Paranormal Claims at
- People have reportedly recorded EVPs around the sanatorium property
- Unexplained, eerie feelings have been reported near the old buildings
- Strange anomalies have been reported in photos around the property
- Shadow figures have been seen lingering around the grounds
Seaside: From Sanatorium to State Park
Along the misty ocean shores of Waterford, Connecticut, sits an almost forgotten relic of healthcare history. While from the main road, you might only notice a small brown sign marked, ‘Seaside,’ the path beside the sign will lead you somewhere truly unique.
Seaside Sanatorium, a complex of buildings sprawling across the scenic shoreline, spent many years as a tuberculosis hospital. Today, it’s known to the public as Seaside State Park.
As a state park, Seaside Sanatorium has served as the backdrop of many casual walks and scenic photoshoots.
But, some say the old buildings dotting the property haven’t forgotten their past. From eerie voices to shifting shadow figures, there is no shortage of ghost stories around Seaside Sanatorium.
Timeline of Seaside Sanatorium's History
Swipe or use timeline points to see Seaside Sanatorium through the years
In the early 1900s, tuberculosis was a major health crisis. While sanatoriums to treat the disease were common across America, doctors in Connecticut hoped to build one just for children. A small facility opened in an old hotel in 1918, but demand soon outgrew it.
With help of architect Cass Gilbert and Connecticut’s Tuberculosis Commission, a new, larger hospital took shape on Connecticut’s shore. The new facility opened in Waterford in 1934.
For a while, Seaside Sanatorium served its purpose well. Medicine of the era claimed the sunshine and ocean air in the area would help soothe symptoms. While sun and ocean air weren’t true cures, modern medicine soon came to the rescue. By the early 1950s, science had advanced to the point that tuberculosis had become treatable.
In no time, large treatment centers like Seaside Sanatorium became unnecessary. The sanatorium closed in 1958, but reopened soon after as a geriatric center, and then a care center for the mentally challenged.
Several more decades went by, with Seaside Sanatorium staying afloat as a mental hospital. Over these years, there were conflicting reports of the quality of care. Rumors spread about rampant, violent abuse taking place through the 1970s.
However, these are often thought to be nothing more than rumors. Regardless, treatment came to an end in 1996, when the facility closed for good. After that, the complex sat empty and forgotten for many years.
After almost two decades of emptiness, signs of life came back to the old hospital. In 2014, the governor of Connecticut designated it as Seaside State Park, and it opened to the public shortly after. While the buildings are not accessible, the grounds are open to the public.
Ever since opening as a park, the site has seen renewed interest and countless visitors. Some who walk the park even say they’ve spotted a few ghosts lingering with them.
A Sanatorium of Shadows
One of the most common hauntings at Seaside is shadow figures. Visitors strolling the grounds have reportedly seen misty figures of both patients and staff walking around the property.
Those who have seen them say it’s like they’re just passing from building-to-building, going through the daily motions. Others have seen less vivid figures, like mists moving in the distance.
While many visitors come to Seaside to take photos, a lucky few have caught ghostly images during their visits. Some images reportedly show shadowy figures, while others show orbs or other unexplained oddities.
Whether they appear in your photos or not, the ghosts seem to contribute a lot to Seaside’s uniquely photogenic atmosphere.
Connecticut’s Spookiest State Park
They say it’s not the buildings that make a place haunted, but the land. That certainly seems to be the case for Seaside Sanatorium. Despite the complex’s buildings being closed off, spiritual activity has still made its way to the public.
Perhaps the land around Seaside Sanatorium will harbor hauntings from its old hospital days no matter what.
As long as it remains a state park, ghost stories will likely remain a factor in Seaside’s one of a kind charm.
So, if you find yourself in Waterford, Connecticut, take a stroll through Seaside State Park. You might just find yourself on the state’s most haunted stretch of shoreline.