Mental Hospitals are always an issue of great concern and sometimes fascination (in terms of those that have been closed down under odd circumstances) for me. In the past on this blog I’ve made reference to an abandoned hospital in my home state of new jersey, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Opened in the late 1800’s and closed in 2000, it suffered from extreme overcrowding for many of its last decades, not to mention the number of escapees, patient abuse, and sexual assault cases that came to light in the 80’s. I have a faint memory of some of that in the newspaper when I was a kid, probably some cases being settled after the fact.
This topic is fresh in my mind as I recently subscribed to my old public radio station in Newark- WBGO’s Journal podcast. One of the segments, which you can subscribe to seperately, is called Lost Jersey. The host, in a very TV anchorperson type voice, visits mysterious or forgotten NJ places each week. Giving the history as well as the cause of the eventual demise of these sites. And sure enough, one of their visits was to Greystone, just as several of the old hospital buildings were being torn down.
One thing I’m reminded of, as I look through photos of the eerie boarded up hospital buildings, is that when I was a kid I believe my mom – as a college student in social work, had some type of internship that required her to visit Greystone on occasion. But I don’t remember her descriptions of the place.
Next week I will join her in Portugal, so I’m thinking Greystone Park and Mental Patient Care in New Jersey might be a good topic for us to explore together. In the meantime, highly recmmended – Lost Jersey podcast.