Haunting images from inside Scotland’s crumbling former hospitals


AN INTREPID photographer has captured eerie images of the crumbling remains of many of Scotland’s abandoned hospitals and psychiatric units.

Derek Young, from Barrhead, Glasgow, risked life and limb to enter the off-limits buildings, capturing remarkable images of slowly decaying institutions which once cared for sick Scots.

Among the images are mortuary tables, padded cells, entire wards frozen in time and even abandoned false teeth and prosthetic limbs.

Broomhill Hospital, Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire. Credit : Derek Young

The former institutions include Birkwood Psychiatric Hospital in South Lanarkshire, Sunnyside Royal Hospital in Montrose, Hartwood Hospital in North Lanarkshire and Ravenspark Hospital in Irvine.

Much of the original medical equipment – and even documents – still remain intact under the crumbling floors.

A pushed over piano with broken keys and left behind false teeth are captured lying on the floor of the old Gartnavel Lunatic Asylum in Cowcaddens, central Glasgow.

Ruchill Hospital, Ruchill, Glasgow. Credit: Derek Young

And dirt ridden scales for weighing dead bodies are seen left behind in one of the rooms at Gartloch Asylum.

Collapsing stairwells are also shown falling to bits hundreds of years after they bared the weight of medical staff and patients.

Royal Alexandra Infirmary, Paisley, Renfrewshire. Credit: Derek Young

And blue padded cells, detailed medical documents, dusty scholarly books and even restraining chairs also appear to have just been left in some of the hospitals.

Cunninghame Home & Hospital, Irvine, North Ayrshire. Credit: Derek Young

Derek said that despite any rumours of the buildings being haunted he hasn’t seen or heard any ghostly events while exploring.

“I have never seen any ‘weird’ goings-on, ghosts, orbs or freaky behaviour,” he said, “I’m quite a sceptic, maybe the spirits see that and avoid me.”

He was also shocked to find old lunacy acts and medical documents amongst the rubble.

Cunninghame Home & Hospital, Irvine, North Ayrshire. Credit: Derek Young

He said: “I read a few between photographing and some reports on individuals mental state were disturbing.”

A lot of the buildings have been boarded up, not accessible for the general public.

However, Derek and some of his friends have managed to gain entry in order to capture and share what’s inside.

East Fortune Hospital, East Fortune, East Lothian. Credit: Derek Young

Rupert Pedley from Glasgow’s West end, has visited the hospitals with Derek on a number of occasions.

He said: “The great thing about going doing this is going into these beautiful buildings knowing that there once was a dark side to them but now they’ve ended up derelict and just left to die.

“When I started doing it you think, ‘oh god what am I going to see’, but as soon as you go in you don’t even think about that. I don’t believe in any of that anyway.

Broomhill Hospital, Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire. Credit: Deadline News

“There’s still morgues and everything in some of them. And machines that were used to drill into the patient’s brain.

Rupert recalls the scariest part to visiting the hospital is actually the state that the buildings have been left in.

He said: “I took a photograph where I was about five stories high from a crumbling floor. My mate was stood beneath me one time and just completely fell through.

Cunninghame Home & Hospital, Irvine, North Ayrshire. Credit: Deadline News

“Luckily his armpits caught on the beams so he was alright. But it was scary, the places are just really dangerous.”

In 2013 the NHS was criticised after it was reported that they were sitting on over £66 million worth of unused property.

Royal Alexandra Infirmary, Paisley. Credit: Derek Young

The figures showed that nearly £1m was getting wasted every year maintaining and securing empty buildings.

In total, there were 73 unused sites owned by the NHS in Scotland costing £66,594,309 – around £12 a head for every Scot.

Ruchill Hospital, Ruchill, Glasgow. Credit: Derek Young