Old South Pittsburg Hospital Investigation: Revisited 2015

The Old South Pittsburg Hospital was built in 1959 and is located on the foothill of South Pittsburg Mountain, in South Pittsburg, TN. The hospital was built on a solid Limestone rock, as its foundation and a natural spring running directly under the hospital and into the most Northwest part of the Tennessee River. During the Civil war South Pittsburgh original name was "Pittsburg Landing" The Ferry landing is only an eighth of a mile from the hospital that was used by both Confederate and Union Soldiers to land at South Pittsburg, and to travel down to Chickamauga Battlefield. In our City Cemetery there are Union and Confederate Soldiers buried side by side that passed in the line of duty. There is also a small section dedicated to the slaves that lived and died here as well with unmarked headstones.

 In 1778, the Chiaha Tribe located in what is now called South Pittsburg, used this land to live, hunt, fish, and grow orchards. During the Civil War the Chiaha Tribe gave safe passage to the Union Soldiers to transport and store their artillery in the foothills behind the hospital. The most notable war event here was the bombing of the Union Army's earthen redoubt, Fort McCook, in August 1862. Many lost their lives including some Native Americans from the Cherokee Tribe. Confederate forces entrenched on the ridges in the New Hope community on the opposite side of the Tennessee River in New Hope, from here timed this attack simultaneously with and attack on hospital land at the edge of town, prior to the hospitals construction. This was in the effort to gain control of this part of the Sequachee Valley. Both assaults were successful in their intent with the Union Army attacking the fort at Battle Creek during the night leaving it and much of the stores and supplies to its Confederate victors. Some of the artillery bunkers still exist today behind the hospital in the foothills of South Pittsburg Mountain.

During the Civil war, Gamble Plantation was built here. There have been reports that there were shackles in the basement for slaves that they kept. This new information is currently being researched to find photos and more information. 

Eventually the Union Army would regain control of the area  by late summer 1863 and continue its grip until the end of the war. Despite not having a major battle here, the area was ravaged by the thousands of soldiers passing through the area during the war who took livestock, foods and other necessities from the area Native Americans and farmers for the benefit of their cause. This resulted in hard times for many of these families following the end of the war as the attempted to rebuild their lives.

South Pittsburg eventually recovered in shipping its most prized possession and that was minerals and limestone. During 1887, the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis railway was build to bring more commerce to the city. At which point the city grew, both financially and resident wise.

In the doors opened to a hospital situated on 2.3 acres in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. This 68,000 square foot medical facility, founded by four doctors, was known as the South Pittsburg Municipal Hospital (SPMH). Additions to the hospital were built prior to 1980. This bastion of healing would serve the community for almost 40 years before closing its doors for the last time in 1998.

In April of 1997, Hospital Corp. of America (HCA), at the time the nation's largest hospital chain, held the groundbreaking for Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Marion County. According to HCA, which has also used the name Columbia, the new 50 bed, 95,000 square foot, medical facility was developed to replace the long serving and aging medical center in South Pittsburg.

The loss of their hospital dismayed many in the community who felt that the new hospital should also be located in South Pittsburg. On November 14, 1995 the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that "the city sued in Marion County Chancery Court to force the manager of its hospital to disclose whether it intends to close the non-profit hospital." The mayor of the city at that time, David Payne worried that "Columbia has refused repeated requests that it assure the city that it does not intend to buy South Pittsburg Hospital and close it to prevent competition with the one Columbia plans to build just outside the city." At that time, Columbia, which had managed SPMH for several years, had only agreed to pay $50,000 for the equity in the hospital. The article suggests that Columbia may have been interested in the acquisition of SPMH to acquire its Certificate of Need for beds, which would assist them in obtaining the state approval needed to build Grandview. Over the disapproval of many in the South Pittsburg community, the new $30 million hospital eventually opened its doors to great fanfare the week of September 29, 1998, while the long serving nonprofit hospital quietly closed its doors.


