Several websites credit the Old St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson, as being the most haunted place in North Dakota. I agree with this, and I have some stories to tell.
The original 40 room St. Joseph’s Hospital was built in Dickinson in 1911, on 7th Street, several blocks east of Main Avenue. In 1912, six Sisters from the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross in Switzerland came to Dickinson to staff the St. Joseph’s Hospital. Additions to the facility took place in 1931, 1951, 1966, 1983, and 2000. The Sisters ran the hospital until approximately 1987. In 2014, the Old St. Joseph’s Hospital was closed, and the new hospital was opened about one mile to the west.
According to the website http://www.hauntedplaces.org, “Employees have reported ghostly activity from many different areas at this hospital. The elevator to the morgue runs up and down by itself; moaning and voices are heard in the cafeteria; and call buttons are activated from empty rooms. Laughing and the sound of running footsteps have been reported in the basement.” Yes, this summation is true, I have heard this from the employees that were there.
Due to the Old St. Joseph’s Hospital, and the new St. Alexius Hospital being operated by a Catholic organization, the administrators discourage employees from talking about what happened at the Old St. Joseph’s Hospital, and what happened at the new St. Alexius Hospital. The Catholic Church discourages recounting experiences with ghosts, apparitions, disembodied spirits, and demons, both because they think that it discomforts people, and that acknowledging these spirits and demons gives them more power.
I was able to find old employees that would talk about what they saw. I will give you one of their stories:
Approximately twenty-five years ago, an old local farmer checked in to the Old St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson. He was approximately 75 years old. He was well known and recognized by most of the nurses and staff, being a life long resident of Dickinson. He was a strong and determined man, having worked his whole life as a farmer. But now, his health was failing, he now had a serious illness. He was in a room on the third floor, if I remember correctly.
A doctor had seen the old farmer when he had been admitted to the hospital on the first day. The old farmer remained in the hospital for a second day, and a third day. On approximately the third night of his stay, at approximately 10 p.m., the old farmer emerged from his hospital room, fully dressed. He walked up to the nurse at the nurses’ station, who he knew, and he had a brief conversation saying, “Well, I have had enough, I am getting out of here, I am going to go ahead and leave.” The nurse who knew him, she knew this was just like him, stubborn and determined. If he was well enough to get up out of bed, get dressed, and walk out there telling her he was going to leave, she wasn’t going to try to stop him. She said O.K., bye.
About ten minutes later, a second nurse that had been making rounds to each of the rooms, came from the old farmer’s room, and said that he had just died. The nurse at the nurses’ station said, “That can’t be, he just came up to the nurses’ station dressed and ready to leave, he told me he was leaving, and he walked down the hall and he left.” The nurse at the nurses’ station thought that there must be some kind of mistake, she had to go check the old farmer’s room to see for herself, and she saw that he had died in his bed. She had had a conversation with the old farmer and watched him walk away, after he had died.
Perhaps in my next blog post, I will tell an even spookier tale, that happened at the new St. Alexius Hospital.