The Damned Story: Throughout its nearly 100-year history as a facility to treat the mentally troubled, Norwich State Hospital has seen more than its share of horrific suffering, traumatic events and senseless tragedies. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that the grounds are purported to be haunted by the tortured souls who were sent there seeking better health but instead found eternal pain.
The original facility was built in 1904 on 100 scenic acres along the Thames River on a site that apparently was an ancient Native American village. (Sound familiar?) Christened as the Norwich State Hospital for the Insane, it originally was comprised of two buildings for patients and a cottage for doctors. Over the decades, more building were added and the property was expanded; at its peak, the campus was over 470 acres and included over 30 buildings, many of which were connected by underground tunnels. The hospital’s population started with a few dozen declared by the courts to be “criminally insane,” but steadily grew to the point that at various times there were hundreds of patients (murderers, drug addicts, violent offenders, etc.) being “treated” here throughout most of the 20th century.
The first documented misfortune was a patient who hanged himself in 1914, but many more unfortunate deaths would follow. A hot water heater explosion in 1919 killed two employees; another employee was killed trying to cross the road; a nurse killed herself at her home; multiple patients died during their sentences or while undergoing treatment. Many more died shortly after release following a “successful” stay, usually in tragic or violent manners.
One of the most notorious buildings was Salmon Hall, which was the maximum-security facility and where some of the most dangerous residents were kept. One of the hospital’s original buildings, it essentially became a prison with bars over the windows, steel doors and cell-like rooms. It was witness to many severe incarcerations and unpleasant events until it was shut down in 1971.
If the population at Norwich State Hospital wasn’t troubled enough already, over the years there were numerous published reports and investigations into cruelties inflicted by the staff, including beatings, starvings, sexual abuses, overly harsh restraints, prolonged confinements and even the occasional patient being packed in ice! Not exactly an environment conducive for wellness.
Norwich State Hospital was officially closed as a treatment facility in 1996 and its remaining patients were transferred to other facilities around the state. Since then, the gorgeous grounds and former stately buildings have sat vacant as the state of Connecticut and the town of Preston have struggled to resolve what is to become of the property. Because of its desirable location on the Thames right across from Mohegan Sun, numerous developers have been interested in it, but despite proposals for everything from a movie studio to a residential and commercial complex, no actual deal has come to fruition. Apparently, the cost to clean up the property is a fairly significant stumbling block to eventual development.
As you might imagine, because of the numerous horrors and untimely deaths, many believe the property to be haunted. It seems an especially fertile spirit-hunting ground as essentially every kind of paranormal experience has been allegedly witnessed here, from reports of ghostly shapes and disembodied voices to foreboding feelings and EVPs. Oh, and plenty of spirit orbs and other unexplained mists/shapes have been recorded, also.
Among the numerous paranormal groups that have investigated the property, the Ghost Hunters visited there in May 2010, and recorded a few interesting experiences, including allegedly seeing various odd shadows, hearing multiple creepy noises and encountering objects that randomly moved. You can watch the episode on their website.
Last time we checked, after buying the site from the state for $1 — yes, you read that correctly — the town of Preston was attempting to find the funding necessary to start demolishing the buildings and cleaning up the grounds. Currently, the town seems to be leaning toward not developing the land and making it open space for everyone to enjoy.
For a well-researched and detailed history of Norwich State Hospital, check out Donald Carter’s Connecticut’s Seaside Ghosts.
Our Damned Experience: We visited Norwich State Hospital in April 2010, or should I say we attempted to visit. We drove on to the grounds, got out of our car and started taking pictures but within five minutes, two security guards appeared. As you might expect, they explained to us in no uncertain terms that trespassing is not allowed, and we were very politely asked to leave.
However, as the friendly guards told us — and honestly, the security team couldn’t have been nicer considering we were trespassing — there was nothing preventing us from taking pictures from the road or from the commuter lot next door, as we did and you can see in the gallery below.
As you can tell from the images, the place is in complete disrepair. Dilapidated buildings are shuttered and nothing resembling maintenance has been done in ages. Overall, very creepy.
We didn’t experience anything unusual, but then again, we weren’t there long enough to have anything happen.
If You Go: The remaining buildings of the former Norwich State Hospital are at the junction of routes 2 and 12 in Preston, right on the banks of the Thames River directly across from Mohegan Sun Resort Casino.
Absolutely NO trespassing is allowed; the grounds are under constant surveillance and are actively guarded by a private security company hired by the town, and they will immediately escort you from the property as soon as you set foot there.
Unfortunately, you can’t get in there anymore by faking crazy and being interred (a la Nellie Bly), which is probably not a bad thing.
I’ve been there a few times. It’s a shame, a few years ago some kids started a camp fire that got out of hand and ever since security has been much more serious. The first time I went I walked right up and asked if I could look around, the guard said just to stay in his sight.
An often overlooked part of Norwich State is the small residential district across the street and further up the road(heading into Norwich itself). Its an entirely abandoned neighborhood where the doctors raised their families. There’s even a sizeable school complete with boxes of graded assignments from the 70s and 80s!
It is absolutely state property though, and all the recent stories I’ve heard have lead to the State Police being called.
