Fear can be a strange thing. It can pop up at unexpected moments, and for unexplainable reasons. While some people can have irrational fears of things like clowns and spiders, there are a select few who fear places meant to be a safe haven for people in their time of need. A place that always seems to garner a mixed feeling of either dread or serenity is a hospital. They’re big buildings full of many individuals, and yet they always feel so empty. It could be the dull colors, the odd silence, or the cold that drifts down its many dark hallways that makes one uneasy. Or maybe it’s the aroma of rubbing alcohol and latex that triggers an unpleasant past experience for a person. All of these things are enough to make one think of a horror movie, because they are the perfect setting for disastrous events.
Hospitals haven’t been depicted so nicely in the genre, and some are displayed worse than others. Let's take a look at ten of the worst hospitals in the genre, so you know which places you should avoid being admitted!
Having to be admitted into a hospital for extensive surgery is terrifying enough, but the thought of being awake during the whole ordeal is even worse. Imagine yourself lying there, naked and unable to move. You can feel everything, and you can hear everything that’s going on, but you can’t do anything to make it stop. It’s almost like being buried alive. There’s nothing you can do but wait for the sting of the blade as it cuts open your skin. Unfortunately for Clay (Hayden Christensen), he experiences this horrifying scenario when the anesthesia doesn’t put him to sleep. The situation worsens when he discovers that the whole thing may have been planned. A hospital with sadistic doctors only concerned with furthering their own career and not saving a life is definitely a place to avoid.
Diary of the Dead
Aside from a cemetery, a hospital is probably the second worst place to be during a zombie apocalypse. Think about it: it’s full of sick and dying people, and there’s a morgue in the basement. Every inch of the place would be crawling with the undead, and all hospital personnel most definitely would flee the place, leaving you to fend for yourself in a case of injury. In George Romero's Diary of the Dead, Parkside Hospital is the prime example of why one should stay away from hospitals during a zombie plague, but it made for a great place to document the event!
A hospital built on top of another burned-down hospital is probably going to have a few ghosts. The setting of Stephen King's New Kingdom Hospital has so much history; strange things are bound to happen frequently. While the place has regular visitors like psychic Mrs. Druse, it is also flowing with the spirits of a young girl, a punk teenage boy, and a strange creature who watches over them. Who wants to be admitted to a hospital where the dead can’t rest? And neither can you, with their constant appearances. On the plus side the head surgeon is the handsome Andrew McCarthy, and having a terrible hospital experience almost seems worth it if you get to be in the presence of the '80s heartthrob, am I right?
Are You Afraid of the Dark: "The Tale of The Night Shift"
For whatever reason, a young girl named Amanda (Emmanuelle Chriqui) decides that she wants to volunteer at her local hospital to help the sick. She gets stuck with the night shift — which is completely reasonable for a young person in school — and she begins to notice strange things occurring all around her. Not to mention all of the people working there seem to be barely out of middle school. Patients start disappearing and acting strange, and when Amanda investigates, she learns that a vampire is responsible. As the young girl delves deeper into the mystery, she finds herself face to face with the ancient vampire, who is quick to hold her over the roof of the hospital, intent on dropping her to her death. Volunteer work doesn’t pay enough to deal with that kind of crap, Amanda.
The Walking Dead
Harrison Memorial Hospital isn’t exactly the safest place to be during a zombie apocalypse. For one, the hospital staff will just abandon its patients, especially ones that are in a coma. And secondly, their cafeteria has a bit of a walker problem. Not only is the cafeteria off-limits, but there’s an awful smell in the stairwell near a site full of dead bodies. While there were less walking corpses than one would expect during a zombie outbreak, there were still enough present to put your life at risk. The one good thing about Harrison Memorial is that their patient room doors are strong enough to withstand the walking dead from making their way inside. So, there’s that.
Some co-workers can be a real bitch to deal with. In any type of job, it’s important for people to work together to keep things flowing and organized, otherwise things won’t get done. Issues can arise and bad feelings can form, making your job a living hell. But your workplace problem doesn’t even come close to new nurse Danni’s (Katrina Bowden) and her strange relationship with fellow nurse Abby (Paz de la Huerta). Abby is mentally unhinged, and a hospital that doesn’t do extensive background checks on its employees is putting its patient’s lives at risk. At least the nurses are hot, though!
There have been real-life horror stories about individuals going into a hospital for one procedure, and having something else done by mistake. It’s a terrifying thing to think about. One puts their life in the hands of an individual who is supposed to be trained to take care of them, and one small, careless mistake can change your life forever. When George (Tom Cavanagh) is admitted to Mt. Abbadon Hospital for a routine procedure, they mistake him for another patient and perform a different operation on him, resulting in his coma. When a hospital is named after a place in the Bible known for destruction and pain, it’s probably not the safest place to go for medical care.
If the two EMTs who pick you up from the scene of your accident look like criminals, they probably are. It’s understandable for one not to question their rescuers in an awful situation like a car accident, but when you are brought to an abandoned hospital, you should definitely start asking questions. However, when a group of friends are transported to a nearby mysterious facility, they do everything wrong. They split up, they trust the wrong people, and they die. Just remember: if you ever find yourself in an exam room and Robert Patrick walks in wearing a lab coat... just run.
When a patient resides in a hospital for a long period of time, the people who work there tend to get to know them on a different level. Often these relationships between healthcare professional and patient are good ones, and sometimes they come close enough to consider each other family. However, some patients can be unstable and develop inappropriate feelings for the ones who care for them, leading things to become deadly. In Patrick, Nurse Kathy (Susan Penhaligon) gets the worst assignment of her career when she is introduced to the titular young man in a coma. Patrick isn’t just any patient; he has psychokinetic powers which he likes to use to control Kathy’s life. While Patrick’s presence makes the private hospital unsafe enough, the head of the hospital plots murder against one of her patients.
Halloween II (1981)
Sometimes a little drama is necessary to spice things up in the workplace, but Haddonfield Memorial Hospital gets more than they bargained for when Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is admitted into their care. At first all is good for both Laurie and the hospital employees; Laurie is sedated and safe in her bed while hospital personnel are off boning each other in the basement hot tub. What the workers don’t realize is that Laurie’s psychotic older brother, Michael Myers, is still on the loose and headed their way to finish his job. The lack of security in the place allows Michael to casually slip inside and murder a few people, who seem too horny to care about the lives of their patients. Not only is it extremely easy for Michael to get in and around the facility, but there are hardly any staff on duty that night, leaving Laurie like a sitting duck on the only occupied wing. If you value your life, don’t go to a hospital whose workers are more concerned about getting laid than for your well-being.