The Rockland Psychiatric Center was originally founded in 1927 with 5768 beds for adult patients. With a working farm, its own power plant and industrial shops staffed by patients who manufactured everything from mattresses to brooms and furniture, Rockland was then considered among the best-planned psychiatric hospitals in the world. By the end of 1959, the complex was over crowded with more then 9000 residents and a staff of 2000 on an extending campus. However, the hospital went downhill due to two world wars, as doctors and nurses were kept drafting in army. And during that time at a point one psychiatrist was assigned to 300 patients. In 1937, insulin shock therapy followed by electroshock treatment and lobotomies were introduced to the patients as treatment. As of today most patients who are alive have commented thru their blogs or in other social medias or web about their personal experiences of some form of treatments they received at the facility, would be considered abusive today. Around 1970s the inpatient population had been significantly reduced, since then some semi active and newly built building mostly serve as outpatients hospital and with less then 700 inpatients.
The site also had housing for children, though the facility no longer provides services to the children anymore. The buildings on the majority of the site were closed between 1930s and 1940s and are still remain closed to the public. Those abandoned buildings, including the children ward are one of the largest intact psychiatric hospital facilities in USA.
Some seasons of popular cable shows like “Orange is the new black” and “American Horror Story” (season ” Asylum”) was filmed in this facility.
Picture above – “Im scared”, may make you wonder, why the creators of those shows chose this site to film their cable shows.
“Hello, darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping.” – originally by Simon & Gurfunkel
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