Your “Damned Story” is offensive and insulting to every employee who devoted their working lives to the humane and dignified treatment of the mentally ill.
Stop being so hyper-sensitive and crying about how offended you are over the “Damned Story.” The purpose of this post was certainly not to demonize mental health care workers, but to relay very true, yet very sick and sad events of the past that encircle this place of interest. If you are interested in learning more about this story, why don’t you take the author’s book recommendation and read Connecticut’s Seaside Ghosts? Things like this have happened throughout history, which is unfortunate, but there is a lot of evil that exists in this world. I am sorry that you are so overly sensitive that you get offended by historical events.
Just to clarify, the Kate who commented above is not the Kate who runs this web site!
The story is slightly inaccurate. I personally feel that (whomever) wrote the article doesn’t have a complete understanding that medical treatment has changed throughout the years of Norwich State Hospital. Most websites mention the same treatment and (mis)treatment of Patients. Treatments like being “packed in Ice” “sheet restraints” etc were all in the earlier years of mental health. As time went on at the facility the overall standard for treatment had also changed. More experienced individuals had made advances in performance on site. Every institution has recorded deaths. Current hospitals in New England to this day have deaths, This doesn’t mean they were tortured. Medicine and therapy has evolved in time as well. It’s only logical to assume that by 1996 there weren’t 100’s off people being beaten etc. It’s all rather invalid. No mention of the caring people who worked there day to day trying there best to comfort the mentally ill. I doubt “Steve” was being overly sensitive, He in fact knows first-hand how things were at the hospital prior to closing. Mis-represented is the word I would use for the “Damnedstory” above. It doesn’t seem logical to say that torture of any kind could be succeeded with no documentation and no repercussions to the individuals involved. Research,Research,Research.
Ok so all whining aside, has anyone witnessed any paranormal activity or actually ventured around inside? If this is one of the most haunted places in CT, some justification of this would be nice.
To all, believe what you want about certain places. Terrible things like this have happened all over in early facilities. So no matter if the events said to have happened here actally occured or not, they did somewhere. No one will ever truly know what happened because guess what, people lie.
so does anyone know if it’s real difficult to get in there now because I was hoping to go before they tore it all down.
i have no ideaaa…i was heading up there and messed up my ankle and got ankle surgery so my visit was postponed. Im probably going to go really soon. Ill email you about it after i go if you want to send me an email. Mine is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You have not done your research, would love to see citations for this article. A lot sounds like hersay and doesn’t make you as a writer creditable. I don’t think you realize how offensive this article is to the residents of the area. You forgot to mention what the patients themselves did to the staff! Did you ever consider that? Additonally, If you do scholary research, you will also find that norwich state hospital was highly regarded for research in the era and even condemned lobotomy something that was widely done! I recommend scholastic journals you can look up at the library. Ghost hunter’s is also crap. Yet to find any documentation of any of the characters they had on their episode. As regarding to the site being haunted, I’ve frequented often and years ago when the security was low i’d walk my dog there- It is a sight heavy with energy, some of the energy is friendly, curious and others are heavy depending where you walk. Respect the place. I don’t understand why people say horrible things about it and then go searching for those poor “tortured” spirits. I’ve seen windows and bricks fly off buildings and some of the ground is hollow and pavement will have HUGE gaps. Its really not a safe place if you MUST go- don’t go alone.
Julia- I think you need to do YOUR research.
It’s nearly impossible now. They resurrected new chain link surrounding the building and it is much more heavily patroled by the purchasing company. They have a real budget to afford it rather then the town that didn’t prior. They have alarms now at all the old entry points that were commonly used and patrol those more often. There are a ton of sites that tell you “how to get in” using the old train tracks as a guide to the old oil tanks that are located right on the river. If you are on the train tracks you are not tresspassing on the hospital property but you are tresspassing on the train tracks which is a bigger offense. That back way is alarmed now and well lit, whereas it used to be pitch black and patroled rarely. I did spend an hour in a darn bush one night with a spotlight sweeping over me. They knew I was there. I knew they knew I was there. There were ten of us traipsing around that night in the tunnels and we were not the quietest bunch. Walking past a window the security guards flipped their headlights on me. After being in the dark with a pen light for two hours it may as well have been a spotlight. I was blind and running after nearly tinkling myself. It was a matter of time before we went down the back path. We were not vandalizing or breaking anything just exploring so they didn’t really hate us. They just wanted to inconvenience us for a while sitting on the cold ground. They drove off after a while and we scampered back the way we came. We made it to the fall out shelter, the bowling alley, several rec rooms, the small auditorium, several miles of the tunnels, shower rooms, patient rooms and the chapel. It was the first time I had been in since I was sixteen (when we used to go all the time) and the difference in the state of the buildings and tunnels was astounding. Such a shame to see such amazing architecture.
