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Linda Vista Hospital – a haunted Hollywood location

Nikola Petrovski
David French (DMCrandall) CC BY-ND 2.0
David French (DMCrandall) CC BY-ND 2.0

Abandoned spaces often have an eerie quality. The empty hallways and dark rooms and semi-ruined cellars have always piqued the curiosity of urban explorers, vandals, and casual rovers.  And these very people are the ones that bring us the stories of ghosts, spooks, ghouls, and echoes.

One such story begins in Los Angeles on St. Louis Street and involves an abandoned hospital. In the neighborhood of Boyle Heights, there stands the Linda Vista Hospital. Opened in 1904, this self-sufficient institution had its own cows, chickens, and gardens. This means that the patients always had fresh milk, vegetable, eggs, and pretty much everything else they needed.

The hospital’s back building. Author: Downtowngal CC BY-SA 3.0

The hospital’s back building. Author: Downtowngal CC BY-SA 3.0

The designs of the hospital belong to an American architect by the name of Charles Frederick Whittlesey and back in its early days, this institution was known as the Santa Fe Railroad Hospital. The purpose of this hospital was to serve Santa Fe Railroad’s employees.

In 1924 the hospital was demolished and was once more rebuilt in the style of Mission Revival architecture. Later when the Great Depression hit the United States and a period later when the U.S. joined World War II, the reputation of the neighborhood of Boyle Heights slowly declined as did the status of the hospital.

Santa Fe Railroad Hospital. Author: USC Digital Library Public Domain

Santa Fe Railroad Hospital. Author: USC Digital Library Public Domain

The east side of Los Angeles gradually became a notorious zone where the crime rate rose with each passing day. Over time, the hospital lost its funding which further meant that the hospital had to let go of some of its employees. But the number of patients kept increasing.

Unable to cope with the influx of patients, the hospital staff had a huge death toll on their hands. During the 1970s and 80s, hospital rooms were filled with patients suffering from gunshot wounds. In the meantime, more people continued to die, both on the streets and in the hospital.

Linda Vista Community Hospital general view. Author: Downtowngal CC BY-SA 3.0

Linda Vista Community Hospital general view. Author: Downtowngal CC BY-SA 3.0

It was 1988 when the hospital stopped admitting patients. What few doctors remained chose to seek employment elsewhere and the Linda Vista Hospital – as it was known by now – hit rock bottom. It wasn’t long before the hospital was closed forever. It was 1991 when its doors were finally shut.

Once closed, the speculations about Linda Vista Hospital started to spread like a wildfire. Talks about a history of patient abuse and mistreatment were regular. With time, there came the eyewitness accounts of ghosts and demons such as the one from room 323.

Linda Vista Community Hospital alternative view. Author: Los Angeles CC BY-SA 3.0

Linda Vista Community Hospital alternative view. Author: Los Angeles CC BY-SA 3.0

According to this tale, a treacherous patient was kept here. When he died, his ghost continued to occupy the room and the anger he had while he was alive never faded. It is said that growls and howls are heard from this room.

Another story is about the hospital’s boiler room. According to some rumors, it was here that the doctors burned the bodies of unidentified patients in order to make room for the new ones.

Frontal view of the hospital. Author: David French (DMCrandall) CC BY-ND 2.0

Frontal view of the hospital. Author: David French (DMCrandall) CC BY-ND 2.0

Another tale involves a young girl who has roamed the hallways of this hospital since the day when she died on top of the operation table. As with many ghosts, her identity is unknown.

But even though there are countless haunting stories about this place, Hollywood has used this place as the filming location for a number of movies such as To Live and Die in L.A, Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return, The Cell, Insidious Chapter 2 and 3, among many others. Duran Duran also filmed the music video for “Falling Down” as did the Foo Fighters for their song “Best of You.”

During the renovation process. Author: David French (DMCrandall) CC BY-ND 2.0

During the renovation process. Author: David French (DMCrandall) CC BY-ND 2.0

In 2011, part of the hospital was renovated and converted to Linda Vista Senior Apartments. But according to ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts continue to insist there are signs of the supernatural in the building despite the remodeling effort.