of the activity happens in the commissary!

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  6. Stevens Correctional Center has had many sightings and claims since its opening. One of a woman being seen by a nurse in the "what is now" medical unit. The woman walked down the hall to the desk where the officer is stationed, the nurse asked, "May I help you?" The lady disappeared right in front of her. The Nurse is very credible in her story. I myself along with another former employee seen a black mist down in the basement hallway. The strange thing was, I watched it on camera, she seen it first hand simutaneously. The small child can be heard in what WAS the children's clinic which houses the road crew at this time. An officer was working third floor on midnight and heard voices, which he described as a female and male speaking. As he asked the voices to stop, it continually got louder. The officer left the floor and called for someone to come to the floor.

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    1. Thanks for sharing those experiences! I'm amazed at all the wonderfully spooky stories that are coming from this location. Keep 'em coming, everyone!

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  7. I was on the 3 rd floor when i was sitting there minding my paperwork when i heard what sounded like shock paddles goimg off you could even hear the paiteint raise off the bed i was also sitting in the control room one night alone and heard a knock on the inside portion off the control room which when i heard it i insrantly turned around to see if a co wanted out the slam to my suprise there was nothing there

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    1. Thank you for those sharing your experiences; those are definitely creepy.

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  8. My sister worked there and said the water in a restroom came on with no one there. Also, she has a photo of a small child siting at the entrance in a chair and when they went in, the child was gone. Multiple people saw this at the same time and took photos of the child through the window.

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    1. Wow! Thanks for sharing. If she would like to share her photo, I'd love to see it.

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  9. I worked there from 1959 until 1962 and saw or heard any of these sightings.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I'm guessing you meant that you HADN'T saw or heard anything? That's too bad...sounds like there have been some crazy things going on.

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