Located at 1100 Holly Ave., South Pittsburg, TN. 37380  

Phone: 912-704-9121

Owner: Ghost City Tours

Website: http://osphghosthunts.com

Hauntings: Over the years since its closing, there have been many reports of unusual and paranormal activity relayed from South Pittsburgh residents, Former employees, media, investigators and teams. Some of this activity was reported from the first day the hospital was open. Baby cries in the Nursery when there were no babies there at the time is only one example. Does the hospital hold memories from its colorful past tied to the land or the hospital's darker past and many deaths within its walls? A lot of evidence has surfaced from the Old South Pittsburg Hospital on a regular basis of paranormal activity that you are welcome to view on this website. This activity includes, but not limited to day time and night time photos, being touched, full body apparitions, black shadow people, strange balls of light, disembodied voices calling out to you, doors slamming of their own will, and sounds of footsteps.

Upon years of research and contacts, some of the former nurses, employees and patients have come forward with their own experiences while working here when it was open. When the hospital was open many employees, patients and security have reported things moving in the hallways, such as medicine carts, shadow people, being touched by unseen hands, full body apparitions and many times the security was called thinking there was an intruder during all 3 shifts because they heard voices heard noises and saw shadow people lurking in the hallways and rooms. Come to find out that there was no one there, and no reasonable cause.

Some of the nurses that worked here reported baby cries or woman screaming, when there was no one there. To this day teams often capture these sounds through EVPs and video. There seems to be many souls that still remain within the aging concrete walls of the Old South Pittsburg Hospital that really want to make contact and be heard.

There has been evidence that suggests that we have many young children and adults that remain and want to speak out to you! We have 2 doctors making rounds as usual, and one that doesn't like you going into the operating rooms without washing up.

One of the most common reports is of a large black shadow man we believe that is a pedophile of children. His menacing presence and doesn't seem to want you here!! He will tell you to Fuck Off, "Get the Hell Out", "Leave", and sometimes will tell the other spirits not to talk to us. There is a deep dark secret that he hides! When he is near, you have an overwhelming feeling of heaviness may occur. Although no one has been injured, this shadow man makes it clear he doesn't want you here! Slamming doors are very common here, voices and numerous EVPs captured reminds you his presence is strong. He has been sighted here on a regular basis. This is just one of the numerous experiences you may encounter while investigating.  

From our best estimates, there are at least 8 children, 6 of which remain on the third floor. You may encounter one of the hospitals visitor’s favorites "Buddy", on the 3rd Floor. This is a small child probably about the age of two, wanting to play or asking you to pick him up. There has been a thermal video on this website that was captured of him. Baby cries and woman sobbing have been heard throughout the building.

There is an older woman on the 3rd Floor at the end of the hallway that tends to not like females, but will call out to the male guests. The second floor you may encounter one of the two Nurses that passed here. Or a male that died from TB as he calls out for "Help". A woman screaming or babies crying are very common here in all areas of the hospital.

One of saddest patients here is Hazel, an elderly woman. She is our screaming lady. Her voice has been captured here in the hallways with an unforgettable scream. Back in the day, she was admitted to the Hospital from a local nursing home for a mental observation then to go up to the Psych ward. She has a rough and gravely voice, and tells people to "Go Back!" After 3 days of her stay here, Hazel died from infections, and complications. She has been heard and recorded several places in the hospital. When you hear her scream or yell at you, you will never forget it!!

Down by the Bio-Hazard you sometimes feel and hear someone step closely behind you, only to turn around and no one is there. There have been several photos of the entity we call "Hissing man". He seems to beckon you as you walk near that area, with a "hey"!

In the basement, we have a fun spirit that we call the "Naughty Nurse". She doesn't seem to give up her name, but often will touch you softly in personal places or whisper things or laugh to let you know she is around. In the basement, you may encounter a residual Doctor walking around or black shadow that may walk right up to you. We have had many reports of an old Janitor here that died in the 60's when the Hospital was still operating, that still works around the building and doesn't like you criticizing his work. He is still looking for his keys. These are just some of the spirits that you might encounter here.

