Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital





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Published on Jan 10, 2010

After months of wanting to go back but not alone, I found a friend to go back. We spent the day here taking pictures of the madness that has been laid to rest. The thoughts and ghostly images f the human torture of lobotomies and electroshock therapy are in every hall.

Originally designed to house 12,500 patients on 1,900 acres of land, Pilgrim still holds the record of being the largest psychiatric hospital in the world - its peak patient population at one time was 16,000. The original hospital constructed from 1930-1941, became known for some of the worst cases of human abuse by the medical field has been done here including over 2,000 lobotomies, shock therapy and more. Hundreds of patients died while in their care and now all that remains are these haunting building set to make the hair stand on end of even the bravest of souls.

All of these photos are available as limited edition prints, just visit www.bellaphotographynyc.com. Each print is signed and limited to only 50 in print. Bella Photography will be removed from the image you purchase.

Comments • 14

LD Davis
This was very well done. Spectacular photography and subject matter. These silent and peeling walls witnessed unimaginable horrors over the decades. Not because the staff were monsters, it was simply standard care back in the day. Electroshock therapy, lobotomies, 24 hour restraints to the beds, pulling of teeth of those who dared to bite. The staff was so short handed that patients laid in their own wastes for days. Until the advent of medications to treat these people, this was their fate. 
colleen rugg
I never get into negativity online, however, you are completely ignorant and obviously love sensationalism and have not done your home homework. Patients were NOT tortured here like you say. Where did you get your information? You're just another jerk trying to take someone else's b.s. and incorrect info off the Internet, to then share here with your photographs. Had you investigated and asked questions, you would have found that patients were treated with kindness and never experimented on.
colleen rugg
ECT-shock treatment has helped people with major depressive disorders. What about all the people who were hospitalized to live on their own? You don't mention that. Have facts straight before you talk. You shun the mentally ill and think they're creatures, or "mad" and have no respect for them as human beings? Do you actually think they were killing people? You are completely ignorant and remind me of the kids in high school that made fun of the psych patients - who threw bricks at them. 
I've been there like 5 times myself, it's a fun trip but much more intense at night. I definitely wanna go back some time. BTW, if you're gonna use a Metallica song, wouldn't Sanitarium be more appropriate?
TiTØ Ðë ĹïbërØ
Hail-lay-loo-yeah! /m\ _._ /m\
i live like a 20 min walk away,creepy as fuck when i see the tower from the nearby costco shopping center
Lauren Obenauer
I live ten minutes from there in centereach and my mom thought it was a college like Penn state
I grew up on Long Island in the 70's and the church I went to went to Pilgrim State once a month to provide a things like cookies, coffee and juice to patients there. I was too young to go but I remember my parents had a place where they would keep the cookies and punch and once in a while I'd get into it for some treats. I guess they were tying to make their lives a little bit better and let them know that people did care about them. They did that for years and years as I recall.
I mean, were you burning shit? The troopers around the area are some of the coolest ones I've ever met, until you meet trooper Mangano, that guy's just an all around prick.
i wanna do a music video here with my band!!
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