Trick or treatment

By Denise Dick


A new kind of medical facility opened this week on the second floor of Youngstown State University’s Cushwa Hall.

At M. Urder Memorial Hospital, new patients are welcomed, but getting out can prove problematic (insert menacing cackle).

For the second year, YSU’s Nursing Department presents Haunted Hospital with nursing students as patients and personnel. Fake blood decorates doctors’ and nurses’ scrubs and in the psychiatric ward, someone might jump out and invade visitors’ personal space or grab an ankle from beneath a stretcher.

Mackenzie Stanley, a junior from Liberty, estimated that about 40 students had come through the feature during its first hour and participants hope word spreads and more people check it out.

The haunted hospital is open from noon to 3 p.m. today, Friday and Monday in Room 2410 of Cushwa.

Cailey Barnhart, a freshman pre-nursing major for Poland, portrayed a mother whose baby the doctor cut from her womb using a meat cleaver.

She nuzzled her infant (a doll) above the gaping wound in her abdomen.

Marion Kalasky, learning-resource coordinator, said the hospital is a way for students to alleviate stress and have fun. The department was already equipped with mannequins, some of which breathe. That’s a little creepy already, so that wasn’t a big stretch.

Nancy Wagner, nursing department chairwoman, said students started working on the hospital about two months ago.

Stanley said the hospital takes a different concept this year. Several students worked together to craft the feature.

A sign hangs in the kitchen, informing visitors of the day’s menu: bile gravy, blood clot stew and maggot mix.

The hospital’s founders are the late Dr. and Mrs. Urder and their daughter, Serial. Their images, which switch from spooky to normal, are reflected on a wall.

Julie Cox, a junior from Hubbard, said the event is fun, but it took some time to get into character. She portrays Morticia, who runs the hospital’s morgue.

“I think I’m just supposed to be creepy and follow people around,” she said.

This year’s proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society to promote men’s health. Last year, proceeds went to Akron Children’s Hospital.