Update: 'Haunted' TB Sanitarium Sells for $55,100 Aug 20, 2019 17:42:06 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Aug 20, 2019 17:42:06 GMT -5
Bidding War for Old ‘Haunted’ TB Sanitarium
An unlikely bidding war has erupted over an allegedly haunted tuberculosis sanatorium in upstate New York that has been abandoned for almost half a century. In recent days, online haggling for the Saratoga County Homestead in Providence has turned fierce, with the highest offer hovering at $42,000 as of Tuesday morning.
The Homestead opened its doors in 1936, offering tuberculosis patients refuge in a 100-bed, 31,000 square-foot hospital on 28 wooded acres, where it was hoped sufferers could be healed from exposure to the area’s “mountain air.” Though the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic had drastically reduced the number of those infected with TB in the United States, the disease was still considered an epidemic in Europe, where approximately one in seven people succumbed to the malady.
The Homestead discharged its last patient in 1960, later reopening as the Saratoga County Infirmary before it permanently closed in 1973. In the 1980s, the county sold the site to Bruce Houran, who planned to open a drug-treatment center or other health care facility, but nothing came of such plans and the place continued to deteriorate.
In the decades since, the sturdy masonry building, a caretaker’s house and the grounds have been abandoned, growing ever more decrepit as rumors of the “haunted hospital” spread like wildfire among teenagers. On January 7, 2012, Noelle Johnson, 17, was killed in a traffic accident near the old building after which firefighters asked officials to either seal or tear down the Baskerville Road structure, which had become an attractive nuisance.
Though in bad shape, with graffiti-sprayed walls, broken windows, missing doors and a precarious roof, the property was recently assessed at $224,194. Additionally, the site is free of hazardous materials such as asbestos, thanks to a $1.69 million EPA cleanup. “Obviously, whoever buys it will have to spend a lot of money,” Saragota County attorney Stephen Dorsey admitted. “It needs special care.”
If the foregoing hasn’t discouraged you and you’re interested in owning an old, dilapidated hospital on 28.61 acres, go to Auctions International and place your bid. The current bid (as of August 20) is $42,000. Bidding closes at noon Wednesday, August 28.
Sources: Janine Puhak, Fox News, August 20, 2019; Stephen Williams, The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, N.Y.), March 20, 2012; Auctions International; and Andrew Noymer, US National Library of Medicine, July 22, 2012.