While we should all be appreciative that they exist, hospitals can be downright terrifying. It is no wonder that filmmakers have long been inspired by them when you consider how many contagious illnesses, deaths and mental breakdowns occur in a single hospital during its lifetime. The setting already puts people on edge, so it isn’t difficult to achieve some serious scares. Let’s take a look at 11 horrifying hospitals in horror that I’m glad I won’t be visiting anytime soon.
Stonehearst Asylum – Stonehearst Asylum (2014)
When a new doctor arrives at the Stonehearst Asylum in 1899, he is pleased to discover a tame and patient-friendly environment. However, he quickly finds out that things aren’t what they seem. With one plot twist after another, Stonehearst Asylum’s terrifying secrets begin to unravel. While it isn’t the most terrifying hospital on this list, it definitely holds plenty of surprises and thrills.
All Saints Memorial Hospital – Nurse 3D (2013)
When she isn’t playing nurse, Abby Russell (Paz de la Huerta) is on a mission to gruesomely murder men who cheat due to her daddy issues. She also becomes sexually and emotionally obsessed with a new nurse (Katrina Bowden). All of this explodes into a violent rampage throughout All Saints Memorial Hospital that leaves a wake of dead bodies. Love her or hate her, actress Paz de la Huerta has a flair for playing a sexy and crazy bitch.
Unnamed Mental Hospital – The Ugly (1997)
In this depressing run-down mental hospital in New Zealand, the orderlies are violent and abusive while the owner turns a blind eye. Oh, and it houses Simon Cartwright (Paolo Rotondo), an incredibly dangerous serial killer. When he asks a psychiatrist to evaluate him because he’s “cured,” we delve into his psyche as “The Ugly” reveals itself. The apparitions of his former victims appear, covered in black blood, to tell Simon that he must kill. Between the orderly abuse and Simon’s victims lingering about, this is one hospital I’d rather not end up in.
Kingdom Hospital – Kingdom Hospital (2004)
Developed by Stephen King, this television series only lasted one season but packed a lot in during those thirteen episodes. The story revolves around the turbulent Kingdom Hospital, which is a hotbed for ghosts and supernatural activity. While not all of the spirits are evil, there is a dark presence lurking about. It is a shame that Kingdom Hospital didn’t last longer because it had so much potential.
Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane – House on Haunted Hill (1999)
This remake of the 1959 film of the same name changed the setting from a house to an abandoned hospital for the insane. After cruel experiments and a fire kill the staff and patients alike, vengeful spirits trap a group of party-goers in the building and begin picking them off, one by one. Yeah, some of the scenes can be a bit cheesy, but I’ll admit that a few of the scares get me every time.
Danvers State Hospital – Session 9 (2001)
Frantic to save his struggling asbestos removal business, Gordon Fleming (Peter Mullan) agrees to a project at the Danvers State Hospital. Once he and his crew get to work, the hospital’s tense atmosphere takes a toll on everyone. The real star of the film is undoubtedly the setting. Filmed on location at Danvers State Hospital, which was formerly called State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers, the psychiatric hospital was the origin of pre-frontal lobotomy and was rumored to use cruel techniques to keep patients under control. While the hospital was under renovation in 2007, the buildings under construction burned down. With its controversial history, it is no doubt one of the most horrifying hospitals in horror.
Sunnydale Memorial Hospital – Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Over the seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sunnydale Memorial Hospital saw its fair share of supernatural baddies. Doubtful the staff would get much relief between vampires, zombies, demons, and even a god from hell roaming the hallways. Sunnydale Memorial Hospital collapsing into the earth via a giant sinkhole was probably a relief.
Haddonfield Memorial Hospital – Halloween II (1981)
Taking place immediately after the events in Halloween (1978), this sequel primarily takes place in Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Michael Myers continues to hunt down his sister, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), but doesn’t hesitate to have some killer fun with the staff and other Haddonfield town residents. There are some pretty horrifying hospitals listed here, but seeing Michael Myers walk the hallways would send anyone to an early grave…one way or another.
Georgetown University Hospital – The Exorcist III (1990)
For most, The Exorcist III is the true sequel to the iconic first film, even though they are very loosely connected in story. It follows Lieutenant William F. Kinderman (George C. Scott), who is led to the psychiatric ward of Georgetown University Hospital while investigating a serial killer. Not only is Exorcist III severely underrated, but it has some of the most terrifying hospital scenes to date. Because of those scenes, I always find it a bit hard to sleep after watching.
Briarcliff Mental Institution – American Horror Story: Asylum (2012-2013)
Season two of American Horror Story took viewers into Briarcliff Mental Institution, ran by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) and Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) during the 1960s. The walls of Briarcliff saw it all, including corporal punishment, cruel experiments, aliens, murder, possession and other insane subplots. Something sinister was always afoot, making Briarcliff one of the most horrifying hospitals in television history.
Westin Hills Hospital – A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Not only did Westin Hills serve as the hunting grounds for Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) in Dream Warriors, but it was also the location in which he was conceived. His mother, a nun, was brutally raped in a room with lunatics and murderers for days, resulting in pregnancy. When he returns to the hospital, Freddy begins picking off a group of troubled teens in elaborate ways. This hospital is the stuff nightmares are made of…literally.
It is easy to see how nosocomephobia, or fear of hospitals, has become one of the top phobias affecting people today. If you’re one of those affected, proceed through these films carefully. Or don’t and be a glutton for punishment. Also, let us know below or on Facebook if your favorite horrifying hospital made the list!