Letchworth Village: Hudson Valley’s Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital
Let me ask you a question. Would you dare to explore the inside of an abandoned psychiatric hospital just for fun?
What's there to be afraid of? There's no such thing as ghouls and goblins and tortured souls, right? Walk with me into the ruins of the psychiatric residential hospital Letchworth Village in Rockland County, New York.
This 2,300 acre residential facility was built in 1911 and during its prime housed 3,000 to 5,000 patients in over 130 buildings. The facility was built for the mentally and physically disabled of all ages. Back in 1911, Letchworth's first superintendent, Dr. Charles Little referred to the mentally disabled patients as morons, imbeciles, and idiots, which is how he grouped them at Letchworth.
According to a February 2016 article in Hudson Valley Magazine, Letchworth Village was considered a renowned facility for the mentally ill in the 1920's on the cutting edge of mental health treatment, but as the patient population grew from the hundreds of patients to 3,000 to 5,000 patients the level of care quickly began to deteriorate.
In the 1940's, a photo journalist named Irving Haberman began releasing photographs of dirty and naked residents some sleeping on mattresses on the floor with some wearing soiled clothing. As the patient population rose to 5,000 in the 1950's, the level of care was bordering on abusive. In 1972, ABC News featured Letchworth Village in Geraldo Rivera's documentary titled, 'Willowbrook: The Last Disgrace' which examined some of the awful conditions that many patients were living under especially the children.
Letchworth finally closed its doors in 1996 leaving the facility to rot and decay. Is this sprawling residential psychiatric facility haunted? Many a ghost hunter will tell you it most certainly is! But only you can make that determination. Wait until the cover of night, preferably when there's a full moon and it's dark and stormy, and make sure you bring your cell phone. What could possibly go wrong?!