Cardiff Royal Infirmary: The UK's Most Haunted Hospital
November 19, 2018 6:00 AM ‐ Paranormal
Photo: © Steve Chapple
Known locally as CRI, the building is located in the centre of the Welsh capital on Newport Road and dates back to 1822.
It started its life as the Cardiff Dispensary, before becoming the Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire Infirmary and Dispensary in 1837. Later it was known as the King Edward VII Hospital, before eventually becoming the Cardiff Royal Infirmary in 1923.
By the mid 20th century the hospital had 500 beds, but by 1999 operations were wound down at CRI. The Accident and Emergency department moved to a nearby hospital in the north of the city, but some service remain to this day.
The buildings became the Albion Hospital in a 2005 episode of Dr Who, entitled 'Aliens of London'. The exterior of the building was seen in a news report in the show, the reporter talking about the alien body which had been taken to the hospital. In the show, the hospital was playing the part of a central London hospital.
It's not just fictional aliens that have created scares in this hospital, there are also plenty of ghost stories to come from its wards. Especially in the oldest part of the hospital, a three-storey neo-Gothic building, which is almost 140 years old.
The list of reports of paranormal activity include a disappearing matron who was spotted in one of the hospital's corridors by a plumber, and sightings of a woman in grey, apparently if she appears and offers you a drink, you shouldn't take it, if you do you will die within a week.
Staff have complained about being pushed by unseen forces, seeing a female figure on security camera, and witnessing figures in an office, one throttling the other.
Is Cardiff Royal Infirmary Haunted?
The hospital is thought to be so haunted, that just after parts started getting closed down a local priest from nearby St German's Church was called in to exorcise the pathology department, after police were called in connection with a paranormal disturbance. It's not clear exactly what the medical staff witnessed, but Father Roy Doxey is said to have helped the spirits move on.
There are countless ghost stories relating to the hospital, some dating back decades, while others are much more recent and have been reported by staff looking after the now largely abandoned building. In 2002, a pregnant patient was sleeping on one of the wards, she awoke to find a nurse standing over her. The woman described the nurse as wearing an old-fashioned uniform, it's thought that she is the ghost of a nurse who died in the hospital decades earlier.
Plumber, Douglas Bragg, was working in the hospital when he reported feeling someone tap him from behind, he spun around to see a matron in a grey uniform. Thinking he was imagining things, he turned back to what he was doing, but seconds later when he looked behind him, the nurse had vanished into thin air.
A former clerical officer thinks she might be able to shed some light on this haunting. Elizabeth Bragg remembers a large painting that was hung on one of the ward's walls. This well known oil painting features an army commander and matron at the bedside of soldier.
The nurse who features in the photo is Eileen Rees, one of the most distinguished nurses of her generation. She was born in Cardiff and trained at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary. In the Second World War she served with the Territorial Army in the North African campaign.
There has also been odd sightings by several security guards working at the CRI. One reported seeing the ghost of a grey lady, presumably that of the matron Eileen Rees. He saw her image on the live feed from a CCTV camera, but when he looked up he could see the location where the camera was pointing and there was no one there.
One security guard also reported being grabbed by unseen hands, another was knocked over by an invisible force walking past him, and others swear that they had the odd feeling of someone or something sat in the security office next to them.
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