Herdklotz Park: An Upstate Haunt


Arden Montjoy, Features Editor

October is the month for spooks and frights, so what better way to celebrate than seek out my own haunts just minutes from my house.
My investigation of the paranormal has brought me to Herdklotz Park, located at 126 Beverly Road in Greenville.
This site is special to me as I played here quite often as a child and I enjoy walking around the track there today.
What brings me to this site in this case, however, is not nostalgia.
What is now Herdklotz park was the former location of the Hopewell Tuberculosis Hospital. Hopewell was used to treat Tuberculosis patients between 1930-1950s. For some time, it was also used as an asylum and prisoner release site.
During the time Hopewell was open, the attitude toward people with mental illnesses was not kind. In fact, it was closer to cruel.
Most sanitariums (even the name is offensive) were overcrowded, dirty, and understaffed. Often, patients would be restrained to their beds or to walls for hours at a time. People were put in cages to ‘correct bad behavior’, but it was really to create entertainment for onlookers.
During its time, Hopewell had many pass away within its walls. The amount of suffering that occurred on the property may point to why many report paranormal occurrences.
Visitors will often report hearing strange noises on and around the playground. These include banging, screaming, and the sound of unseen bells.
I wanted to see for myself if these claims are really true. Luckily, Herdklotz park is only 5 minutes away from my house.
Upon arrival, I soon realized that 4:00 in the afternoon is not the scariest time of day. However, the ambiance of Herdklotz seeped through despite it being bright and filled with people.
When you approach the park, you walk up a path up to the main playground area. While it may seem unimportant upon passing, there is a stone sign and plaque that sit at the base of the main sidewalk.

This stone sign is the original sign from the Hopewell Tuberculosis Hospital. Beside this sign, there is a placard that explains the history of the site of Herdklotz.

Beside these signs lies the area where the original door to the hospital stood. Looking at the original site of the door and original foundation was eerie and surreal in a sense.

Further up the hill, you can see the playground area, which is where the main hospital stood. While I was there, many kids were playing and having fun, not being possessed, so that was a good sign.
At night, however, there have been reports of disembodied screams and banging on the playsets when no one is on them.
Just beyond the playset are the volleyball sand courts, however, this area is more run down. When away from the bustle of the park, the eeriness of the site begins to stand out.

While walking around this area, I found another part of the original foundation. This was more overgrown and secluded from the rest of the park.

Seeing the foundation, this time overgrown and more worn, was pretty eerie to say the least. I think I understand why people believe this place is haunted.

There is a lot of energy surrounding Herdklotz park, not just in the people who visit. There is a palpable presence of those from the past that still looms over the land to this day.
I believe that if there truly are spirits from the Hopewell Hospital that remain, we need not dwell nor create a fluid chain of communication. Acknowledge the presence and move on, because too much focus on the past may cause you to become stuck in it.