Ghosts from the past that refuse to die!
Sunland as it appeared in better days (or nights).
Few would suspect such a clean looking building held so many dirty little secrets. The Sunland Center at Tallahassee received its first 10 residents from the Orlando Sunland in March 1967. It was considered a hospital because it housed both mentally and physically disabled patients while all the other Sunland centers only had mentally disabled patients.
Child abuse was just one of the complaints alleged against Sunland.
Within a year of the Center opening, it started to suffer from a shortage of funds and overcrowding conditions. These forces caused a variety of problems to form within the hospital from poor and inadequately prepared food, overcrowding of the cottages, inactivity of the children, unsanitary conditions, inadequacy of dental services, and unacceptable hygienic practices. Conditions within the hospital continued to worsen, causing various public and mental professionals to call for the closing of the center. (To see more heartbreaking images from this sad chapter of Sunland's history, go here.)
Dr. Freeman, the quack who invented labotomies. The proceedure often turned problem patients into zombies.
Eventually, groups like the Association for Retarded Citizens stepped in and began speaking out against institutions like Sunland, which often treated its patients as "sub-human", subjecting them to a variety of "treatments" that were considered cruel. After various scandals, lack of funds, and law suits, the Sunland Center closed in 1983. It's living residents were shipped elsewhere. The spirits of those who had lived and died there, however, were said to remain in the deserted structure, upset and confused by their abandonment. Strange lights, sounds, and ghostly images were reported by many who dared to explore the structure. These troubling stories, along with concerns over asbestos contamination and the threat of assault by substance abusing squatters, made trespassing too serious of a matter to ignore. Police responded by setting up a sub-station next to the dilapidated property. The rumors and haunted sightings continued on, however, until the building was finally torn down in 2006.
Inside the haunted halls (as it appeared to those who dared trespass!)
But now it's back-- or at least, part of it is, and you can visit the home of the haunted at Sunland Asylum. We can't change the horrors that happened there before, but we can keep the memories of those who suffered alive, while also providing their spirits a familiar place to roam. Drop on in and see for yourself during visitor hours (in October). Who knows, you may even decide to stay!
See what it was like walking inside the deserted hospital at night.
See what it was like driving by Sunland in the day, and revisiting it at night.
The Sunland building as it appeared before it was demolished in 2006.
View the Sunland Ayslum Home Page
See Terror of Tallahassee Home Page