Friday, October 1, 2010

Pennhurst State School and Hospital

In Spring City, Pennsylvania, Chester County atop of what is locally known as "Crab Hill". This institution originally opened in 1908 under the name Eastern State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic. It was also referred to as the Pennhurst State School as it was intended to be a school for the mentally retarded and physically handicapped.  It also doubled as a hospital.  The institution was a miniature city which housed industry that residents were assigned to and included shoe making and repair, mattress making, farming, butchering, painting, and even included stores on site.  It is said that over ten thousand souls passed through Pennhurst through the years.

The Administration Building at Pennhurst State Hospital

Over time the institution became over crowded and underfunded.  Eventually things got out of hand and many of the patients were abused both physically and sexually.  Some were neglected by allowing them to remain in their steel cribs in their rooms for days at a time.  Many of the patients died there. The building has stood abandoned since it was forced to close in 1986. The grounds and buildings on it have stood abandoned for over 20 years. It is said that the screams of the patients can be heard inside.  There also have been reports of poltergeist activity such and desks and chairs moving about on their own.  It is said to be one of the most haunted places in America.

 View of Pennhurst State Hospital from the air taken during it's hay day
Abandoned guerney at Pennhurst

Pennhurst Today:  The Pennsylvania Railroad used to service the institution via Pennhurst Station.  What used to be the tracks that ran behind Devon Hall are now part of the Schuylkill River Trail.  The institution just opened this past week as a haunted attraction named "Pennhust Assylum".  This was over a hot debate due to the past nature of the school and a court ruling allowed the haunted attraction to go on as planned.

 Administration building from the top
 Philadelphia Hall
Aerial view of Pennhurst as it is today.  Very overgrown in parts.

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