A haunting in Hamptonville

Lindsay CravenStaff Writer

October 25, 2012

Harmony Gardens may look like your average plant nursery from afar but when you start to explore the property you’ll learn that there’s a scarier side, the Trivette Clinic.

The Hamptonville nursery houses the former Trivette Clinic, a 24-room brick building that served as a hospital in the 1920s. Today the property sits on the site of the Harmony Gardens Nursery. Owners Tim Trivette and Doug Galliher run the nursery and they maintain the clinic, opening its doors throughout the years so that thrill seekers can take a stroll through its haunted halls.

The Trivette Clinic was owned and operated by Dr. William A. Trivette, Tim Trivette’s ancestor. He ran the clinic as a full service hospital. After attending a medical conference in Washington, DC, Dr. Trivette contracted pneumonia and passed away.

Since his death the hospital was converted to the Campbell family’s home in the early 1960s and was also used a nursing home.

Today Trivette and Galliher offer a ghost tours regularly on the weekends in October and throughout the year by appointment.

Most of the disturbing sightings and experiences had by ghost hunters seem to relate back to the building’s hospital and nursing home past.

“There used to be a bloody hand print on the wall in the surgery room and when they would paint over it the hand print would come back through and so they had to knock out the wall to get rid of it,” Galliher said.

Several sightings that have occurred in the clinic have been repeated by several different spectators.

“There’s a lots of shadow activity in the house,” Galliher said. “There are shadows that move through the rooms and other shadows that will peek around doorways at you. A lot of the sightings we hear are described the exact same way.”

One story of a shadow that can be seen crossing one of the upstairs bedrooms has been linked to a couple that once lived in the clinic when it was a nursing home.

“There was a couple who lived here when it was a nursing home and they wouldn’t let the men and women sleep in the same bed,” Galliher said. “The lady would come sneak in to sleep with her husband at night and when the staff would come in the next morning she would jump up and run and hide. I think that’s a residual haunting.”

Galliher and Trivette provide tour groups with small twist on flashlights during the tour. At certain points in the tour they will ask the tour members to leave the light twisted so it is just barely turned off and place it on the table or floor. When anyone in the group asks one of the spirits to turn the light on or adjust the brightness the spirits usually oblige.

“The little flashlights cut off and on by themselves pretty much every time,” Trivette said. “A lot of times people will feel somebody brush their hand or the back of their neck.”

Trivette and Galliher said that the clinic has been a big draw for paranormal research teams.

“We’ve had three different paranormal research teams that have been here,” Galliher said. “Two were from Charlotte and one was from Salisbury. They all say that it’s the most haunted place they’ve ever been and they bring their people here to train them. They say they can always count on something happening when they’re here.”

Another area where a lot of unexplained things occur is the basement. This is an area where additional hospital rooms were located but also where the handicapped and mentally disturbed were chained to the wall because treatment was not advanced in that area at the time.

“A lot of the times when you’re in the basement you can clearly hear people walking across the floor upstairs,” Trivette said. “It was so bad one day when we were both downstairs that one of us ran out the back door and one of us ran out the front door to try to catch someone and there was no one there.”

In the floor of the basement there are names written into the concrete floor. The names Polly, Litha and Helen are the spirits that Trivette and Galliher suspect haunt the basement most days.

A particularly hair raising story comes from Tim’s own family member.

“Tim’s great niece was here one day and she was playing patty cake in the yard,” Galliher said. ‘She ran to the door of the clinic and slammed it closed and we asked her what she was doing and she told us that the little girl had to go to bed. We asked her who the little girl was and she said that she couldn’t tell us. Her mother kept talking to her over the next few weeks and she finally said that the little girl’s name was Majesty. Tim’s sister was here and she held a ball in the main room downstairs and asked Majesty to come play with her. The ball started shaking in her hands and then it flew across the floor.”

Trivette and Doug later learned that a little girl named Mallory used to live in the clinic when it was a nursing home and they suspect that is who roams the halls looking for a playmate.

Galliher and Trivette said that they don’t have ambitions to turn the clinic into their own home but they would like to restore it well enough that they could turn it into a bed and breakfast. They have had several tour customers that have asked them to call them if they ever decide to convert it.

All of the money raised from tour tickets are put back into restoring the house from damage caused by the previous owner.

“We do a Halloween, Christmas and birthday parties here but we don’t really use the house outside of that,” Trivette said. “We mostly just do our best to restore it and maintain its condition. We still have a lot of work to do on it.”

Ghost tours will be held at the clinic Oct. 25-27 from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Oct. 28 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Oct. 29 and 30 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Private tours are available during the week and throughout the year by appointment.

Admission is $7 per person. The clinic is located at 290 Eagle Mills Road in Hamptonville. For more information visit the Trivette Clinic on Facebook or call Tim Trivette at (704) 539-4709 or Doug Galliher at (704) 881-8094.

Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at lcraven@heartlandpublications.com.