A RECAP OF OUR FINDINGS AT
THANKS TO THOSE WHO JOINED US IN SALAMANCA, NY ON JUNE 8!
WHY WE CHOSE WILDWOOD SANITARIUM
When Wildwood Sanitarium opened its doors in 1909, it was committed to the mantra “health without medicine.” A sign on the property promises that the owner at the time, Dr. John Henderson, “endeavored to make conditions inside the house as pleasant as possible.” Complete with a bath house in the basement, was this building the center for hope and healing its owners asserted that it would be?
What the signs on the property don’t say is that the bath house was not a luxury spa, but a place where patients were reportedly subjected to electric battery baths. What they were calling an “osteopathic infirmary” left too much open to interpretation. The Paranormal Dares team couldn’t resist the call to Wildwood Sanatorium after dozens of reports have surfaced about the highly interactive spirits who are said to lurk there, unable to move on from this world. Do the reports of dozens of interactive spirits and a gripping dark entity hold any truth? Our team wants to host an event to find out.
WE DARE YOU TO WATCH
SOME WHO ENTERED, NEVER LEFT
There are many spirits said to haunt this old building, however, one of the most famous is simply known as “Tommy”. The owner of the building, Laurie Wagatha, believes that she has connected with the spirit she calls Tommy on several occasions. It is unclear if Tommy might have been a patient at the infirmary or was admitted to the facility during its time as a tuberculosis ward. Tommy’s room is known for the appearance of shadow figures and strange voices.
One of the rooms at Wildwood is known as “Linda’s Room”. According to the owner, previous investigations have yielded interactions with the ghost of a middle-aged woman. Many believe it is the ghost of a patient named Linda, a woman who is widely believed to have perished tragically inside the building after suffering extreme burns to her legs from an overturned kerosene lamp. Linda’s room is a place where investigators report a lot of activity. The mood alone is enough to inspire unease, as the chairs and tables are filled with dolls, whose eerie empty gazes give you the feeling that someone is watching.
Wildwood Sanatarium was originally opened as Sunnyside Sanatarium by Dr. John Henderson and a partner known simply as Dr. Perry. They sent out advertisements, offering a reward of $15 (more than $400 in modern day standards) to anyone who could help facilitate the admission of a patient to the ward. Their ad said that no illness was too extreme for their expert care, and it even promised that they would “positively guarantee a perfect and absolute cure”. This bounty-like positioning has led modern day investigators to ask if the doctors’ intentions were true to their word. Strangely enough, both doctors died in the year 1946 (despite the fact that Dr. Perry was several decades younger than Dr. Henderson). Though neither of them worked at the sanatarium at that time, is it possible that they returned to the place where they had the power to hold other human lives captive from the world?
This building was a host to many deaths, but the building’s owner tells the story of one death in particular, which has allegedly caused a phenomenon that is the source of much curiosity in the paranormal community. According to the owner of the building, one of the patients may have hanged themselves near a window on the second floor. Strangely enough, this same location attracts swarms of flies. The owner has tried to eradicate the insects, but said that they seem attracted to this spot for reasons she can’t understand.
ORBS OF LIGHT
There are countless reports of light and shadow play moving through the rooms and halls of this building. Many have also reportedly witnessed floating orbs of light, a phenomenon that, in the paranormal community, is considered to be a sign of an entity or even possibly an extraterrestrial presence. The sheer volume of people who have witnessed these sorts of events is enough to pique the interest of the Paranormal Dares team.
A DARK ENTITY
Visits to Wildwood have inspired a number of chilling reports of a “dark entity” who lingers there. Many report a feeling of dread, or claim to feel they have experienced a cold, aggressive grip on their shoulders. Some have even reported a scratching sensation on their chests. Some who have visited the building claim that this entity has trapped some of the innocent spirits who passed on within the walls of the building.
MORE THAN A CENTURY OF HISTORY, STEEPED IN STORIES OF SUFFERING
Floors to investigate, including the attic and basement bathhouse
More than 3,600 sq. ft. of free roam investigation space
The Paranormal Dares team has just returned from Salamanca, New York, where they conducted an investigation of Wildwood Sanitarium, as well as the graveyard in Salamanca where the founder of the facility is buried.
“We had a great time with our guests,” said Keith Fournier of the Paranormal Dares team. “It was an interesting place, that’s for sure.”
The team spent the evening exploring Wildwood with guests, who were able to gain hands-on experience with paranormal investigative technology through a free roam paranormal investigation. The team was standing by to help guests as they explored every inch of Wildwood.
The group ultimately ended up walking through the woods to visit the grave site of one of the doctors who was the founder of Wildwood and rumored to haunt the building. While the guests did not pick up indications that the doctor’s specific presence was to be found within the building itself, some of the paranormal investigative technology picked up unexplained activity around his family’s gravesite. Guests were also unable to pin down the source of footsteps that many people reported hearing near the gravesite.
The Paranormal Dares team wanted to send a big shout out to Chris Wolfgang and the PIT CRU NY (Paranormal Investigation Team Central Region of Upstate New York) for collaborating on the investigation.
“We loved meeting the team from PIT CRU,” said Jessica Angel. “Anytime we get to investigate with another team, it’s just that much more fun.”
“One huge shout-out to our guests,” said Keith. “We had a blast with them and we’d love to see them back at future events… it was a great group that night!”
The entire team wants to thank everyone who came along for the investigation and for the opportunity to explore this incredible sanitarium. We’re gearing up for even more investigations across the country, so stay tuned to our events page to get your tickets to the next event!