A city outside of Tokyo announced on April 30th that they would be easing concerned residents by agreeing buy the remains of a local abandoned hospital which had become reputed in recent years as being haunted.
The city of Atsugi in Kanagawa prefecture, less that 40 miles west of Tokyo, put in a successful auction bid of 12,630,000 yen, or currently over $130,000 USD, for the former Atsugi Keishin Hospital, the Yomiuri reported.
The eight-floor reinforced concrete hospital was built in 1979, but had run into financial difficulties over the following two decades. It had not only switched names and owners in 1987, but in 1995 as well, before finally closing forever in 1997, the city stated.
Since that time, the hospital’s abandon building has gained fame over the internet and television as being haunted, stemming largely from rumors of botched operations and suicides. Adding fuel to that, when the hospital was abandoned in 1997, much of the hospital’s equipment was left as it was, although little remains these days.
While the city had tried to halt growing problems by fencing off the property and adding a patrol, over time vandalism and violence continued. All the windows of the building have been broken out and the walls covered in graffiti. The Yomiuri stated that there have been at least four separate incidents of fire, and in September of 2009 a group of kids who had entered the building on a dare were beaten up by a separate group in the building.
Strong concern was expressed by local residence over safety, and calls were made for the property to be torn down as soon as possible. Atsugi city had try to buy the property from a religious group in Sakai City, near Osaka, that held the rights, but had failed in attempts – that was until the property was seized by Sakai over tax issues, the Mainichi noted. Atsugi was able to then independently purchase the land from Sakai in a late April auction.
Atsugi has stated that they will convert the area into a park.
Atsugi Mayor Tsuneyoshi Kobayashi commented to reporters at the Tokyo Shimbun, “Easing residents’ anxieties was an issue that had been standing for over ten years, so we made our bid. I’m feeling a sense of relief, like a heavy burden as been removed.”