Leech Farm Complex from Allegheny County
Marcy was originally opened as the Pittsburgh City Tuberculosis Sanatorium (known as the "Haven of Rest") in 1915, eventually becoming the C. Howard Marcy State Hospital in 1957 when the state took it over. It became a mental institution in 1974 before closing in 1984.
The facility was also know as the Leech Farm hospital, after the site it was built on.
Over 2,000 patients died while it was a TB hospital, with reports of patient abuse, outdated medical practices, and suicides. Not too surprisingly, there are quite a few bad vibes and stories allegedly associated with the place.
The shadowy ghosts of former patients have been reported roaming the property, with some that vanish or walk through walls. Other sightings include a man standing at the third floor window of the hospital, looking out; shadows seen going from window to window, as if they're walking through the building's interior walls; and another figure seen in the bathroom, with the black edema of tuberculosis visible on his body.
In another hospital wing, crying, screaming voices and laughter can be heard, mists can be seen floating in the shower area, and some poltergeist type activity occurs, according to reports.
There's also the tale of a small child in a hospital gown, bouncing a red rubber ball, dating back from the days when the hospital still operated. She asked for her mother, and if you didn't answer, she bounced her ball off your door for the next several evenings. Her sighting is one of the most common in the complex.
One of our readers tells us that "I worked at Marcy. My work place was a lab room next to the former morgue in the basement. Never experienced anything odd during the day, but staffers usually heard movement or banging at night in the morgue room. Creepy and most likely haunted." And what self respecting morgue isn't?
The Farm House, which was home for the hospital's head administrators, features flashes of light emanating from within, with sightings of a former administrator seen on the front porch and through the windows (which have since been boarded up. Whether that's because of spooks or asbestos depends on who you ask).
The legend says that he killed his family before taking his own life because the warden suspected that he and his family had contracted the dreaded and at the time incurable disease of tuberculosis themselves, although the official line is that the family did die of consumption, but not by the administrator's hand. Nothing like an ironic spook story.
Leech Farm Job Corp students have written in, and their views on the complex lay somewhere between "creepy" and "definitely haunted."
If you're ever up for a visit, Marcy's deserted buildings are located on Leech Farm Road/Highland Drive in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood, off of Washington Boulevard. Its ramshackle bones are nestled among the newer institutional buildings that now fill Leech Farm.
Maybe you'll get to met the spirits that couldn't rest peacefully in life and can't find the light in death.