Middletown State Psychiatric Hospital: Running With Bolt Cutters

Middletown-Psychiatric-Hospital-asylumIt was impossible to tell when my friend Chris and I actually stepped onto the grounds of the vacant Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital. We had parked about a half mile from the campus, but almost the entire district we passed through was also abandoned. People still lined up at a bus stop and the roads were filled, but the industrial brick structures were all boarded up — a populated ghost town. Middletown-Psychiatric-Hospital-asylumWe walked deeper into the industrial wasteland until we found a sign informing us that, yes, we were on the hospital campus. More than 100 structures existed before the hospital started being demolished, and many of them were still intact. We found a door that had been graciously left ajar on the first building we passed and shoved our way in. This part of the campus hadn’t been abandoned until 2008 when the hospital permanently closed, so it was at least structurally intact, but the large rooms we passed through had been completely stripped bare. The only things in them were water fountains that had been ripped out of the walls. People had liberally marked the rooms with graffiti of varying quality, including someone who was a massive Odd Future fan. Middletown-Psychiatric-Hospital-asylum The four-story stairwells were caged in, presumably to keep patients from throwing themselves down them. Middletown-Psychiatric-Hospital-asylumMost of the dozens of buildings still standing were inaccessible. It was beginning to rain, and we hopped from building to boarded-up building, trying to find open doors. The turning point came when we came upon a pair of boltcutters some other adventurer had probably jettisoned. They weren’t the most innocuous thing to be carrying in public, so we either stuffed them in our pants when between buildings, or, as time got tight, just ran with them. Middletown-Psychiatric-Hospital-asylum We finally came upon one of the older buildings that had been abandoned long before the hospital had completely closed. Chris acted as a lookout as the boltcutters made quick work of the chains holding a 25-foot gate shut. We trotted in, glancing around nervously. There were half a dozen vehicles strewn within the gate, some some with their their license plates removed. Middletown-Psychiatric-Hospital-asylum We got into the building’s horrifying basement, which was pitch-black and inexplicably covered with several inches of mud. Middletown-Psychiatric-Hospital-asylum Middletown_abadoned_asylumMiddletown_abadoned_asylumMiddletown_abadoned_asylumWe made it up a staircase to the ground floor, which featured a real-life actual coffin, though we found after close examination that it was unused. Middletown-Psychiatric-Hospital-asylum Middletown-Psychiatric-Hospital-asylum Chris had to be back for a show in the city, so we ran back to the car, still lugging the bolt-cutters.

10 thoughts on “Middletown State Psychiatric Hospital: Running With Bolt Cutters

  1. Okay, where is this horror? The only vaguely similar place I know of is the training school that became where din of same was housed. Pls let me know.

    • Middletown Psychiatric Center is at 141 Monhagen Avenue in Middletown, NY and it’s not completely closed. There are two SOCR (State Operated Community Residences) in the Schmitz Bldg. still operating..and several other agencies on the grounds, including Emergency Housing, Office of the Aging, Cornell Cooperative ..Alcoholism Treatment Unit…Rehab Support Services..The rest of the grounds were sold to a developer who I am told died and now there are 19 parcels for sale.

  2. There’s a giant hole in the fence to the left of one of the two gates on that side, no need for boltcutters boys but I guess it’s fun to use them anyway 😉

  3. I worked there before it closed. The first picture you show was a daycare center and the CSEA office. The State in its “wisdom” closed it causing alot of heart ache for the family’s that would have to travel far to see there family members. The older buildings were closed years ago. The pool and the grounds around it was used in the summer for the clients . I did not find it scary working there. I would have like it modernized to meet the needs of the community. But that did not happen instead it has become so much harder to get help for our loved ones without sending them away.A big loss for Orange and Sullivan County’s.

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