Just musing and adding this location to my wish list of future haunted hotels to investigate/visit.
Why am I so intrigued? I have an idea that a possible sequel to “America’s Most Haunted Hotels: Checking in with Uninvited Guests,” would feature locations that are either in mining towns; built around natural springs; or are former hospitals. The Lava Hot Springs Inn hits 2 out of 3 wish list categories! After everything I’ve seen, I believe that geology plays a huge part in what we refer to as “hauntings” (for lack of a better term), or at least plays a bigger role than I could understand five years ago when I first started traveling and investigating haunted locations.
The hospital theory is based on what I have experienced in connection with traveling and writing my first two books. I felt that the hospitals were more active, even, than the abandoned prisons! One of the theories that you might entertain as to cause is to consider the theory that the people in prisons had probably already given up and resigned themselves to death, while people who died in hospitals went in with the belief that they were going there to be saved. It’s obvious, but I think there is some real truth to the whole trauma/unexpected death theory causing what we refer to as a haunting. This isn’t all there is to it, but it is enough to have captured my attention over the years.
Spec sheet for Lava Hot Springs:
Built in the 1920s as the Lava Hot Springs Hospital. (Some original objects from the hospital, including a surgical bed are held at the South Bannock Historical Museum);
The curative healing springs remind me of the energy I felt in Eureka Springs, Arkansas (and the 1886 Crescent Hotel);
Sacred Native American springs;
High levels of “magic” minerals in the water. Manganese has been associated with shape shifting (could be why people see “shadow figures”). Copper is a conductor for electricity and is used in healing. Iron is used for out of body travel.
Bob and I stayed at the 1810 Historic Farnsworth House Inn in Gettysburg, PA over Memorial Day weekend in connection with our upcoming book with Llewellyn (“America’s Most Haunted Hotels: Checking in With Uninvited Guests”).
The history and hauntings will be addressed in the book, but for now, follow me into the house and downstairs into the depths of the basement.
The Mourning Theatre is held down here (stories told by candlelight).
There are many original artifacts from the Victorian Mourning Period in the basement, including these hair wreaths, pictured below.
Traditionally, when a relative died, a surviving family member cut off a piece of the deceased’s hair and sewed it into the family wreath and hung it on the wall like that was a totally normal piece of art. This was a way for the family to remember their loved one, and especially so if they could not afford the expense of photography. The Victorians were also fond of using the hair in jewelry. I have no idea what sort of weird residual attachments might go along with having that amount of strange, dead, human hair stored in one place that has so many deaths and tragedy connected to the sight. It is worth considering though, when you think about the reasons for the hauntings.
After all that darkness, we headed for the light of the battlefield. It was a haunting place, but peaceful just the same.
As always, we log our adventures inside our “Play” Journal, by Stealth Journals. “Play,” is an indexed book journal by Stealth Journals that should be used to record all of your good times.
One of the locations that Sam and I rented one weekend back in 2011 for some training prior to traveling for Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums was Old South Pittsburg Hospital in Tennessee.
The place did not disappoint. This is the only place I know of that runs more like a research facility for serious ghost hunters as opposed to a Friday night free for all that some public ghost hunt events can turn into. You can camp inside the hospital for the entire weekend, and if you bring a cooler with food you won’t even have to leave the building. Don’t forget to look for the car.
My favorite part of the hospital was the third floor, although it was also the place that scared me the most. While sitting in an operating room in the pitch black, I was overcome with the feeling of suffocation. Simultaneously, I felt myself getting angry with Sam for no reason. At the time, I just wanted to get out of the operating room. The next morning, as I reflected upon the previous night’s events, it occurred to me that it was very possible that I was feeling someone’s dying energy.
We had a lot of flashlight activity throughout the hallways. So much so, that even Cindy remarked upon it while she was checking up on us via live video feed from her room.
The hospital is a perfect setting to try out your new equipment and run experiments.
Gratuitous boiler room shot:
Wish it would have made the book!