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Pennhurst State, The Forgotten Hell

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posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by ziggystar60

Thanks for posting the link to Jeremy Harris Photography! Those are really great pictures - they have a creepy feel to them. I especially like the curved hallway. The toothbrush picture kind of left me feeling sick...

I shudder at the thought of the poor people who have been residents in places such as these.

posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 03:13 PM
reply to post by ziggystar60

I'm flipping through the asylum album right now. Haunting yet oddly serene. On sight i would never guess that the silent halls were ever active with noise and movement.

As for Pennhurst, those conditions would drive anyone over the edge(the worker's). Not everyone can be in those surroundings day in and day out with no lasting effects on them. The fact that these incidents occurred more towards its closing than its opening only goes to prove that. Usually you would expect someone to learn and evolve mentally, but to be around those who cannot im sure it would drive a few to resort to unorthodox measures. In society treatments are supposed to lead to a cure, if they remain uncured than you have failed. Just my thoughts currently.

posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by SyphonX

specifically what made me angry was the quote about who in their right minds would work in a place like that? I took that personally, very personally. I don't argue that there are some bad ppl working in those kinds of places. there are bad ppl in all sorts of jobs, however the evidence has shown myself and my coworkers how to better care and relate to the clients we take care of.


posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 02:16 AM

Originally posted by valntine
reply to post by SyphonX

specifically what made me angry was the quote about who in their right minds would work in a place like that? I took that personally, very personally. I don't argue that there are some bad ppl working in those kinds of places. there are bad ppl in all sorts of jobs, however the evidence has shown myself and my coworkers how to better care and relate to the clients we take care of.


I don't blame you for taking offense. But you can't really blame them, the only things they've read/seen of the employees were negative accounts which would create a negative generalization of all employees of those facilities. We learn from our mistakes though, living in the past merely leads to ruin.

posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 01:17 AM
Some very emotion stirring stories and images! There is really nothing more to say.... speechless......

posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 03:58 PM
Apparently, there is a video documentary being made. It seems to be a project by someone who is as curious about Pennhurst as many others are.

You can find a review on IMDB (internet movie data base). This project has been calling for previous tennants, staff and others who have experience or know about Pennhurst to come forward for interviews.

It would seem that this film has been in the making for quite a while and I am already eager to see it.

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 02:11 AM
reply to post by Extralien

Valentine, I second this post!

This kind of treatment is a tireless, thankless job and the people that do this work are angels sent from heaven in my eyes. My sister worked with mentally ill children for 6 years. She has a heart of gold too. I think you would have to.. It's also a kind of public service that doesn't pay near what it should. Then there were the times she would tell me about getting bitten and slapped and stuff by her patients right out of nowhere... Difficult isn't the word.

Much thanks for what you do.


posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 11:49 AM
Sit Down AND hold your socks on! I now live 2 1/2 miles from Pennhurst. I did 4 yrs in the USCG, graduated college ( majored in psych) and did some grad school work (psych soc work)!
I also worked at a PA Habilation Center in PITTSBURGH where people were transfered from Polk State School in Franklin, PA. Polk was Pennhursts sister school but in the western part of PA. Polk was a hellhole too. I found the Habilation Center to be a good place for some of those who were there to have a decent chance of reentering society with some confidence and dignity. Some where to mentally incompetent and had no chance at survival in the real world though.
But I digress!
One day as I was working at a job which required dexterity, decision making, forethought and stamina. It was also a stepping stone position which would eventually lead to a position of much skill and all of the above. This job was non related field of my education, I was talking to a co-worker who was doing the exact same job as me. We must have been talking about where we grew up or something related to such.
I was astonished when he told me where he grew up. He said that he was placed into Pennhurst as a child by his parents. I think I said something akin to I couldn't believe it.
Pennhurst and Polk were dumping places for unwanted children. I know that the social infrastructure was lacking or at most infantile during the depression.
I saw people in W. PA who were like him. I couldn't believe that they were also institutionalized. Most did suffer from social depriviation and would have a difficult time making it outside of there but it's terrible they were there at all.
I know for a fact that those in the habilation center were treated well by most, yet I don't know for sure. How could I?
As you all know Pennhurst closed in 1986. Polk closed at about the same time and so did the habilation center but earlier.
Where did all those poor souls go?

