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  • Erin Egnatz

Pennhurst State School and Hospital: Pennsylvania

Located in Spring City, Pennsylvania, Pennhurst State School and Hospital opened in 1908. Originally, the hospital opened for those who were "feeble minded" and for those who had an epileptic condition. Not even four years after the hospital opened, was it facing overcrowding issues, causing the conditions to deteriorate for the resident patients. The hospital began receiving immense pressure from outside organizations to accept people who would not normally qualify for the program such as orphaned children and immigrants, and in some cases, even criminals.


Because of the over crowding taking place within its walls, the management at Pennhurst ordered the patients segregated by level of mental capacity, idiot or imbecile, epileptic or healthy, and so on. The treatment was, in most cases, horrible. Punishments were harsh and often very cruel and it wasn't uncommon for patients to be confined to what was essentially a metal cage. It didn't get better as the years went on either.


In 1968, the treatment of patients at Pennhurst had reached the ears of those on the outside. A news crew came in and exposed the world to what was going on inside the walls of Pennhurst. The community was outraged but Pennhurst would not be closed for good until the end of 1987.


Hauntings seem to often occur at places where there has been extreme suffering, sadness and death. Judging by the history of Pennhurst, it makes sense that there have been multiple reports of paranormal activity at the former state school and hospital. From shadow figures darting through the halls, to the sounds of voices inside former patient rooms, to loud, invisible footsteps following visitors throughout the hospital, the ghosts seem to be plentiful inside Pennhurst. People have reported doors slamming, objects moving, and the apparition of a little girl sadly still hanging around.


Pennhurst has a sad history, a nightmarish past. The spirits of Pennhurst are still hanging around waiting to tell their stories. You can go and check out Pennhurst for yourself as the owners offer tours, paranormal investigations and even haunted attractions depending on the time of year. This is one spot I definetly want to check out and hope to do so soon.


Photo by:Don Valentine Photography



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