In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints ... and gods.

STEVEN PINKER, How the Mind Works

Monday, September 29, 2008

Weyburn Mental Hospital pt. II & Hospital Graveyard

This past weekend we here at Prairie Specters were given permission to explore the Weyburn Mental Hospital in Weyburn. Over the next day or so I will be updating the site with pictures and accounts of our day there. I wanted to express our great thanks to our guide for the day. Your personal stories and knowledge of the facility were greatly appreciated. Thanks!

*** Please do not let yourself in and run around this building. It is not "cool " or an episode of "Most Haunted". It is dangerous and considered trespassing. ***

As we stood there waiting to enter the hospital our guide talked a little about the site.
"It's empty now" she said. " Whatever was here has left."

Can a haunted building go quiet? For our guide the place no longer feels the way it once had.

"One time I was here with a cleaning crew and I was off in one wing alone and a voice behind me said "There you are" she turned around thinking it was one of the cleaning crew but she was alone. As the intercom system was down she radioed the crew who turned out to be in another wing.

We made our way with flashlights through the laundry sub-basement area. The place was cool and dark, abandoned equipment sat in corners. Our guide pointed out the kitchen areas and one of the tunnels that ran to an outlying building. As we made our way to the ground floor and higher floors the damage that vandals and the elements had done really became obvious.

One of the most common phenomena our guide suggested was the sound of footsteps continuing after you had stopped walking. In one area, the hardwood floor room, where they had experienced this we tried to get the same result but no footsteps were heard. My wife's camera at this point refused to take a picture inside this room. Our guide explained how the outline of a body in the dirty floor could sometimes be found in the curtained area beyond the room with the hardwood floor. Throughout the whole tour I had tried to remain in the back frequently turning around to see if I could catch anything as our are group past. It was in this area where we listened for footsteps that I did have a small feeling as we left that we were being watched.

As we continued to the upper floors the windows were no longer boarded up and the sunlight streamed in and warmed up the dreary halls.
This was the domain of the trapped pigeons who fluttered out at us from hidden niches to startle our nervous members. Numerous carcasses lay about of the ones who starved looking for a way back out. Here the halls were quiet and empty, a sad reminder of the pain and mental suffering of those who lived here.

Our guide told us of a group that came from the University of Saskatchewan to investigate the Hospital setting up in large room in the old wing. The group was to have performed a seance and became so frightened by what happened they left the building right then and there even thou they had use of the Hospital for two days. Later it was found out that they had seen "things" flying about the room outside of the seance circle. Our guide told that in the past a ring would sometimes be found laying on the floor of this room, only to be missing the next visit, but back again the next time.

Contrary to popular legend the newer fourth floor, which was added after the dome was removed, is not sealed off. This part of the facility felt really open and breezy and did not feel oppressive or depressing in any way. Out of all places in the hospital this would be the least likely, in my option, you'd encounter a ghost. Yet the stories tell of a women's spirit who runs back and forth here at night. Maybe this area takes on a different feel in the evening? Something that may never be answered.

Is the Weyburn Mental Hospital haunted? Did spirits once walk the empty halls but have slowly faded away along with building as it crumbles, all that's left is the residual energy of countless lives lived. I agree with our guide "It's empty now". The tortured minds who lived and lived on in this place have finally found their peace.


Mike F said...

How much of this hospital still stands does anyone know. And where can an entrance to the tunnels be found. I'm looking for a little bit of info on what im looking for when i go there.

Contact me at

Andrea Norberg said...

Mike F - the Weyburn Mental Hospital was torn down last year. From my understanding there is "not one brick left". I'd never been inside the building, but it's sheer size was incredible, as was its history.


mick said...

i was in there for about 2 hours (not nearly enough time to see the entire place). at one point we (me and a friend) heard one set of high heels clicking on the floor above us. unfortunately we were caught in there and fined $140 each. but if i had it to do all over again...i would in a heartbeat. it was one of the most amazing things i've ever seen.

i have some amazing pictures of the inside of the building. i also have pictures of the outside of the building in various stages of it being torn down.

DJ said...

I live in Weyburn. Maybe it was just me but just standing on the steps made me feel.. weird. One time at night me and a friend were going to enter it. We saw an open door, it was a bathroom (could be entered from the inside hallway, or outside yard). When we opened the door to the hallway I swear all the doors in the hall slammed shut at once. It was really loud, almost unbelievably over-done. Almost sounded like cannons being fired off. We froze and couldn't turn around and run out. We were stuck. It was so weird. I have weird dreams about that place sometimes now and thats the only time I've been there. And since then I get earie feelings from out of nowhere. My hair likes to stand up on my arms and I'm paranoid. Something is wrong with me..

