Those who live in the Philadelphia area, along with fans of “Ghost Adventures” and “Extreme Paranormal”, are familiar with Pennhurst State School and Hospital. Growing up, the name was spoken in hushed tones. Rumors of hauntings and paranormal activity, circulated through whispers. Stories frighten little children and grown-ups alike. Dubbed “The Shame of Pennsylvania” by local newspapers, the abuse of patients at Pennhurst spurred investigations that spanned decades. For fellow fans of “FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum”, the fictional “Briarcliff” wasn’t too far off track from the real horrors at Pennhurst.
The institution opened in 1908 for physically and mentally handicapped patients to receive care and housing. Within four years of opening the doors, Pennhurst was overcrowded and understaffed. Perhaps, the abuse would have gone unnoticed if it hadn’t been for an exposé, in 1968, by the Philadelphia CBS affiliate titled, “Suffer the Little Children”. A class action suit against the institution was filed in 1977. A decade later, Pennhurst finally closed its doors…but not for good.
In 2010, Pennhurst was reopened to the public. Tours and attractions for all levels of paranormal devotees are available. Both A&E and The Travel Channel featured Pennhurst on their popular paranormal shows and both deemed the campus to be teeming with spirits and entities. But don’t take my word for it; you can check it out for yourself. I’ll even make it easy for you. Go to: http://www.pennhurstasylum.com/ but enter the site at your own risk. The tortured souls are waiting for you. Sleep well.