Locals refer to the Sanatorio de Sierra Espuña as the happy house, and it is regarded as one of the creepiest sites in the region. A great deal of this myth was propagated by a Spanish television crew that spent the night in the hospital and allegedly caught a spectral being, known as the white woman poking her head slightly out of a window on one of the upper floors of the abandoned sanitarium. The truth, however, is much more frightening.
In the early 20th century, tuberculosis and leprosy were washing through the municipality of Murcia in Spain. Mortality rates were skyrocketing and a decision to quarantine the sick was quickly adopted. In 1913, construction began on a sanitarium outside of town. The first floor was finished in 1917, but the entire complex was not complete until 1934, because patients who were well enough were tasked with completing construction during the warm summer months.
During its tenure as a hospital, hundreds of sick patients lived out their final days on the upper floor of the building, often horribly ill and in complete agony.
Beginning in 1949, many patients with access to the newly discovered Streptomycin began to get better and move out of the hospital. By the mid 1950s, it was empty of the sick and dying, and gradually repurposed as an orphanage. However, the orphanage was short-lived and closed in 1962, as the complex was far too large to run efficiently and money was drying up to fund the project.
Until the 1980s, the hospital sat abandoned, becoming dangerously decrepit and attracting a number of young thrill-seekers, excited to take part in the alleged paranormal experiences that took place in the hospital. Playing on this market, a move to convert the building into a hostel was briefly tried, but the ruinous majority of the building once again stopped the project cold. Since 1995, the building has been completely abandoned and only draws the occasional tourist in search of spectral beings.
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