@Julia….you don’t know as much as you think you do. They did water therapy there….were the founding inventors of it. That is not a nice method of therapy at all. They also only denounced lobotomies after many many failed attempts on both adults and children. You knew they housed children there right. In the same building just a few floors above extremely dangerous predators and killers. Also, unwed mothers that were abandoned by their families were housed there. The women deemed insane to avoid family shame. Insane women were also not allowed to keep their children. Where they got shipped no one knows. It was the times. That is what they did. They were pioneers to some and butchers to others. Did they make strides for the better in the medical industry? Yes they certainly did. Were the doctors and nurses and various other staff in danger. Yes they were. It is all in the eye of the beholder as to what opinion you may have about “procedures?” No it’s not. They kept treatments a secret from families in those days. They held children, women, murderers, personality disorders, rapists, Jews, rascists, theives….do I need to go on? They had innocent people in there. They had evil people in there. They did the same treatments on children that they did on rapists. If the families knew i am pretty sure they would know the difference between torture, research, and therapy….at least to some degree. You should read some of the journals you allude to. I did. It’s not very pretty. The public certainly have reason to think that there could be some angry and terrorized souls clinging to the place.
So I just read this on AOL news that hepatitis was injected into male mental patients in Middletown and Norwich by doctors for experiments and how to cure diseases. Found it interesting since many people don’t believe that experiments were performed on patients. It’s a long article that also talks about how this was done in prisons and other facilities as well. I can’t remember the name but if you search for it it’s something like government doctors and experiments.
MC — Found the article you mentioned on the Washington Post’s website
The article is horrific us medical experiments come to light
-In federally funded studies in the 1940s, noted researcher Dr. W. Paul Havens Jr. exposed men to hepatitis in a series of experiments, including one using patients from mental institutions in Middletown and Norwich, Conn. Havens, a World Health Organization expert on viral diseases, was one of the first scientists to differentiate types of hepatitis and their causes.
I got in on Halloween 2010, yes there are fences all around the property but they are accessable to the grounds. Most of the tunnels are collapsed and there is only 1 alarm that I know of which is in the addmisions building. Can’t wait to go back and hopefully be able to spend more time there. It’s a very cool place……
this is sooo cool. this hospital is absolutly amazing. its a piece of history. i want to go inside and get a little taste of what they went through when the “insane” were there. im fasinated by this peice of land!!
whats the worst thing that happends if you get caught?
Can you still get in there?
Hello all, I just came back from Norwich, CT. Yes the place is still heavily guarded. I just wanted to let you know the pictures that you did manage to take DONOT credit the pure evil creepiness of this huge sad place. I am amazed that they don’t allow investigators in at some time of the year. Imagine the money Preston could make. I have to say that the place took my breath away. Each time we passed thru, I felt like weeping.
They can’t let investigators in. The asbestos is rotting and falling off. The floors are slick with it. We went in without any sort of breathing protection and my lungs were on fire for a week after the fact. There were no signs of animals living in there. That is a sure sign that air quality is horrendous even with all of the broken windows circulating air. The tunnels are the worst for air as well as danger. A lot of the floor boars are rotting out so one wrong step could really do some bodily damage. The place is now privately owned and they are slapping people with everything they can to discourage the trespassing. They have removed all the old entrance points…they can google search just like the rest of us so they know how people were filtering in and they have squashed all those spots. Last I heard they had slapped someone with not only trespassing but also: breaking and entering, destruction of private property, vandalism and theft. Most of that would be dropped in court probably but the hassle of going to court is pretty immense. Lots of stress involved.
If you think the distruction of this hospital is bad, you should have seen the original mental hospital in Norwich. It consisted of a three story, red brick building,with one door and no windows. It was at the end of Asylum Street towards the river and the where the old coal tipple use to be. I was a patient at the hospital for ten years and can say that the nurses and doctors were wonderful. Before modern medication and treatments, how do you suppose medical people treated sever mental illness? My old Irish Grandmother, who was also Bi Polar, use to try to beat the devil out of me. That was her best treatment for me. I am glad I can see so much improved treatments for my great grandchildren.
Back in 2007, I almost was cleared to do a restoration project on this site with part of my construction company. We were close to nailing the project down and getting it cleared for resotration. Before we had the chance to do anything our insurance was cut for the project and we were not allowed to build. This place directly oversees Mohegan Sun Casino, which is why people have valued the land and real estate, but there is not a lot anyone is willing to do.
While working with the surveyor and the several other facets I had to walk the site many times. I can say that the surrounding woods give this place an eerie touch, and the fearing fences around it cause the myths. There is so much stuff left all around the site, including tools, furniture and even some food (clearly not edible). The place looks like many people just got up and left it, but supposedly there had been a short period of time where the state notified the establishment of it’s closing, so those who were in charged didn’t care what happened.
After walking the site, both during day and night, I can honestly say this place is not normal, clearly there is something weird about this place. I’ve never been more uneasy in a site then here. We had to be escorted by private security because the site apparently people will break in at night. Now it is heavily guarded, with police on anyside. Their is a rail way not far from it, which is how most people get near it, but I’d advise much of the structure is not safe for surveillence.
