In 1899 the U.S. Army General Hospital was built in the Presidio to serve injured troops from the Spanish American War. It was extremely advanced for its time sporting early intercoms and x-ray machines. In 1911 it was renamed Letterman General Hospital and over the next few decades it would serve hundreds of thousands of troops, suffering both physical and mental trauma, from all the U.S.’s foreign wars.
In the 1960’s the new Letterman Army Medical Center and Research Institute was built. They worked on the development of new trauma treatments, laser physics, and even artificial blood. By the 1980's the Letterman Center mainly serviced retired vets and their families. In 1995 the Letterman Army Medical Center was decommissioned and handed over to the National Park Service along with the rest of the Presidio.
But, throughout the late 1990’s, San Francisco’s youth would tell tales of breaking into the old abandoned army hospital, now covered in dust, broken glass, and graffiti. They claimed to hear the shuffling steps of patients walking down halls and voices calling out from behind closed doors. Lights would flash from corners where no machines stood. And, the dark figures of lost patients could be seen rummaging through the remains as if trying to understand, where everyone else went. Even the police refused to enter the premises.
One Muni bus driver, conducting the “owl service" through the Presidio, reported having a fully uniformed passenger board his bus late one night. But, when the bus left the Presidio, the driver looked into his rear view mirror to discover the soldier no longer sitting behind him, as if the soldier vanished "into thin air".
In 1992, an army inspection report stated that the staff of the hospital otherwise “sane and sober” swear the hospital was haunted.
The Letterman hospital was demolished in 2002 and the land is now the location of LucasFilm and the Letterman Digital Arts Center. But fifty percent of the concrete from the old hospital was used in the making of the new campus and the hauntings seem to have continued...
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