November 13, 2017
A popular web series that looks into the scary and strange recently visited the former Pennhurst State School and Hospital in Chester County, an institution mired in controversy while it was open.
The latest episode of “BuzzFeed Unsolved: Supernatural," features hosts Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej visiting what's now known as the Pennhurst Haunted Asylum, an attraction that bills itself as the "most terrifying" of its kind in Pennsylvania.
Pennhurst, which closed its doors in 1987, gained infamy for its inhumane and cruel treatment of its patients, conditions that were first uncovered in a six-part series by local television reporter Bill Baldini in 1968. Without getting into details, it’s safe to say that Baldini’s findings were horrifying.
After a class-action lawsuit in 1974, a judge found the hospital to be overcrowded and understaffed, also lacking appropriate resources for its residents. He ordered the institution to honor its residents’ constitutional rights.
More than a decade of attempted and failed appeals of the decision concluded with the hospital closing its doors for good.
Pennshurst’s troubling real history in contrast with Bergara and Madej's lighthearted style while searching for ghosts feels rather, well, misplaced. Nevertheless, if you enjoy the supernatural, you will likely be interested in at least some of the 23-minute long episode at Pennhurst, which you can watch below.