Next to the hospital on rt 12 going into norwich is a beautiful big abandoned house, behind this is a dirt road leading to an entire neighborhood of abandoned houses behind the hospital. obviously its part of the state hospital property, but i just thought it was odd that it’s residential houses, probably about thirty of them. it’s easy to get to, if you live in the area, just walk up when the security vehical isn’t there, if you don’t, theres a foxwoods parking lot that i’m assuming you can park at
My family and ancestors have a long history of this seething, brooding institution perched on the banks of the Thames River. The first three years of my life in the mid fifties I lived on a small farm located next to the hospital, down on the river banks which was eventually demolished for the construction of the Mohegan-Pequot bridge in the 1960’s. My mother and her siblings were raised in a house immediately next to the hospital; I am not sure if it is still standing or not, as I have not lived anywhere near there in over 30 years. After World War II, my dad went to work there for about the next 35 years as an emergency maintenance mechanic. My oldest half sister worked there as a nurse back in the late 1950’s, and her dad worked there his whole life and lived on the grounds there as well. Even some of my relatives actually spent time there as patients. It was always the creepiest of places to me, especially when patients would frequently go off the grounds and peer into our house windows,and then they would be freely roaming the streets of downtown Norwich. But the thing to remember is that this institution was not unlike such institutions all over, and in time they changed for the better, or were closed. Today, this place is a rotting hulk of toxic waste. I even went there a couple years ago to look over the old hood, when I was promptly whisked off the property by security. I told them I just wanted to go down to the river, but nope, I was told to get out. If anyone would like to see this place, at least in a fictional mode, the author Wally Lamb, from that area, wrote a book, “I Know This Much if True”, and he used the Norwich State Hospital for much of his novel’s setting.
I have been in most of these buildings. As soon as you walk into any of them you get an overwhelming feeling of sadness. Most of the buildings are far from safe. That is why they do not let anyone go inside. I know that this place is “haunted” by many spirits that once lived behind the walls of this hospitol. I believe that even after they tear down the buildings, the grounds where they once stood will forever belong to these spirits.
I’ve been going to this place for the past 9 years.
Many things have been experienced at my time here.
However when I go here a calm seems to come over me. Not an uneasiness but just relaxation.
Alarms in power house and Admin, be safe whoever explores here
Just an FYI for those venturing in–be careful in the tunnels. Everywhere else is obviously safe or unsafe, but the tunnels can be deceptive. I won’t tell you how to get in or anything, but please use caution. Good luck. As long as you’re respectful of the property and its history, I say visit. It’s extremely moving, especially the children’s building during the summer when the floors are various flora. And honestly. Why is everyone fighting? There were monsters and saints there. Just like everywhere. It’s a sad place for many reasons, many of whom are still living homeless in Norwich. Dont go to be a voyeur or to be a thrillseeker, go to pay your respects to the past and try to take a lesson back, even if it’s just that you wish the beautiful marble lobby of the admin building had been preserved.
I drive past this every day to get home, and ive noticed that theyre putting new windows on the main building. Has anybody heard of the most recent redevelopment plans? I really hope they dont tear it down, and this seems like a good sign that they will try to salvage wwhat they ca. With arcjetecture like that, and a history so personal I find it a shame that it could get torn down and destroyed. Let us know if anybody knows whats going on!
I worked security at Norwich in 09. Its where I met the love of my life actually. It is wicked creepy very dangerous but alot of fun. No more guards although cameras are in place. Hit this spot before its gone!
Although it’s a bit late in the game, I want to point out that Steve DePolito is completely right. And not only that, but he deserves to point out your misinformation and ignorance — he’s a former staff member of Norwich State Hospital. So before you go getting all high and mighty, thinking you’re the authority on a property you know nothing about — if you did know something about the former State Hospital, you’d know that it’s NOT haunted — shut your mouths and think for a second.
I lived in Norwich back in 1990. That hospital was closed up then. I believe it was emptied several years before that. People in Norwich used to talk about how horrible it was when they closed the hospital. Most of those patients were simply released and became the homeless of Norwich and Groton at the time. The property itself is beautiful. I often wished I could figure out a way to buy pieces of the property and restore some of those buildings. For me, the only thing that made the place creepy was the fact that those buildings are there, abandoned. We left Norwich in 1992, and returned to live in Groton in 2006. I still loved driving past that property. It’s a shame that it’s circled by fences now. It ruins the view. But I had heard it was necessary because of the shape of the property, to keep people from getting hurt. Also, there is lead paint and asbestos in there. Not really a good idea to go creeping around that place now.
I’m doing a research project on the Norwich State hospital for school, I was wondering if anyone could share there experience with me. Whether you had a family member there or worked there, security guard or someone who just went exploring. Would love any information you can tell me! You can email me at email@example.com Thanks so much!!
