The abandoned Clark Airbase Hospital.
Clark Airbase Hospital, located in Angeles, Pampanga, Philippines, is now an abandoned ruin of concrete, graffiti, and empty window frames. But it once was a thriving institution catering to the needs of the US Air Force personnel and their families. In modern times, it has become a popular destination for urban explorers and ghost hunters due to rumors of paranormal activity.
It is easily accessible within a large park area, and that could be why it’s become so popular with paranormal enthusiasts. Clark Airbase Hospital has become a hot spot for investigators of ghost stories… And at least as far as stories go, there is no lack of substance.
From World War II to Volcanic Eruptions. The Timeline of Clark Airbase Hospital.
The Origins of Clark Airbase.
Clark Airbase was established in 1903 as a US Army airfield. In 1942, the Clark Airbase was occupied by the Japanese. They held it until the battle of Manila in 1945 when the US army took it back. In the few years of conflicts of the Pacific War, it was severely damaged. After the war, the base was rebuilt and expanded. In 1947 the US Air Force was established as a separate branch of the US armed forces, and the Clark base became a major US Air Force base in the Pacific region.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Clark Airbase was home to a variety of aircraft, including bombers, fighter jets, and cargo planes. The airbase had again undergone significant expansion and the number of personnel was increased radically.
The Construction of the Clark Airbase Hospital.
From the beginning of 1903, there was a hospital at the airbase, to provide medical care for the soldiers and their families. After the war, as much of the base had to be restored and amplified, a new hospital was planned. It took until 1964 to make it a reality though. But at that time the hospital was equipped with ultra-modern medical equipment. Trained medical personnel were also present in the hospital. It provided services for local Filipino residents as well as members of the US military stationed nearby.
The Hospital’s Role in the Vietnam War.
The hospital was crucial during the Vietnam War. In the final years of the war, doctors and nurses worked nonstop to treat the many wounded and injured soldiers, flown in from the war sites in Vietnam.
As Clark Airbase Hospital had a state-of-the-art burn unit and a trauma center it could provide expert treatment for typical Vietnam War injuries such as blast injuries and burns.
Why it was abandoned.
The base and hospital suffered a significant setback in 1991 when Mount Pinatubo, a nearby active volcano, erupted, causing widespread destruction in the area. The ash and debris from the eruption caused significant damage to the base’s infrastructure, including the hospital. The hospital was eventually forced to close its doors and was abandoned when the US military left the Philippines in 1992.
Clark Airbase after the Americans left.
So, the United States Air Force turned over the base and all the buildings to the Philippine government. After that, the base was abandoned for several years, and the Clark Airbase Hospital was systematically looted by the locals. It was later named Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone (CFEZ). Clark International Airport (CIA) still operates from inside the old Clark Airbase, and some Philippine Air Force-owned and -operated facilities in the neighborhood still use the label, Clark.
Paranormal stories from the Clark Airbase Hospital.
Clark Airbase Hospital is supposedly one of the most haunted sites in the Philippines. People who enter the abandoned hospital have reported feeling uneasy and experiencing strange sensations, such as cold spots. They have heard unexplained noises, and sometimes they claim real ghosts can be seen inside the premises. There is a myriad of testimonies, even from officials like the guards, and guides. Here are a few of the supposed hauntings:
- A ghostly nurse who is rumored to wander the hallways is one of the most popular legends surrounding the hospital. The nurse was allegedly killed during Mount Pinatubo’s eruption, and ever since, her ghost has been imprisoned in the hospital. Hospital visitors have described seeing a figure dressed as a nurse walking the halls or standing at the foot of patients’ beds.
- Another frequent story tells of a headless ghost that haunts one of the hospital’s operating rooms. The legend has it that a patient was brought in for surgery. Due to complications, unfortunately, the patient died on the table. Some visitors have reported seeing a figure without a head in the operating room or close by.
- There have also been claims that a spectral young girl reportedly haunts the hospital. Some visitors have reported seeing her playing in the hallways or peeking out from behind doors. It is unclear who the little girl was or why her spirit has remained at the hospital. Other reports include flickering lights, doors that open and close by themselves, and strange noises coming from empty rooms.
“Confirmed” ghost encounters.
All these stories of encounters and shadowy entities are interesting but don’t really provide any documentation. So, what do we have of more “serious” investigations? It turns out that the material is meager. But here are a few of something that with a vivid fantasy could be claimed as evidence:
Ghost Hunters International:
In episode 20, named Unknown Soldier and aired on February 11, 2009, the team visits Clark Airbase. Although they witness some of what they were told about the Clark Airbase ghosts, flickering lights, a white shadow behind a pillar, and a face at the end of a corridor, nothing really comes out of it. They get EVP recordings that with much help from suggesting team members could be interpreted as: “Help!” and “I’ll take it!” (… When a ghost is offered a cigarette.). Still, there is no there there.
National Geographic – I wouldn’t go in there:
In the episode, Philippines: Haunted Hospital, aired in 2013, the urban explorer Robert Joe takes us through the building. It is spooky and uncanny. The shadows in the corners seem to take life, and the light of the flashlight sometimes reflects in an uneasy manner. He actually catches some cool EVP sounds, but more than “possible”, and “supposed” hauntings are hard to see in the footage.
There are many of the usual YouTube videos local urban investigators documentation out there. But none of them shows anything out of the ordinary. Many are evidently trying to create a dark feeling, adding sound effects, and acting scared when something is heard further down the corridor. Others are right-out fakes.
My Opinion on Clark Airbase Hospital.
Whether or not Clark Air Base Hospital is truly haunted remains unknown for now. The stories and legends surrounding the abandoned hospital have created a sense of intrigue and fascination, making it a popular destination for those interested in the paranormal. And there is no lack of people interested in exploring abandoned and haunted sites.
Are there any reasons why Clark airbase hospital would attract less serious investigators, that could possibly result in fake positives?
Well, two facts speak in that direction:
- It’s a hospital. Hospitals, especially if they are one of three categories, infection disease clinics, war hospitals, and psychiatric wards, are intriguing as haunted places. Abandoned hospitals often have old medical equipment, and hospital records lying around, which makes them very scary.
- And this is a game changer. Clark Airbase Hospital is completely accessible to anybody. You just walk in and start shooting your video.
I would say that those facts point to an old and very spooky building, full of debris, waste from vagrants, cracks and dark holes in the floor, and rats, but without any substantial paranormal activity at all.
Still, regardless of the truth behind the hauntings, Clark Airbase Hospital serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by soldiers in action, and of the horrors of war.
No, the hospital is with all probability not haunted… Period!