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 05:53 PM

Originally posted by Emerald The Paradigm
What do you expect? Certain people with psychotic tendencies get hookups to high positions to torture others.

Who in their right mind decides to work for a prison? A mental asylum? People who stitch up the dead? Soldiers like private contractors? Works for body scanners at airports? Animal Slaughterhouse?

Majority of them all have a "Killing" / "Torturing" / "Pedophile" mentality.

No human in their right mind takes those jobs.

I find your post most offensive.

I work as a Nurse in an Inpatient Healthcare facility in a well known Prison in the UK. I chose to work there. I work for the NHS that provides care for the inmates, both mental health, general health as well as substance misusers.

I do not judge what the inmates have done, but I do care for them.

posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 04:36 PM
reply to post by Its There C It

Polk did not close, I work there at the present time and have worked there for the last 20 years. Polk is not a hellhole. We take excellent care of our clients. they do not suffer from social deprivation, we constantly take them out on trips, and shopping, to the movies, out to dinner, concerts, and other social settings.

We have Doctors and nurses on staff and they get prompt medical care. If a client needs to be hospitalized, a staff member is there with them the entire time they are there, for companionship and to make sure they are well cared for.

Maybe back in the day the care wasnt very good, but i can vouch that for the last 20 years Polk is one of the best places in W.PA for the mentally retarded to reside.

posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 03:13 AM
Speaking of hell holes, there are a few references in Canada. Canada has a long history of neglecting basic human rights.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 02:50 PM
There are many of these same facilities all over the world that continues to commit crimes against humanity to these poor souls confined to the care of the "state."
This also is nothing new. The tragedy is just how mankind can be so wicked, and always to the weakest.

posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 04:08 PM
To add a thread that I feel is relevant to the 'goings-on' at Pennhurst..

Horrific US experiments come to light

but wait! The U.S. would NEVER expirement on its own citizens, would it? After all, we're a 'law-abiding' nation, right? A beacon for "democracy" and human rights? LMAO Straight out of a Stephen King Horror novel, only it's no imaginary tale. Straight out of Nazi-Germany "research" and testing upon jewish prisoners, only this was OUR gov, testing on its OWN, right here in the good old U.S. of A. But just remember, Big Brother ALWAYS has all of your best interests in mind, and would NEVER do anything but PROTECT you, right? Now line up for your next series of vaccinations from all the new "unknown diseases" which keep "mysteriously" popping up!

Thanks DD for digging up more dirt that throws light on those who need to be brought to sorts.

posted on May, 7 2011 @ 04:17 AM
Pennhurst, and it's inmates, both alive and dead, have been turned into a mockery!

I find this disgusting. Somebody obviously heard the 'kerching' of money flowing and thought this was a good deal..

How sad.

posted on Nov, 12 2011 @ 11:48 AM
reply to post by wdavidb

Hi, and thanks for the link.

Very interesting. You/the blogger seems to have done quite a bit of research. I thought your post would have gotten quite a response. I wonder how many actually clicked on the link and read it???

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:41 PM
dont forget central state hospital in indianapolis.. closed for the very same reason .. I have roamed those halls after close ....CREEPY

reply to post by sos37

posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 05:49 AM

posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 01:27 AM
The clients that were released from Pennhurst were first taken to facilities that were slightly more modernized. The keyword being,"slightly." These clients were then put into group homes in communities. Three or four clients share a home. These homes are staffed by individuals who for the most part love their clients.
This story pulls at my heart strings as well. I once knew a Pennhurst victim who spent nearly his entire life at Pennhurst. The information says no infants were taken into Pennhurts. However records from elderly individuals show, in the early years when the place was new, they did take infants. Infants they named John Jones and Jane Smith were probally taken to this hell,their only crime was being born out of wedlock. However after a lifetime of hell they left the facility greatly injured in ways that can never be understood.
There were two worlds at Pennhurst. The world in which some functioning clients were exposed to normal things and the Pennhurst reserved for those who would never be "normal." The second group lived lives of hell and after release suffered unseen emotional injuries until their death.
Parents were discouraged from seeing their children. Staff told parents seeing their children was harmful to their children and themselves.
When pennhurst closed,Clients were taken from Pennhurst to different facilities for evaluations then were put into group homes where they are respected and loved by staff members who assist them in their homes.

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