Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hallowe'en Countdown 2: Haunted Asylums and Sanitoriums

Waverly Hills Sanitorium. Image Source: Underworld Tales.

Continuing with yesterday's 'health' theme, many horror stories are written around hospitals, asylums and sanitoriums.  In the genre, the last thing they are is locations of healing.  Authors draw from hospitals that were in fact centres of human suffering, both mental and physical, as well as medical maltreatment or abuse.  The list of institutions that are believed to be haunted for these reasons is very, very long.  But I'll pick three famous examples that are commonly subjects of paranormal investigations and have become centres of Millennial ghost tourism: Waverly Hills Sanitorium, Kentucky; Rolling Hills Asylum, New York; and Pennhurst Hospital, Pennsylvania.  Pennhurst, a former mental institution, had personnel who dabbled in eugenics.  I won't list their troubled histories, but a few pictures, links and videos show that checking in as a patient back in the day would not be recommended.

Waverly Hills Sanitorium tunnel. Image Source: Urbex-Québec.

Waverly Hills Sanitorium is a favourite among Urbex photographers and ghost hunters. The Travel Channel called Waverly Hills one of the "most terrifying places in America"; see their show on it here. You can see an Urbex photographer's comment on Waverly Hills here.  The Sanitorium now hosts ghost tours.

Rolling Hills Asylum, E. Bethany, NY. Image Source: About.com.

Rolling Hills Asylum is now a centre for paranormal investigations and supports ghost tours and ghost hunts. There's a Ghost Adventures investigation of the site, starting here.  There's another investigation detailed here. And yet another is here.

Rolling Hills Asylum. Image Source: Shadow Chasers.

Finally, nestled in the Chester County countryside of Pennsylvania, we come upon Pennhurst Hospital, which has been turned into a paranormal tourist attraction. You can see the 'trailer' to promote it below the jump, as well as documentaries about it and other videos. It's hard to know what's more surreal: today's ghost themepark, which peddles the suffering of the past to pump up economically depressed areas and abandoned institutional properties - or yesterday's quasi-medical hellish realities.

Pennhurst Asylum trailer. Video Source: Youtube.

Pennhurst Asylum scarefest. Video Source: Youtube.

Historic Pennhurst. Video Source: Youtube.

News exposing abuse of patients, 1968. Video Source: Youtube.

Pennhurst documentary, 1968, Part I. Video Source: Youtube.

Pennhurst documentary, 1968, Part II. Video Source: Youtube.

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1 comment:

  1. You know, of course, which one of these I live relatively close to. Brrr. -J.