St Catherine’s Old Sanatorium on the edge of Doncaster has a fascinating history. This imposing Victorian building was built for for the wealthy industrialist George Banks, who gained a fortune as the owner of many local mills. He also served as the Lord Mayor of Leeds. The Banks family used the house as a country retreat until their relocation to Scarborough.
In 1928 the last member of the Banks family died and the house, along with its contents was sold and became Doncasters Mental Institution. The secluded location of the property, tucked out of sight, away from prying eyes was considered ideal for offering the treatment needed for those afflicted with mental disorders. In 1959 the building was officially renamed St Catherine’s Hospital.
What makes the choice of this building unusual is that it happens to be on a site which had been home to another hospital which existed before the Banks home was built.
This original hospital contained wards for men, women, and children and was intended for those suffering from infectious diseases, which is why such an isolated location was chosen for the hospital.
Given the long association with death and disease in this place it is no surprise that there have been many accounts of paranormal activity connected with this building. There are parts of the building which even those who work there today refuse to enter alone.
Visiting St Catherine’s can be a very intense experience. Screams, cries, and mysterious disembodied voices are heard. There have been reports of full apparitions at times.
This dark and foreboding building is set over two floors with many corridors and abandoned rooms. There is also a long abandoned basement which still contains an original operating table. It is common to hear doors bang by themselves in distant parts of the house. Footsteps approach along empty corridors, voices call from empty rooms, and all the time there is an intense feeling of being watched or followed which sweeps over visitors who dare to enter St Catherine’s. Do you have the courage to explore this building for yourself?