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Weyburn and my mom worked at the hospital... Whenever i went there i can just remember i hated the smell. ( she worked in the dietary department. She has many stories of weird things happening in the tunnels.. I can't remember them all but the footsteps thing i think was quite common.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1994, I went to pre-school there. I remember how big it was and everything. I remember hating going there, especially during nap time because it felt weird to sleep there. I always was scared of that building. My mom went to school there when they had the Regional College there. I remember my favorite part of the day seeing my mom, eating lunch with her and seeing other parts of the building. I also remember the beauty of the railings and the windows were so big. We would explore the safer parts of the building. Mom would tell me not to run off because some of the building had holes in the floors. I use to go to the family place there. I remember going there for a Halloween party, it was awesome because it was scary but still you wanted to leave. It tore me both ways. I loved the place but it scared the crap out of me. I ran up and down some of those hallways, played there, went on visits with my grandparents to the petting zoo. One of my great grandmas passed away there. I still remember the mural on the wall of a deer, not in detail but just greens and a deer. The grounds to me still have that loneliness to them. Always will. You could put condos up there but the history of that place will remain the same. It always will be intimidating and full of memories. Good and tragic.

SLR said...

When I was about thirteen or fourteen my pathfinder group and I along with the weyburn pathfinders went on a haunted tour through this building. I will never forget the feeling that building gave me. When we toured through there they had 6 residents living in the one wing on the main floor they were elders that couldn't live at home anymore, not mentally affected people, one was my friends grandmother. The second room they showed us was a large mess hall, it had a balcony and pictures that the playschool children had colored hanging up on the walls. The guide went on to tell us a story of when she was working at the hospital and a patient hung himself from the railing directly above us on the balcony. We continued on into a wing that was completely boarded up with no power our light was a few cell phones and the guides flashlight. The creaking and moaning of the building was so defined. I remember being very creeped out with eerie feelings from the random old hospital beds just pushed off to the sides of the hall ways. We went into the same room that you describe here as feeling as if someone was watching you, when we were there we were told that that was the room that they gathered many patients in for spare time, I along with quite a few others felt quite disturbed in that room I definitely don't think we were alone. As we carried on we got to see the padded cells, I think these room gave me the most eerie feeling. On the tour through the halls people claimed to have heard foot steps but I don't know if you can count that as there were too many of us (in my opinion) to say that the footsteps were not from our group. One of the most significant things I remember was the huge painting on a wall in a small room in the basement, anyone that seen it will remember it. The tunnels definitely were the second worst part of the trip for me, following the padded cells, as they were small and felt busy. I could not get out of those never-ending tunnels fast enough. After the tour we were standing outside the building where we had a chance to ask questions and take a group picture on the step. My best friend and I were a little bit away from the group and were looking up to the fourth floor and seen what looked like a lady, we convinced ourselves it must have been just one of the current nurses or a keeper or something, yes we knew it was a closed wing but didn't want to admit it. Over the years we have constantly tried to convince ourselves that we did not see anything in that window, keep in mind we did not hear anything about this lady, that story was not told to us and reading your article just now is the first I have heard of others hearing or seeing a lady. Needless to say I will not sleep tonight [haha]. That tour has haunted me since I was fourteen, everytime I go through weyburn it's the first thing I think about. I can't stand hearing history about mental hospitals it freaks me out, my family and boyfriend and I were in Williamsburg VA two weeks ago where we toured through another building that had an entire wing dedicated to the history if their asylum, I sat outside and played on my phone. I only researched today to see if the building was still standing or not. It is a shame they tore it down as it was a massive beautiful building, however nomatter what it might have been used for, there is no way you would ever get me in that building or lot again.


Anonymous said...

I used to go in at night when I worked there to do paperwork. The wing in which I worked was totally empty and was at first freaky. I could hear echos of voices and noises from down the hallway. I know the history of some of teh horrific things that were done there, but there is also a history that wasnt horrible. It held people that were sick from Altzeimers and strokes and these people were cared for. As I did my paperwork one night a lady walked by my office door, I got up and spoke to her quickly, as she left through the door she disappeared. I believe that she was a patient, who had passed and was nothing but a passing spirit. Beaware what you say in this world is heard in the next.

D said...

Dj: what is the address of the site?
MikeF: did you ever visit it?
Slr: whats a pathfinder group? Do you still do ghost "hunts"hut me back at


Anonymous said...

Hey so does the mental hospital still stand right now?

Anonymous said...

I was in the Weyburn Mental Hospital in 1960 at the age of 7. "I'm Totally Serious!" It was hell for a 7 year old kid!!--Doug.