Some say all of this History and Geographical formations can amplify the paranormal activity that occurs here on a regular basis. There is the only “Ley Line” In TN located within 2 miles of the property. This Ley line runs directly through Russell Cave, where the Native Americans used to use.

The Ghost Research Society re-investigated Old South Pittsburg Hospital on July 12-13, 2015. Team members included: Stan Suho, Kathie Para, Marge Sucha, Sandy Weber, Michael Wright, Jim Piscopo and Katherine Meagher with help from Bob Davies, Lori Leger, Jen Provins, John Isberg and Chris Williams from Champaign-Urbana Paranormal Society. Dale Kaczmarek was unable to make this investigation due to a recent lung surgery.








Personal experiences:

Katherine Meagher: Equipment used: Digital Camera, Nicon 16.0 Megapixels 20x zoom capability, digital tape recorder Olympus VN-702pc, Bell & Howell DNV16HDZ Full HD Rogue Night Vision Camcorder, Stealth Cam G42Ng 10 MP Trail Camera Dowsing Rods brass,  EMF K-II Portable 5-LED Indicators Gauss Meter, Ghost Meter EMF Sensor.

I have been to many haunted places and I have rarely experienced anything but, there are some interesting and intriguing things that happened here on our three-day, two-night excursion.

We did two reenactments on the third floor. The first one consisted of child birthing. It was a little chaotic and extremely noisy but it was a lot of laughs. When we neared the end Lorry, was feeling something on her face, as if something was caressing her. Then Kathy was saying she felt goose bumps. With that, Kathy asked if that something was comforting her after giving birth. We heard a voice that sounded like it was coming out of a PA system.  After close scrutiny, listening to a recorder that Lori had, the voice said yes. I videotaped it and picked up the disembodied voice in which the group heard and responded to it.

The second reenactment was of an accident. This session was more controlled and we stopped in midstream to try and pick up EVPs on the recorder. Again near the end of the session we asked if we did a good job on our performance as doctors and nurses. Then I ask how did the anesthesiologist do. Yet again, a voice sounding like it came out of the PA system saying Rachel. Unfortunately, listening to the tape recording, I could faintly hear responses. The responses were almost impossible to hear.

 We are nearing the last night and the group wanted to go out to eat. I was not interested in this because I brought my own. I opted to stay behind. Luckily Chrissie said she would stay with me if we were going to investigate. Little did I know what good fortune that would be. Now the rule of the building is to keep it locked. I told the group to take the key with them and lock Chris and me in, so we would not be interrupted during an EVP session if they came back. So, it was agreed. We set up next to the command center and proceeded to ask questions and hopefully get responses on the tape recorder.  A storm was rolling in and it started to thunder and lightning which gave this place a little more creepiness to it. I don't scare easily but tonight, for some reason, I was feeling a little jittery. When we proceeded with our EVP session the lights shut off and turn back on, an alarm was going off and we could not turn it off. We didn't even know where it was coming from. Chrissie called the woman that runs the hospital to find out how we can shut this crazy alarm off so we could do our EVP. We had to call twice because Chrissie’s phone kept losing cell connection. The lights turned off again and turn back on. We were now standing in the kitchen and I had my video recorder pointed at my K-II meter because the K-II was going crazy. The electrical sensations coming from the storm might have been why the K-II was reacting. I have never had a problem with the lights on my video camera. It has a flashlight and an IR light that you change manually. The flashlight was on and it started pulsating and overheating. I tried multiple times to turn it off and couldn't. Finally, I got it off by removing the camera battery, and then it worked fine. I haven't had a problem since. We finally located the alarm and shut it off. We decided to go down one of the long dark corridors to do an EVP session. We are diehards. We will try again. We proceeded to ask questions. We heard a loud noise down the hallway. We stopped and leaned our ears toward the sound. That is when I heard the footsteps on the second floor. That is probably when I really became unglued. I ask Chrissie if she wanted to continue the session and she replied that she was good, so I instantly headed back to command center and waited for the rest to return, 40 minutes later. After that, I really had a hard time going down any of the hallways by myself.

