The abandoned old Davis Hospital in Statesville, North Carolina, has long been linked to ghost stories, legends, and Halloween hijinks. While once a booming medical center, the hospital fell into decay and dilapidated form after closing and moving to a new location in the 1980s. Statesville residents now say goodbye to the Old Davis Hospital as the building is being torn down.

While some residents might call this abandoned hospital in North Carolina an “eyesore,” there’s no denying that this building (too interesting to be an eyesore in my opinion) has plenty of history. To this day, some of that history still haunts the grounds.

In 1920, Dr. James Davis, a prominent surgeon, partnered with Dr. F.A Carpenter, a local eye, ear, nose and throat specialist and opened up Carpenter-Davis Hospital. At the time it was common for doctors to make house calls as well as having a small office. The 35-bed hospital went against the grain and was pioneering for its time, establishing relationships with nurses, assistants, and associate doctors.

In 1920 the hospital established a school of nursing, and in 1925, it moved to its new location on West End Avenue.

Today, when people think of Old Davis Hospital, sadly, the above image is what comes to mind. But beyond the graffiti, broken windows, and ghost stories is a lot of history.

The hospital was the first to:

  • Use a radiographoscope to view x-ray films.
  • Have 24/7 emergency center with doctors and nurses.
  • Have air conditioning.
  • Use glucose intravenously.
  • Have a blood bank and organize blood-donor services.

At the time of Dr. Davis’ death in 1955, he had performed over 75,000 surgeries, a true medical accomplishment for his time. He was buried in the south lawn of the hospital and later moved to Davis Memorial Baptist Church in Wilkes County after the property was sold.

With so many advancements and medical accomplishments, it’s no surprise the hospital eventually moved to a new, larger location in 1984.

But the original Old Davis Hospital still remained throughout the years, as well as the legacy of Dr. Davis, and a few other souls….

Today, the abandoned hospital is in poor condition, full of asbestos, broken windows, graffiti, and vandalization. Police were often dispatched to the property due to trespassing.

But some trespass in order to ghost hunt along the property, which is rumored to be one of the most haunted places in North Carolina. There’s no denying an abandoned hospital is not slightly terrifying.

Ghost stories surround the property. One thing all those who have explored agree on, the sounds of a crying baby. Windows and doors will open and shut. Screams, crying, slams, bangs, are also reported to be heard.

While many lives were saved in the hospital, many were lost. Some spirits continue to linger here. One of the most popular sites for ghost hunters is the morgue, which is said to perpetually have an eerie chill despite the temperature outside. It’s where the most paranormal activity has been reported.

Ghost stories and all, even the decrepit can still be beautiful. And although Dr. Davis’ gravesite was moved, I’d like to believe his spirit is still present here, where his life accomplishments came to fruition.

Here’s one last look inside a piece of history.

Thank you Keith Hall for the amazing pictures of this eerie and hauntingly beautiful abandoned hospital in North Carolina.

Did you know about Old Davis Hospital in Statesville, NC? It’s a shadow of its former self, that’s for sure. You can learn more about abandoned North Carolina in Alex Atkins’ book Abandoned Western North Carolina: Echoes in the Architecture.

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More to Explore

Abandoned Hospital In North Carolina

Is the Davis Hospital the only abandoned hospital in North Carolina?

It isn't. One of the Tar Heel State’s most historic treasures sits within steps of the bustling urban center of the state’s capital city. This abandoned hospital in North Carolina, once known as the one of only two hospitals between Atlanta and Washington that provided high-quality care for African Americans, is a sobering sight. Today, St. Agnes Hospital in Raleigh is a beautiful and haunting relic of its former self and a somber place to pay respects to those who passed through the doors and to those who didn’t pass back out those same doors. Established in 1867 as a college for recently freed slaves, Saint Augustine's University remains a private, Christian college with an enrollment of around 1,000 students. The campus is a beautiful break from the asphalt of the nearby city center. And over on the far corner of the land sits part of the remains of the three-story stone building once operated at St. Agnes Hospital. The facility soon outgrew the small space it occupied and work began to raise the funds needed to build what we see today. The hospital officially closed in 1961, and has long inspired ghost stories and haunted legends.

What are some other abandoned places in North Carolina?

There's something hauntingly beautiful about abandoned places. Ghost towns and old cemeteries, derelict buildings, and forgotten sites; these are places that have been buried in the past — both literally and figuratively. With each passing day, these forsaken locations continue their descent into oblivion, banished to obsolescence. In North Carolina, there are some truly fascinating abandoned places such as North Wilkesboro Speedway, Family Inn of America in Rowland, Stonewall Jackson Reform School in Concord, Henry River Mill, Yates Mill, and Endor Iron Furnace in Sanford.

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