This Abandoned Florida Psych Ward is One of the Creepiest Places in the State


Florida is known for its bright beaches, entertainment parks, and natural beauty, but it also has a dark side. Within the state, there are abandoned locations mired in decay and frequently buried in spooky history, one of which is the G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital, a haunting remnant that was previously a psychiatric hospital located on the old grounds of the Carlstrom military base.

History of Carlstrom Field

The G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital’s disquieting legacy stems from the site’s past as a Carlstrom military base. Carlstrom Field opened in 1917, approximately south of Arcadia, in response to the United States’ involvement into World War I. It operated as an advanced school for pursuit pilots, with a six-week training that could accommodate 400 pupils. After World War I ended in November 1918, Carlstrom’s activity declined, eventually leading to its dissolution in 1926.

Carlstrom Field was reopened in March 1941 by the Riddle Aeronautical Institute to meet the need for primary pilot training during World War II. The 53d Flying Training Detachment was established, directed by Brigadier-General Junius Wallace Jones, who had learned to fly at Carlstrom.

New facilities were built among the ruins of World War I-era infrastructure. Carlstrom Field had a distinctive configuration, with buildings arranged around a circular road and five hangars around the southern edge. No paved runway was ever built, therefore flying activities were performed from a 1-square-mile grass area.

Carlstrom Field ended operations after World War II, and the G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital was built on its grounds in 1947.

The Horror at G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital

The facility was named after former Florida House of Representatives Speaker George Pierce Wood Sr., who was an advocate for mental health. However, over time, mental health activists claimed that the institution offered inadequate care.

The Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice opened an inquiry into G. Pierce Wood Hospital in the mid-1990s after receiving accusations of abuse such as beatings, sexual assaults, and resident fatalities. One terrifying event included a furious patient who fed up with delays in his release, managed to gain access to an upstairs window via a ladder at night. In a terrible deed, he severed both of his hands with a table saw.

In 1995, the US Justice Department wrote to Governor Lawton Chiles, reporting nine deaths at the institution. In one unfortunate example, a guy suffering from delusions and forgetfulness fled the unfenced institution, only to be discovered dead a month later beneath a tree a mile away. Another patient committed suicide in an orange orchard after leaving.

A lady who fled was tragically hit and killed by a vehicle on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Surprisingly, at least two patients who were supposed to be on soft food diets choked to death when eating solid food. These instances, among others, forced the state to shut down the institution within six years, claiming financial concerns. Approximately 300 individuals were relocated to other state-run mental health facilities and community treatment programs.

The eerieness of G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital today

Today, the G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital is abandoned and forlorn, surrounded by overgrown foliage and threatening barbed-wire walls. Its buildings show signs of neglect, with graffiti, broken windows, and peeling paint.

Some rooms still include vestiges of the past, such as antique furniture, medical equipment, and personal possessions of previous patients and employees. Notably, the hospital included a psychiatric ward on its seventh level, replete with a reception section for Baker Act patients—people forced to compulsory evaluation and treatment under Florida law because of mental health issues.

Throughout the years, countless urban explorers and paranormal enthusiasts have visited the hospital, frequently claiming to have witnessed weird occurrences such as unexplained noises, disembodied voices, apparitions, and more. Some people think that the hospital is haunted, with tortured ghosts haunting the hallways of those who suffered and died inside its walls. Others believe that it is a location where evil thrives and darkness remains.


Florida’s G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital, which was previously part of the Carlstrom military facility, has a troubling history. From its military beginnings in World War I to postwar abuse charges, the institution has encountered horrific stories such as suicides and neglect. It is now abandoned, serving as a deteriorating reminder of a turbulent history. Urban explorers have reported uncanny happenings, feeding ideas in haunted spirits and lingering gloom behind its decrepit walls.

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