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Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution

Description: Pennhurst State School and Hospital, originally known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic is positioned on the border between Chester County and Montgomery County in Pennsylvania. After a decade of controversy, it closed on December 9, 1987

Not all of the residents were abandoned by their family members. When loved ones came to visit, they were appalled to find their children bruised and uncared for. Even in 1912, there were reports on the poor quality of treatment. But it was quickly apparent that outsiders could do little to help, and patients continued to suffer from abuse, rape, even death at the hands of staff and other patients. Society continued to turn a blind eye to the horrors of this state-run institution.

Changes started brewing at Pennhurst in 1968 when Philadelphia television news reporter Bill Baldini produced an expose on the institution. "Suffer the Little Children" uncovered the atrocities and created a sympathetic public. This exposure led to a massive lawsuit. In 1977 Pennhurst's patients achieved a small victory when the school was found guilty of violating patients' constitutional rights. While this decision couldn't undo the past, it certainly made progress for the future.

The facility closed its doors in 1987, and the network of buildings was neglected and left to the tortured, sad spirits. Today caretakers of the property believe that the buildings and underground tunnels are haunted by the angry spirits of patients who suffered and died here. There are reports of slamming doors, footsteps and sounds of vomiting coming from otherwise empty rooms. Some witnesses have seen the spirit of a little girl roaming the buildings, perhaps waiting to tell her own story of sorrow and neglect.

 

Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors
Over 10,000 patients crossed through the doors into Pennhurst, residing in one of the many buildings in the school's network.

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db# 832

Excerpts from Halderman vs. Pennhurst State School

Excerpts from Halderman vs. Pennhurst State School
Excerpts from the facts section of the federal district court case Halderman v. Pennhurst State School and Hospital.

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db# 833

Hauntings at Pennhurst

Hauntings at Pennhurst
There are several reports of paranormal activity at Pennhurst. The following is a small listing that describes those hauntings.

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db# 841

Interactive Pennhurst Timeline

Interactive Pennhurst Timeline
A time line for the Pennhurst facility.

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db# 830

Lost in a Desert World

Lost in a Desert World
Lost in a Desert World is the autobiography of Roland Johnson as told to Karl Williams, a songwriter and novelist. Johnson spent much of his childhood at Pennsylvania's Pennhurst State School and Hospital for the Mentally Retarded. He became a leader...

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db# 838

Pennhurst - Categorizing the Children

Pennhurst - Categorizing the Children
The following outlines how Pennhurst categorized their patients, often collectively called "children," however the age of the residents ranged from infants to people over 70 years old.

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db# 836

Pennhurst - General Operations

Pennhurst - General Operations
The following outlines the general operations of the Pennhurst School.

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db# 837

Pennhurst - Property Layout

Pennhurst - Property Layout
From 1903 to 1908 the first buildings were constructed on 633.913 acres of Crab Hill in Spring City, Pennsylvania, Chester County on what was referred to as the lower campus.

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db# 834

Pennhurst - Suffer The Little Children

Pennhurst - Suffer The Little Children
Suffer The Little Children: A Peek into the History of Eugenics and Child Abuse by the State - Pennsylvania Pennhurst. (Full Documentary) The ground-breaking 1968 NBC10 Expose on Pennhurst State School by Bill Baldini. Haunting Similarities to curren...

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db# 839

Pennhurst State School and Hospital

Pennhurst State School and Hospital
Pennhurst State School and Hospital, originally known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic is positioned on the border between Chester County and Montgomery County in Pennsylvania.

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db# 831

Pennhurst Today

Pennhurst Today
A description on how Pennhurst is being used today.

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db# 835

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