- People have reported seeing shadow figures with glowing red eyes
- The apparitions of nuns have often been seen around the property
- Visitors showing visible tattoos have reportedly been attacked by the nun ghosts
- A shadow figure is said to appear outside where a patient died near the back entrance
- A little girl ghost is known to play with things in the building and enjoys listening to her favorite story be read
- The hospital is said to be home to the spirit of an incompetent doctor and patients who died in his care
History of Yorktown Hospital
Go just a few steps beyond into the city limits of Yorktown, Texas, and you’ll come across a sight that makes this dusty, rural town feel much more desolate. Clad with rusty metal, wrapped in crumbling cream masonry, and with signage so faded it’s hardly readable anymore, Yorktown Hospital could be called the most downtrodden building in town.
At this point, the overgrowth of greenery around the old hospital could be seen as a positive thing, a veil hiding the full dilapidation from view. But calling this place abandoned is far from the truth. Sure it looks the part, but aside from still being open for tours and sanctioned explorations, word around Yorktown is that numerous ghosts still keep the building active as their own personal afterlife care center.
Timeline of Yorktown Hospital's History
Swipe or use timeline points to see Yorktown Hospital through the years
When Yorktown, Texas was founded in the mid-1800s, there was no need for a formal hospital. By the 1880s, the village was home to just a few hundred people, and the doctors there often managed patients through house calls and one-room clinics. If anyone needed hospital-level care, they could make the trek to San Antonio.
While less than a hundred miles, the trip was arduous for the time. But, as the 1900s took hold and industrialization brought more citizens to Yorktown, needs quickly changed.
As the town grew, more doctors and technology were soon needed. Gone were the days of tonic and serum cures; a time of science and technology was reaching the forefront of American medicine. From x-rays to lab tests, medicine grew far beyond the old house call system, and infrastructure needed to catch up.
Soon, those long trips to San Antonio became common as Yorktown residents sought out advanced treatments. It wasn’t long before the town demanded a new hospital, and the Felician Sisters arrived to make that happen.
The Felician Sisters, a religious institution closely connected with Catholicism and Christianity, often ran parish schools throughout the US, but later expanded to operating hospitals as part of the Christian acts of mercy.
One of these hospitals was Yorktown Memorial Hospital, first built in the early 1950s. A modern facility miles ahead of its competition, Yorktown Hospital provided as many state-of-the-art treatment and diagnostic technologies as it could fit.
Yorktown Hospital served the town for 35 years, treating many ailments, bringing numerous babies into the world, and easing the departure of countless unfortunate souls. While the true number of deaths at the hospital is unknown, the estimate is 2,000. Over 35 years, that would equal out to about one death per week.
When considering the health issues the hospital faced, 2,000 is remarkable. From polio and smallpox to flu epidemics and the first years of the AIDS crisis, Yorktown Memorial was open for it all.
As rapidly as medical science advanced after the hospital opened, it was only a matter of time before progress left the building behind. A new hospital opened in 1986, and Yorktown Memorial Hospital closed. After a time as a drug rehab center, the building shuttered for good in the early 1990s.
But, in recent decades, ghost stories about the hospital spread through Yorktown, eventually spreading through all of Texas. Soon, ghost hunters nationwide heard whispers of an old hospital in Texas said to be brimming with hauntings.
Ghosts of Malpractice at Yorktown Hospital?
One of the most common stories relating to the building’s hauntings is that of a supposedly incompetent doctor. Known as Dr. Leon Norwierski, the physician worked at Yorktown Hospital well into his 90s and had gained a reputation as an error-prone practitioner.
One story claims that he once slit a patient’s throat and killed them while performing a procedure on their neck. While there is much debate as to whether this incident was purposeful or accidental, there isn’t much record of it happening at all.
Yorktown Hospital’s Bloody Reality
While it may sound barbaric today, jugular cutdowns and related procedures of gaining venous access were common during Yorktown Hospital’s operation, and it was not unheard of for doctors to make devastating mistakes with jugular veins and carotid arteries during these procedures.
Regardless of the reality behind the legend, many visitors to the hospital since its closure have reported presences of both Dr. Norwierski and his patients throughout the hospital.
Yorktown Hospital Haunted by Spectral Nuns
The nuns who once ran the hospital have been spotted meandering through the grounds as apparitions as well. And, along with these numerous sightings, the ghostly nuns are said to be particularly strict about rules and decorum.
People wearing unacceptable clothes for a hospital or sporting tattoos have reportedly been accosted by these entities, being scratched, pushed, or otherwise forced out by the spirits of these nuns.
Yorktown Hospital’s Shadowy Specters
Another possibly malevolent entity is known to appear throughout the building as a dark shadow figure with glowing red eyes, and many visiting investigators have reported startling encounters with him. Outside the building, a shadow figure has been reported around the back door of the building, where a 24-hour entrance for emergencies once was.
Back then, anyone coming for help after hours needed to buzz in, and for one unfortunate soul, the buzzer was broken, and no one found him until he was dead outside the door the next morning. Now, many people report seeing a shadow figure around this same spot.
Yorktown Hospital’s Tours of Terror
Hauntings of Yorktown Hospital have become a lasting bit of legend both around Texas and across the United States. Ghost tours and investigations have become increasingly more common in recent years, with anyone able to book a photography tour, ghost tour, or private investigation at the facility through their Facebook page information.
While some of the heightened notoriety around the building might stem from its appearance on an episode of Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, the overall allure of Yorktown Memorial’s numerous paranormal tales cannot be denied. And with its eerie, abandoned atmosphere to pair with these stories, Yorktown Hospital was likely always going to be an in-demand haunted location.
Through these investigations and tours, the old hospital has been able to stay standing long after it would’ve on its own, preserving a little sliver of medical history behind some overgrowth in rural Texas.