I used to live in Groton, where my ex-husband was stationed at the sub school. I am not a real believe in creepy events and ghosts stories are for kids- however. I did experience very scary things while around the hospital. First, I was driving from Norwich to Groton, very late at late-early morning. As I got near to the main building of the hospital, coming up to the casino’s over flow parking lot, I suddenly went blind. I couldn’t see anything at all, everything was in a white fog on what was before a clear night. Before I could scream, the steering wheel was jerked from my hands and my car swerved towards the main building. (I have chills and shakes just from typing about it) I was sobbing and jerked the car back the other direction, and ended up flooring it past the main building to the over flow. As soon as the car was closer to the parking lot of the casino, I could see again. I looked in the review mirror- and I don’t really care if you believe me or not, I know what I saw and what I experienced- I saw in the mirror a darkm shadowy figure, darker than the night, darker than any shadow I have ever seen shutting the door. I don’t care if that door has been locked since 96 when it was shut down, I know I saw that damned door swing shut. The second part was when I had told my ex-sis-in-law about this experience she wanted to go. She came to visit us with two of her friends and they bullied me into going. I refused to do it except in the middle of the day. We managed to drive on the property with no problem and headed straight towards the river. There was still working lights in some of the buildings and you could see furniture and papers everywere in some of the windows. I will always remember this once office, at the corner of a building, had plants growing inside of it like Jumangi. We went around and saw the swing set and I was hit with such a crushing feeling of anger and saddness I could barely breathe. Suddenly as we were getting out of the car, we ALL heard a woman scream- a scream that makes my mouth dry just remembering it. We crawled over eachother to get back in the car and that was in the security guard- a rather fat man in a white Feista- showed up and told us that we would have to leave.
I made sure that I never EVER drove by that place again alone.
Can easily tell that story was made up. Why? Kettle has no swinging doors visible from the front of it only one on the side near the commuter lot. Only building until recently that had power was the security building. Powerhouse had a panel box but nothing to the extent of what she said. Third, there has never been a fiesta by any of the security that has been there. Ask me how I know 🙂
Yeah, I thought that story was a little ridiculous, too. I have an earlier post where I mentioned that much of my extended family had long term associations with this hospital, either as workers, or neighbors. I always thought the joint was a little creepy, but this one was a little far fetched.
Hay is it true that there is a room with A chair in it. If you kicked the chair down that it would stand right back up? Is that true?
I was there last night and there are many rooms with chairs just staring out the windows lead paint asbestos big concrete slabs blocking the way into the tunnels. The easiest way to get in is the second floor windows
Isn’t the place heavly garded?
Wasn’t the autistic son of author Jacqueline Susann living there at one time?
The place looks scary as any abandoned place does, but it is NOT haunted. How do I know…because I lived there for 23 years! My dad was a doctor there and I grew up on the grounds. I’ve been in practically every building and most tunnel of that property at pretty much every hour of the night you could imagine! Makes for a great story, but that’s all it is. Don’t judge a book by its cover, I knew all the families throughout the years that lived on the grounds and though some were “not cool”, most were caring people who treated others with respect and enjoyed their jobs and their lives. Have fun with the stories, but I am telling you the facts….
I was in a condition I describe as a Narcotic, Magic mushrooms and Alcohol induced temporarilly insanity when I was picked up by The Old Lyme police dept while off duty from working at Millstone Nuclear Power Plant during a refueling shutdown in 1981 . I expected the police were going to bring me to jail to sleep it off and possibly arrested for breach of peace charge, Instead I was taken to Norwich State Mental Hospital during the year 1981. Being injected with Thorzine after I tried to escape their custody I was held over night. The next day I had a meeting with the Phsyc Doctor on duty. i Was on a relapse from Drugs and alcohol after a 11 month clean time experience. I had to Sign a statement stating I would re-enter a Sobriety program intended for a drug and alcohol treatment program within 90 Days or I could have been arrested for perjury since the goverment document I signed was wittnessed and signed by witness that the info was in fact true. I have the uppermost praise for Norwich State Employees as I Have been in recovery from Both narcotics and alcohol for the last 28 Years and I am leading a Normal life being a productive member of Society again.
JM….I used to live in the now abandoned building on the same lot as the school. It was called Martin House. For those struggling with different issues. I have witnessed several things while I was there for 8 months. So, for someone with first hand experience about the place, I am one of them and can honestly say that, yes, the Norwich State Hospital Grounds are haunted.
My friends and I have been four different times. We come through the back way on the train tracks in the dead of night to avoid security (it’s not patrolled 24/7, the state cannot afford that kind of security). The first trip we just walked around the campus, nothing weird happened then. The second time I was with just one other person and a drunk woman crashed her car on Route 12. She stumbled onto the campus, face bruised and bleeding, not responding to us yelling. We eventually managed to contact her husband and get her to a hospital. What are the odds of a severe accident at the hospital on the same misty rainy night that two teenagers decided to explore? Paranormal? It’s possible. Weird things continued to occur on our third visit. As we were walking around the Seymour (back left corner if looking from the road) we heard a dog barking and what sounded like a metal leash dragging behind us. The noises went off and on for about ten minutes before we left that specific area. The fourth visit was by far the scariest. As we were in the third story Galt building (back left corner building, same as where the dog noises occurred) my friends and I were throwing chairs out of one window. We were just horsing around. The frame of the entire window was hanging by a thread and looked like it was going to fall off. The window, however, shot straight up into the air without being provoked. The window never came down; it just shot straight into the air and vanished. I kid you not, this actually happened as unbelievable as it sounds. We fled the campus and haven’t returned since. Our fifth and FINAL visit will be fully recorded. I personally never believed in supernatural/paranormal activity; but these visits to this abandoned historical landmark have certainly altered my views. Feel free to email me for more details on my previous visits.
by the way, you can contact me (Ryan) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike at email@example.com
We’d appreciate feedback!
