The Old Kempton Park Hospital

29 March 2010

A MILLION COLOURS shot for 3 days at the old, abandoned Kempton Park Hospital. If we were in America, I’d call it “Americana” at its best – a relic from another time and place. (Do I say “Africana” here?) It’s a fascinating relic here in Jozi, to say the least.

The hospital was shut down in 1997 and is allegedly haunted. Once a premier hospital in Gauteng province, it’s been sitting alone and abandoned – except for night security and the occasional film shoot – ever since. From the number of broken windows and graffiti on the walls, you can see that this place has been the object of many a ghost hunt. They say the ghosts from the psychiatric ward are the most mischievous. A few of the crew slept over, just to try to catch a glimpse of some crazy ghosts on the prowl. I admit, it was eerie at night, but I never felt my hair raise the way I usually do when ghosts are present (for example at the “Spook Walk” in elementary school). If you’re into this sort of thing, here’s a Facebook Group dedicated to this haunted hospital. You can live vicariously through the 7,957 other Kempton Park Hospital ghost hunters out there.

Ghosts aren’t really my thing, but everything else about this place is. And I mean everything, considering EVERYTHING from the hospital’s operational days is still within its walls, left standing and intact as in a mysterious reverence to days gone by. It’s as if in 1997 all the doctors, nurses and administrative staff put down their scalpels, stethoscopes, and notebooks and just up and walked away. They left behind hundreds of hospital beds; X-rays of teeth, lungs, and bones; rooms full of incubators; cabinets full of medicine, gauze and bandages; stacks of medical records – full handwritten reports (in Afrikaans) of patients’ medical histories, diagnostics and prescriptions; signs for the waiting rooms and newest vaccines; hospital intake and discharge logs; doctors’ ID badges; desks, chairs, stretchers…

Eerie – yeah, ok. Fascinating – most definitely. This is time standing still!

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35 Responses to “The Old Kempton Park Hospital”

  1. andy wanner Says:

    Do u know what happened, Aub? why’d they walk away. eerie! 4 sure

    • aubreybishai Says:

      No, it’s so weird. The only info that I can find is that it was closed…but nothing about why everything was left behind. Maybe they intended to reopen it…

      • luknam Says:

        They found out that there was ghost in the hospital. The temprecture got higher and when they found out there was ghost they ran/walked away leaving everything behind
        I should know this I live in Kempton Park

  2. Alex Korsketidis Says:

    I’m doing a varsity assignment on the hospital and after all my research i found that the hospital was actually let because there wasn’t enough interest and the location of the hospital wasn’t good. In the last 5 years it has cost nearly R8 million for maintenance and security etc.

  3. Gert Breed Says:

    Hello Aubrey…

    I dont know if you still visit/maintain this blog. I wanted to share some things on this topic. I am a 24 year old White Afrikaans, South African male residing in Boksburg in Johannesburg. (East Rand) Myself and a couple of friends (about 6 of us) went to this hospital last night. 25-09-2010. It was one of the most awesome and exciting things I have ever done in my life. We spent 3 hours there, from about 21:15 to 24:00. We went through all the wards on all the floors including the mortuary. I did not feel anything or see anything but at times was a bit freaked out as I suppose anyone would be. Nevertheless, I enjoyed every second.

    The most interesting thing there, is as you mentioned, that all the hospital equipment, beds, incubators and files was left there. It looks like they came to work one day and something happened and was in a hurry to just get out, leaving everything they were busy with. That is freaky and unexplained. I also tried finding some more info on this matter and couldnt find anything. That is just weird.

    Netcare, A Private Hospital group in SA plan to buy and reopen the Hospital in the next year or so. Found that out on a local government website.

    I hope you get to read my comment. I hope you enjoyed SA and plan to return in the near future and get to experience all the other good and wonderful things South Africa has to offer.

    Enjoy your 30sq meter box in New York. lol.

    Gert Breed

    • aubreybishai Says:

      Thanks for your comment, Gert! I’m glad you had a blast – what a historic/mysterious place to visit. I haven’t blogged since my return to the US and the busy-ness of work, but I do hope to get back to it soon. South Africa is an incredible country and I do hope to return soon! ~AB

  4. Marcel Says:

    Hi me and some friends went to the hospital this morning (08-10-2010). we arrived there 3:10am and left arround 4:15am. we where amazed by the way the hospital still looks, like the way the left the beds, and documents etc.we found out recently that the other hospitals stop and deliver MORE beds etc, every now and again, and there is rumour going around that they not allowed to re-open the hospital or break it down to build something else in its place, dont know if its true or not.

