Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Memphis, TN - The National Ornamental Metal Museum

The Ornamental Metal Museum is formerly the Marine Hospital. Like just about every other hospital in the United States, the basement of the hospital held the morgue. A yellow fever epidemic broke out in Memphis in 1878.

Yellow fever victims die a miserable death, including:  (of course) high fever and jaundice, vomiting, constipation, epigastria distress, headache, muscle pains (especially in the neck, back, and legs), severe prostration (exhaustion or weakness), restlessness, vomiting of blood, mucosal hemorrhages, petechiae and/or ecchymosed (multiple tiny pinpoint bruising), renal dysfunction and scanty or absent urination, dehydration, apathy, confusion, dark or tarry stools, abnormal uterine bleeding, progressing to delirium, convulsions, coma, and finally death. Terminal signs include: hypothermia, agitated delirium, intractable hiccups, hypoglycemia, stupor, and coma. The morgue was literally stuffed with dead people during the epidemic.
The actual hospital is fenced off and hasn't been in use since the military left it empty in the 1980's. The museum is the former quarters for the medical personnel and officers. The basement used to connect with the hospital via an underground tunnel and serve as a small overflow morgue. Imprisoned workers who had renovated a "bloody chute" into a stairway ran screaming from the basement area in the 1980's. From that time until today, people have reported seeing apparitions of soldiers and overwhelming feelings of terror in certain parts of the building, especially the library and the aforementioned "bloody chute" staircase.



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