Well, even though I could on about Halloween I don’t want to get o off the subject of this series of blogs and that is the haunted places. Haunted places like the Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital.
First of all, Middletown is the city in New York where the hospital is located. Kind of interesting to see that so many of these hospitals and asylums for the insane are on the east coast but also how many of them are in New York.
While construction began in 1870 after the decision was made to create a facility for the mentally ill in 1866, the hospital did not open until 1874. When it first opened it had only 69 patients. But as time as shown us over the course of these hospitals and the blogs is that the number grows substantially larger every time. By the turn of the century it was a hundred buildings strong with over 2,250 patients and by the 1960s it had 3,686.
Now I know a hundred buildings seems like a lot but when you consider the population and the nature of that population inhabiting those buildings you know that there is stuff going on. Stuff that would be considered illegal medical practices these days, criminal actions, and perhaps the actions of those haunted souls. Both living and non-living.
The Haunted Part:
Always have to settle in on the eerie atmosphere of these places after a brief history. Makes it more fitting to the site.
This starts with the unmarked graves. Well marked but by numbers and other means. Like many of the insane or mentally ill there comes a time when they pass on like all the rest of us. Many of these people in the earlier years where left to be and families wanted nothing to do with them. Maybe they didn’t’ have families. Not saying that all of them did but it was very common for this to be the way the cards played out for many.
So to deal with this dilemma when the time came the hospitals and asylums had cemeteries. Of course tombstones and gravestones could and still are costly so many of them got a stamped number marker and the records where kept on file for which body belonged to what grave. Middletown was known for this.
The hospital closed in 2006, and the only remaining building was privately owned after that. Unfortunately in 2015 the remaining building burnt down. Some of the records of who belongs to what number in the ground have turned up, before and after the fire.
Still, now you have a place of the dead with no official markers and no building to call home in their afterlife. Perhaps they just roam around the open land now or perhaps the burning of the building has allowed them to venture off and was in some ways a freedom from the hospital. Kind of a breaking the chains moment.
Many people do not know how important this is too many others. Especially in the past. “Rest In Peace” was a significant marker on a tombstone or gravestone that would not allow the dead to rise above it. In other words, it prevented them from waking from the grave. With markers that only have numbers or simple names on them, like at many of the insane hospitals, it is no wonder why the reporting of hauntings surge in these places.
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat