Once a sight of hope for the sick, the now abandoned and dilapidated Kuhn Memorial State Hospital has become synonymous with something much more sinister.
The hospital was first opened in 1832 in order to combat a smallpox outbreak. Originally named Vicksburg’s City Hospital, the facility was later used during the Civil War to treat injured soldiers, and in 1878, played a major role during the Yellow Fever Epidemic, which claimed the lives of 16 doctors and six Catholic Sisters of Mercy.
By 1871, the state had taken over the hospital and renamed it the State Charity Hospital at Vicksburg. After the state took ownership, the facility assumed a number of different roles, including housing Confederate Veterans in a specially built annex - that is, until the annex "mysteriously" burned down.
From 1910-1911, the University of Mississippi held its medical classes at the hospital. And at one point, the fourth floor served as a minimum security prison. Those incarcerated were responsible for menial tasks, such as cleaning.
The hospital also included a mental ward as well as the “Pest House,” a separate building used to house those with infectious diseases.
In 1954, a former Vicksburg resident by the name of Lee Kuhn passed away, leaving behind $400,000 and somewhat of an unusual request. In addition to leaving his estate to the hospital, Kuhn’s will instructed that a seven-person committee, consisting of three Jews, two Catholics, and two Protestants, be formed and, in turn, decide the best way to use the funds.
The committee chose to use the funds to construct a larger facility. The new building, which was located to the rear of the original buildings, was completed in 1959 and re-named Kuhn Memorial State Hospital.
By 1989, due to political and financial issues, Kuhn Memorial State Hospital closed its doors for good, leaving it vacant for decades...well, somewhat vacant.
In the years since its closing, the hospital has attracted numerous paranormal investigators and was even featured on the television series “Ghost Asylum.”
In September of 2014, members of the Mississippi Paranormal Research Institute paid a visit to the abandoned hospital. The investigative team noted several strange happenings, including the recording of the disembodied voice of a little girl saying, “Want to come play with me?”
The weird occurrences didn’t end there. The K-2 meter, which lights up when spirits are present, went off several times, a pendulum was used to successfully communicate with the undead, and perhaps the most strange, the word “help” suddenly appeared written backwards in a pile of dust on the floor of the embalming room.
In June of 2015, a group of ghost hunters were exploring the vacant hospital and got much more than they bargained for when a trail of blood caught their attention. The trail, which ran through the building, down a flight of stairs, and straight outside, led the group to the body of murder victim, Sharon Wilson.
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