Another Look: Marysville, Kentucky - Hayswood Hospital Ghost Video

As the camera scans the exterior of the old Hayswood Hospital in downtown Maysville, little can be seen in the darkness save empty windows and dark shadows.

But as the seconds tick on, the camera view changes, and even from a distance a white figure appears framed in one of the upper level windows of the hospital. Zooming in, the white figure seems to assume facial features just before it pulls back rapidly from the window, and the person operating the camera drops it and lets out a slight gasp of astonishment.

The video of the "ghost" at Hayswood Hospital was taped in the spring of last year. It was filmed by an unidentified individual from Lexington whose interest in the old hospital was sparked by Internet postings regarding the supposedly haunted hospital.

A friend of Maysville resident Jeremy Parnell, the person permitted Parnell access to the video, and it has quickly garnered attention on local Web sites, as well as sites such as YouTube, where it has logged more than 67,000 hits.

"It's gotten a lot considering its a small town ghost," said Parnell. "It's become pretty popular around the Web."

From its exposure on YouTube, the video caught the eye of staff on the Maury Povich Show. Producers were putting together an episode for Halloween that featured videos and images of the paranormal. They contacted Parnell through e-mail and asked him for permission to use the Hayswood video on the show. It is slated to air Friday.

"It's a little more than your average lights in the window thing," he said.

According to the Maury Povich Show's Web site, the episode on Friday will ask the question whether ghosts exist, and if loved ones who have died can "reach out from the grave to contact us in the real world."

The episode promises to look at paranormal activity to include window blinds lifting on their own in homes, "frightening voices in the dark," and "ghostly figures in the windows."

Hayswood Hospital operated as a full service hospital for about 60 years. Prior to that, it served as Hayswood Seminary, followed by the old Hayswood/Wilson hospital.

At its peak, the hospital had 87 beds available for patient care. The building has stood vacant since Meadowview Regional Medical Hospital was built and became operational in 1983.

Parnell said he is not sure when tales of ghostly phenomena began to spread about Hayswood, though he said the hospital has gained wider attention since the Internet has picked up the story.

On that Web site, it is reported that "people who live near it have said they have often seen strange lights in the windows and heard infant's cries." In addition, "some have claimed to see a figure standing in the last window on the third floor both day and night." Still others who have been inside the hospital report an old stretcher that moves on its own, shadows that follow them, and the feeling of being watched. Some say past doctors can be seen in the halls, and the cries of past patients can be heard.

In the basement and all over the building are "strange markings."

The site also claims the ghosts of Hayswood "haunt the entire town."

In addition to being featured on The Shadowlands site, the building is featured on other sites and is even the focus of groups on sites such as MySpace.

Parnell himself is skeptical about the tales of Hayswood, but said he has not been able to discredit the video, either.

"It's pretty spooky," he said. "Now what it is, I don't know ... There's always a reason to be skeptical of it."

Parnell said the friend who shot the video did so between 10 and 11 p.m. and was alone at the time it was filmed. The footage caught was actually about 30 minutes worth, but was edited to the less than one minute clip now on-line.

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