Shadows of The City
Public Health Services Hospital
Ghosts of the Past
The Public Health Services Hospital, or PHSH, is a defunct hospital located on Wedemeyer street just inside the 14th and 15th Avenue entrance to the Presidio. It was built in 1875, not long after the U.S. Army took over the Presidio, and was originally named the U.S. Marine Hospital. Its primary function was the care of merchant seamen. In 1932, this hospital was torn down and the present, 7-story building erected. The new hospital continued the original’s tradition of caring for servicemen (active duty and retired) and began caring for the Native American population as well. It expanded its services again in the 1950s by adding several new wings. One was used as a lock-down psych ward; another became a research laboratory.
Soon after the original hospital opened its doors, odd tales about it began to circulate. These stories continued after the new wings opened, and became even stranger. Odd noises, flickering lights, ghosts of former patients and staff, experiments carried out on patients without their consent, possible bio-weapon development, a mass grave site underneath the concrete of the parking lot. These rumors, though never proven, persist even to the present day, more than twenty years after the hospital officially closed its doors. They’ve made it a favorite location for paranormal investigators and thrill seekers alike. Many come for the chance to see Esmera Hutchins, one of the ghosts said to haunt the building. She is usually seen in the wing containing the psych ward.