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Glenn Dale Hospital – An Abandoned Sanatorium near Washington DC



Glenn Dale Hospital was located in Prince Georges County in Maryland, USA and was one of the most significant community health organizations in the Washington DC area. It was built in the 1930s and served mainly as a tuberculosis sanatorium, housing adults and children in separate buildings. In total there were 23 buildings, two of which were used for treatment. Other buildings included those used as patient dormitories, nurses' residences, laundry, seclusion rooms, chapels and morgues. The buildings are connected by a series of underground tunnels, a common feature of such sanatoriums.


The Glenn Dale Hospital campus was located in the Glenn Dale area of Maryland, 13 miles (4.8km) from Washington DC in the open countryside, thought to be advantageous for care of tuberculosis. The hospital buildings included terraces, widely used to move beds outside as it was believed fresh air and sunlight were helpful in the treatment of the disease. A vaccine was discovered in the 1940s and with the quickly dwindling number of tuberculosis cases, it was decided to open the hospital up to the treatment of other conditions. It served as a home for the criminally insane right up until its eventual closure.


A fire inspection of the building in 1976 was pretty damning. Issues relating to fire escapes, laundry chutes, cramped living quarters and unsafe materials violated health and safety codes. Lead paint and asbestos were of particular concern. The estimated cost of bringing the building up to standard was $23 million and so it was decided to wind down operations. 370 patients were resident in the facility at the time and that number continued to reduce until Glenn Dale Hospital was finally closed in 1981.


The hospital passed into the hands of the District of Colombia, and they sold it to Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1994 with a proviso written into law that it must be used as a continuing care retirement community even if sold. Indeed, efforts to sell the property were unsuccessful when the MNCPPC deemed the bidders unable to comply with conditions to run a retirement community and the sale fell through. Glenn Dale Hospital was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.


Below are also some stories about the alleged hauntings in Glenn Dale Hospital, considered by many to be one of the most haunted places in the Washington DC area


There were underground tunnels running from building to building. When the hospital closed in 1981, many of the patients were turned out onto the street. With no relations and no money, they would return to the abandoned Glenn Dale, the only home they knew.

Today, Glenn Dale is condemned and dangerous. The police patrol the area. Asbestos runs rampant. Upper floors have caved in. Also, there are tales of strange things happening.

One of them involves a police officer who was checking the area out alone. Someone across the street heard gunshots and back-up was brought in. They found the officer standing, frozen, staring straight ahead, unable to speak. He had shot off all his rounds at something that was never found.


The morgue is supposedly a hot spot for paranormal activity. It’s located deep inside the main adult hospital building. People have reported hearing strange noises in the hospital and seeing the ghosts of patients who died there.


The hauntings seem to take place in the two structures closest to the road on your right. Most doors and windows have been broken out and abandoned medical equipment is scattered everywhere within the buildings. Sightings have included a large pack of ghost dogs, ghostly patients wandering the second floor, and smoke coming from the crematorium.


People have also complained of noises such as banging and yelling coming from the hospital walls hear screams and sometimes laughter. Inside there is sometimes a strong odour of burning flesh and smoke coming from where they used to burn the bodies. In one particular room there is said to be sightings of a man in a straight jacket who went insane after watching his family being murdered by an intruder to his home while he hid in a closet. He was so overcome with the guilt that he didn’t help his family that he went insane and eventually killed himself when he broke into the room where they kept the medication and overdosed.


For other interesting, abandoned locations check out www.worldabandoned.com

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