The History

During the early 1900s, it became quite clear that the town of Statesville, North Carolina was in desperate need of a medical center. A surgeon, by the name of James Davis, partnered with Dr. F.A.

old davis hospital history
Old newspaper clipping of the Old Davis Hospital, Statesville, NC

Carpenter, a local ear, nose, and throat specialist, to begin the construction of their own hospital. In 1920, their efforts were realized, and the Carpenter-Davis Hospital opened its doors to the public.

During this time in American history, it was still common for doctors to pay house calls to tend to their patients. A central location, where doctors, and nurses were on call, was a refreshingly new, and modern concept.

The hospital itself contained thirty-five beds. Dr. Davis, and Dr. Carpenter hired a team of nurses, assistants, and a couple of associate doctors for when they needed additional help.

The hospital was quickly seen as invaluable to Statesville, and the surrounding communities, and it became quite clear that these types of medical establishments were the way of the future.

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Not long after the hospital opened, the two doctors also began a nursing school program, sharing their knowledge, and resources, as well as adding additional staff members to their team.

Staff at the Davis Hospital provided innovative medical techniques, and emerging technology to their advantage.

Dr. Davis, and Dr. Carpenter were among the first doctors to organize  blood donation services, and have a blood bank on reserve for patients in dire need.

They were also among the first to create an emergency services department, that was staffed round the clock.

Old Davis Hospital in Statesville NC
Marc Fitzimmons / Flickr

Moving On 

By 1925, it became quite clear that the medical services offered at the hospital had quickly outgrown the modest building Dr. Davis, and Dr. Carpenter had built. They purchased a larger building, and moved.

To this day, the Davis name is carried on. Dr. Davis himself passed away in 1955, but his legacy remains.

Statesville’s hospital, now named the Davis Regional Medical Center, opened in 1984, and provides many services, including emergency services, to the community.

But whatever happened to the modest, but ingenious hospital built by Davis, and Carpenter? The building was left, abandoned. Time, and weather began to steadily wear away at the structure.

It became a site for teenagers to explore late at night, and for local graffiti artists to tag the walls. As time wore on, the building also became known for being notoriously haunted.

the Ghosts

Individuals who trespassed on the abandoned property began hearing the faint cries of an infant echo through the empty hallways.

Rumors spread throughout the town, and locals began exploring the hospital, in search of ghosts.

Old Davis Hospital Statesville nc
Marc Fitzimmons / Flickr

The place seemed to come alive at night. Doors could be heard opening, and shutting on their own. The sound of windows being open, and shut was also very common.

But none of that is as chilling as the phantom voices. Many people have reported that when they visited the hospital, not only did they hear the crying baby, but they heard other disembodied voices as well.

Some were merely whispers, while others were cries of pain, and shrieks of terror. Other sounds included phantom footsteps, and unseen hands, banging on medical counters.

Into the Depths of the Morgue 

Naturally, the morgue seemed to have the most activity. Many people who visited the site claimed that this particular section of the hospital was always unnaturally cool.

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Visitors would come in the peaks of summer, but the natural heat never seemed to make it to this particular department.

Old Davis Hospital Abandoned
Marc Fitzimmons / Flickr

Many have also stated that the morgue is where a majority of the phantom voices, and sounds could be heard.

The crying baby, however, was usually heard in the pediatric ward. Visitors who spent time at the property have stated that they felt one particular presence in that ward–a presence that scared them to no end.

It felt angry, and violent. Some individuals who have heightened empathic abilities were not entirely convinced that the spirit wouldn’t attack unsuspecting trespassers.

There are many people who believe Dr. Davis himself haunted the grounds once it closed in the 1980s. His body was buried on the property, and remained there for three decades.

It is easy to believe that the doctor elected to roam the halls of his beloved hospital, long after his death. He wanted to protect what was his legacy.

Demolition and Turmoil 

As the hospital continued to rot away, and trespassers continued to visit the site, the Statesville community was at odds as to how to deal with the abandoned hospital.

old davis hospital abandoned nc
Marc Fitzimmons / Flickr

At that point, it was too dilapidated to be functional. Some locals began complaining of its external appearance, stating it had become an eyesore in its ever growing state of decay.

In 2015, a decision was made. A company out of South Carolina was hired to begin demolishing the old hospital. Some community members were delighted by the news, but others grew quickly concerned.

The building undoubtedly contained a lot of asbestos, and would require specialized treatment. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to lung cancer, and people who lived nearby feared the medical repercussions of the teardown.

NeoCorp, the hired demolition company insisted the asbestos would be properly broken down, and removed from the property, but many locals remained unconvinced.

Indeed, demolish was halted halfway through, and a month long investigation by the EPA was conducted in 2016. Locals were justified in their concerns, as the EPA concluded that the asbestos had not been properly taken care of, as discussed. The Davis Hospital sat, partially demolished, for a little over two years.

In 2018, the demolition process finally continued. Today, the Davis Hospital is no longer. The property itself was purchased by Mitchell Community College. The school has begun the process of creating a new health care center for their students.

Some people believe that, now that the last remnants of the old hospital are gone, the spirits will naturally dissipate. Others are not quite convinced. Whether the new health care center will be haunted upon its completion remains to be seen.

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