Haunted Places: Utica State Hospital

September 30, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to my new segment of blogs, haunted places. This segment will consist of many different types of haunted places such as; graveyards, asylums, hospitals, ghost towns, hotels, and more. Ranging anywhere from the well-developed stories to the more forgotten that I can get my hands on, they will be the focus for some time now.

Utica State Hospital:

As one of the first places in the great country of America to care for the mentally ill, Utica opened January 16, 1843 in, obviously, Utica, New York. Utica is one of the highest populated cities in New York where this Hospital was once originally called, “New York State Lunatic Asylum at Utica.” Probably changed the name due to people not wanting to live so close by. What do you think?

It is actually a very beautifully built hospital resembling the designs of building in Washington D.C. that mimic their Greek Origins of design. Huge pillars stand prominent at the front entrance reaching almost 50 feet and the stone structure that follows up behind the building is tremendous as well. Makes you wonder if they were trying to keep the insane in or out.

A Haunted Place:

Of course since the history of the place warrants that the possibilities of haunting and supernatural forces to be at work we have to remember that these were tortured soul in this world before moving on to death. Many of the early uses of treatments for mental illnesses were used at this institute such as; electroshock-therapy, hydro-therapy, crib, straitjackets, etc. And although many of these treatments are still used today a lot more of the extensive or physically harmful ones have been abandoned as practices of treatment.

Anywhere, where a person has suffered tends to bring out the spiritual haunting of the place or make it more prone for the spirits to be disturbed. This of course is if you believe in these things. Mind everyone that my beliefs are not given or rendered in any of these blogs only information that I gather from resources or simple opinions and educated thoughts. Regardless, haunting or something that people believe to be haunting occurs stronger at places that have these types of pasts. Utica State Hospital is one of these places simply because of the long history of the hospital being opened and the amount of suffering that did occur at the place both physically and mentally and to some on a more spiritual level.

At one point when the hospital was not receiving many mentally ill patients it opened its doors to those who were simply criminals. Straitjackets and the means of restraint. This was done because they were not capable of securing these types of patients. So to think that you are not mentally insane but in this place. Then you are placed in the straitjacket and perhaps in the crib, which Utica is famous for, and left for several days in a sort of time out. This would be enough to make a sane person insane. The amount of patients that ended up dying here would prove to be a valid point alone for its haunting let alone the fact of the mental capacity they were in. Think about the haunting that occur at places like this when patients are still there. This would be enough to keep any treatments from working on someone that perhaps could be cured. The doors of Utica closed in 1978 and since then it has been boarded up and left to rot away adding to its eerie, haunting appeals. Ghost chasers and the likes venture in to do their observations from time to time and there are now tours of the place when available that started in 2014. Form what I hear they are somewhat restricted and short. Perhaps there are places that they still don’t want to venture because the spirits will be so actively seeking attention now that it was been left alone for so long with no minds of the living to haunt.

It would be an interesting place to check out if I ever got the chance and one day might do a tour of these old haunted places across America. Still I will keep my mind open and my flight before fight spirit in tune. Just in case.

Thanks for Reading,

Joshua Crane Dowidat


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