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  1. revec2015
    June 20, 2015 @ 12:00 pm

    Thanks for this very interesting article and so many photos. I was so surprised to learn that there is still a working hospital there. I was happy to see the photo of the 2 kneelers in front of a window; it’s good that in the 19th century they acknowledged that prayer could help in healing. Thanks a lot, Chris, for expanding our knowledge of our history.

  2. Dennis Allen
    June 20, 2015 @ 2:36 pm

    Really enjoyed reading this enlightening article Chris. The word ‘asylum’ has been revived in my mind as one to suggest healing, caring and respite thanks to you. Great pictures!

  3. darlene hughes riley
    September 20, 2016 @ 11:04 pm

    This is a somewhat over glorified view of an institution that delivered lobotomies, electric shock treatments and sexual abuse to countless of innocent disturbed patients. I was there and know first hand. This was asylum to none.

    • Deborah
      September 27, 2016 @ 2:23 am

      Darlene hughs, I was there myself and it’s nothing like a picture of roses,I was there when I was 9 years old and stayed there in that place for almost two years. While their I was mistreated all the time, and was the only black and the youngest. That was in the early 70’s

      • Sarah
        January 15, 2022 @ 7:19 am

        Thank you for speaking up. Many like to paint a pretty picture.

    • Kathleen
      September 8, 2019 @ 12:30 pm

      My grandmother was there. My daughter is researching now at University . All my grandmother’s records were destroyed. Can you share more with me? Can you contact me:

  4. 10 Tragic Cases From Turn-Of-The-Century Insane Asylums - Bee Trends
    March 2, 2017 @ 5:47 am

    […] Photo credit: Exploring Upstate […]

  5. Haunted Places in Upstate New York - Home in the Finger Lakes
    October 2, 2019 @ 5:01 am

    […] “Old Main” reopened to the public in June of 2014 for annual tours of the former lunatic asylum, which has been a huge draw for history buffs and paranormal investigators. » More info […]

  6. Kathleen V. Kehoe
    October 17, 2019 @ 7:22 pm

    My Great Aunt Grace Earnshaw Hall died in that hospital in 1940. Her husband committed her there for many years before she eventually died. No one in our family seemed to know what it was that caused her to be incarcerated there. Is there any way to get her records. She was born in 1880. Bless you Aunt Grace.

    • Charlene Bloodworth
      April 9, 2020 @ 10:14 pm

      Sadly, many men committed their wives to rid themselves of them due to divorce being frowned upon in those days. Unruly children as well. Probably half the people there didn’t deserve to be there. As with the Asylum in Georgia, a lot of staff came from patients themselves. It’s just such a sad sad history. In my research several years back, there were over 2000 graves there on the premises which we never located and I’m thinking like 5000 sent to 2 different cemeteries, one being about 2 hours away it’s been a minute so the numbers fail me. I think many weren’t accounted for, those with no families. What happened to them? All of the asylums only marked the graves of the patients that died with a number marker. It would interesting if their records would be made public so that families could find the information so many are searching for. What these people endured is beyond our imagniations! According to an article I read back at that time, the attic is still riddled with luggage and belongings of those committed there. If only walls could talk!

  7. Celebrating Halloween at Asylums: What Message Do We Send? | Diversity Consciousness; Chat with Dr. Bucher, Author / Educator / Diversity Consultant
    October 29, 2019 @ 5:45 pm

    […] list provided by my professor, I chose to work nearby in an institution that used to be called the New York State Lunatic Asylum at Utica, New York.  Unlike other students at this site, I chose to work in the Geriatric Ward.  […]

  8. Carol Malzone
    June 1, 2020 @ 4:22 pm

    My great-grandmother was put in Marcy by my grandfather around 1940. She died there in 1941. She was an Italian immigrant, unable to speak or understand English, and I can only imagine the agony she had to have endured since she was not insane or psychotic but only causing problems in my grandfather’s life. I’m writing a book, memoir, in fact, and would like to know if it’s possible to access the archives.

    • Chris Clemens
      June 1, 2020 @ 4:40 pm

      Hi Carol.

      You may want to try with the New York State Archives.This page has info specifically on former New York State Mental Hospitals and Special Schools. Best of luck with your research!

      • Stephen Unekis
        July 30, 2023 @ 8:12 pm

        Do you know if there was ever a mental facility in Rome, NY? I have heard stories that my great-grandfather died in a facility there in around 1941, but I can find nothing on it.

    • Lori Higley
      November 4, 2020 @ 7:59 pm

      Hi Carol,
      I have a similar story and want to write about it as well. Let me know what you
      have discovered.

    • Brian Smith
      March 24, 2022 @ 9:58 pm

      If you look at the Census in New York State you will find her if she was there. My Grandfather was in Willard and he is listed there in the 40s. Good Luck!

  9. Rolling Hills Asylum - East Bethany, NY | Exploring Upstate
    July 11, 2020 @ 7:44 pm

    […] to build state-run facilities around New York. State officials began that part of history with the Utica Psychiatric Center in […]

  10. Kelly A
    September 20, 2020 @ 5:14 pm

    Hey Chris and other interested folks,

    I arrived upon Chris’ page/writing, after reading an article called “Religion, “Moral Insanity,” and Psychology in Nineteenth-Century” by Jodie Boyer. It was published in the Academic Journal: Religion and American Culture A Journal of Interpretation in 2014. I believe it is open access and here is a link if folks are interested in reading it

    The article covers some of the philosophical (religious, legal, moral) disagreements of that time related to caring or criminalizing the “insane” and also covers some topics related to this Utica hospital and has references to Brigham and Gray as the asylum directors and their thinking. Well that’s my take on it, there is prolly other nuggets in the article, I didn’t completely grasp.

    thanks for your writing too!

  11. Haunted Locations: Utica State Hospital, Utica, NY – Stitched Smile Publications
    June 15, 2022 @ 1:03 am

    […] / […]

  12. Haunted Locations: Utica State Hospital, Utica, NY – House of Stitched: The Magazine
    June 15, 2022 @ 6:06 am

    […] / […]

  13. Betty
    April 11, 2023 @ 1:37 pm

    My mother was committed to Utica State in the mid forties until she committed suicide on a weekend home visit in 1953. She hated returning to Utica on Sundays. I know she was restrained there. I was 7 at the time. I saw one ward, the better one when I was 11…army cot beds lined two sides of the ward…maybe 40 beds. Stark.
    Her father died there in 1932. I can only imagine the terror of that place. I understood he died by suicide but no record of cause of death on the death certificates. I wonder now if he died during the old way of electric shock therapy.