The destruction of northern Moscow's deserted Khovrino hospital — which for decades has served as fodder for urban legends of satanic cults and animal sacrifices — is imminent, a Moscow official said Wednesday, Interfax reported.
Despite its name, the colossal structure has never functioned as a hospital. Its construction began in 1980, but was suspended five years later. The towering buildings constituting the site have stood in varying states of decay ever since.
"The unfinished hospital buildings were conserved, but over such a long period, they have become significantly dilapidated and worn out," said Marat Khusnullin, a deputy Moscow mayor for urban development and construction, in quotes carried by Interfax. At this point, there is no real possibility of salvaging the structures, he said.
He added that the authorities are planning to sell the abandoned hospital and the land it occupies by the end of 2015, at which point the purchaser will find its destruction imperative, he said. "The future investor will have to fully demolish it," Khusnullin was quoted by Interfax as saying. "Only after that will they be able to begin construction of a new property on that plot."
It bears noting that rumors have swirled for many years that the building would soon be destroyed.
Meanwhile, urban legends have run rife, many involving a satanic cult performing ritual sacrifices and conducting black Mass on the premises. Rumors of rape and murder on the site have abounded, and the Internet offers no shortage of images of slaughtered animals, satanic graffiti and other nefarious sights allegedly seen there.
The mammoth property, which is surrounded by a barbed wire fence and patrolled by security guards, is also the reputed stomping grounds of homeless people and drug addicts.
Khusnullin's statements came a week after a Moldova-based movie production company announced casting for a horror film, tentatively titled "Khovrino," which the producers hope to film on location at the abandoned hospital starting in June.
A picture of a planned movie poster published on the Facebook page of film company KinoEst on March 18 carried a tagline that read: "This hospital is a wonderland: People come in and vanish there."
Describing the location in the casting call, the filmmakers wrote: "Khovrino hospital is among the 10 most feared unfinished construction projects on the planet. A lot of urban legends have emerged around the hospital, associated with satanists, rapists and maniacs. Also, an abundance of accidents have happened on the building's territory since its construction started."
The plot is set to focus on a young woman named Ira who gathers a group of students to explore the hospital and investigate its wealth of urban legends, filming their exploits as they go. The filmmakers claimed in the description that the film is based on a true story.