Any former residents of the old Psych Center?

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bed bugs

Liverpool, NY

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#1
Apr 24, 2009
 
Does anybody know about any people who used to live in the Old State Psychiatric Hospital across the street from Donvan middle school? You know, that vast, looming ghostly place that still has the bars on the windows? When the institution was closed in the 1970's, instead of going back home, most of those people were absorbed by Utica, were they not?

My mom used to have a few recollections of that place but I've forgotten most of them. I was wondering if anybody has any good stories about former state hospital patients. There must be thousands as that place was HUGE!
Trailerfun

Santa Clara, CA

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#2
Apr 24, 2009
 
About 10 years ago I went to the library to look up stuff on the old main building, in the early 1900s there was an article from a downstate paper saying how if you weren't crazy going in you would be crazy coming out. Did you know that place was originally called the 'utica lunatic asylum'. Also I spoke with a guy that worked there and he said the basement was the worst, they called it the dungeon.
bed bugs

Liverpool, NY

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#3
Apr 24, 2009
 
Trailerfun wrote:
About 10 years ago I went to the library to look up stuff on the old main building, in the early 1900s there was an article from a downstate paper saying how if you weren't crazy going in you would be crazy coming out. Did you know that place was originally called the 'utica lunatic asylum'. Also I spoke with a guy that worked there and he said the basement was the worst, they called it the dungeon.
The Utica Crib was invented there too.

http://www.uihealthcare.com/depts/medmuseum/g...

No, but seriously--that place was/is huge. They have demolished sections of it, but it was a massive structure in its entirety. A little bit like the mall of America, only for crazies. I'm sure a roller coaster could have easily fit inside of it. I believe what you say about the basements too. When I have walked by the former "lunatic asylum" I don't believe I'm hallucinating when I think I have seen ghosts peering out from the windows. Bad vibes continue to radiate from that place. I wouldn't be surprised if the bad vibes emanating from that place are what killed the city of Utica.
Eeeeeee

Liverpool, NY

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#4
Apr 24, 2009
 
Trailerfun

Santa Clara, CA

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#5
Apr 24, 2009
 
Yea I forgot about the utica crib. I used to go there at night with friends and just start in the windows, I never saw anything but it always felt so evil and creepy. Especially the part across the mcpike alcohol place. I remember reading that there used to be a big bell tower too but burnt in a large fire, and the crazies would farm the backyard all day.
I hear voices

New York, NY

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#6
Apr 25, 2009
 
Why..Why..Why are you asking? Crazy? I'm not crazy! I spent the best years of my life, wait, what? Stop talking to me! Shut up let him talk! We went to Price Chopper,wait...what? Fire Deaprtment! Stop it! Stop it!....Oh look a little kitty! Here kitty...You know I love animals, they're delicious....what was the question?
Happys boyfriend

New York, NY

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#7
Apr 25, 2009
 

Judged:

1

Wasnt the Mayor born there?
Cici

New York, NY

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#8
Apr 25, 2009
 
Utica Monday Night usually has a tour there on a Monday during the series. Im not sure if they did it last year, but it was done in years past. They show you part of the first floor, but all of it has been redone so its not as exciting as parts that haven't been touched. It is still creepy though to think what could have happened in the rooms you are allowed to go in.
pip

Syracuse, NY

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#9
Apr 25, 2009
 
oh wow i never heard of the crib before. I would love to tour that place in its entirety. is it stil state owned?

“Life's a Dance..... ”

Since: Jan 09

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#10
Apr 25, 2009
 
Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center (formerly Utica Psy. Ctr...Utica Lunatic Asylum), is still open and operating. All patients are in the Wright Bldg. across from Donovan School. Their childrens center is Pinefield on York St, adjacent from Donovan. NYS decided to go the way of California and felt the patients would fare better in homes with helpers checking in on them. Many teams were developed to help them acclimate to living in the commmunity. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesnt. Some patients will never leave institutionalized care. The patients are well cared for and offerd many activities to bide their time. McPike is the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Tx center, housed on the grounds.
mongo loyd

Moravia, NY

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#11
Apr 27, 2009
 
gardengal13502 wrote:
Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center (formerly Utica Psy. Ctr...Utica Lunatic Asylum), is still open and operating. All patients are in the Wright Bldg. across from Donovan School. Their childrens center is Pinefield on York St, adjacent from Donovan. NYS decided to go the way of California and felt the patients would fare better in homes with helpers checking in on them. Many teams were developed to help them acclimate to living in the commmunity. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesnt. Some patients will never leave institutionalized care. The patients are well cared for and offerd many activities to bide their time. McPike is the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Tx center, housed on the grounds.
There must be thousands of them all over the city. And I'm sure some of them have kids too. What happened when patients got pregenant at the lunatic asylum? Even if sexual relations weren't allowed it must have happened occasionally? I can't imagine the Catholics aborting the fetuses, and this was probably in the days before abortion was legal. But was it legal to abort the fetuses of lunatics before Roe vs. Wade?
nylady