  5. Adri Says:

    We going ther on the 30th October, HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Can’t wait!

  6. Anne Loosen Says:

    Hi Everyone, i live about 10mins drive away from the hospital. My friends and i have been there multiple times. But two nights ago we went again… having been to the hospital so many times i’m very comfortable there and don’t get scared. But this time we went into the building next to the hospital where the nurses used to reside. That place i can honestly say is not okay… I don’t think i’ve ever felt so uncomfortable in any place before. The whole time we were in there i felt like the walls were closing in on me, and all of us got the feeling we were being followed. Besides for that building the hospital itself is harmless.

    As for everyone wondering why the place just closed down like that, let me enlighten you a bit. Arwyp, another hospital was opened in Kempton, i’m not sure which year but it is a private hospital that is up and running to this day. Because Kempton hospital was a government hospital, the staff there obviously didn’t get paid as well as the people at Arwyp. So alot of the staff quit and went to work at Arwyp instead. By 1996 there was such a little amount of staff left at Kempton hospital that closing the place down was inevitable. In the last few months of it being open there was something rediculous like 2 doctors left. They kept it open for the patients that were already there, but stopped admitting new patients. When the last patient was booked out of the hospital the pretty much just closed the doors… It was said that moving all the equipment would be too costly and it was still the government’s property. They were also hoping someone would buy the property and reopen the hospital but that never happened either because of the extreme price of the property. Rumours have also been going around lately that someone has put an offer on the property and intends to demolish the buildings and build new a new appartment block or houses there. Those are just stories though we can’t be sure if it is true but we really hope not. I was born there myself and it would be very sad if the place was destroyed. Hope this gives you some more info about the place and the history behind it.

  7. kim klemp Says:

    my children were born at the hospital in 1991 and 1988 – We have lived in KZN since 1994 – I dont believe anything until I can experience it for myself – my daughter is in PTA at university and this year I will visit this hospital to find out for myself if it is haunted or not !! -Kim

  8. NICOLE Says:

    WE WENT ON SATURDAY NIGHT AND SPENT A COUPLE OF HOURS THERE
    IN THE BEGINNING OF THE NIGHT THERE WAS NOTHING THAT I FOUND ODD BUT FOR THE CHAIRS IN THE WARD ROOMS THAT WAS FACING THE WINDOWS THERE WAS NOT ONE CHAIR FACING IN ANY OTHER DIRECTION, WE THEN WENT INTO THE MORTUARY NOTHING FUNNY THERE
    WE THEN WENT INTO THE WARD WHAT WAS KNOWN AS THE BABY WARD WE SPENT SOME TIME THRE LOOKING AT EVERYTHING LYING AROUND THERE, WHEN WE WERE ABOUT TO LEAVE THAT WARD WE HEARD ABOUT 10 BABIES CRY AT THE SAME TIME I THEN THOUGHT I WAS IMMAGINING IT BUT IT HAPPENEED 3 TIMES A COUPLE OF MINUTES APART, I WANT TO GO TO THE PSHYCIATRIC WARD CAUSE I HEARD IT IS ONE OF THE SCARIEST WARDS IN THE WHOLE HOSPITAL, ALOT OF PEOPLE SAY THAT THE PLACE IS NOT HAUNTED BUT EVER SINCE I HAD MY BABY LAST YEAR I CAN SEE HEAR AND FEEL WHEN GHOST ARE NEAR ME.
    BUT THE HOSPITAL IS AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE AND I RATE EVERYONE SHOULD MAKE A TURN THERE AND POST YOUR EXPERIENCE BEFORE THE HOSPITAL IS REOPENED.

  9. jude Says:

    Me and my ghost hunting team, will be setting up cameras, emf and evp equipment at this hospital soon! It should be a great project, we will probably do a 12 hour non stop recording starting in the psychiatric ward, and we will move on to other sections, over a few weeks! We hope to capture some nice data on this hunt, and we will keep you guys informed:)

    Jude Jackson

    SNS

    • Cindy Says:

      Hi Jude, i have been following wats been going on with the hospital but have not been or have not really bothered to get involved in anyway. But recently a friend and i were chatting about the hospital as she went to see it at night. I now read that you wanted to set up camera’s and so on,,,, i just wanted to know if you did and what the outcome was?

