America’s most haunted Hospital and Prison: Cresson

America’s most haunted Hospital and Prison: Cresson

Cresson Sanatorium and Prison

Cresson Sanatorium and Prison is a place shrouded in mystery and horror. Located in the secluded mountains of Pennsylvania, this abandoned facility served as a tuberculosis sanatorium in the early 1900s before being converted into a prison in the mid-20th century. Its dark past and eerie atmosphere have made it a popular destination for ghost hunters and thrill-seekers alike.

Tunnel in the Children's Ward
Exploring the haunted Children’s Ward

The history of Cresson Sanatorium and Prison is one of tragedy and despair. Originally built in 1903 to treat patients suffering from tuberculosis, the facility was renowned for its state-of-the-art treatment methods and luxurious amenities. However, with the rise of antibiotics in the mid-20th century, the need for sanatoriums declined, and the facility was eventually converted into a federal prison in 1942. As a prison, Cresson was notorious for its harsh conditions and brutal treatment of inmates. Many prisoners were subjected to solitary confinement and forced labor, leading to numerous riots and uprisings over the years. In 1963, the prison was finally shut down due to overcrowding and inhumane conditions.

Sunset over Cresson
The sun sets over the haunted Cresson Sanatorium and Prison

The Haunted Hospital and Tunnels

Despite its closure, Cresson Sanatorium and Prison remains a hotbed of paranormal activity. Visitors to the site have reported seeing apparitions of former prisoners and staff, hearing disembodied voices and footsteps, and feeling sudden drops in temperature. Some have even claimed to have been physically touched or pushed by unseen entities.

Entrance to the tunnels from the chappel
Entrance to the underground tunnel system from within the chapel

Visitors to the children’s ward, which was built in the 1930s to treat children under six with tuberculosis and once housed the sanatorium morgue, have reported encountering playful child-like spirits as well as more aggressive entities. Shadow figures dart out and chase visitors down the hall, and antagonistic EVPs have been captured here. Others have reported an entity that mimics visitors’ sounds and voices.

Children's ward at at the Cresson Sanatorium and Prison
The Children’s Ward is one of the most active locations.

Other locations of interest include the old administration building, which was once part of the tuberculosis sanatorium, is the oldest building on the campus. Guards have reported seeing full-bodied apparitions on the second floor, despite the building being empty. The tunnels that scatter throughout the entire property and connect virtually every building are also a source of fear for many visitors.

The Administration Building of the Cresson Sanatorium and Prison
The oldest building on site, the Administration Building.

The Haunted Prison

There are numerous prison blocks that are said to be haunted to this day. E block (a former housing unit for the general population), F block (mental health housing ward for prisoners), and J Block (one of the modern prison blocks) are but just some of the buildings that house dark stories and are common for paranormal reports. Some spirits in these areas have been said to haress female visitors, with many femals visitors claiming to be touched or have their hair pulled. Others report seeing shadow figures move between their cells or hearing noises  and footsteps throughout the buildings.

Prison cell block at the Cresson Sanatorium and Prison
Prison cell block at the Cresson Sanatorium and Prison

One of the most disturbing stories associated with the facility is that of Joseph Kallinger, the most prolific serial killer to have been incarcerated there. Kallinger’s violent crime spree began in the early 1970s when he brutally murdered his oldest son and another local boy. He then embarked on a torturous rampage alongside his 13-year-old son, robbing and sexually abusing four families before finally being captured after killing a young nurse. Sentenced to life in prison in 1976, Kallinger eventually died on the property in 1996 of a heart attack. His ghost is said to haunt the halls of the former high security wing, in particular, building B which houses the solitary confinement cells.

Solitary confinement cells at Cresson Sanatorium and Prison
Does Joseph Kallinger still haunt the solitary confinement cells?

The Chapel

The chapel, built in 1914, was a place of worship for both patients and inmates during its time in operation. The church-like feel of the chapel is now tainted by a dark energy that moves around the campus, but seems to hang out in the tunnels and the chapel. Visitors have reported seeing an entity with claws perched on the chapel’s ceiling, which follows them around the property. Some have even witnessed it crawling on the ceiling and following them out like a piggyback ride. The energy within the chapel shifts dramatically, causing doors to slam shut and some visitors to experience uncontrollable shaking and exhaustion.


The haunted chapel at Cresson Sanatorium and Prison
The haunted chapel at Cresson Sanatorium and Prison


Visiting the Cresson Sanatorium and Prison

With so many chilling ghost stories and reports of paranormal activity, Cresson Sanatorium and Prison remains one of the most haunted places in Pennsylvania and a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and ghost hunters alike. There are guided tours, paranormal investigation nights, or if you’re budget allows, you can rent the entire venue with a group to investigate on your own.


Cell block at Cresson Sanatorium and Prison
Cell block at Cresson Sanatorium and Prison


Amy's Crypt Signature

About Amy

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

One comment

  • Nelson

    Posted by Nelson on June 21, 2023

    Loviu, Nice work !

Leave a Reply