The sad and horrific story of the bodies of children found beneath the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home and orphanage in Tuam, Ireland, reminds us yet again of the atrocities that the human species continues to be capable of, especially against the most helpless members of society. It’s no wonder that some of the most haunted locations around the world are former orphanages and so-called ‘hospitals’ and ‘homes’ for those with physical and mental challenges.
Briefly, a mass grave containing the remains of as many as 800 babies and young children was discovered in an underground structure at the site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway, confirming decades of suspicions about the atrocities conducted at the facility, which was closed in 1961. While there are no well-publicized ghost appearances at the site, there are undoubtedly many that have gone unreported and paranormal investigators will certainly be searching for them and more.
Unfortunately, there are other more well-known orphanages alleged to be haunted by the spirits of those tortured and abused there. One is St. John's Orphanage, also known as the Goulburn Boys Orphanage, in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia, was in operation from 1913 to 1978 and rumored to be a place here beatings and abuse were common. The abandoned structure still stands and is reputed to be haunted.
Another is the Royal Liverpool Seamen’s Orphanage in Newsham Park, Tuebrook, Liverpool, which operated from 1870 to 1988 for the orphaned children of families who had died at sea. The buildings still stand and ghosts have been seen and heard there, along with paranormal occurrences such as objects being moved.
At least 116 children were known to have died at the Twin Bridges Orphanage in Montana while it operated from 1897-1944. Ghosts have been observed there and the buildings have been investigated by paranormal television shows.
Two facilities in Ohio are mentioned whenever the subject of haunted orphanages comes up. The Fairmount Children’s Home in Alliance, Ohio, was closed in the 1970s and burned down in 2002 but there are still reports of cold spots at the location. A cruel headmaster was said to have beaten some children to death until the orphans revolted in 1944 and hanged him from a pipe in the basement.
The other is the Gore Orphanage in Vermilion, Ohio. The ruins there are said to be the remains of the Light of Hope Orphanage, later referred to as simply the Gore Orphanage, where it is alleged a fire was deliberately set in the 1800s, killing a number of children. Cries of the children have reportedly been heard there and it is still visited by paranormal investigators and was the subject of a 2015 film.
Whether you believe the ghost stories or not, the histories of atrocities at these orphanages – many run by governments as well as religious groups – as well as those of sanitariums, mental institutions, homes for the elderly and hospitals for the poor should remind us that these tragedies continue to exist in other forms, often less visible, today. Perhaps that’s the real message these spirits are giving us.