    • Paula Says:

      Hi Jude

      I’d like to know if you are planning on going back to the hospital in Kempton and if so, if we could possibly join you. My daughter was born there in ’91 and she is dying to go. Please could you let me know.
      Thank, great account. Paula
      email paula.rotteglia@drpractice.co.za

  10. Benie Says:

    I heard a story that one of the doctors who worked there killed his patients and then himself and that is why the place was closed down. Does any of you know if that is real?

  11. aisha Says:

    This is very fascinating,and my friends and i from college are going to go check it out soon…
    We dont see it as a game..I think it is a very serious matter..
    I just want the experience,we all do..
    Thank you for posting this information,know we know some things about this place.
    I know another hospital which is haunted,its been closed down for almost thirty years..and is now used as a boarding house..
    My grandmother used to work there as a nurse,actually it was not really a hospital,it was an old age home.
    After she died in 2009,things started happening in my life,and ended up living in the same building she used to work in..
    My father once told me that she had her own office there,she had worked there most of her life in south africa.
    I still feel things there late at night,when i am there.

    Anyway thanks for this,it has helped us..and we have a new adventure.

  12. Roland chaithran Says:

    Wow this is so cool i want to visit the hospital im scerad even thinking about it im in durban now but when in jhb i want to go and i hope its nt destroyed because it is history

  13. Annamarie Badenhorst Says:

    Hi,
    After I saw some pictures on Facebook about this hospital(people just bribe the security) then they go on a Ghost Hunt….I was so disgusted in all the stuff that is still in the hospital…why is the Government not doing anything about this. I think we must get this in the news papers again.

  14. glen Says:

    i went there the other night, with a couple of friends i never used o believe in ant super natural activities. that’s why i agreed to go… the whole hospital is so dark… as you walk along the passages…there is an eery feeling of darkness lingering in the air.. almost as if you being watched and followed, you can hear some noises in the hospital… screams of pain and terror echo amongst the floors, in the empty yet full spaces. we entered the one ward, where metal beds were kept untidy, there were drops of blood on the floor and locks of hair scattered all around with skin still attached to it… this was the beginning of terror and fear that we were going to die!!!!!!!!!!

    we went into an operational theater, the door shut behind us, we struggled for 5 miutes to get the door open whilst looking for another exit, we heard the door mysteriously unlock.. as this happened there was a groaning sound commin from what sounded like to be from the next room. stil frightened by the door stutting we decided it would be safer to rather exit fast – how ever on our way rushing to the exit of the hospital we got lost and lost our only lighter to our unlit candles. there was a shwoosh of air that came gasping past us and the sudden sound of childrens play and laughter,, not creapy or anything but there were no children !!!

    we heard the sudden shut of doors and creaks in the distance across the entire hospital,, at this stage we were running away for our lives,, my friend shat himself! literally !! when we eventually got out we were shaking so bad that we ran to the guards and told then what happened,, the guards requested more money to let us go, they could see our desperation..

    still shaken up, on our way home we saw someone standing in the middle of the road. we swerved and almost crashed our car to find nothing there.. we now go to church every week and prey,,
    the saying that something follows you home still haunts us as it is true.. i have countless sleepless nights and the fear of something wondering my passages..

    we recomend that no one ever goes there,, leave it be !

    you may think i am lying,, but i am a 22 year old man,, am done with foolish games and that hospital is not to be played with..

  15. Dwayne Says:

    Hello Glen

    i can imagine you were scared but the fact of the matter is their is nothing in the hospital we have been there many times and the worst we got was a few strange looking pics on my camera and a few shaken up girls. i would recommend that any one that wants a bit of a thrill should go its fun and weird at the same time and a great place to scare the whits out of your friends

  16. alie Says:

    Not about the hospital.
    Interesting blog and glad to see that you are living the lekker life in South Africa. Even with all the crime etc going on, I would not stay anywhere else, but why do you have to add the “post-apartheid” part to the introduction of your blog? The word “apartheid” is so overrated, really, we are not as bad as people make us out to be. I’m a born and bred Afrikaner and “Apartheid” is an Afrikaans word which has become a known word in all languages, not being announced as “separation” in English, but simply “Apartheid”. Some people who do not speak the language do not even know what it means, but “apartheid” they will use wherever they go. I really wish people would get over themselves and start living. Live and let live. “Apartheid” is over and done with, leave it alone.

