The land between San Antonio and the Gulf of Mexico is peppered with tiny, albeit simply adorable, towns. While each definitely has its own hometown charm, Yorktown, Texas, offers a bit extra.
Yorktown, a cute Texas small town, is home to back roads and old-timey buildings. Main St. is a nice drive to hit up the older buildings of the area. The C. Eckhardt & Sons Building is almost 150 years old, standing to this day as the Yorktown Historical Museum. East Main St., past the Yorktown City Hall intersection, is a strip of buildings time seems to have forgotten.
Just down the road going west, however, the town soon reveals one of its darker characters from times gone by. Past the Yorktown Creek and a few fast food joints lies a foreboding structure. The Yorktown Memorial Hospital stands with its arched entrance untouched by brush, which has had its way with the rest of the property. Built in 1950 by nuns, it definitely looks its age.
Brief History of Yorktown Hospital
The Yorktown Memorial Hospital was opened the year following its construction, its name paying homage to those from Yorktown who fought and lost their lives during WWII. The Felician Sisters of the Roman Catholic Church kept the hospital open until 1986, when another hospital opened up just a few miles away in Cuero, Texas, thus putting Memorial Hospital out of business.
During its time under the care of the nuns, the hospital was said to have lost over 500 patients in a six-year span. A staggering number of fatalities for such a small building in such a small amount of time, it’s no wonder it is said to be plagued by wandering and restless spirits today.
1986-1988: Rehab at Memorial
After its shutdown in the 80s, it opened once again to become a drug rehabilitation center until 1988. As one could probably guess, this definitely didn’t help with the bad energy of the place. To this day, the Yorktown Memorial Hospital and the people who venture inside have been tormented by the spirits of this desolate building.
Ghostly Phenomena at Memorial Hospital
There are plenty of stories about the true number of people who died in the hospital, but the number is said to be around 2,000. This may or may not be true, but it sure is a testament to the amount of paranormal activity that occurs here.
The building itself is made up of about 30,000 sq ft, which includes a basement and two wings on either side. The second floor was strictly living quarters for those who worked there. Speaking of employees, when it was a rehab facility, it was incredibly difficult to find and keep staff. This eventually led to its final closure, as those under its care could not be controlled by the few people working there. One of these was named Dr. Leon Norwierski.
Dr. Leon Norwierski
Dr. Norwierski was one of the main medical professionals at the facility. He was an older gentleman and practiced medicine into his 90s. By the time of his retirement, he held the oldest medical license in Texas. Unfortunately, this didn’t mean patients were the safest under his watch and hand.
The doctor became known for his fatal mistakes during operations. One such mistake entailed him accidentally slitting the throat of a patient while operating on his thyroid. It’s unclear how something like a throat-slitting could be an “accident,” but maybe he should get the benefit of the doubt. Or should he?
One of the well-known, and less frightening, spirits is of a little girl. Stacy is rumored to be one of the more interactive ghosts of the hospital. In life, her favorite book was “The Poky Little Puppy” and she had the nuns read it to her often. According to some, the book was actually a gift given to her by none other than Dr. Norwierski, with a note from him written on the inside for her.
In the afterlife, Stacy frequents several specific areas of the hospital. She is sometimes in her old room on the first floor, and other times she can be seen and heard playing in the basement hallways. Since she loved story time, she can be enticed by sitting in the library reading her favorite book. Stacy, being the playful eight-year-old she was, is said to also roll a ball if one asks her to.
The Felician Sisters
A few nuns are also known to still be hanging around, although stories of them aren’t what one would expect. People who have investigated and toured the hospital claim that the nuns can be violent. Visitors have been choked, scratched, or rushed at, and it seems particularly bad for those who have tattoos. One sister has been seen in different spots around the building, and photos of her in her habit have been caught as well.
A man by the name of Doug Richards is supposedly among the spirits active at this location. All that is really known about him is that he was a heavy equipment mechanic who somehow died there in ’73. He roams the halls, and one will know it’s him by his tall appearance and his white t-shirt and blue jeans outfit.
During its time as a drug rehabilitation facility, a young man, some call him TJ, came to the establishment seeking help. But when he rang the back-door bell, no one answered. It’s unknown if the bell simply wasn’t working correctly, or if the nurse on duty had fallen asleep. Either way, poor TJ didn’t get help fast enough and his body was found on the steps the next morning. Today, his apparition can sometimes be seen wandering the hall near the back door.
The most violent incident that occurred here truly left its mark on the place…and in the most literal way. The story goes that there was a love triangle between a female employee, a co-worker, and a patient. In other versions of the account, it was a nurse and two patients. In both cases, the woman was caught in the boiler room with one lover by the other, and the one who caught the two reacted viciously.
He stabbed the woman several times, killing her. The man she was with managed to wrestle the knife away from the attacker and ended up stabbing him to death, either in retaliation or self-defense. Blood spatter on the walls has remained there to this day. The caretaker of the building has claimed that he has had it forensically tested, and the result? Definitely human blood.
The hospital is also a host to other, less-identified apparitions and spirits. From orbs to shadow men, nearly everything has been caught on camera at this haunted location. It’s also known as a hotspot for capturing top-notch EVPs, with many sessions yielding clear voices.
Shadows frequent the halls, as well as the old ER/OR rooms and screams, can be heard on occasion coming from the labor and delivery ward.
One of the creepiest things to witness is the battery-operated dolls in a bedroom, which have been caught on camera responding accordingly to requests to laugh and converse without other interference. Some think that the dolls are a way for Stacy or spirits of other children to talk.
Ghost Adventures at Yorktown
TV’s Ghost Adventures caught a lot of evidence on their investigation at Yorktown Hospital. Clear EVP’s of the following was caught:
“You Wanna Play?”, “It Must Be Told, And I’ll Tell Them You Did It”, “It’s Sick”, “Don’t Go In The Bathroom”, “Okay”, “Get In There”, “The Killer Is Coming, Get To The Hallway”
They also captured the bottom half of a figure whilst using their infrared still camera. Disembodied moaning, and shuffling was also heard on several occasions.
Visiting Yorktown Memorial Hospital
With roughly 2000 recorded deaths on the property, the chance of witnessing a spirit of one of those is pretty high! The possibly negative energy from pieces of original furniture and even blood from a violent altercation could be what ties these spirits even tighter to the building.
The Yorktown Memorial Hospital, from the faded red entry steps under the ominous “MEMORIAL HOSPITAL” inscription to the haunted chapel and basement, is without a doubt one of the most haunted places in the country.
Location of Yorktown Hospital
Other Haunted Locations in San Antonio:
- Haunted San Antonio Train Tracks
- San Antonio State Hospital
- Victoria’s Black Swan Inn
- Ghosts of the Alamo – the story of the hauntings
OUR TEXAS GHOST HUNTS