Pennhurst Asylum from Stranger Things is a real place and it sounds terrifying
One visitor described seeing a ‘shadow figure peeking around a corner in the basement tunnels’
We’re all familiar with the creepy Pennhurst Hospital that Victor Creel was kept in throughout Stranger Things. But did you know that there is a real Pennhurst Asylum that inspired its Stranger Things counterpart? From a horrific past to modern day ghost sightings, the building has built a reputation as being the most haunted place in America. So, what exactly did happen at Pennhurst Asylum in the past, and what have people seen there in the present?
Originally called Eastern Pennsylvania State for the “Feeble-Minded and Epileptic”, Pennhurst Asylum was established in 1908 to house the disabled and mentally ill, however soon became home to everyone – from orphans, immigrants and criminals. The hospital was set up in 1913 as those who were considered disabled were not seen as “normal” citizens, and were believed to pose a threat to society.
By the 1960’s the building housed over 2,791 people which was more than a thousand over the maximum capacity. After an investigation in 1968 children were found trapped in mental cages, lying on the floor in their faeces, tied to the beds, and kept in a straightjacket whilst blindfolded. Baldini, the man behind the investigations, noted Pennhurst was like a zoo, only the “animals had it better.”
It was found that staff would purposely aggravate the patients to turn violent towards each other and would beat the patients until they were wheelchair bound. Many patients reportedly died as a result of the malpractice they experienced at Pennhurst. After a lengthy investigation, Pennhurst was shut down in December 1987. Nine employees were indicted on various physical abuse and assault charges.
Now the building has been made into a tourist attraction which runs ghost tours between the hours of 8pm and 2am, and staff who work there have seen a lot of paranormal activity around the buildings.
The decision has been criticised by the family members of those who were held at the hospital, as they wanted the building to become a museum and memorial to those who were maltreated, however, the building was bought by a private contractor who runs the ghost tours.
One staff member described the feeling of being hugged by a girl who supposedly haunts the tunnels underneath the building and loves to interact with others. The little girl has also been reported to scratch people and lock them in the old wardrobes when they would “dare to venture down to the tunnels”.
Another person who visited says that it’s “100 per cent haunted, there’s shadow people, voices, orbs” and that he has a picture of a “shadow figure peeking around a corner in the basement tunnels”. A photographer also reported seeing a shadow figure describing seeing a clear upper torso of a human form peek around the corridor that was “was just a shadow, it was a solid black shadow.”
One ghost hunter has had multiple experiences with the paranormal at Pennhurst describing how in the basement of the building they heard the ” distinct sound of laughing children” and in the tunnels heard a voice clearly whisper “don’t” in their ear. They described their scariest encounter in a part of the building that is no longer open to the public where they felt “something behind me breathe on my neck and lick my ear.”
A young hunched-over girl with long black hair and dangly arms has also been reported. On top of incidents where people were shoved and scratched. According to a medium, there is a demonic force within the building.
Well, I’m not going to be sleeping tonight.
Stranger Things 4 is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.