 All in all, it was an excellent experience. I like the fact of being able to go back to an area to see if experiences and our investigation tools react differently from prior use in the environment. This is where my skeptic mind can debunk some of the unexplained. Being a full believer is not a way of true evidence in a scientific manner. The reason I do investigations is of no concern, I just want proof, which I believe, we will never know until we go to the next step of life, which is death. I do like to be scared.

Kathie Para: GRS returned for another investigation of this very active building. We arrived shortly after noon on Monday and left on Wednesday morning. GRS members present were Jim Piscopo, Stan Suho, Kat Meagher, Mike Wright, Sandy Weber, Marge Sucha and me. Joining us were two members of C.U.P.S., Lori and Chris along with John and Jen, who have been following C.U.P.S., doing a documentary.

This location is quite active and since we spent 48 hours there it’s impossible to report every single bit of paranormal activity that occurred so I will only give my highlights.

Role playing surgeries in the operating room is one of the best ways we’ve found to get spirits to interact with us. Not only this trip but in past investigations of this hospital as well. Day #1 we had Lori “giving birth”. After the “baby” was born Lori was lying on the bed holding her it and she felt something holding her face as if to comfort her. She also felt numb and tingly. I was standing at the head of the bed and had an extremely rare case of full body goose bumps that went on for several minutes at the same time Lori was feeling stroked on her face and comforted. I then asked if someone was comforting Lori after having gone through the pain of childbirth and everyone in the room heard the disembodied voice that sounded like it said “yes”. Some of us then headed to the nursery and John heard a baby cry in the hall. While in the nursery we got another audible response.

Day #2 surgery our “patient” having her leg set after a car accident. At the end we did a short EVP session. Someone asked what do you think of the anesthesiologist and we clearly heard a disembodied voice say “Rachel.”

Both days we were there, very early morning, I sat at the nurse’s station by myself and asked questions and talked with the Ovilus on. I was amazed at the amount of responses, many of which were completely relevant. I felt as though I was having a conversation with a nurse who at one time worked there.

During our time there it wasn’t unusual to have equipment being turned off. We had a lot of K-II activity and easily connected with spirits using dowsing rods. But I have to say the amount of disembodied voices heard was most exciting. John was of special interest to the spirits in the hospital. Probably due to the amount of equipment he carried around. The spirits were very vocal towards him.

Another fantastic 48 hours at Old South Pittsburg Hospital. I definitely hope to return for yet another investigation there in the near future.

Jim Piscopo: We arrived at the hospital about 12:30 pm. We unloaded our equipment and picked our rooms. After setting up our rooms we did a walk-through of the hospital and then set up our equipment. I set up my camcorder in Martha's room the 1st night. After setup we went to dinner. When we came back we did several EVPs on the 1st and 2nd floor. It was very hot in the building and we were exhausted so we called it a night about 1:00 am. The 2nd night I set up my camcorder in the hallway leading to the rear exit on the 1st floor down from the nurse's station. We continued doing EVPs and did a reenactment of a surgery in the operating room. We broke down our equipment around 2:00 am.

I did have an uneasy feeling in the 1st floor hallway when I was changing my disks in the camcorder, other than that nothing unusual.


Marge Sucha: When we arrived at the hospital it was sunny and temperatures were well into the 90's. 

After getting our rooms set up Kat, Mike and I decided to do some exploring around the Administration office area.  Using PSB-7 we did a short EVP session and also dowsing rods.  We did not pick anything up in this area.   Next we moved on down the hall into a room with a large x-ray machine.  This is the room in the hallway to the right when you enter the building from emergency door.   Kat got up on the x-ray table and the K-II meter started to light up.  We immediately started another EVP session.  Even though I didn't get anything on my recorder it was a great session. 

Kathie, Kat, Mike, Sandy & I did an EVP session in the hallway that goes from the emergency door to the main nurse’s station. 

