It’s 1905, the city of El Paso is preparing to welcome one of it’s newest and most impressive hospital’s yet. With 4 floors and approximately 19,000 square feet, the Albert Baldwin Heath Resort was built primarily as a sanatorium to serve El Paso’s spreading tuberculosis problem.
The hospital was home to hundreds of patients, many of which died during throughout the years. The building was sold numerous of times, and went through a number of name changes as a result, including the Homan Sanatorium in 1910, St. Josephs in 1927, and Southwest General Hospital in 1937.
There are several stories of the paranormal at Southwest General Hospital, however the most popular is of a young woman who worked as a Respiratory Therapist. According to ex-employees, the woman wouldn’t like to wait for the service elevator designated for employees and would take the old public elevator instead since it was faster. One day, the woman pushed her cart through the elevator door, but before she could close the old gate behind her, the elevator dropped, pinning her body in between floors. She died. Another similar story involves an old maintenance worked named Charlie, who also died in the elevator.
Today, the hospital’s third floor remains in use as general use facility for the elderly and disabled.
Many visitors have similar experiences. The first reported sighting was in 1936, when a psychic claimed to have sensed the spirits of a woman and of a man who died in an elevator. The ghost of the young nurse has been spotted several times since, most notably during the filming of The Burning Plane where production crews had to continuously ask someone to tell a nurse to stop coming to the window on the fourth floor. At that time, the fourth floor was closed and had been unused for years. The ghost of Charlie the maintenance man is also regularly spotted. People say they see him in the elevator, where he opens and closes the doors throughout the day and night.
On the birth center and surgery center level of the hospital, screams are regularly heard. On the main floor, children’s spirits are said to still occupy the hospital. Children’s laughter is regularly head. A security officer who once worked at the building is said to have seen numerous little hands pressed up against the windows on the fourth floor. When he went inside to check, all that was left was a trail of small powdery foot prints on the first floor and hand prints on the main doors as if the children were trying to push themselves outside. The powder came from drywall that was left on the fourth floor during construction at the time. Another popular story is when the hospital had a fire scare.
Most recently, a woman staying at the hospital claims she went to visit her grandmother on the third floor, while leaving she accidentally pressed “B” thinking it meant Bottom Floor. The elevator rushed to the basement instead, slamming the doors open to a dark, cluttered room and a single light at the end of the hallway. “A tremendous fear came over me, I began to panic and started pushing the 1st floor button,” she said. “Then the smell of perfume passed my nose. Followed by the cry of a child and then a lady’s voice whisper ‘I’m here.’ The next day my mom, who stayed with my grandmother told me about someone touching her on the arm to wake her up. That morning my grandmother asked my mom where the little girl went.”
Southwest General Hospital is now known as LTAC Hospital. It is located at 1221 N Cotton St, near Scenic Drive. The hospital is closed to anyone that does not have official business there. If you visit the area, please stay outside and try to spot the ghosts from the windows, if you dare. ?