The Haunted Yorktown Memorial Hospital
Located in Yorktown, TX
What’s up, fellow ghost-geeks? Today we’re exploring the haunted Yorktown Memorial Hospital in Yorktown, TX. The town of Yorktown, in DeWitt County, lies between San Antonio and the Gulf of Mexico. Settlement of the area dates back to about 1848, and the town was incorporated in 1871. Its founders were Captain John York and Charles Eckhardt. There’s not a lot of history about it, mostly because it’s always been an area with a relatively small population. Some of the buildings on Main St, though, are original to the settlement, dating back to the 1850s. So with original structures dating back 150 years, I’m going to go ahead and say that the Yorktown Memorial Hospital probably isn’t the only active location in the town, but let’s focus on the hospital.
The somewhat infamous Yorktown Memorial Hospital dates back to 1950, when construction began, and it opened in 1951. The Felician Sisters, a group of nuns affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church (which has been present in Yorktown since its settlement) operated the hospital. Yorktown Memorial Hospital was named for – at least according to the sources I found – the USS Yorktown, which was attacked and sunk during the Battle of Midway during WWII. Originally, the hospital opened to help folks suffering from alcohol and drug abuse, but it expanded and had operating rooms, labor and delivery, etc. The hospital spans 30,000 square feet, two wings, and a basement. The second floor of the hospital was entirely living quarters for those employed there.
The reputation of the hospital, despite being run by a rather large religious institution, hasn’t been the best. Yorktown Memorial had considerable trouble keeping staff, and apparently the high employee-turn-over resulted in pretty poor standards of care. One article I found stated that the hospital lost 500 patients in a six-year-span, which, to those of us who don’t know, is extremely high. The total number of recorded deaths at Yorktown Memorial is around 2000. Yorktown hospital operated until about 1986, and closed due to another hospital opening in nearby Cuero, Tx.
Now – I know what you’ve been waiting for, very patiently, though all this backstory. You want to know the creep-factor. I shall do my best not to disappoint your haunty little hearts.
In terms of activity? Whoa. This place is LOADED with recorded activity and claims of paranormal occurrences. And that, dear ghost geeks, is why it is among the most highly toured and frequently investigated paranormal locations in Texas.
What kind of activity, your macabre little minds ask? Well, you’ve got the shadow figures, disembodied moans and screams, black apparitions with glowing red eyes, talking dolls, and tapping noises on the glass of one of the lobby doors. Added to that, you’ve got apparitions galore – some appearing to be patients, some appearing to be visitors. Plus, many paranormal groups have captured EVPs of the highest quality. Some of you ghost geeks out there may have seen televised investigations of Yorktown Memorial on various cable television networks.
My search for specific reports of activity was richly rewarded when researching this location. Let’s start with Dr Leon Nowierski, shall we?
Although I did not find any accounts of anyone actually encountering an apparition or entity confirmed to be Dr Nowierski, he is quite creepily attached to the hospital’s past. Dr. Leon Nowierski worked at Yorktown Memorial until his 90s – at which time he retired, and at the date of his retirement held the oldest medical license in Texas. However, Dr. Nowierski was known to be rather incompetent, it seems, from the source I found. Many of his patients entering the operating rooms under his care alive, didn’t come back out the same way. One article I found stated that Dr. Nowierski actually slit a patient’s throat when attempting a procedure on the thyroid. Honest mistake? Hmmmm….
The most widely reported apparition at Yorktown Memorial Hospital seems to be a little girl named Stacy. She seems to have been gifted a book of The Poky Little Puppy by Dr Nowierski himself, as the article I found said that a book with a note from the Doctor to the little girl had been found. Nobody seems to know how Stacy died, just that she’s very active on the property. She can be found in the library if you sit down and read her a story; she has also rolled a ball by request.
The Felician Sisters themselves are said to still be in the hospital – or at least an entity masquerading as the nuns is there. An apparition of a nun in full habit has been seen many times in various areas of the hospital, and it’s said that people who visit who also have tattoos have been choked, scratched, or rushed presumably by the strict nuns.
Another widely seen apparition is the heart-breaking entity named “TJ”. Nobody knows if that’s his real name, but the apparition seems to be the ghost of an addict who came to the back door of the hospital needing help. It seems the back door buzzer was broken, and nobody answered – and then they found this poor young man’s dead body on the back stoop the next day. His shade is seen in the back hallway near the back door, where nobody came to help him.
And last but certainly not least, I did read of a double murder rumored to have occurred on the hospital grounds – the boiler room, actually. There’s no factual information that I found as to what actually happened and who was involved, but there are at least two accounts of two people ending up dead from stabbing each other down in the boiler room. One of the owners of the property had the blood that is still on the walls of the boiler room tested by a forensic lab, and it came back as human blood. There’s a sobering thought.
As I’ve said in several of the other guest blogs I’ve written for Ghost Texas, it’s likely that many of these apparitions, entities, departed souls are in need of help. If the hospital was really running short of staff and that caused terrible standards of patient care, it’s likely that many of the people who died there didn’t have to – or at least died earlier than they had to. And if the care was that bad under Dr. Nowierski, I’d imagine some of the passed patients to be quite upset about that.
Dying too soon, dying due to negligence, dying under any extreme emotional distress seems to produce a lot of hauntings, and I think those people really need help – like the entity known as TJ that I discussed above. If I ever visit this location, I honestly would try to move on the ones that wanted to go. Not all of them would - I realize that we all have free will, and believe it or not, that free will extends even after death. I feel that some of the folks that are still there would rather not be, which breaks my heart.
But I won’t philosophize on that too much here.
So, what do you think of Yorktown Memorial Hospital, guys and ghouls? Although the property is now privately owned, you can take a guided tour for $25. Paranormal investigations can go in for a cool $500 (up to 10 investigators, a limited amount of time inside). The owner also offers photoshoots for $100 per hour. You can find the Yorktown Memorial Hospital on Facebook, which is where I got this information.
If you decide to go for the tour or an investigation – make sure you’re feeling quite well. Dr. Nowierski and the nuns might be waiting.
Creep it real until next time, my Ghost Texas friends….
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