However in 1994 the hospital was closed down for good.
Kings Park Psychiatric Center, Kings Park, New York:
It operated from 1885 until 1996.
The hospital was revolutionary at the time in the sense that it was a departure from the asylums of folklore, which were overcrowded places where gross human-rights abuses often occurred. The asylum, built by Brooklyn to alleviate overcrowding in its own asylums, was a "Farm Colony" asylum, where patients worked in a variety of farm-related activities, such as feeding livestock and growing food, as this was considered to be a form of therapy at the time.
The state eventually built the hospital into a self- sufficient community that not only grew its own food, but also generated its own heat and electricity, had its own Long Island Rail Road spur, and housed its staff on-site.
In 1954, the patient census at Kings Park topped 9,303, but would begin a steady decline afterwards. By the time kings park reached its peak patient population, the old rest and relaxation philosophy surrounding farming gave way to pre frontal lobotomies and electro shock therapy. However, those methods would quickly be abandoned in 1955 following the introduction of Thorazine, the first widely used drug in the treatment of mental illness. It fully closed down in 1996.
(Note that access to the grounds is limited and entry into the buildings is forbidden by law)
The first documented misfortune was a patient who hanged himself in 1914, but many more unfortunate deaths would follow. A hot water heater explosion in 1919 killed two employees; another employee was killed trying to cross the road; a nurse killed herself at her home; multiple patients died during their sentences or while undergoing treatment. Many more died shortly after release following a “successful” stay, usually in tragic or violent manners.
(Note the very detailed face, It should also be noted this place is off limits and is being watched around the clock by security.)
Operational from 1874 until 1993, this asylum definitely has some stories to tell.
The hospital provided services to a variety of patients including civil war veterans, children, and violent criminals suffering from various mental disabilities. It is best known as a site of hundreds of the infamous lobotomy procedure, as well as various supposed paranormal sightings.
Although not a self sustaining facility, for many years the hospital had livestock, farm fields and gardens, an orchard, greenhouses, a dairy, a physical plant to generate steam heat, and even a carriage shop in the early years.
for the female patients hospitalized during these first three years of the asylum's operation, the three leading causes of insanity are recorded as "puerperal condition" (51 women), "change of life" (32 women), and "menstrual derangements" (29 women).
Epilepsy was also considered a major cause of insanity and reason for admission to the hospital in the early years. The first annual report lists thirty-one men and nineteen women as having their insanity caused by epilepsy. General "ill health" accounted for the admission of thirty nine men and forty four women in the first three years of the hospitals operation.
The 1960s brought about a new emphasis on the humanity of mental patients. The lobotomy was condemned as barbaric, and psychotropic drugs such as Thorazine replaced it. Although the heavy drugs administered in hospitals at this time werent perfect (the "Thorazine shuffle" was a term used to describe the way people move around when they're on it.)
Athens also has a few cemeteries there the most haunted is said to be the main one which occupies the downslope of the hill behind the hospital itself. Only those patients whose families cared enough to pay for professional stones are identifiable by name, since all the state provided a patient with was a plot and a simple, narrow gravestone marked with a number. Hospital records tell who each number belonged to, which is why several of the unmarked stones are accompanied by veterans' plaques. Due to missing records, the identities of the male patients with numbers 1 through 63 are lost to history. In total there were roughly two thousand people interred in the Athens State Hospital burial grounds before 1972. Apparently Ohio University also buried the cadavers used in its medical classes here. To see the two more recent graveyards you need to double back toward the Dairy Barn art museum and climb a hundred or so wooden stairs set into the hillside. But it's this, the oldest and closest cemetery, where the spirits are most active.
The most popular story, however, is the legend of Room 502, where a nurse named Mary Hillenburg allegedly hung herself from the doorway there in 1928 after discovering she had become pregnant out of wedlock. A variation of the story holds that she was actually impregnated by one of the (married) doctors working at the sanatorium at the time. The doctor apparently attempted an abortion that went awry and Mary died. To cover his tracks, he made it look as though she took her own life. Another nurse supposedly committed suicide by flinging herself off the roof.