Guest writer RICK HALE investigates the spooky past and present of Ravenspark Asylum in Ayrshire, Scotland
Here in the United States, it’s common for thrill seeking ghost hunters to seek out former psychiatric hospitals. Apparently they believe that this is where the ghosts are to be found. Unfortunately, they usually turn out to be a big disappointment. However, this is not the situation with Irvine, Scotland’s Ravenspark Asylum, a place where the insane dead still walk.
In operation from 1846-1995, Ravenspark Asylum was the facility where the criminally insane were sent to be forgotten by polite society. After abruptly closing it’s doors in 1995, the former hospital quickly acquired the reputation for being the abode of restless and dangerous spirits. Spirits who maintained their insanity long after their bodies were laid to rest.
Those who have been brave enough to walk it’s halls have been witness to a number of bizarre and terrifying experiences. Visitors have watched as heavy doors open of their own accord and violently slam shattering the peace and quiet of the building. Others have reported the unmistakable sounds of running in the halls as a bone chilling wind blows past them. These reported occurrences may seem frightening to some, it’s not just slamming doors and cold breezes that make Ravenspark one of Scotland’s most haunted. Apparitions of former patients have been seen as well.
Little boy in wheelchair ghost haunts Ravenspark Asylum
One of the asylum’s most prominent spirits is a sickly little boy in a wheelchair who has been seen in the physio room. Those who have witnessed this sad little spirit report the same experience. The wheelchair bound child rolls towards them and vanishes before their eyes.
Ward 3 appears to be the most active area in the former asylum. Visitors have reported seeing the spirit of a sick and haggard old woman aimlessly wandering the halls. Psychic mediums have claimed that just being near this spirit can make you feel the pain and suffering she endured in life.
Not all the spirits of ward 3 are former patients. The ghost of an orderly makes it very clear that you are not welcomed there. Folks who have encountered the unfriendly orderly have reported him rushing up to their faces and screaming at them to get out. He then aggressively pushes pass them and disappears down the hall.
Not all Ravenspark Asylum’s ghostly inmates are evil..
Ravenspark Asylum may seem like an altogether horrible place populated by many unpleasant spirits that clearly do not want you there. There does appear to be one friendly spirit known affectionately as “Peek-a-boo Pete.”
In the 1960s, a very child-like man was sent to live at the asylum. His parents were getting up in age and couldn’t properly care for him anymore. Shortly after arriving at the asylum, the man quietly passed away in his room as he slept.
Peek-a-boo Pete is Ravenspark’s trickster spirit in residence. Pete, has a reputation of following young women around the hospital. He’s been known to peek over a woman’s shoulder and whisper in their ear. It’s further believed that Pete is the one who slams the doors in the asylum, forever playing a game of hide and go seek with whomever will join along.
Ravenspark Asylum is not a place for the faint of heart. And it’s not a place for the newly minted ghost hunter. Considering its long history of aggressive hauntings, it’s a place that should be approached with caution while treating it’s spiritual inhabitants with dignity and respect. And if you should go tell Pete I said hello.