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The Cold Storage at Letchworth Village

Letchworth is a Chilling Place

In Rockland County there is a small village called Letchworth. It is the home of an abandoned mental institution. Of course many rumors have surfaced about the old mental hospital. I know that my friends have experienced many things there, including hearing noises and seeing ghosts. The old hospital still contains some left over patient files, writing on the wall, and old beds. Walk into the hospital and you can feel nothing but chills going through your body.  –Anonymous

Glued to the Letchworth Floor

I have lived in New York my entire life and there is definitely some weird shit going on. There are a lot of haunted places but one that really sticks out is Letchworth. It is an old run down asylum. It was shut down and is now state property.

There are stories of how patients were tortured there and some say they still haunt the numerous buildings. My cousin and his friends once roamed these buildings and some of the stories scared the shit out of me. There were noises of a little girl giggling at the end of the hallway. They said they heard desks dragging across the floors above them. Certain rooms would be freezing cold in the middle of the summer almost as if something was there with you. 

Video by Christina Mathews & Rusty Tagliareni

As they were on their way down one of the hallways, their friend just collapsed and couldn’t get up as if she was glued to the floor. When she finally got up she said it felt like something ran through her. My cousin had experienced something similar and his friends said it was like he saw a ghost. They tried taking pictures but some didn’t come out, but others had little white orbs floating by.

You have to be careful because there is no trespassing. The cops actually came in and kicked us out one time. They said “You guys are some sick fucks. We didn’t even want to come in here after you.” So that’s gotta say a lot.  –Matty J.

Pig-Headed Letchworth Explorations

Check out a weird place called Letchworth Village in Haverstraw, NY. It’s an abandoned psycho center. It has a lot of very large and very well built buildings with miles of interconnecting tunnel systems. There were a lot of experiments in this place and not much is known about it.

One day I was in the hospital section, which is very large, and I heard footsteps.  Being pig-headed, I thought I would see where it was coming from! I found nothing and took off like a bat out of hell!   –Dave H   


Haunted and Horrible

There is a place in Thiells, NY (northern Rockland County) off Exit 14 of the Palisades Parkway, called Letchworth Village. It housed the mentally ill, mentally retarded, and people of lower intelligence. The abuse these people suffered there was horrible until Geraldo Rivera uncovered the scandal of abuses there and at another place called Willowbrook. The grounds are expansive and the boys’ side (where the haunted hospital is) is still intact and abandoned. The girls' side however is partially being used and developed. However, the boys’ side is all abandoned.

I have a relative that used to be there, and having got a grounds tour by him during the day, I have made a map of the layout of the boys’ side. It is perfectly legal to be on the grounds during the day, as I was told by a cop who was parked near the girls’ side during one of my travels there. People go there to jog, walk dogs, etc. However, before you get to the girls' side there is a research building, which I am assuming is the one next to a big smoke stack. I know the hospital is haunted, and I'm sure the research building is also, because the research they did was horrible.  –Lostindelirium

I have been to "Rockland Psychiatric Hospital" and "Letchworth Village Institute for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic" a few times.  Letchworth is a special place and relatively easy to explore. There is a security truck that drives around but because there are so many people walking their dogs, playing golf, passing through etc..it's easy to go unnoticed. Much of Letchworth is still in operation and other sections are being renovated. The abandoned buildings are either tightly sealed or wide open. The building that is really the jackpot is actually the old brick Powerplant building that is connected to the former Post Office & Print Shop. It's off of a closed road (Powerhouse Road) which is off of Letchworth Village Road.

Many of the doors to the Powerplant building are open and I have to tell you, the first thing I saw when I entered was a room full of cardboard boxes labeled,  "DEATHS".  If that isn't an invitation to COME ON IN, I don't know what is! These boxes were stacked as high as the ceiling and many were toppling over. I couldn't help but think about how I would feel if one of my relatives files were in one of those boxes...in an unlocked building...collecting dust and getting moldy. It was very creepy, and an adrenaline rush at the same time. A calender on the wall read, March 2001, yet another one said, December 1995. There was also a Christmas tree set up, but had it been there since December 1995???

On an upper floor, there were medical supplies strewn about, including several mannequin heads that I assume were used for medical training. It looked like the prop department from "Westworld".

In a small, windowless room a stuffed fish was hanging on the wall, next to a TV. To the right of the TV, the wall was covered with personal photographs, most likely of the people that used to work there. It looked as if everyone had just left for the day and never came back. There were even hanging plants that were left to die and a suit jacket casually tossed over the back of a chair. What the ef?

I've been in a few of the other buildings on the Letchworth grounds, as well. There is an abandoned Jewish Chapel on the property (not the Church on Letchworth Village Road but the Chapel off of 2nd Road). If you can get past the cobwebs blocking the doorway, you'll find a bunch of moldy pews and a big church organ near the stage. The skylights in the ceiling light up the chapel quite nicely, so there is no need to be afraid of the dark. Or is there? –Anonymous

Sticking Up for the Spirits of Letchworth

We must question if the stories of torture at Letchworth Village in Haverstraw are just the stuff of legend. Did you know this place was actually a progressive development in the care of mentally challenged people? It was founded by a Quaker philanthropist who believed the mentally impaired should be treated with respect and dignity and have a chance to pursue their own dreams. It wasn't necessarily a bad place, and probably a lot of good stuff happened there. They grew their own crops that the residents tended to and had a movie theater and activities. Evil things may have gone on there at some point—I can't know that personally. But prior to Letchworth mentally impaired people were left to linger in asylums with little or no care. Present both sides of the story! If there are evil spirits there I guarantee there are also good spirits too. – Dylan Skriloff

You can read more Letchworth Village and all of New York’s other abandoned places in our book Weird New York.

Weird New York


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