Abandoned Morgues: 21 Derelict Mortuaries & Body Slabs

St Peter’s Hospital Abandoned Mortuary


abandoned-mortuary-at-st-peters-hospital-2 (Images: The Urban Explorer)

Grimy, gruesome and dank, the abandoned mortuary at St Peter’s Hospital in Surrey has to be one of the grimmest places on Earth. Dirty water pools on the floors, stains cover the walls and an almost-inhuman stench supposedly permeates every inch of the place. And that’s before we get onto the unknown joker who has scrawled stuff on the walls in what looks worryingly like blood.

Although the main hospital is still functioning, the mortuary was closed in 2009 when services were relocated inside the main building. Ever since, the old part has been left to decay, alone and unloved on the fringes of the site.

abandoned-mortuary-at-st-peters-hospital-3 (Image: Adam Slater)

Given the water damage and general feeling of misery, it’s hard to imagine it lasting much longer; although the derelict structure was still present as of last year. (The above image by Adam Slater shows the abandoned mortuary’s three body slabs in 2010, a year after closing.)

Abandoned Durham County Hospital Mortuary

the creepy abandoned morgue at County Hospital, Durham

the creepy abandoned morgue at County Hospital, Durham-3

the creepy abandoned morgue at County Hospital, Durham-2 (Images: True British Metal)

Unlike most of the entries on our list, the abandoned morgue in Durham County Hospital looks remarkably well-preserved. There’s none of the graffiti evident that often blights such locations. Nor has it fallen victim to the general disintegration that overcomes these places, as tiles crumble and ceilings sag and the whole place sinks into peaceful oblivion. Instead, the room seems almost crying out to be reused again.

Part of that may be due to time. Durham has only been closed for six years, shutting down in 2010 after 157 years of operation. But there seems to be more to it than that. The autopsy table looks eerily clean, ready to accept another body at a moment’s notice. The hosepipe is still attached to the ceiling, and the whole place seems only one quick clean away from being a functional morgue again. Not that this is likely to happen. With the new hospital having opened just up the road, there’s little call for an old, Victorian morgue to cast its doors open once more.

Glen Dale Hospital Morgue

A dark, decaying room tucked away in the bowels of a broken down hospital, Glen Dale Sanatorium‘s abandoned morgue is perhaps one of the gloomiest places you will ever encounter. Closed down by Maryland authorities in 1981, the complex has stood empty ever since – attracting hordes of vandals and drug addicts despite the heavy police presence in the grounds.

Consisting of several different buildings, each with their own facilities, Glen Dale in fact has multiple morgues. None are in good shape. The overall feeling of the entire complex is of somewhere forgotten by man; a groaning, collapsing structure left to die a lonesome death amid a bleak landscape largely forgotten by the locals.

Abandoned Hospital Morgue in Denmark

abandoned-hospital-morgue-in-denmark (Image: olavXO)

These abandoned body fridges were photographed in the morgue of a derelict hospital in Denmark. We don’t know how long they’ve been out of use, but the gleaming metal doors had thankfully avoided vandalism at the time the picture was taken in 2015. The photographer writes: “In an abandoned hospital in Denmark, the doors to the sleeping pods of eternity have been opened for the last time.”

Abandoned Body Slab in Undisclosed Morgue

body-slab-in-abandoned-morgue (Image: SpiderMonkey’s Photos)

Another abandoned morgue with a gleaming steel body slab, this one in an undisclosed location. Whether this is a small facility or part of a larger institution, we’re unsure. Either way, the location may not have been closed for long, and appears to be far from derelict.

Abandoned Morgues of Harlem Valley State Hospital (Top)

The reputation of Harlem Valley State Hospital has fallen considerably in the last few decades. At one time, this forgotten ruin just off New York State Route 22 was at the cutting-edge of psychiatric care. And therein lies the problem. Over its years of operation, the hospital performed a numerous lobotomies, slicing out chunks of patients’ brains in an effort to remove their unwanted compulsions. When it wasn’t doing that, it pumped high voltage into people’s skulls. Perhaps no wonder the hospital is now said to echo with the screams of those who died here.

Closed for good in 1994, after exactly seven decades of operation, the hospital has stood empty ever since. In 2013, large chunks of it were bought up for conversion into a Christian college, but hefty Department of Labor fines imposed on the buyers for exposing their builders to asbestos seems to have stopped development in its tracks. As a result, the two creaky old morgues of the hospital still remain relatively intact, blighted by dust, but clinging to a sort of creepy half-life on the remote edges of New York State.

Abandoned Cremains at Oregon State Hospital




oregon-state-hospital-abandoned-canisters-9 (Images: David Maisel; abandoned canisters of the dead discovered at Oregon State Hospital)

Of all the stories on this list, perhaps none could be considered as bleak as that of Oregon State Hospital. A former mental asylum where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was famously filmed, it was also the final stop for thousands of the state’s unwanted for nearly one hundred years. Between 1880 and the 1970s, the hospital presided over the final years and deaths of nearly 4,000 unwanted human beings. When they died and no-one came to claim the body, the hospital simply cremated them and left their ashes in what has been termed the ‘library of dust’.

In the early 2000s, the library finally came to national attention and the urns were removed; ending their decades of lonely isolation. Today the canisters of the dead found within the morbid, half-forgotten library are memorialised – a fitting tribute to the world’s forgotten and unwanted.

Related – 12 Unnerving Abandoned Insane Asylums & Sanatoriums


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About the author: Morris M



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