Last Friday night the LAGP team ventured into the haunted hallways of the famed Linda Vista Hospital. Located southeast of downtown LA in what can best be described as a dangerous neighborhood, we were given a 15 minute window to arrive and be let in the locked chain link gates surrounding the property. I don’t know which was more frightening: the prospect of the night’s investigation or this warning!
Linda Vista was originally built in 1904 by the Santa Fe Railroad to care for its employees. Much later it became a community hospital and was closed in 1992. It is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
As advised, we arrived promptly after the sun had set and were let into the building by the caretaker. Having spoken with other investigators who had visited the hospital before, we decided to concentrate our efforts on the supposedly very active surgical suite area. However, as soon as we walked into the main corridor things began happening. We heard what sounded like distant keys and movement through a set of open doors to our right. As we shined our flashlights into this hallway, the elevator doors opened and closed in front of us. Carol rushed in with her KII meter and it lit up with activity.
Sam ventured down the hallway where we first heard the noise and it turned out that the security guard has just locked up a set of doors. Sounds explained. We postulate that the elevator doors had something to do with him, but can’t be certain, especially since subsequent KII readings in the elevator produced no effect. And, by the way, these elevators are next to what is supposedly the original morgue.
We continued on down the main north/south corridor, peeking into the various examination rooms along the way. The hospital is also used as a film location and this became evident as all manner of set dressing had been left behind. One room was covered in graffiti to look like a mental patient’s cell. There was an office that seemed to have actual patient records. These “touches” definitely added to the spooky atmosphere.
As usual, we only had our night vision cameras and a red flashlight to find our way around. Given its location, we were actually on guard just in case we ran into a real live person hiding in the old building that the security guard had missed. As we turned down the far corridor and walked toward the surgical wing, there was a loud rustling that was headed straight toward us…talk about a horror film moment! We cautiously approached and learned the noise was coming from inside the walls or ceiling. It was either a raccoon or rat that had made its home in the old building. So far, Linda Vista was delivering on scares.
Entering the first of two surgical suites, we took up positions on the floor and began an EVP session. Heard many low knocks and such, but after the animal in the walls incident, none of these could be substantiated as being paranormal. However, there was a sound like a door opening that came from the hallway. You decide if this was the sound of an animal or something paranormal:
Several knocks came from a side room and warranted Carol going in to investigate. She didn’t make contact with anything, but all of thought we heard a voice respond “no” to the question, “Are you afraid?” But it wasn’t audible on our audio recorder when we reviewed that tape. We remained in place for a good half hour, until I got bored and went to check out the hallway again. Heard some popping sounds from the room across the hallway and Carol joined me. She was taping at the time and noticed what seemed like shadows passing across the junction with the main corridor. below an exit sign. I could see them as well, but they were indistinct in the darkness. However, our video camera could not pick up the shapes in the darkness.
We decided to investigate that end of the corridor, which is nearer the street outside. These rooms were in much worse condition and some had boarded-up windows that allowed in outside noise. The curious thing down here was that both Sam and I smelt what could only be described as “hospital” or “band-aid” scent. Very strange given that there was obvious outside airflow.
We returned to the hallway outside the surgical suite area and sat down. Someone had been doing some kind of paranormal work recently as there was an arm chair set-up across from a large framed mirror. Creepy if you believe in the power of the supernatural to harness mirrors as portals into our world. We again began an EVP session in an attempt to contact any former patients or employees. At the same time, we kept seeing those moving shadows down the hall again towards the main north/south corridor. They were just faint enough that the would not register on video. There also appeared to be dim flashes of light near floor level. We could not explain these since there was no way headlights or other outside sources would be seen in this area. Were these shadows simply our eyes trying to make sense of the dark or were they faint evidence of the thousands of people who had once walked those same passages?
Before our time was up, we decided to walk through the basement area where the old boilers, incinerators and industrial equipment was located. There were high EMF readings down here on many pipes and other equipment.
The only odd thing that occurred in this area involved the overhead lighting. Sam and Carol were checking the EMF reading on an electrical junction and I had gone on up ahead down a long tunnel. The overhead lights at the start of this passage appeared to be turned on and were providing illumination for Sam and Carol. They then joined me at the far end of the tunnel and we walked up a flight of stairs to see if the mental hospital building was open. It was not, so we returned to the underground tunnel, which now appeared dark. Both Sam and Carol insisted that the lights had been on…but were they fooled by the IR lights on their video camera? We did not have any physical proof and I had been using a flashlight to find my way so I couldn’t be certain if they were or were not.
Upon exiting the building, we decided to risk getting our photo taken by the sign out front. The park across the street had been the site of a gang-related shooting earlier in the week, so we were on edge. However, what we did find when we checked our camera surprised us. Sam snapped a photo of the sign and in it is a strange mist that was not visible to the naked eye. And none of us smoke, so it can’t be attributed to that. What it is is anyone’s guess….
All in all Linda Vista lived up to its reputation as a paranormal hotspot and we would most certainly welcome the opportunity to visit again.