Culver Hospital Bio

 

Culver Union Hospital

Crawfordsville, IN

August, 2012

 

Investigative Team: (WPRS) James Holsclaw, Joshua Trowbridge, Ryan Herbert, Travis Farney, Kevin Steiner, Scott Fisher, Angie Sliger, John Sliger.

Facilitator/ Guest Investigator: Darrel Newkirk

Media: Reporter and Cameraman from TV 18, Journalist from the Crawfordsville Journal Review

 

History: On Feb. 23, 1897, the idea to start a hospital was conceived during a meeting of the Women’s Union at the home of Mrs. D.C. Smith. The Women’s Union was an organization whose purpose is to relieve suffering among the poor.

The first donation of $12 for a hospital was received on Thanksgiving Day, 1898. Three years later, on April 1, 1901, a donation of $10,000 was received by Mary Culver of St. Louis, Mo., in memory of her husband L.L. Culver. Hospital construction begins at 306 Binford St. in Crawfordsville. Culver Union Hospital officially opened on Nov. 27, 1902.

The hospital operated as such until 1927 when operation of the hospital shifted from the Union Hospital Association to Montgomery County.

On May 12, 1929 a new 45-bed building was completed. The former building was used as the nurses’ home. Construction on a new addition connecting the older and new buildings was started in 1939 and completed in 1942.

In 1950, the fire marshal ordered the 1902 building to be demolished; the basement was capped for future expansion. An additional wing was completed in 1966.

In 1983, Montgomery County sold the facilities to American Medical International. (http://www.franciscanalliance.org/hospitals/crawfordsville/about/pages/history.aspx, 2012)

Since that time, despite a number of new plans for re-development the hospital has become privately owned and has slipped into disrepair as it awaits its’ final fate.

The Claims: Strange noises, voices with no visible source, A woman in a white nightgown is said to be seen jumping from the fourth floor. Moving lights and orbs. Employees have abandoned job-site after movement of tools and other unsettling experiences. Current caretaker claims to have been pushed off a ladder and heard voices speaking to him. Small girls’ apparition has been seen several times.

Description: The abandoned Culver Hospital takes up an entire city block, entirely dominating the residential neighborhood that surrounds it, and whose property values it must substantially lower. It is truly an enormous building. It is in fact four different buildings connected by various wings, tunnels and annexes, none of which seem to lead to another in any orderly or logical fashion. The largest part is the main building, whose crumbling Georgian façade looks out over the town of Crawfordsville like a unhappy spirit from the past. Every window is missing and is crowned with a disturbing green awning that seems wrong somehow for a medical facility. The main doors sit boarded shut between two giant, decaying wooden pillars. To one side is the first annex, built in a 50s’ style office flat way, which clashes horribly with the original building. To the rear of the building the annexes become typical 70’s brick industrial style and in addition to the extra hospital space it also contains a former Social Security Office, Food Bank and the offices and printing area of the Hospitals’ former newsletter. No matter where you go once you are inside, things are pretty much the same. An unmappable maze of corridors and staircases lead you to an endless array of patient rooms, surgeries, storage areas, nurses’ stations, offices and treatment rooms. Debris litters every floor surface and broken glass and twisted metal dare you to fall on them. Missing walls and exposed beams are common and garbage from years of partiers and vagrants is everywhere. In places the roof has given way, leading to flooded halls and giant puddles and huge patches of dangerous mold. Electrical wiring dangles like nooses from the ceilings although oddly enough all surviving light fixtures still have bulbs in them. Graffiti covers almost every surviving vertical surface. The basement areas, which contain the morgue, generators and cold storage, are especially flooded, with water being inches deep in places, and wet garbage a raw sewage is common. There is quite a bit of asbestos, so respirators are a good idea.

 

The Investigation: James, Josh and Tre arrived at the site around 5 pm. After a brief walkaround outside the hospital they set up the awning and table and organized the equipment. Then followed a period of utter confusion that is not strictly necessary to the investigation but I will outline in brief sentence fragments. James and Tre go house to house interviewing the neighbors. John and Angie and Darrel arrive. The journalist from the Crawfordsville Review does some question asking. Travis, Ryan and Kevin arrive. TV 18 arrives and does some shooting. The property owner arrives and we all sign waivers. We were then split into two groups and given walkthroughs of the premises as well as stories and personal experiences of the owner and his two hired maintenance men. To tell or describe every group, who was in them and when would lead to this being 95 pages long, so I will just stick to personal experiences that were had by investigators. Hard evidence will be discussed in the later evidence section. While on the initial walk-through Darrel was holding the Ovilus X in his hand. Upon rounding a corner in a hall it clearly said “Darrel” which is the first occasion we had heard the Ovilus say a proper name. This caused the Journalist who was standing behind Darrell to flee the building and not return. Travis Farney had his shirt tugged on forcefully and investigator Ryan witnessed his shirt moving as it happened. Tre heard someone following him up the stairs at one point and caught an accompanying EVP. Tre was later scratched on the back. Other various significant words came through the Ovilus and many sounds and voices were possibly heard.

The Evidence: A couple EVPs’ were captured. There is a photo of the scratch on Tre’s back. No video evidence caught.

Conclusion: While several paranormal seeming experiences were had and a minimal amount of evidence was gathered, we would hate to give the Culver Hospital a haunted rating just yet. Hard evidence of the stories told were impossible to come by, and since no other groups have officially investigated here we have no other evidence to compare it to as of now. In addition the large number of investigators, the media presence, the general noisiness of the neighborhood and the presence of locals watching us investigate may have contributed to evidence contamination. Further investigation of this locale is necessary.

 

Link to EVP’s

Link to Photo’s

 

 

 

 

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