Hi Ryan, I couldn’t get your e-mail address from your post, but I’m doing a story on Norwich hauntings for the new Norwich Magazine and was wondering if we could do an interview. Please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am going on a 2 week long trip all around Connecticut to visit abandoned and mysterious locations. I am doing this for research on historical events and locations. I will be taking photos along with other research devices. If anyone could help me obtain permission or point me in the right direction to this place I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
You can contact me at email@example.com
I had regularly snuck into this facility in 2008, explored almost every part of the many buildings, including the Doctors houses. With my trusty camera the times I had explored revealed no orbs or apparitions. With my experiene this facility is NOT haunted, didnt even get goosebumps while visiting.
I am very interested in this place! It is a great piece of history and should always be remembered! It is one of my favorite places despite what had happened there.
I made a few trips to the grounds in 2006. Norwich was one of my favorite places to check out. I made a 1000 mile drive the first 2 times. Went late at night and then the next day. The admin was in really good shape. Seemed like it got damaged after the stupid vh1 celebrity paranormal show was faked there. You can think stupid ass “urbex” websites for ruining all abandoned fun. I had been trespassing since the late 1970’s and ended my run after several east coast trips. Not fun anymore when it went from just being told to stay safe or get lost to jail and a police record. thanks again urbex retards. Norwich was great/ Now I am glad to see these places get demo’d. No ghosts just idiots running around at night.
it sucks that when they closed that hospital they pointed all the insane to norwich. i moved here from out of state and this city is full of the most retarded people i’ve ever met. there must be led in the watter or somthing.
Lol I agree with the crazies
Lol I agree with the crazies in Norwich but seriously learn how to spell little one
I want to make a trip here on Saturday, has anyone been here recently and have any tips about the secruity of the place? I know it’s state property but I’m wondering if it’s still heavily guarded.
Its still heavily guarded, there was a state trooper patroling yesterday on my way homr from work. Also, its fenced off mostly the entire area. They started tearing buildings down, and work on it most week days, so id say its more patrolled than ever. But theres one side of the street that is much less guarded. Id advise, park on the street on a side street of laurel hill ave, and walk down. Good luck! We went over the summer at night it was beautiful, but we had to squeeze under a fence to get in.
Thanks so much Emily that will be very helpful!
Has anyone been recently? (late 2012/early 2013) I want to go when the snow melts, and would like an efficient, mature tour guide. I’ve been dying to go since I moved to the area, and would like to take some photos for my portfolio.
feel free to email me if you’d like to meet up! firstname.lastname@example.org
I and my two brothers were born inside the hospital in the mid 1950’s. Our mother was in and out for years at a time. At each birth the State of Ct took us and put us up for adoption. If your birth was in Preston Ct and you were adopted or a foster child there is a good chance you were a product of the hospital.
We are looking for information but not for the “ghosts” you are looking for.
I am currently writing a book about Norwich state Hospital..or, more accurately, i am writing a book about my great uncle (my grandfather’s brother), whose existence i only learned about several months ago while doing a genealogy project. He was hospitalized for 10 years, from age 18 to age 28 (1934-1944) and most of his hospitalization was at NSH. He died in the Seymour building in 1944 at the young age of 28. He had been diagnosed with “dementia praecox” (what we now call schizophrenia) and contracted tuberculosis while in the hospital, and in 1942 was transferred to the TB ward (Seymour) where he lived until his death in 1944. I was extremely lucky to have been able to obtain his entire patient file, one of the small percentage that survived the closure. This file gave excellent insight into hospital operations in 1930 and early 40’s – there are incident reports, interviews, visiting logs, medical charts, activities log, etc. What I am interested in is finding photos of the Seymour and Lippitt buildings…from the past or present. If anyone has taken photos of those buildings or is interested in the perspective of a patient for genuine research purposes, feel free to email me at email@example.com
It’s a shame because the state invested a lot of money in some of the buildings and a heating/cooling building that were all finished before they decided to shut down the hospital. Ridiculous!! And it’s any wonder our state is having money problems.
Recently visited the site, daytime on a weekday. Security was entirely absent. One reason for this may be the sale of the property to the towns of Norwich/Preston. Coupled with the collapse of development deals, the towns may be unwilling or unable to continue to pay for security.
The chainlink fence still surrounds the property but is easily climbed. The windows and doors to all buildings have been scrupulously boarded up. It’s possible to open some of these, but remember that this adds a B&E to your charge if you get caught.
Some buildings that had been standing several months ago are now fully demolished. Inside the buildings, the effects of decay, vandalism, and souvenier-taking are apparent, e.g. some light fixtures are missing, some artifacts and furniture are gone, some new tags are up. This and the difficulty of accessing the buildings makes it much harder to enjoy the site, but if you’ve been coming here for years then you already know that.
Minimal spooky experiences. Got chills while walking through a shadowy hallway but I think you can chalk that up to the creepy nature of the site. Heard someone shout “Get out of here!” very loud and close by, but when I looked around no one was there. It sounded as if it was coming out of a nearby building, though, so it was probably another explorer trying to mess with my head.
