Abandoned hospitals might be number two on the list of the creepiest places to visit, right after abandoned funeral homes. Something about the dirty dark hallways with ominous graffiti, the abandoned medical equipment and rusty hospital beds, and the spirits of patients who walked into the facility and never left make these hospitals hell on earth for some people and the ideal haunted location for others.
There was one such abandoned hospital in Moscow known as the Hovrinskaya Hospital that would make anyone feel uneasy just looking at the building. This hospital was compared to the hospital from Resident Evil.
The Hovrinskaya Hospital (Ховринская больница, also spelled as Khovrino Hospital when written phonetically in English), was an abandoned and unfinished hospital that was designed to hold 1,300 beds in the Hovrino District of Northern Moscow, Russia. The construction of the Hovrinskaya Hospital began in 1980 and was similar to other large buildings created in the Soviet Union.
The architecture was in the Brutalist style. While the name Brutalism sounds ominous, it is a rather plain and dull style of architecture. Brutalist buildings are known for their minimalist construction that highlights the raw building materials and structural elements instead of focusing on decorative designs. Most brutalist buildings are brick, concrete, and angular geometric shapes in a muted monochrome color palette.
Hovrinskaya Hospital was shaped like a star with branching corridors extending off each point of the star. While a star is how it is traditionally described, it looks a bit like a strange snowflake mixed with the biohazard symbol.
Many people compared Hovrinskaya Hospital to the Umbrella Corporation logo from the horror video game and media franchise Resident Evil created by Capcom Co. Ltd. What made Hovrinskaya Hospital so creepy was that construction was shut down in 1985, and the building was abandoned entirely.
An abandoned hospital is spooky on its own, but Hovrinskaya Hospital was left in a state that made it ripe for rumors of hauntings. Parts of the eleven-floor structure had only partial or fragments of walls and floors, and the multi-level basement would constantly flood.
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There are many rumors about why construction was stopped, ranging from the reasonable, i.e., lack of funds (when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the country was suffering economically), to the fantastic, i.e., hauntings or a zombie plague. For 25 years, the Hovrinskaya Hospital sat abandoned and rotting in Moscow and became considered among the unofficial list of “the most terrible places on the planet.” for many reasons.
Horrors of Hovrinskaya
There were many rumors of hauntings, murders, Satanic rituals, suicides, and more that were said to have occurred within Hovrinskaya Hospital. One of the most notorious stories about the Horinskaya Hospital was that the Nemoster Satanist sect called the place their home and performed sacrificial rituals of both animals and humans within the walls.
According to legends, the sect was responsible for a high number of disappearances of children, homeless individuals, and pets in the Hovrino District. The police and a riot squad organized a raid on the Nemoster sect in the hospital.
When the raid took place, the sect members refused to back down. They were driven into one of the basement levels and were either all shot and killed, or the police placed explosives at either end of a hallway and detonated them to trap the sect members in the hall and then flooded the basement.
Several other groups of Satanists were rumored to use Hovrinskaya as a worship site over the years, and there was a considerable amount of graffiti that had been described as being “demonic/Satanic related.” Along with devil worship and black mass ceremonies, Hovrinskaya Hospital was said to be incredibly haunted.
Many people said that the hospital was built over an old cemetery, and the graves were not relocated, just buried under the medical center’s foundation. People who have visited the Hovrinskaya Hospital have claimed to see full-body apparitions of spirits once the sun sets in Moscow.
Some report clearly seeing a ghost, and others have sworn to have seen “weird cone-shaped silhouettes” moving around the building. Along with seeing ghosts, visitors claim to have heard strange and unexplained sounds, along with children screaming and crying in empty rooms and halls.
Most abandoned places attract urban explorers and thrill seekers, which is true about Hovrinskaya Hospital. The property was not guarded at night for many years, and people would wander around the unfinished facility, often running into trouble while they were there.
You won’t often see homeless individuals along the streets in Moscow as you find in other large cities across the world. Instead, many homeless people squat in abandoned buildings like Hovrinskaya Hospital.
Urban explorers have shared stories of being chased away by homeless individuals they stumbled upon at night, and injuries were experienced. The building was left unfinished, was prone to flooding, and people have reportedly tripped over rebar or fallen into holes breaking their legs while wandering around the facility.
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The hospital was also the site of several suicides. One of the most well-known suicides to have taken place in Hovrinskaya Hospital was the 2005 death of 16-year-old Alexi Krayuskin.
Krayushkin, known as Kray to his friends, threw himself down an elevator shaft from the eighth floor because of “unhappy love.” For many years, Kray’s friends would leave flowers, cigarettes, and poems next to the eighth-floor elevator shaft to honor Kray’s spirit.
Ominously, several murder victims had also been found in the hospital. Still, considering the property is abandoned, and most locals stay out of the building, it isn’t much of a surprise that opportunistic killers would use the space as a dumping ground.
A The Blair Witch Project-inspired mockumentary was made on site in 2013 called Prizrak iz Khovrino (Ghost from Hovrino). The movie’s plot is that four friends decide to “investigate” the forest around Hovrino Hospital, where ancient sorcerers were rumored to sacrifice people.
The friends intend to do a fake documentary about a ghost in the forest, but the group encounters something unnatural in the woods, and only the cameras survive the Ghost from Hovrino. If you like The Blair Witch Project, then you will like this movie since it is done in a very similar fashion. If shaky hand-held camera footage makes you queasy, this movie is one to avoid.
What Happened to Hovrinskaya Hospital?
If you decide to take a trip to Moscow and want to visit Hovrinskaya Hospital, you are out of luck. In 2018 the hospital was completely demolished, and all that remains is an empty lot surrounded by pine trees.
Back in 2012, there were plans to demolish the facility and build two new buildings, and the land was put up for auction. Unfortunately, the land was valued at almost 1.8 billion rubles which most people felt was a massive overestimate, and nobody bought the land.
So the Hovrinskaya Hospital sat in limbo until 2014 when an announcement was made that the site would be demolished and a new healthcare facility would be constructed in its place. Towards the end of 2015, the government again stated that they were planning to demolish Hovrinskaya Hospital, but the demolition was finally completed in 2018, and materials from the site were recycled for other construction projects, which is typical in Moscow.
Top Image: Frozen in time: the cold outlines of the Hovrinskaya Hospital lie still amidst the Moscow bustle. Source: Artem Svetlov / CC BY 2.0.