The Weyburn Mental Hospital opened in 1921 and, at the time, it was one of the largest buildings in the entire British Empire. When the facility first opened, mental illness was poorly understood and the primary methods of treatment consisted of 'work and water.' A lot of them worked at the laundry and in the kitchen and in the gardens. They were just glad to have things to do.
One of the favored treatments of the 1860's was the Water Cure, in which a patient would be immersed naked into a tub of icy water and then taken to a tub of scalding water after their body temperature had sufficiently lowered. In addition, female patients, received a cold water douche, administered with a hose and then they were wrapped tightly in wet sheets to squeeze the blood vessels shut. This was followed by vigorous rubbing to restore circulation. The "treatments" were administered several times each week but not surprisingly, such techniques brought little success and most of the patients never got better.
Other treatments used at the hospital were not so benign. In an attempt to control and treat patients, methods such as insulin therapy, electroshock and lobotomies were practiced.
Although invasive, these methods were driven by a desperate need to help patients who were often a danger to themselves and others. Later, other therapies came into practice.
The haunted part of this location is said to be the fourth floor which is sealed off. Voices have been reported and some have even gone as far to report the sighting of a female ghost said to pace up and down the halls, throughout the night. Surrounding the mental institution is a hoard of trees which at nightfall witnesses claim to have encountered unexplainable noises originating from wood.
At present the Mental Hospital is scheduled for demolition, ending an association of more than 80 years with Weyburn.
This past week we took a road trip down to the Weyburn Mental Hospital to check out this sprawling complex. Big is definitely a fair description of this building. The property is still some what active as two buildings on the perimeter are still being used by Sask Power and what looks like a health facility of some sort.
Our initial trip was to be during the day and the weather was cool and rainy. The inital impressions I got was the scope of this facility must have been massive. There was a uneasy and anxious feeling to it as well. My wife said the place made her feel weepy, like she wanted to cry but was unsure why.
The main complex's ground and first floor openings are completely sealed and boarded up to prevent the vandalism that still has occured in some areas. Thou the boards on one window had been pulled away we did not go inside. Thou we did take some photos threw this opening.
Is this location haunted or is it just a legend to go along with an unique old building with a depressing past?
As of the legend of a spectral women that moves back and forth on the fourth floor, we did not get any evidence of this nor the mysterious sounds and voices from the surrounding trees.