Investigation report

Ghosts of Georgia Paranormal Investigations

August 21-23, 2016 Ghosts of Georgia Paranormal Investigations investigated St Albans Sanatorium. Claims of activity:

  • Dubbed the Most Active Location on the East Coast
  • Most active rooms are where hydrotherapies were conducted. Patients who weren’t mummified in icy cold towels were strapped into steaming water vats for days, others blasted by a fire hose.  The most prominent room is called Suicide Bathroom in the Women’s ward.  At least four people are known to have killed themselves in this room
  • The Bowling Alley in the basement is known to be haunted by two female spirits: “Allie” and Gina Renee Hall. Allie is rumored to be the young daughter of one of the hospital’s patients, and Gina was a woman who was murdered on June 28, 1980 somewhere close to St. Albans Sanatorium, along Hazel Hollow Road.
  • Downstairs, the bowling alley was used as a reward for patients of Albans. In that basement, the bowling alley and the boiler room are regarded as a couple of the darker spots on the property; stories of the demonic Goat Man, shadow people, Smokey (the ghost of a rapist maintenance man), and the potential key in solving the mystery of the location of murdered Gina Renee Hall. Gina is very active.
  • Rocker Room has a chair rocking on its own reported
  • Muffin Man Hallway is on the first floor right past the King Center That nickname comes from St. Albans volunteer, Jenny Johnston. One year during a Halloween haunted fundraiser for the hospital, Jenny was dressed as a bloody Muffin Man. Event visitors reported not only seeing the Muffin Man (as in her doppelgänger when she wasn’t present) chase them through the hallway and spectral spooks.
  • It is said that a singing spirit named Elizabeth, and a darker, more menacing entity called the Grumpy Ol’ Man are present. Lots of EVPs, phantom footsteps, loud bangs, heavy feelings, and intriguing ghost box chatter is reported.
  • Donald’s room. A homosexual maintenance man who lived onsite in the hospital, but was also a pedophile. Donald preferred it when men visited his room and he wants to get them into his closet. The real horror lies in the tale of Donald raping and killing a young boy who was abandoned to the hospital. 
  • Shadow people have been seen and reports of being touched all over the facility.
  • People have been scratched and thrown across the room.
  • A tour guide saw something crawling around on the floor and up to the ceiling. (confirmed by Dead Files Amy)
  • The Director of Operations there has heard growls, screams and people talking. (confirmed by Dead Files Amy)
  • On a ghost box, John Zaffis received a voice saying “Peter” very clearly, many times when asked for a name.
  • Glowing red eyes seen in darkness. Believed to be a demon holding ghosts there.
  • Objects have been seen to move on their own. Specific rooms not noted.

Fast moving shadows have been captured outside of Jacob’s room.


Investigators & people present at investigation: Ed Laughlin, Christie and Chris Bradley, Melinda and Larry Conley, Brian Daffern. Guest investigators: Michele Lowe, Monty, and Idaho.


Special thanks to Marcelle Hanauer and all the wonderful security personnel that were very informative and kept us safe during our investigation. They truly made our visit a wonderful and fulfilling one. Also thank you for all the hard work you put in to restore such a lovely historical landmark.


Described by many experienced paranormal teams as the “most active location on the east coast” – a night at St Albans Sanatorium is not for the weak or squeamish! Long before the St Albans Lutheran Boys School came into existence in 1892; members of the Powhatan, Shawnee and Cherokee Indian tribes inhabited this land. The Draper’s Meadow Massacre in 1775 tells the story of the horrors faced by early pioneers and of Mary Draper Ingles journey home after her capture by the Shawnees.

The Civil War also had its share of violence on this hill overlooking the New River. In 1865 Union forces defeated Confederate forces during the battles of Newbern and Cloyd’s Mountain. Union artillery bombarded the settlement of Central Depot (now the city of Radford) from the ridge where St Albans stands today.

As magnificent as the St Albans Boys School was it had its share of darkness. An article describing the school sums up some of the horror that plagued the intellectual students; “The atmosphere at the school was rough and competitive. It clearly favored the stronger boys (or bullies as we would say today) and made short work of the more cerebral types like one E. Blackburn Runyon, whose painful experience at the school was poignantly summed up by a yearbook editor in 1904: “E. Blackburn Runyon did not return after Christmas, much to our sorrow, as it put a stop to the football games on the terrace in which he figured prominently as the football.”” Though no official records indicate that students lost their lives (by suicide or by homicide) it is rumored that several lives were lost during the time that St Albans was a boy’s school.

