The dilapidated former Atsugi Keishin Hospital, set to be demolished and replaced with a park, in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture. (Mainichi)
ATSUGI, Kanagawa -- A shutdown hospital here widely known for being "haunted" and the site of petty crime has been bought by the city and is set be demolished and have its land redeveloped into a park, city officials have announced.
According to the city, after "Atsugi Keishin Hospital" closed in 1997, the building has been left to deteriorate, becoming the target of graffiti and suffering damage such as broken windows and a small fire.
The hospital has been introduced as a "haunted spot" on both television and the Internet, and some youths who tried to sneak a look at the "haunted" hospital last year ended up being mugged. The problems have led local residents to complain to the city.
To remove the hospital, the city sought the ownership deed from its registered owner, a religious organization in Osaka Prefecture, but negotiations were stymied by the fact that the land was put up as collateral for loans. However, when the organization failed to pay city taxes on time, the land was seized and put up for public auction. On April 23, the Atsugi Municipal Government bought the hospital and its 2,605-square-meter lot with a bid of 12.63 million yen. The city says it was the only bidder.