04/16/13

Metropolitan State Hospital

Met State

On 4/6/13 we investigated some of what remains at the Waltham Massachusetts Metropolitan State Hospital. Kline Hall is the building we investigated and it is now the LexMedia Community Access Cable Station. Most of the Old Met State was torn down and the underground tunnels blocked. They moved the buried bodies from the old unmarked cemetery to build a retaining pond for the new Avalon Condominiums. The new cemetery is out deep in the surrounding woods.

metfern sign  metstate grave

We used a very sensitive microphone and headset and held a quiet time for over an hour. There were a great deal of noises, humming, singing and voices heard that were difficult to explain. We occupied the first floor of the building and there is a gym on the second floor. It was late and what was interesting is that the sensitive microphone picked up these noises, but did not pick up the music playing on the second floor. If any of the noises in question were made by tenants using the gymnasium – then why didn’t we hear the music?

met state map

What was the most eerie was the sound of children singing. It is thought that a dozen children were poisoned by strontium that doctors were adding to their milk in an attempt to cure their mental illness.

Individual audio recorder captured a child humming.

Paula and mike L. felt a sudden temperature drop.

We are uncertain that the location is haunted and it warrants further investigating.

History of Metropolitan State Hospital:

The former Metropolitan State Hospital property is located on a hilltop setting in South Lexington, bordered on the north by Concord Avenue in Lexington and on the south by Trapelo Road in Waltham. It was operational from 1929 until 1992.   The $1.8 million complex was considered the most modern mental health facility in the country.

The facility closed in January 1992, part of a broader deinstitutionalization movement that shut down most state mental hospitals in Massachusetts. The entire property remained abandoned and unused for the next fifteen years.

In 2007 the portion of the property in Lexington was transformed into a 387-unit apartment complex known as Avalon at Lexington Hills. The former Kline Hall theatre now houses marketing offices, Lexington’s cable access station, an auditorium and a fitness area. A large concrete relief from the medical-surgical building has been installed outside the building as a memorial to the state hospital.

memorial metropolitan state hospital

In 1978, Metropolitan State patient Anne Marie Davee was murdered by another patient, Melvin W. Wilson. Wilson dismembered Davee’s body and kept seven of her teeth which were discovered in his possession by employees of the hospital. Despite this discovery and its obvious implications, no action was taken against Wilson until Massachusetts State Senator Sen. Jack Backman (D-Brookline) led a Senate investigation into the case along with 19 other reports of negligence by state mental health workers. On August 12, 1980 Wilson led investigators to at least three burial sites where he put pieces of Davee’s body. This evidence included a “hut” in the woods where Davee and Wilson met, clothes and even sheets which hospital employees discovered the day after her disappearance. Nearly two months after her murder, another search by hospital staff yielded pieces of Davee’s clothing and belongings along with a hatchet, the supposed murder weapon.

metstateshoe metstate sheet

In addition to the torments suffered inside the walls of the hospital, the spirits might be restless for other reasons. More than 350 former residents were placed in pauper’s graves on the grounds of  the hospital. Originally, none had proper headstones or even names attached to them. They were buried with only a stone to mark their number and their religion. In recent years, people have made an effort to give the souls a proper burial, but this does not seem to have slowed the hauntings.

There is also the sad fact that in the early 1960s more than two dozen children died and were buried on the grounds. The general consensus is that they were poisoned by strontium that doctors were adding to their milk, believing that it was a way to treat their mental illness. The ghosts of these children are said to still haunt the property.

People believe kids are buried in the ground because there was also a children’s ward along with a hospital. When the children died, they would be buried right outside the property. The grounds of the hospital are believed to be haunted by all the tormented spirits who once called the place home. The place is common for people in the area to go in at night to seek ghosts, even though it is barracked off to the public. It has become so popular that it was even featured on the television show World’s Scariest Places.

Paranormal events started getting reported while the hospital was still in operation. Residents and hospital employees reported seeing shadow figures move through the halls, passing through walls, appearing in locked rooms, and disappearing into thin air. People have also reported hearing disembodied screams, especially in the areas of the facility used for electro-shock therapy, and dead residents have been seen by nurses in their now empty rooms.

Years later, workers reported still hearing screams and seeing flashing lights from those areas. Activity was also reported in a series of tunnels underneath the grounds used by the workers to travel to different parts of the campus. Their passages were lit by single lightbulbs yards apart, and it was common for the workers to feel unseen hands grab at their feet or touch their faces or backs as they walked into the darkened areas.A few local people have even had the overwhelming feeling of experiencing the actual emotions felt by the patients, and they could talk about procedures and practices of the hospital although they had never actually witnessed them.

Current reports of haunted activity:

– heavy doors, which are always open, slamming shut when alone in building and there are no windows in these two rooms and doors are then found closed.

– sounds of voices talking when alone in building

– construction debris chunk found on kitchen counter when there is no construction overhead

– a lightbulb went POP and was found on the floor in an area that didn’t use that type of lightbulb. Witness said they didn’t leave lightbulbs laying around unused.

– two summers ago a full-bodied apparition of a woman “glowing blue” was seen by more than 15 elderly people and police were called. This “ghost” looked to be gardening beside a sidewalk up the road from the building

– some contractors that worked in the underground tunnels while renovating cable station building would not return and not give a reason

Other info on Met State Hospital:

– hospital supposedly built on Indian burial grounds

– there were hospital tunnels underneath cable company building

– old bricks from the old Met State buildings are rumored to have been used on new buildings

– Hospital Memorial marker on the Kline Building (Cable Station Building).

Met State Investigation Notes/ Observations:

Saturday 4/6/13

Actual start time:  8:41pm

Temperature: 69F

Time:        Observations made with headphones on by Mike B or Team; unless otherwise noted:

8:47            Laura put (trigger objects) hatchet & piece of hospital sheet in kitchen

8:50            faint footsteps?

8:57            Banging

8:59            Laura ran up to the gym to see if people were in there. A walkie talkie was used The Gym appeared vacant.

9:04            investigators observe a shadow blocked the red light in front hallway

9:08            Shadow blocked red light in front hallway

908            Bang at microphone in kitchen

9:11             Children’s voices, reports of chills by team, one low/deep voice, conversation

9:27            Male voice

9:29            Multiple voices

9:30            Camera 3- flash of light over kitchen counter

9:32            Singing

9:33            Hum

9:34            Mike- hearing music, specific notes; FAFCFACFACF…

10:13            hallway noises, dragging, moan, footsteps   (not heard thru headphones)

10:26           EVP session asked about basketball, Camera 5- pulsating orb over basketball

metstate admin bldg

met state old