An unseen hand tucks you in at night. A CD player turns on by itself. A ball suddenly rolls across the floor.
Such are some of the unexplained phenomenon happening at the Get Inn in Gooding, which originally was home to the Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital.
Built in 1917, the facility was once a part of the former Gooding College. Eight buildings sat on a sprawling 110-acre campus. Financial problems forced the school to close in 1938, and, in 1941, it was given to the State of Idaho. Tight funds during World War II prevented the hospital from opening until May 1947. The hospital shuttered for good in 1976, and eventually all but one of the eight buildings were torn down. The only remaining building situated on five acres was sold to a private entity.
Around 2002, Tony and Elisha Woodford, along with Gary Hannon, purchased the facility and envisioned the Get Inn. The partners remodeled two-thirds of the 19,000-square foot former hospital. Part of the remodel included an eight-bedroom hotel, a new roof, lowered ceilings, new windows, paint, carpet and a heating and cooling system. The partners also added two communal bathrooms and a commons area.
“We’ve spent a lot of money and time, and we’re not done yet. We’re just barely getting started,” Elisha says.
The Get Inn opened in October 2007, and since then, the Woodfords and Hannon have seen a steady flow of ghosts – er, we mean “guests.”
Elisha recalls how she and Tony tried getting a restless young nephew to sleep. After leaving the room for a few minutes, they noticed the tot stopped crying. When Elisha checked on him, the boy was sound asleep. Sheets were tucked in just like hospital corners. Comforters had been gently placed over him.
“It would have been impossible for a little one to do that. We kept asking each other, ‘Did you do that?’” Elisha says.
Who knows what got the little boy to settle down, but it wasn’t the first time something unusual had happened at the former hospital.
Long rumored to be occupied by the spirits of patients and hospital workers, the Get Inn has been a popular destination for many ghost hunters. The Idaho Spirit Seekers often visit in search of ghosts. The group uses specialized cameras and recording equipment that detect paranormal activity. They report that apparitions have been filmed walking in front of the cameras. One time, a ghost hunter lost her nerve.
“We had one lady who freaked out. She was ready to leave. She was upset and said somebody touched her when she was sleeping,” Elisha says.
Another time, Elisha and her sister were talking in the living room. A ball suddenly came rolling down the hallway and into the room.
“We said, ‘Hello? What was that?'”
A young ghost at play, perhaps? Or maybe it was the same thing that caused a CD player to turn on in the middle of the night. After Elisha shut it off, it suddenly turned back on to the same song.
“It came back on to ‘Banana Pancakes’ and that was the sixth song on the CD,” she says.
Who could have guessed the ghosts of past tuberculosis patients would be Jack Johnson fans.
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Where: 301 University Ave., Hwy 26, Gooding