Im planning a trip here for July email to join me. My ghost hunting group has been here five times already and we go with 2 way radios and we scan the local and state police ch all night to monitor if they got called to hospital. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to join my group .
Can anyone provide a street name for this “abandoned neighborhood” I’m having trouble finding it on Google. Thx
As of summer 2013, is the area still heavily secured?
Has anyone been there recently?
Me and a friend went to a semi abandoned hospital in New York almost 2 years ago. We wanted to explore here to but we were too nervous to go by ourselves because of security.
just went into the residential piece and the 1st building on a whim today, was in for an hour with my friend taking pics, came home and did a google search, havent stopped digging since, neither of us are from ct and our visit wasnt planned, going into the main piece soon, the risk seems worth the reward
heres the link to the pics we took
It’s sad I pass by this place every day since I live right up the street. It is pretty heavily watched not too many people able to get in. Kids I grew up with used to go there’s for basketball.
Be aware too there are houses closer to the commuter lot down the long driveway on the highway side that people do live in. And cops sit in the commuter lot and also right on the lawns in front of the fences.
I new something wasnt right when nothing wasnt falling thru for this property, i agree with further investigations about this property people should be able to ask for permission and be able to go inside and check around, the whole property up further there are more buildings abandone I remember asking about the small church and I was never given a correct response to the property. So where does everything stand now? I see the police department there alot and just recently i saw a fire happening in the hospital and I dont think it was even told in the news for connecticut.
Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to make a good article… but what
can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t seem to get anything
I visited the kettle building in 1996 just before the hospital closed. I went there with my wife to pick up a client there, she worked for the reliance house in Norwich which help many people who were former patients there. Also went with my wife to visit another client who lived in the old staff housing across from the kettle building and was in the Martin house program. The buildings were in bad shape when it closed, especially the Martin house building. It smelled worse than any group or nursing home you have ever been in, a total dump! I have worked in the field of mental health in new London county and worked a with many people lived there any where from a year to most of their lives. The hospital was helpfully to some and a hell for others from the stories I have been told. The most unfortunate result from the closing of most of the long term psychiatric facilities is there is no place for the people that are a danger to them selves and to others and now these people are ending up on the street, in the prisons, and now in the nursing homes like the one I work in. The area is fenced off and they are tearing down the buildings one by one. Unfortunately no one or organization probably didn’t take any pictures of the buildings before they started the demolition. Tree rivers community college was trying to move to the hospital site but politics interfered with that happening and it resulted in the process of the redevelopment to be dragged out. My belief the many people were helped by the hospital but far more were harmed! There were some great people that worked there and there were some real criminals that worked there as we’ll!! I am an MSW that has worked in the field since 1997 in S.E. Connecticut and my opinion is bases upon my education and work experience.
I was lucky I was able to drive on the grounds and take some photos along with walking the grounds across the street at the separate building. They are quite run down and I would be happy to share my photos with this site
STATE of CT renegeed on its promise to provide for the immates they released into the communities?
How do you find medical records for the inmates?
I would imagine depending on what years the patient was at the hospital the records would have been transferred with patients to ct valley hospital. If the patient was released..or deceased prior to nsh closing..I wouldn’t imagine that being any of help
This hospital is a true
This hospital is a true legend! There were many people locked away for good and for bad. Unfortunately there are still a few people I knew that were released onto the streets,which they frequented the old soup kitchen downtown, many of which have died not so much from natural causes but because of drinking drugging and especially cold winters because they lived under the bridges in Norwich. Yes the State of Connecticut was supposed to take care of these people but did they, No. Do they care if the people died?I don’t think so.. I know many people who have broken in there on numerous occasions to steal copper and other metal for scraps, but I sure as hell would never step foot on that property, I would not want to see it in the state it is in nor would I like to meet its co-inhabitants. All I know is if someone would fix it up and sell tickets to see the place they could obviously make some $$.
I haven’t seen any
I haven’t seen any demolishment, but I also haven’t seen any security guards there in the vehicle they used to be in either so I’m not sure if there just aren’t any anymore r if someone new hast taken over, but I haven’t seen any of the major buildings torn down since the last time I passed it maybe a month or so ago and the guards in a year or so.
Wouldnt make much now as alot
Wouldnt make much now as alot of it is demolished
You havnt seen any
You havnt seen any demolishment ? Church, jail, thestre, powerplant, firehouse, bus depot, credit union, awl, earl. … plus alot,more.
Do you just pass kettle at the 2a light ? Cause if you drove by it you would most definitely see it….
Really?! Cool yeah I have nly
Really?! Cool yeah I have nly passed by 2a towards foxwoods I haven’t gone down 12 all the way except in the dark and can’t really see back there in the dark… Any clue as to what they are doing/ building?