In 1916 Dr. J.C. King converted St Albans from a boy’s school to a hospital for the mentally ill and St Albans Sanatorium came into existence. Even though the treatment of mental disorders at St Albans was far superior to the care given to “lunatics” at other facilities, many patients succumbed as a result of the experimental treatments performed at this institution. Insulin Coma Therapy (ICT), Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Hydro Shock Therapy (HST) all resulted in a significant number of fatalities.  There are several documented suicides. This obituary from the Southwest Times chronicles one such lost soul “Mrs. Susan Jane Sayers, wife of W.B. Sayers, died Saturday night at the St. Albans Sanatorium, Radford, where she had been under treatment. Her condition had been extremis for some days and the end not unexpected, it being realized there was no hope.”

On June 28, 1980 the heinous murder of Gina Renee Hall was committed not far from St Albans and her blood stained car was found only a few hundred yards away on Hazel Hollow Road. Often when paranormal investigations are conducted in the basement, and in particular the bowling alley, a strange and almost sentient mist is seen in conjunction with the mention of her name.


·       During the 1700’s Powhatan, Shawnee, & Cherokee Indian tribes inhabited the area.

·       In 1775, the Draper Meadow Massacre happened.  Indians murdered five people, including an infant.

·       In 1865 civil war battle occurred on site. Union soldiers bombed the Central Depot from the site of St. Albans.

·       Overlooks the New River

·       The first four patients were admitted in January 1916

·       In 1892, Professor Miles opened St. Albans as a boy’s school and closed in 1911

·       In 1916, Dr. JC King reopened the facility as a home for the mentally disabled.

·       A new addition to the building was added in 1980

·       In 1990’s, the Carillion Health System acquired St. Albans & vacated property in 2003.

·       Today, the conditions inside St. Albans is a mix of real and staged damage.  Some have been set up for atmosphere.

·       The building shutdown in 2003.

·       Building is 68,000 sq. ft.


Equipment used by Investigators:

Cameras: Two Canon Rebel digital cameras, Samsung digital camera, Fuji S602 digital camera, Tasco infrared trail camera, iPhone 5S Camera/Video, numerous IR Video Cameras connected to a J2000 DVR. Nikon Coolpix L28 Full Spectrum digital camera, Bell & Howell IR Camcorder, JVC Everio Camcorder, T700 Full spectrum Camcorder, DDV-2200 full spectrum video camcorder, Insignia full spectrum HD camera/video recorder, MagiCam Mini Camcorder, FLIR Bcam w/SD, set of full spectrum POV glasses.

DVR: Black HD-SDI H.264

EMF Meters: Electro Sensor EMF Meter, Cell Sensor, Digital EMF Detectors, Mel-8704R-KII, Mel-8704-R, several K-II Meters.

Audio Recorders: Sony P210 digital voice recorder, 2- Sony digital recorders, Olympus D-10 digital voice recorder, RCA digital recorder  Olympus VN-4100PC. Spion Parabolic Dish.

Thermometers: Cen-Tech mini non-contact infrared digital thermometer and an Omega HH68K ambient thermometer. Mel-8704R-KII has ambient thermometer included.

Other: 2-P-SB7 frequency sweep radio( spirit box ), P-SB11 spirit box, Spirit voice receiver, Boo Buddy Bear, Laser Grid, Compaq Presario Laptop, Dell Laptop, Ovilus M, Altec speaker, 2- Rempod’s, various flashlights.


Investigation beginning and end: 08-21-16 at 8:15 p.m. set up DVR system and IR cameras, 12:15 a.m. started sweeps, 08-23-16 at 6:10 a.m. ended investigation.


Summary of Investigation:

We began the investigation with a tour of St Albans Sanatorium with the history and claims of paranormal activity. After the tour we set up our stationary IR cameras in the various reported active places in the sanatorium and our DVR system and base in a room off the main foyer where the grand staircase is. We then broke up into three to four person teams and started our investigating sweeps in different areas of the sanatorium using the equipment listed above. In each room we took EMF and temperature readings along with conducting EVP sessions using different methods and equipment to communicate with. During our thirty six hour investigation we changed personnel on each team so that all investigators would work with each to see if certain combinations would help with communications.



While investigating the EMF and temperature readings were within normal limits.

We did capture numerous EVP’s. We did not see anything on the video or in our pictures. The investigators had some personal experiences as well, see below.

With the numerous stories from different people over the years, the EVP’s we captured, and personal experiences by the investigators we feel that St Albans is haunted. We feel that some of the activity may be residual as well as intelligent haunting.

Ed Laughlin

Ghosts of Georgia Paranormal Investigations



Personal Experience summaries from investigators on the investigation:



When setting up the laptop and Kinect camera, it would not work in the boiler room.  After hours of work and going back and forth, it finally started to work.  Immediately after, a woman was giggling.

