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Wildwood Sanitarium


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    stone house known as haunted Wildwood Sanitarium

    Published  9-1-2018

    Today the stately stone building in Salamanca, New York looks deserted and run down but just looking you feel that there is a strange history. You would be right. First it was a family home. Then Dr. John Henderson opened it as the Sunnyside Sanitarium in 1906.  He was assisted by Dr. Perry and the nurses were Bertha, Agnes and Sue They operated it as the only holistic healing center in New York State at the time. They took in patients suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, and what today we would call mental illnesses which they treated with Osteopathy Therapy and Holistic Healing.

    In a letter to other doctors offering a bounty of $15 for every patient sent to them, they promised, "We will take any case of drug or liquor addiction no matter how much used, or how long, or in what combination, and positively guarantee a  perfect and absolute cure…"

    By an odd coincidence, both doctors died in 1946; Henderson was in his 70s but Dr Perry was only 56. Both had moved on from the original sanitarium by that time.

    The original sanitarium did not take in any contagious diseases but in 1923, it became a Tuberculosis Clinic.  After the tuberculosis sanitarium closed the building passed through many hands. It was converted into three apartments at one time. No one seemed to live in it for long. Over the years it gained the reputation of being haunted. Visitors and residents reported being touched or pushed.

    woman in haunted room
    The home owner, Laurie Wagatha

    Laurie Wagatha felt a mysterious attraction the first time she saw the house. She closed on it on July 4, 2017. She and her daughter, Brooke, both have psychic abilities and they open the house for overnight investigations, tours and psychic events. The house needs lots of repairs including a new roof but the authenticity makes it worth a visit.

    woman in room believed haunted by little boy
    My friend, Deb, contemplates the little boy who once lived in Tommy's room

    When we visited Laurie told us the first room we visited was inhabited by the spirit of a little boy so she furnished it as a boy's room. It's known as Tommy’s room. Shadow figures are seen and voices heard here.

    collection of antique dolls
    The dolls provide an eerie feeling in Linda's room

    The next room was Linda’s room. It's filled with antique dolls Laurie has placed there. Investigators' equipment goes crazy here; once one of the dolls flew off the shelf. Psychics have found Linda was a middle aged woman who died in the sanitarium from severely burned legs caused by an overturned kerosene lamp. Upon asking questions, the Rem Pod would respond. Laurie said when people asked, "if a woman was present turn the light red and if a man green." The light turned red.

    As we walked upstairs, Laurie said, "There is a feel that a woman fell or got pushed down the stairs."


    One of the strange events is a pendulum Laurie bought. It never stops moving.

    The upstairs has an almost claustrophobic feel to it. There are flies massed near window on the second floor.  Laurie told us, "Someone hung themselves up here." She said she sprays the flies and they still congregate here all the time.

    bed and wheelchair in haunted room
    This room has a haunted feeling in it.

    One of the psychics who visited Wildwood Sanitarium was Nick Groff, the lead investigator for the television series Paranormal Lockdown. He did an episode here at Wildwood Sanitarium. He did an eposide on Wildwood SanatriumWhile he was there, a voice was clearly heard saying, "Get out Nick!"


    We just had a short time but Laurie let us climb a ladder to look into the attic. Eerie but I saw nothing unusual. Perhaps at night it might be different. If you wish to visit the sanitarium, there is a contact form on her website listed below. It will also tell you of upcoming events.

    For more info:/





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