Later the group went upstairs and we did a reenactment of someone giving birth.  Lori was our lucky mother to be.  After the birth Lori felt hands on the side of her face as if someone was trying to comfort her.  During the same time Kathie who was directly behind her face felt cold and had goose bumps all over her arms.  We all heard what sounded like a baby.  Unfortunately after only a couple minutes of recording my recorder had shut off so I didn't pick this up.  I have no explanation for the recorder shutting off.   My recorder worked fine the rest of the evening.  

Next stop was the nursery.  We thought it was best that our new mother spend time with her baby.  Within seconds of turning on my recorder Kathie heard a baby or young child.   This was picked up on my recorder.  I also got another baby sound when Lori asked what she should name her new baby.  

Next stop Martha's room.  It was quiet and I did not pick anything up on my recorder.

Tuesday late afternoon was quiet and some of the investigators were resting for the evening’s investigation.

I was pretty much just killing time so I did not have my recorder on me when I decided to go and sit in the hallway outside the break room.  I had my dowsing rods but decided to first ask if anyone was there to please give me a sign.  I heard a female voice reply.  It was very loud but I could not make out what she said.    This voice was so loud it started me.  I was expecting to see one of the girls come around the corner.  When this didn't happen I jumped up and went to the nurse’s station.  The only one around at the time was Kathie.  She did not hear anything.   Kathie joined me with dowsing rods we did an EVP session.  

Tuesday night we went back to the surgical room.   Our poor mother who gave birth was back in the hospital.  Mike Wright our surgeon was on duty.  I did pick up a couple screams.   When asked "What did you think of our anesthesiologist, the name Rachel was heard by several of us and also picked up on the recorder. 

Back to the x-ray room part II.  We did have the K-II meter turn on once and Kathie's recorder was stopped.  I did not get anything on my recorder.

We did another EVP session in the hallway to the left of the emergency entrance.

I did not pick anything up on my recorder.

The OSPH was very active and did not let me down this year.  

Michael Wright: Old South is one of my favorite places to investigate. This is the second time I have been to the hospital. There were several similarities between the two investigations.
On Friday evening after getting settled in we did several dowsing rod and EVP sessions.
In a dowsing rod session that Kat, Marge conducted I did in the X-ray room, we were getting the same answers as last year in a session that was conducted just down the hallway in the Bio Hazard lab.

Irene was the name we got both times she was consistent about her story and was still waiting for her parents. There were also some whispers but they were very difficult to hear. The K-II meters were also responding to the questions.

I went back to the X-ray room throughout the weekend with different people and got the same responses, however, there were a couple of sessions were there was no activity.
On Saturday Evening we did two Reenactments in the OR room and picked up voices that sounded like they came over the PA system. During those sessions am not sure if I picked up any EVPs because there was background noises.

The K-II meters were being very responsive the whole weekend, there were a few instances where they went to highest setting and then became very still while we were in areas that had no power.
As a nice bonus on Saturday night there was an electrical storm and power went off. There were some unusual noises throughout the building just after the storms.
Am already looking forward to going back.

Stan Suho: This was my third trip to the hospital, so I had a pretty good understanding of the lay out of the building and what was happening there. I was still interested in Martha's Room, ever since I saw the picture taken by Jeanne's husband. Since we had the whole place to ourselves, this was a relaxed investigation. Martha's room was straight down the hall from the command post, but a long cable run. Because of the distance involved, I ran into some cable problems. I set up an IR Camera and Microphone centering on the closet where Martha's dresses still hung undisturbed. Jim also had an IR camera in the room focused on the doorway. Because I was a bit late setting up, I hung around after everyone else had retired to their 5 Star accommodations. The next day I made up for the late start by doing some daylight recording.

Back at the command post, I had a Laptop running audacity, an amplifier, and a DVR. After an interesting day, we got an early start investigating. I got several hours of uninterrupted recordings, but the Audio was pretty much spoiled by the crickets and tree frogs.

