Are you up for ghostly thrills and chills on the site of a derelict Victorian-era orphanage and a cruel psychiatric asylum? Then the abandoned Newsham Park Hospital in Liverpool may be your ultimate overnight ghost hunt.
When you enter the foreboding double doors of Newsham Park you are stepping into over 120 years of dark mysteries, sadism, twisted deeds, and unwell minds. Prepare yourself for a deeply unnerving experience. This nightmarish Victorian relic has a reputation as one of the most haunted locations in all the UK.
We’ll take a cautious peek into its history, the most haunted corners on the 2.3-acre property, and the eerie supernatural forces you might encounter.
History Of Newsham Park
For over 70 years, Newsham Park served as a children’s orphanage. When the orphanage was closed after the Second World War, the facility was turned into Newsham Park Hospital and became home (or, more accurately prison) to many dangerous psychiatric patients.
Newsham Park Orphanage
In 1870, Liverpool Town Council established the Royal Liverpool Seamen’s Orphanage in Newsham Park. The orphanage aimed to support the widows and young children of Liverpool’s seamen lost at sea. The orphanage was officially opened in 1874 by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Over the next 70+ years, thousands of children passed through the institution. The conditions and treatment were harsh and cruel. The place was often overcrowded and understaffed. The children were subjected to strict discipline and corporal punishment by sadistic matrons and wardens. Beatings, isolation, and being locked in cupboards were part of the treatment.
During the Second World War, the children were evacuated from the orphanage and it became a military hospital. Financial struggles together with improved social services saw the Royal Liverpool Seamen’s Orphanage close in 1949, after the war.
Newsham Park Hospital
The building was then converted into a hospital. The Hospital opened its doors in 1954, taking in the mentally ill and elderly. The hospital had a psychiatric wing and was notoriously known for its poor treatment of these patients.
The asylum was basically a prison for the insane. Instead of trying to treat psychiatric conditions, the Hospital focused on incarceration and restraint. Difficult patients were caged, shackled, or kept in straightjackets. It is believed that patients were even experimented on.
The Newsham Hospital stopped taking patients in the 80s and was officially closed in 1992. For a few years thereafter, the facility accommodated relocated patients from the Rainhill Lunatic Asylum. The Rainhill population included some of the most criminally insane patients in the UK.
The hospital site was finally shut in 1997 and the building got left to decay and vandalism.
Newsham Park Ghost Hunt – Not For The Faint-hearted
With such a tragic, cruel and painful history, is it any wonder that so many unsettling and terrifying experiences have been reported in the Park?
A former hospital clerk who worked there in the 1970s and 80s told the local paper: “Staff were terrified of going to certain parts of the hospital. You could feel the evil when you walked in, it was in the atmosphere.”
Visitors and ghost hunters venturing into Newsham Hospital must prepare themselves for anything: dragging noises, whispering voices, apparitions, cold spots, doors slamming, objects moving, hair pulling, and hot breath on your neck. If you can’t handle terrifying screams and hysterical crying, then best stay away!
Famous Newsham Ghosts
Some of the wounded souls and traumatised youth that haunt this grim institution include:
This is the ghost of a nurse who hanged herself in the hospital after being accused of killing a patient. She is said to appear in the attic where she died. The rope that hanged her reportedly makes a disconcertingly eerie sound.
The dilapidated children’s wards and Main Hall are a particularly unsettling environment. It’s no surprise that numerous apparitions of untidy, lost-looking children and disembodied voices drifting from room to room have been witnessed.
Bill the Orphan
‘Bill’ is believed to be the ghost of a child who was locked in a cupboard by a cruel matron. He screamed through the night before falling silent. He was eventually found dead in the morning. This young boy is often heard opening and slamming the cupboard door, whispering, “I am Bill, I am Bill”.
Headless Man in a White Coat
This headless apparition in white gives off aggressive energy, seemingly intent on forcing people out of the basement where he is most often seen. Apparently, his head was sawed off though the circumstances are a mystery.
An orphanage Matron has been seen wandering suspiciously in and out of the morgue apparently in something of a hurry.
6 Best Areas For A Ghost Hunt
While the entire site is disturbing, here are six areas associated with haunted happenings and unnerving encounters:
- Psych Ward G: Many hospital patients spoke of seeing children here, even though there had been no children on site since 1950. Today, you can often see full-bodied apparitions of children in Ward G.
- Naughty Boys corridor: This corridor at the top of the building contained rows of cupboards. It was said that the orphans were locked up as punishment in these cupboards, sometimes for days.
- The basement: There have been a number of spooky sightings in the basement. This is where the ghost of a patient who was lobotomised reportedly wanders. You may hear his screams, see his face, or feel his pain.
- The lake: The lake is associated with several fatal and mysterious happenings. These include a man found with his throat slit from ear to ear (with a razor in his pocket), and another man discovered trapped under ice. One morning in 1897, a domestic servant was even found floating dead on the lake.
When searching for paranormal presences around this body of water, don’t be surprised to hear a splash, catch sight of a shocking reflection, or feel a terrifying tug towards the water…
- The attic: This is where the ghost of the nurse who hanged herself is said to appear. The naughty boys’ cupboards are also in the attic.
- The morgue: In the creepy morgue, the fridge doors stand open revealing the body drawers inside. Venture closer and look inside if you dare. Maybe the matron will brush icily past you!
How To Go Ghost Hunting in The Park
If you want to ghost hunt Newisham Park, you should book a hunt with an official ghost hunt operator (like. Haunting Nights, Haunted Adventures or Haunting Nights). A typical ghost hunt is done in small groups, supported by experienced paranormal investigators.
Some of the ghost hunting techniques and equipment used in these searches are:
- Ouija boards – where participants ask questions and a planchette moves over letters and numbers on the board to spell out answers from the spiritual entity.
- Séances – where participants attempt to communicate with spirits through a medium.
- Trigger objects – where objects significant to the location’s history, such as children’s toys, are used to trigger spiritual responses.
- EMF (electromagnetic field) meters – allow you to identify spikes in electromagnetic energy that may indicate a paranormal entity lurking in the shadows.
- EDI meters – which are also used to detect unseen energies within the area. EDI meters not only measure EMF, but temperature, humidity, vibration, and air pressure too.
Can I ghost hunt alone in Newsham Park Hospital?
Some organised ghost hunts will allow individuals to break off from the group and conduct lone vigils and investigations.
Has Newsham Park Hospital featured on ghost hunt TV shows?
Newsham Park was featured on the paranormal investigation show Paranormal Lockdown (UK) in 2019.
Do I need to bring my own paranormal equipment when ghost hunting in Newsham Park Hospital?
The teams leading investigations in Newsham Park are kitted out with modern equipment, but serious investigators will want to have their own gear for proper recording and investigating.
Just whispering the words, “Newsham Park abandoned orphanage and mental hospital” is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. Today, the rusted beds, broken wheelchairs, creaking trolleys, and gurneys haphazardly discarded suggest a place abandoned in a hurry, as if people couldn’t leave fast enough…
You’d be very wise to remember that if you’re ever planning on visiting the Park.