On many occasions I have warned readers to not trespass on private property. If you want to investigate a haunted location, go through the right channels. The experience of ghost-hunting teenagers visiting Ladd School in Exeter, Rhode Island is an excellent example as to why you should listen to such warnings.
In the last three months, five men allegedly armed with knives, clubs, BB guns and axes held up a total of 12 teenagers. They allegedly stole money, credit cards and cell phones. They were held without bail pending a a hearing on May 6.
The Ladd School opened in 1907 as a mental rehabilitation hospital. Much like Essex, it saw it share of overcrowding. At one point, the population reached 1,000 patients. Ladd School was ill-equipped to handle such conditions. Dr. Joseph H. Ladd was the only certified doctor on staff. The remaining staff had little training to care for patients. There were no dental care, morgue, recreational facilities, chapel or "functional" hospital apparatus. Patients slept head-to-feet on cots only nine inches apart. Some were beaten regularly due to disruptive behavior. Patients were given incorrect prescriptions, wrong dosages and medications administered by unqualified personnel, causing many deaths. A nine-year-old boy was found in a laundry sack asphyxiated. An elderly man was shoved down a flight of stairs by another patient and died. Ten years after a lawsuit was filed against the school, the facility shut down in 1993.
Locals and trespassers alike believe the school is haunted. There are reports of disembodied voices, murmuring or crying out. Doors close and open on their own as well as lock itself when no locks are to be found on the door. Shadows have been seen outside of the facility. Car alarms and horns allegedly go off on their own. Obviously, a place any ghost hunter would like to investigate. Ask for permission first. You may be denied access due to the condition of the buildings, but at least you won't be in jail or worse.
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