It’s sad to see the property
It’s sad to see the property the way it is. I’ve heard numerous first hand accounts of the place by my grandfather. He and his whole family lived in a house on the property. His grandfather (my great-great grandfather) was a logger in Montreal, Quebec Canada and in the early 19-hundreds, Dawley’s lumberyard along the banks of the Thames River hired him to come to Norwich, CT and work for them. He moved his family soon after and lived in a house behind the area where the ball fields and kettle bldg. is (my grandfather estimates, the geography has changed a little bit since the days before the bridge). All my grandfather’s sisters worked at the hospital, as did his father who I think did something maintenance related. My grandfather grew up there in the mid 30′s and 40′s and told me many great stories about the place. He grew close to many patients. One was a big, intimidating African American man but very gentle and taught my young grandfather to play the harmonica. Another patient he speaks of was a brilliant horticulturist, who could grow plants in sand, by giving it the nutrients it needed through the watering process. He tended to the greenhouse (which I have been in on an occasion) and when he had an “episode” a hospital employee would tend to the plants for him. Another story he told me: on one occasion his father hired a patient to paint the house and left for work, upon returning all of the windows had been painted over, the gutters, the shutters, the door, everything was painted. He reminisces about riding his bicycle through the tunnels that connected the buildings and he would get meat from the butcher shop that was on the property. In fact the entire place was nearly 100% self sufficient. Many crazy things have been documented there, but then again, atrocities happen all the time. People go crazy sometimes. Any mental institution from the era that the NSH was open had their share of bone chilling tales of paranoia and schizophrenia and untimely deaths. Do I believe in ghosts? Not entirely, but the place certainly sends a tingle down my spine when I drive past it on a winter night and the place is lit up with eery yellow lights and its just creepy as hell. Just knowing that many people were tortured inside their mind and lived out their days there gives me the creeps. Ironically I live about 10 seconds down the road from the property, grew up in Preston, and I’m sure my family for generations to come will live in the area.
Why would they let the building go to ruin?
I can tell you that this is
I can tell you that this is completely believable to me because my grandmother had been a patient there. She was only going through menopause, but was institutionalized. She was subjected to several different types of torture while “incarcerated” there.
Hello, I have spent many hours at the Norwich State Hospital both as a child and then again in my 30’s. As a child my mother and I would often accompany my grandmother to the quaint little church that graces the property. My grandmother knew the minister there and volunteered to help with the alter preparations for Sunday services. My mother, who considered herself to be psychic, not once experienced anything there. Years later when I returned to attend nursing school which was being held in one of the newer buildings, not one of my approximately 40 classmates nor any of our instructors ever had any eerie feelings nor did we see ghostly apparitions or hear creepy sounds. We even spent a few days in lock up on one of the wards during our mental health class. Personally I think most haunting’s are created in our own minds as we fear the stories we have been told. I also believe that there are spirits around and that many of them are suffering, perhaps there are spirits at the State Hosp. and some of them maybe were mis-treated years and years ago when regulations were less stringent and knowledge of these mental issues was slim to none but more than likely these poor souls are still being tormented by what put them there in the first place.
As for the woman who spoke of falling bricks and windows…duh, the place is falling apart…just because you were there when a piece decided to come crashing down does not mean a ghost caused it…
Check out “Last Day at Norwich State Hospital”, 30 min edit of VHS shot by hospital security in October 1996, on YouTube.
If anyone has any questions about Norwich State Hospital or my videos please e-mail me at email@example.com. FYI, I worked there between 1981-96, first as a mental health worker and later a clinical social worker. I continued in Mental Health after the close of NSH, and retired at the beginning of this year. Steve DePolito
Not sure if the Norwich State
Not sure if the Norwich State Hospital is haunted but this was well written. I found an interesting website on Psychiatric Institutions. Looks like its a new website: AsylumInsane.com
I was there recently – you pass this place from New London to Fox Woods.
They were recently doing some construction around the facility.
The whole area is oddly out. There is a cementary on one of the off roads, I believe a larger cemetary near the location, and a couple smaller buildings near the location.
It looks really odd, like a location from a zombie film. The property is large. It looks really strange. I think a door to the roof is oddly open, and you can see into the windows.
I was driving by there last
I was driving by there last year 2014 at about 3:00 am when I seen something behind the fence it was in front of the building (on picture #7) but behind the fence it was a full figured man wearing dark colored clothes (dark blue and black) when I stopped to look back he was gone also there was about 2 – 3 security guards on site so I doubt that it was a living man
I realize someone had
I realize someone had commented prior to this being posted about sneaking onto the grounds, but if anyone has tips on how to get inside the buildings and anything to bring, given the state of the buildings, it would be greatly appreciated.-A
Norwich state no longer 🙁
Unfortunately, as I have seen this place in operation, and i live 5 minutes from the place. My family members work in construction, majority of the tunnels have been collapsed or made into dead ends. You used to be able to get in walking down by the train tracks and going into one of the maintenance (pretty sure) buildings and gets to the tunnels to get you to the main buildings, NO longer can you do this. Also majority of the buildings are now demolished. The newer main building ( kettle center) is gone, at one point after closure the kettle center was opened as a homeless shelter, this was well over 15 years ago. The buildings that patients where in that do stand are few and far between, more will go soon. The admissions building is planned to stay and be restored. Across the street from the main campus is doctors and staff housing. I don’t think much is going on on that side. But if you are caught trespassing you will be arrested and some of the guards are in unmarked cars and hide really well.
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