  17. Roxanne De Jager Says:

    Hi All

    A group of friends and my husband and I are planning an outing to the Kempton Hospital in the next two weeks, we are going in with EVP recorders, cameras and a EMF meter. Some of the group are quite scared of going as they have been there before but we see it as a chance to get an educational experience.

    We are as a group going to be writing a book on various haunted locations in Johannesburg.

    If anyone has had any personal experiences in the building we would love to meet with you and interview you for the purpose of our book and find out the experiences that you have had there. If anyone is keen on meeting with us please feel free to contact us on roxanne_dejager@yahoo.co.uk or bdejager780123@gmail.com.

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Roxi & Brian

  18. T.Kemps Says:

    Kempton hospital is indeed haunted…. My mom was a nursing student there in 1992 and she has many stories on the ghosts and one of her patients was in the psyciatric ward and jumped a window from the top floor

  19. Chantel de Vries Says:

    I am from Birchleigh Kempton Park and My mother and a couple of other people happened to have gone on the 25/12/2011 after twelve pm. they saw a Whole lot of stuff! It started with a little boy that was crying in the carpark. He was sitting on the floor of the car park. Then a little blond girl with a flower dress walked with them through the hospital. She had blond hair and smiled the whole time. My mother and the rest of the people encountered fresh blood in the mortuary as well as babies crying and windows opening and shutting close. they also witnessed a headless man in a black leather jacket with a helmet under his arm. this man is well known as it was reported way back that he died in Chloorkop on his motorcycle. My stepfather was a porter at the hospital when it was still in operation and it is a well known fact that people that worked there just started refusing to go back because of the hauntings. the hospital was also built on an old cemetary! My mother says that when they got back to the car a couple of them vomited from anxiety.

  20. Chantel de Vries Says:

    It is also a known fact the the basement is where the real hauntings occur…

  21. Ina Kruger (previously Crous) Says:

    I was a nurse at Kempton Park Hospital – started my training in 1975 in Germiston Hospital, as Kempton Hospital was still under construction. We moved over and the doors were opened in August 1976. If I remember correctly, we had 113 babies born at the hospital that month. It was an amazing hospital! It’s a great pity that it’s no longer in operation. Whether it is haunted or not, so be it. Maybe all the spirits will come to rest if the hospital becomes operational again!!
    Ina Kruger (prev. Crous)


  22. This is a great blogg. I just happened to stumble upon it while looking up the hospitle via google. Will return to follow the blogg if i can find it again.

  23. Nina Roux Says:

    I’m Writing an article on goverment investment and socio-economy.
    And this hospital is going to be a substantial part of it.
    The possible reopening and use of it’s old facilities will also be mentioned.
    Its important for us as a comunity to take interest in such things.
    I’m also writing on it’s history and the possible hauntings.
    If anyone has an idea,suggestion or story they would like to share, please contact me via my email, All are welcome.

    It really is a shame to let it fall into decay.

    ninaesterroux@gmail.com

    Thank you and Kind Regards

    Nina

  24. Damin Says:

    Apparently the hospital will be under construction next year some time.

  25. Jené Says:

    I was born in Kempton Park Hospital in Feb of 1996. It actually closed down the 26th of December 1996… Government officials refuse to give comments on why it was actually closed and also, why they refuse to take the equipment and put it to use for hospitals in need.

  26. gavin Says:

    Hi , a friend and my self were in the old kempton park hospital afew years back , we have photos of some unexplained stuff, but out of all the people I know that has been there I have the. Most rare photo. A notice which says: temporary shut down , which has what appears to be a date and reason but its a bit blurred , do u know of anybody else who has a pic of this, I know this document can be found in the staff quaters as well as on the first floor

  27. freda Says:

    My son has a school project and they want to know when was Kempton hospital opened and what is the size of the building and property, can anybody help please, cant find anything on the net.


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