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Fairfield Hills State Hospital - Newtown

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  • Fairfield Hills State Hospital - Newtown

    The Haunted Fairfield Hills Psychiatric State Hospital

    The History

    Fairfield Hills State Hospital, in Newtown, Connecticut, was opened in 1932-1933 to ease overcrowding in the state's other two mental hospitals. It was a psychiatric hospital and asylum for those who suffered from mental illness. Walter P. Crabtree principally designed the architecture of the campus-like facility. The main campus of 16 buildings was clustered on 700 acres. On the surface, a circular network of roads connected all of the buildings. Underground there was a vast network of concrete tunnels that enabled unseen movement of hospital patients, workers, and even patient corpses between the hospital buildings. The institution had a history of performing experimental shock treatment and lobotomies in its day. The hospital is credited with having been the first place to perform a lobotomy to treat mental illness in the United States. Extending the tragical history, the staff continued to use lobotomy as conventional treatment amongst a patient population rising to more than 4,000 by the 1960s. Fairfield closed its doors in 1995.

    The Hauntings

    The abandoned "insane asylums" was closed by the state in 1995, and in the ensuing years has grown into a popular destination for ghost seekers as well as urban explorers. Like many former hospitals for the mentally disturbed, tales of cruelty and abuse surround the facility, which when combined with stories of odd happenings in the network of underground tunnels here -- which have been filled in in 2009 -- have helped forged its reputation. This was a response to a TV Show called "Fear" produced an exploitative reality TV documentary show. Here they listed Fairfield Hills under a false name, St. Agnes Mental Hospital. Soon afterwards the hospital became very popular among local ghost hunters. It gained legendary status online. Many claimed to see a young petite woman in white, surrounded by a glow, staring through windows of the abandoned buildings.

    Unfortunately, Fairfield Hills cannot be visited by the public today. It is now owned by the Town of Newtown and managed by the Fairfield Hills Management Committee. Severe deterioration in parts of the campus have posed the threat of imminent collapse. The entire complex has become so unstable that many of the buildings are now set for demolition. Local security has boarded up windows, doorways, and even the entrances to the tunnels to keep people out, yet local ghost hunters still attempt to break into the property. Today the campus is heavily guarded by security guards 24 hours a day, as well as Newtown police who patrol the area regularly. Despite all this, they still have their hands full. We recommend not to attempt to enter the property. Attempting to get some evidence of ghosts is not worth getting a $92 fine and/or getting arrested for trespassing. Plans to demolish the buildings and develop the 700+ acres keep starting and sputtering, but eventually this hospital of horror will only be a bad memory.