Paranormal Activity at
Indiana State Sanatorium
- Disembodied voices, both male and female, have been heard around the complex
- Poltergeist activity has been reported in the laundry rooms by past workers
- An apparition of a woman has been seen around the sanatorium
- Sounds of coughing and wheezing have been heard around the sanatorium
- Phantom footsteps have been heard in the stairwells of Adams Hall
- Visitors have reported unexplained uneasy feelings around the property
- Past investigators have recorded purported EVPs throughout the sanatorium
Indiana State Sanatorium:
On the Front Lines of an Epidemic
Up a long, snaking road a few miles east of Rockville, Indiana, lies a sprawling complex hidden in the woods around Little Raccoon Creek. Travel far enough up this road, and you’ll find the remains of Indiana State Sanatorium.
Once a large tuberculosis (TB) treatment center, the complex underwent many expansions before it closed. This made for a property as eclectic as it was expansive.
Today you can still find an assortment of medical center buildings frozen in time here. From the left behind luggage to the dark halls and tunnels, an ominous air hangs over every acre of Indiana State Sanatorium.
So, it should come as no surprise that this maze of dilapidated structures comes with a few ghost stories.
Timeline of Indiana State Sanatorium's History
Swipe or use timeline points to see Indiana State Sanatorium through the years
In the early 1900s, tuberculosis was an ongoing epidemic around the United States. Indiana responded by raising funds for a state-of-the-art treatment facility in 1905. On a 504-acre plot of land outside the town of Rockville, work began on this new tuberculosis hospital.
By 1911, the new hospital was fully open and operational. The hospital included a main administration building and two wings, one for men and one for women. Each wing had long porches for patients to get plenty of fresh air.
Indiana State Sanatorium continually expanded through the early decades of the 1900s. Tuberculosis continued to ravage the region, so patients were always in need of care. In 1922, the complex added a superintendent’s house and two smaller homes for doctors to always be near to the remote facility.
Treatments done in this era were unfortunately ineffective. Many patients came to Indiana State expecting to die soon, and many did. But some endured damaging treatments and surgeries, including rib removal, in hopes of curing their disease.
Into the 1950s, Indiana State continued to expand. The complex added a five story wing, Adams Hall, in this era for staff residence. But as the sanatorium progressed, so did science. Also in the 50s, scientists perfected streptomycin as a treatment for TB. In a short few years, the disease went from a slow death sentence to a completely curable ailment.
It wasn’t long before facilities like Indiana State were no longer needed. The sanatorium operation ceased in 1968, but the property’s life was far from over.
The complex reopened in 1976 as the Lee Alan Bryant Health Care Center. The property spent the rest of the century as a nursing home and a private mental hospital under that name. Even with the replacement of the old TB wings with the new nursing home, the property aged quickly.
By the early 2000s, upkeep and patient care costs had left the health center with few options. The facility closed for good in 2011. This happened seemingly overnight, as belongings and equipment remained.
Though the last patients left the property in 2011, activity still lingered. After years of abandonment, ghost stories swirled around the old Rockville hospital. In response to these tales and reports, the property opened to ghost tours and investigations in 2021.
Since then, even more ghost stories have brought interested tourists to Rockville. But just who is haunting this old hospital, and where in the mess of buildings and tunnels might you find them?
Poltergeists in the Sanatorium Laundry
One well-known paranormal report about Indiana State comes from the laundry facilities. While most people wouldn’t consider a laundry room especially scary, Indiana State’s may have those folks thinking twice.
Even during the hospital’s operation, visitors and workers alike have reported strange things in the laundry rooms.
Witnesses have reported the activity to be like that of a poltergeist. Reports in the laundry rooms include objects being moved or tossed by themselves. While others have reported laundry machines being activated by themselves.
Apparitions at Indiana State
The sanatorium property is no stranger to shadow figures either. Several visiting ghost hunters have captured shifting shadows and apparitions in their videos. And, some have reported one apparition quite commonly, that of a woman.
This woman’s figure is known for wandering the campus, often seen around the laundry facilities and old offices. Perhaps she is the source of the laundry’s poltergeist activity?
Do These Sanatorium Walls Talk?
Strange sounds and unexplained voices are also reported around Indiana State’s corridors. Both male and female disembodied voices have been heard echoing through the halls in just about every building.
And, many visiting investigators have claimed to capture these voices on recordings. Additionally, sounds of coughing and wheezing are heard in the older wings of the complex. It’s as if some long lost tuberculosis patients are still checked in.
Indiana State’s Spooky New Life
Though long threatened by overgrowth, the complex is making the long journey back from abandonment. Though only open to the public for a few short years, the facility has become one of Indiana’s most well-known haunted locations.
Tours, special events, and regular ghost hunts get increasingly popular all the time.
As it gains notoriety, ever more ghost stories spread about Indiana State Sanatorium. Booking your own sanatorium experience is as easy as visiting the complex’s website and picking the option that’s best for you.
Just be sure to bring a powerful flashlight and some good walking shoes. The property’s hundreds of acres will keep you moving but don’t worry, these are hauntings worth hiking for.