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The Suburbanite
  • Postcard from Nimishillen Twp.: Stirring the ghost of a grand old hospital

  • Even with its lowest windows boarded, Molly Stark Hospital still looks like a grande dame. A venerable building. A prominent structure. And certainly experienced in the ways of the medical world in the past.

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  • Even with its lowest windows boarded, Molly Stark Hospital still looks like a grande dame. A venerable building. A prominent structure. And certainly experienced in the ways of the medical world in the past.
    Still, it seemed appropriate to visit the decades-old long-vacant former sanitarium on a dreary morning when the rain made it appear dark and foreboding.
    Better a sunless day than a moonlit night.
    Some who believe in that sort of thing say the place might be haunted.
    Indeed, years ago Stark County Commissioners were approached by an individual who wanted to conduct ghost tours through the hospital. Another person wanted to use the structure for the filming of a horror movie. According to an story in The Repository in 2008, both requests were denied for liability reasons.
    Still, no spirits come out to greet you on the hospital’s circular drive in the daytime.
    Surely the hospital has seen a better life. Vines now scramble up most walls. Some upper windows are open or broken. The concrete and brick front porch is crumbling. Grass grows in cracks of the macadam entrance drive. A flagpole carries no banner. A light pole is broken off. Light bricks are darkened by decades of accumulated grime. Balconies are barren of furniture — devoid of life, somehow.
    Molly Stark Hospital isn’t what you would call a pretty sight anymore. Few passersby pull up and park to marvel at its beauty.
    It has been said that the hospital has had a sinister appearance for quite some time. And yet those people who offer that opinion likely look at it as they pass. Something about the former tuberculosis treatment facility draws the eye.
    Maybe it’s the Spanish architecture. Perhaps it’s merely curiosity. So few of us have seen the inside of Molly Stark Hospital.
    Outside, the green grass in front of the hospital give its grounds the look of a park. And, indeed it has been a park since commissioners turned it over to Stark County Park District in 2009.
    “Molly Stark Park,” the sign at the entrance identifies.
    “Park closes at 9 p.m.,” another sign says.
    It’s a nice place to visit ... in the daytime.