I was pushed in the doorway of the suicide bathroom, not hard, but just moved out of the way.

Scratched on my legs.  Not as bad as Idaho though.

Followed knocking sounds that led Melinda, Larry, and I down a pathway from base to the spot where Idaho was scratched, then is stopped.

Heard whispering in the safe room.

Heard a female voice and laughter at base.

Became extremely exhausted on night 2, with no energy.  But that could have been lack of sleep.


After doing a face book live, I was telling everyone that I will try to be back on later, and as I ended the video I heard a female voice say Ok. Me ,Melinda, and Brian were following knocking sounds through the hallways, it felt like they were leading us somewhere.


I was with Larry and Brian following the Knocks, I also heard the female voice say Ok

While I was at base I heard rustling on my left in some old papers, then I heard what sounded like someone sit on the couch to the left of the monitors. In the boiler room I felt like someone touched and lifted my right butt cheek.


Outside of the suicide room I heard something metallic hit the floor next to me, could not find anything metallic.

Saw shadow, twice, pass by doorway to observation room wile doing an EVP session.

While doing an EVP session in Rebecca’s room I heard the floor boards creaking outside the room door.

In the woman’s bathroom, downstairs near the file room, there was part of the grid, that holds the ceiling tiles in place, hanging down and it started swinging on it’s own. There were two investigators in the room and tried to see if either one of us bumped it but were unable to debunk why it started swinging. Also in that bathroom it had a clean smell to it like it had just been cleaned, but you can tell it hadn’t been cleaned in years.

I did see the scratches on Idaho’s arms after he was scratched by something unseen. Also saw the scratches on Brian’s knee.


While investigating we were walking into the purple room and upon entering I felt something hit my leg as I went to stop and check Christie said that she seen smoke or mist( I think) go from my leg upwards. While investigating in the observation room I saw a shadow come around the door and stay right on the wall and I felt as if at anytime something was going to step into the door from the hall. We were investigating in the men’s ward (the one with the tub and wheel chairs) while using the ghost box Idaho said he felt that he needed to stand outside the door and when he did there was a voice that said leave and I said “no he’s not leaving and then just a couple seconds later he said that his arm was burning and we all looked and there were whelps/scratches on his arm. When investigating in the bowling alley I saw red dots in there.


While in the basement in the bowling alley kept seeing red dots appear everywhere.

In the observation room got a bad feeling that I shouldn’t have been in there and that we should leave.

On the last day while rolling video cord I witnessed a shadow move from one side of the hall to the other side.

I saw the whelps and scratches on Idaho’s arm.


I saw a male shadow figure behind our history guide as we were doing our tour. As she walked in the door to where Rebecca hung herself he was behind her. As she went through the threshold the figure shifted to its right and faded as it did so.

I saw a second shadow figure, though much lighter than the above mentioned, but it was in the alcoholic treatment rooms. Far left. It was walking into the room.

While in the boiler room “something” pulled up my hair.  We ruled out anything hanging from the ceiling because it was several inches above my head.


In the women’s solitary area I smelled coffee very strong. I also smelled perfume and heard a loud tap sound as we went down the stairs when we left the women’s solitary area. I saw a white flash of light in the room beside our base room behind Idaho as he was talking. I saw a mist form in the doorway of the purple room in front of Chris, at the same time he felt something on his leg. I heard a loud thump sound (as if something was dropped on the floor) down the hall toward the outside “birdcage” area when we were investigating the observation room.




Below are some of the EVP’s we recorded from the investigation.  Since some of the EVP’s are faint we recommend turning up the sound and listening with headphones. What we hear in the EVP’s is listed below.

What we hear:

  1. “Here” then “Susan” then “Ritchie” 
  2. “Shit”
  3. “Oh boy” or “No boy”
  4. “Hey Chris”
  5. “No”
  6. “Yes”  
  7. “Yes”  
  8. “Eight”
  9. “Done” then “Thank you”
  10. “Yes” two times
  11. “Frankie” then “Doc”
  12. “Roosevelt”
  13. A breathy “Hello”
  14. “Talk”
  15. “Complain”
  16. “I’m back”
  17. “Please”
  18. “? cigarette smoke”
  19. “? their gone”
  20. “Strike” female voice only two investigators there and both were male.
  21. “Tired”
  22. Bang noise, no investigators in building at the time.
  23. Knock noise, no investigators in building at the time.
  24. Laughing
  25. Creaking noise sound like floorboards
  26. “Help”
  27. “Yeah”
  28. “Kind of like that”
  29. “If they had some”
  30. “Ed”
  31. “Nope” then “No”
  32. “Me”
  33. “911” then “Yeah”
  34. “Hello”