Letchworth Village

Letchworth Village, an abandoned mental health asylum, was once lauded as a progressive facility. However, by the 1940s, it was becoming increasingly apparent to the public the horrors that were happening behind the published photos of clean-cut patients. The asylum was overpopulated (a frequent problem in many asylums around the country) and the majority of residents were children.

These children were the unwitting subjects to many unsavory experiments, such as untested polio vaccines. Brain tissue samples from dead patients were preserved and placed on display in the lab. A cemetery there holds over 900 patients, with names that families have chosen to leave anonymous. In 2006, three teenage arsonists set fire to Letchworth Village, though many buildings are still intact. The facility was shut down and abandoned in 1993, and most of the furnishings still remain, giving it that nice unlived-in look.

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Bannerman’s Arsenal, Pollepel Island, Hudson River

On the Hudson River is Pollepel Island, home of Bannerman’s Arsenal.

Built between 1901 and 1908, and designed by its owner and namesake Francis Bannerman VI, this castle once stored decommissioned weapons and surplus ammunition that Bannerman purchased following the Spanish-American War. He had hoped to turn the arsenal into a museum one day, but died in 1918 before such plans came to fruition.

Completely abandoned by the early 1960s, the estate was sold to the State of New York in 1967 and ravaged by a fire in 1969, leaving it in its current ruined state.

The Bannerman Castle Trust is currently attempting to stabilize and restore the crumbling castle.

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