HUDSON RIVER STATE HOSPITAL

Hudson View Drive, Poughkeepsie, NY

Status: Former Psychiatric Hospital, Partially Demolished, Partially Repurposed

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History

By the latter part of the 19th Century the State run insane asylum in Utica was beginning to become overcrowded and the Governor set up a study to look at the possibility of opening a new hospital to service New York City and the surrounding areas in the Hudson River Valley. In 1866 a large parcel of land was gifted to the State near the city of Pooghkeepsie which would eventually be accepted.

In October of 1871 the new Hudson River State Hospital For The Insane was opened and admitted 40 patients. Construction, however, would continue for another 25 years before the institution was completed.

When finished the main building was designed as Kirkbride Plan building (as were many State run asylums in the 19th Century) and was a virtual twin to the asylum built in Danvers, Massachusetts.

The construction, which was originally slated for a cost of $800,000, went grossly over budget almost immediately. Although many criticisms were leveled at the project, including by the New York Times, construction continued until 1895 when the money simply ran out at a total of $1,200,000 and so the hospital’s final plans were never completed.

A Refrigeration Plant was built in 1948 and a Tuberculosis Hospital was built in 1951. In 1971 the two wings of the main building were shut down as the floors were collapsing.

By the 70′s, though, the patient population had begun to drop (from 6,000 to just over 1,000) due to the invention of drugs which helped patients live outside of institutions. By the 1990′s large portions of the hospital were closed down but not demolished due to intervention of the State Historical Society.

The Hudson Valley Psychiatric Center opened nearby in 1994 and the hospital was closed down and abandoned in 2003.

In 2005 the state sold the property to the Empire State Development Corporation who planned to convert the site into condos and a hotel. This project failed due to a moratorium on construction and financial reasons. In 2007 the South Wing was struck by lightning and set afire – it is unclear to this day whether that wing can be saved the damage was so great.

The property sat still abandoned and falling apart for a while. It was fenced off and posted as ‘No Trespassing’ and for sale. Another development company has interest in converting it to low income housing, as well Wal Mart had said they would like to buy the property but was held back by the town and there are possibilities of preserving the site for historical interest.

In 2007 a fire started by lightning did considerable damage to the main building. In 2010 there were 2 more fires that the Fire Dept called deliberately set. In 2018 the main building had another fire.

In 2013 an unnamed buyer did buy the property with the intention of repurposing it into a mixed use community called Hudson Heritage. They plan to save some of the buildings and demolish other ones. In 2016 the demolishment of some of the outlying buildings began.

 

Paranormal Activity

Apparitions of former patients and staff. Feelings of being watched, not wanted, unease and fear as well as empathic sensations of pain, sadness and extreme depression.

Faces are seen looking out of the windows of the buildings. Disembodied voices. laughter, screams and sounds of crying. Doors and windows that open and close on their own.

Objects moving on their own as well as disappearing and reappearing. Touches, pokes and pushes from invisible presences.

Shadow figures are seen roaming the grounds and buildings. Light anomalies, unexplained mists and electrical disturbances are also reported.