After reviewing several hours of Martha's room video with nothing paranormal, I think I've pretty much covered Martha's room. However the hospital is an interesting place with a lot more additional hot spots.

Sandy Weber: Equipment:     Sony night shot video camera, Infrared camera (FLIR), dowsing rods, and Tri-Field Natural EM meter

Phenomena witnessed by investigator

I participated in investigations throughout the hospital, with the exception of the area where investigators were sleeping, the hallway outside those rooms, and what appeared to be the “break room.”  We repeatedly investigated what we called the “creepy hallway,” what appeared to be an x-ray room off that hallway, an operating room, and the nursery.  I had no luck at all with the dousing rods or the FLIR.  The only evidence I recorded on my video camera came from the nursery and “Martha’s room.”

Nursery:  Earlier in the day, we had conducted a role play of childbirth in the operating room.  That evening we went to the nursery where Laurie, a member from a Champaign-Urbana team who had played the birth mother, went to visit her baby.  She cuddled a baby doll and played the role of a happy mother, naming her baby Jeannette.  While she was talking to her “baby” I clearly recorded, “Oh my God!”  This comment seems inappropriate and was either (1) contamination from someone outside the room (whom I did not notice at the time or hear elsewhere on my recording of this session) or (2) someone—possibly a spirit—commenting that the role play looked silly.  

Martha’s room:  During an EVP session, someone asked if someone should turn on the air conditioner (It was almost unbearably hot and humid).  Someone or something seemed to answer “Yeah!” in a whisper before a team member clearly exclaimed “Yeah!” and the team laughed. 


I did not record any clear evidence that the hospital is haunted.  However, I have sight and hearing issues that may prevent me from finding evidence on my recordings.  Therefore I must reserve judgment on whether or not I believe the hospital is haunted. 

Other team members thought K-II meters responded during sessions in the x-ray room, but I don’t think the responses were consistent enough to attribute to spirits.  There were some responses on the Ovilus and ghost box used by other team members, but I did not find the responses I heard consistent or clear enough to attribute to spirits.  Dowsing rod responses, although interesting, are difficult to control for inadvertent small movements, especially in the dark, that can affect responses.

Therefore, I must remain the team skeptic, even in this famously haunted location.

Evidence collected:

After the name Jeanette osph.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Nursery, what sounds like a child’s or infant’s voice or cry in heard in the background after the name Jeanette was mentioned.

Creepy hallway whispers osph.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in Geriatrics hallway, several whispers were captured in the background.

Distant scream osph.MPG – while talking, a distant scream or yell is heard and recorded.

Nursery response osph.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Nursery, a question was asked, “What is your name honey?” A faint, muffled response is heard by several and recorded.

Nurse’s station whispered response osph.MPG – while conducting an EVP session on the 2nd floor nurse’s station, a very faint whispered response was captured.

Rachel osph.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the surgical room, a question was asked, “What did you think of the anesthesiologist?” A response was heard that says, “Rachel.”

Shuffling osph.MPG – Piscopo’s static IR camcorder on the 2nd floor picks up the distinct sound of shuffling feet with nobody around.

Sterile situation distant scream osph.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the surgical room, a faint distant scream was heard in the background.

Surgery response opsh.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the surgical room, a question was asked, “Is there someone here to comfort here after having the baby?” An immediate disembodied and audible response was heard that says, “Yes!”

Voice osph.MPG – Piscopo’s static IR camcorder on the 2nd floor picks up the sound of voice in the background when no researchers were anywhere nearby.

Conclusions: Dale Kaczmarek wasn’t able to attend this investigation and it doesn’t appear that these two days were as active as far as evidence collected as past investigations were. GRS members said it was extremely hot in the building, as far as the temperature was concerned but collected evidence was down. There was however some interesting responses that did not come through either the Ghost Box or Ovilus but were actual EVPs captured along with a number of disembodied screams heard and recorded. This location is still producing phenomena and perhaps still warrants future investigations.

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