Utica, NY

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#12
Apr 27, 2009
 
I believe most of the residents were sterilized back in the old days.
The medications used today were also not available then. Imagine how tormented those poor people were?
The community residences are much nicer than the institution. I would guess that the majority of the people have passed away. Most of the ones there probably could not adjust to life outside the psych center, or are too mentally ill to live in a home.
Dumps daddy

New York, NY

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#13
Apr 27, 2009
 
everyone on here you dung heap
FYI

AOL

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#14
Apr 27, 2009
 
This was the original psychiatric hospital in the US and was considered state of the art. In the early days before treatment, the really disturbed and violent were chained to the wall was to prevent their escapse and injury. Some of those chains and straps still are attached to the walls in the basement. The entire history of care happened here from ice water baths to electro-shock therapy. Once drugs became available the numbers diminished. There was a later state hospital established in Marcy (now the site of a prison). Not everyone incarcerated was "crazy". Incorigible children (delinquints) were sent there, wives that husbands wanted to be rid of and those with dementia. Almost anyone with money or influence could rid themselves of someone there. There were also people that went there as children and never left because by the time it was detemined by a more enlightened society that they were not crazy but perhaps developmentally challenged or simply unwanted by their families, they were too old and ill prepared to be released so they stayed til they died. There were also wards of people who were quaranteened for communicable diseases before antibiotics etc. Again, by the time treatments were developed, it was too late for release and they were allowed to live out your life there. You might have better luck getting stories from the staff who are still around and both hospitals had nursing schools. I know a story from one who talked abut getting an old man from state in intensive care (there was no real medical care at the states). She tried to order all kinds of food that she thought would be a treat and tempt his appetite. Finally a new charge nurse came on duty that had trained at state and ordered him a big plate of spagetti and a large spoon. He ate like he was starved. The other nurses thought she was terrible when she did it but the truth was at state the patients were never given anything but a spoon as a utensil and as a result only soft food. Not all residents needed confinement. There used to be a farm where Utica College stands today. There was a large house where the Curch is ciurrently. That porch and all the sunrooms were full of rocking chairs that the patients used to soothe themselves. There was an art studio, an upolstery shop, a greenhouse for plants and flowers and many patients had "jobs". many of them were allowed to walk the beautiful grounds. Marcy had a great golf course.
FYI

AOL

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#15
Apr 27, 2009
 
When the state was renovating old main, they went in the attic and found many trunks of personal possessions taken from patients long since deceased. They found the same at other old and defunct hospitals. They state held a museum show in Albany of the items. Very interesting.
Trained there

New York, NY

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#16
Apr 28, 2009
 
In 1980, I was a Nursing Student.(not with Marcy School Of Nursing). We trained in the Brigham Building. The Place was enormous. That too was interesting with Male and Female Wards.
We toured the Old Main. It was fascinating in re: to the History and how the care of the mentally ill was carried out. We saw the Cribs, the straight jackets,. To me the most fascinating part was the underground railroad thru the Old Main building. Patients were brought in and those totally out of control, were shackled and chained to the walls until they collapsed from exhaustion
AS for the Brigham Building I recall this one lady being there for bizarre behavior. She went out to St Elizabeths as they had just gotten the first Cat Scanner in the area. turned out she had a brain tumor. I saw a patient there with a condition Osteo Genesis Imperfectum. have seen it twice in my career . Still in 1980, they would take patients into the shower room and hose them down4-6 @ a time.
Thank God for improved treatment and understanding of behaviors and Mental Illness. We still have a long way to go. I am lucky to say that I trained there.
Marcy State

Rome, NY

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#17
Apr 28, 2009
 
My great-grandmother worked in the Marcy State Hospital,(vacant, but still Standing)from the 1930's-1960's. They did shackle and chain people to the walls in the basement, especially hermaphrodites (no joke). She told me that they housed all kinds of people. In addition, when they had someone "go off", they would put a bar of soap in a sock, and whack the person in the forehead with it, because the soap would dent and therefore cause less visible damage to the person.
BPS1

United States

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#18
Apr 28, 2009
 
Happys boyfriend wrote:
Wasnt the Mayor born there?
You know, I think HANNA was born there..........
Wasnt

Geneva, NY

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#19
Apr 28, 2009
 
Wasn't there a sanitarium out past Camden, in Oseola I think. I don't know if it was a psych center or for TB quaratine, ect, at the turn of the century.
Taps

Utica, NY

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#20
Apr 28, 2009
 
They should get those Ghost Hunter people who have a show on the Sci-fi channel to do an episode about Utica's old lunatic asylum.

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