Pennhurst State School Hospital
Status: Privately owned
Reason: Lawsuit, abuse issues, shutdown
Built in the early 1900s in Pennsylvania, Pennhurst was designed to house and help the mentally challenged (a better word than what they described them in those years) children, teens, and adults through life and to get them back into society to live on their own. Families who could not care for their love ones or who did not want to deal with this illness on their own would drop them off to this institution. Some would come back to visit their children, others would leave them and never see them again. Pennhurst was good to its patients in the early years providing help to the mentally challenged. Over the later years, the campus became overcrowded. They tried building more but that only seemed to help a little. By the 50s, there was over a dozen buildings on campus. The overcrowded buildings was not the main issues. There was not enough staff for the patients. Some were living in horrid conditions sleeping in there own fecal matter with bugs flying around their beds. Some were mistreated by being mentally, physically, and sexually abused. Other were harmed in ways of beatings, fights, teeth pulling to the ones who would bite, and being injected with meds that were not really needed for treatment. Pennhurst when it started was supposed to be a successful Pennsylvania funded institution that would help these children and adults but it failed. What caused Pennhurst to close in 1986-1987 was a lawsuit by a former patient. Her case favored her and the entire facility was shut down. After it closure, the buildings were just dropped and left to rot. They remained abandoned for many years. This location was a huge hotspot for urban explorers. A lot of the land was sold to the Army reserve and to build a VA hospital. In the early to mid 2000s, according to records, the remaining property was bought from the state by a private owner for 2 Million US Dollars. He ran a recycling company here but also planned to turn this place into a museum. In 2009-2010, a third party started a haunted house on the property in a few buildings including the one I have pictures to help make revenue to fix up the buildings. It caused a lot of issues with local residents and people who said the haunted house was disrespecting the children and adults who suffered and died here.