In 1931 Fairfield Hills State Hospital in Newtown opened to help with over crowding at other state hospitals and to give a place for the criminally insane to be housed. If you are familiar with the huge abandoned buildings in Newtown, it doesn’t come much as a surprise that they are highly regarded as haunted.
They’re just well… spooky.
The 16 buildings that made up the 770 acres were all connected by underground tunnels and at times, when at capacity, the hospital would house 4,000 insane people. Newtown itself is a beautiful quaint town but in the earlier part of the century the treatment of patients was anything but quaint. Electro shock therapy, lobotomies, and a plethora of other “treatments” that nowadays would certainly be categorized as torture were commonly used. As expected there were many reports of suicides as well as unexplained deaths of the patients over the years. Fairfield Hills finally closed it’s doors for good in 1995. Since then it has become a hot spot for reported supernatural occurrences. Given the history of the property and buildings, MTV took interest and filmed their show “Fear” there, and because of the disarray it’s fallen into, even portions of the movie “Sleepers” was filmed on site.
It’s one thing to read about the property, it’s another to actually visit it. Over the weekend I was in town for the Sandy Hook 5k race and it’s very surreal. It’s a strange feeling to be amongst a thousand cheering people who have come to raise money for charity and to remember the good people/children lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy, but to look up at these majestic boarded up buildings. It’s almost like they have a story to tell but are silenced with metal fences and “No Trespassing” signs. It’s simply odd that such a vibrant town keeps such a dark past completely out in the open guarded simply with a weak fence and a few signs.
The signs and fences have done little to keep out the people who remain fascinated with the hospital. A YouTube search quickly produces many videos of those who snuck past police to get a look inside. How creepy is this?
So the question remains, what will become of this massive abandoned hospital? It’s as scary as you would think an abandoned mental hospital would look. Turns out that the town of Newtown owns the property and all the buildings. A decade was spent trying to find the right company to repurpose the buildings but the asbestos and lead issues scared many people off. Despite the regal brick exterior, the inside is a nightmare with environmental problems and tons of water issues. The town basically has 185 acres of beautiful land but no one that wants to foot the bill to do anything with it.
Plus, there’s that whole “it’s haunted” thing that keeps a lot of people from wanting to take on the challenge. For more info on the actual property visit FairfieldHills.org and to see and understand the true dark history of the buildings, check out FairfieldStateHospital.com. It’s a must read for all those interested in the history of psychiatry.
Even though I certainly don’t suggest anyone jump the fence to check out the place illegally, I can say being in it’s presence is certainly an experience. Walking the area definitely belongs on any Connecticut resident’s “must do” list.