Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
January 14, 2014 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Then and now. "...although many photographs feature patients simply sitting still and doing nothing, an inert pastime that increased greatly with the discovery of Thorazine...."
posted by HuronBob (6 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
This is where Dylan hitchhiked to meet Woody Guthrie.
posted by gerryblog at 9:16 PM on January 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

gerryblog.... thanks... wow, what a neat reference.
posted by HuronBob at 9:24 PM on January 14, 2014

Went to junior high right across the street. Know that area well.
posted by octothorpe at 5:59 AM on January 15, 2014

Oh hey! Julia Wertz! I like her comics a lot.
posted by capnsue at 7:07 AM on January 15, 2014

I was just thinking about asylums yesterday, after getting yet another Netflix recommendation for a "scary movie set in an abandoned asylum." There are so many of those now. The social changes that led to their being shut down are interesting, and the places themselves sort of persist on the fringes of our imagination.

Were people afraid of asylums like this when they were still in use? I'm sure people were afraid of getting shut away in one on a relative's or spouse's say-so, or of legitimately developing mental illness, but beyond that? Or are they just scary now because they're abandoned and who knows what lives thereā€”or because we've developed a greater societal awareness of the wrongs perpetrated within their walls, so we imagine the spirits of those who lived and died there might be similarly dissatisfied?
posted by limeonaire at 10:12 AM on January 15, 2014

This is amazing. In the late 1980s, a friend and I in our late teens drove around greystone park many times. We were stupid teenagers in high school filled with wonder about what went on at that mental hospital. There was no gate or security people as I remember.

What reallly struck me about Greystone and what I vividly remember even today is the buildings had fenced in outdoor areas for the patients to be outside. There was no fixed furniture, just folding chairs and grass. The residents in various states of dress from hospital nightgown to street clothes would smoke cigarettes and just sit outside. It alsmost seemed as they were trapped in time.

It wasn't a beautiful hospital back then and it was in a state of decay. Of course there were stories in the local rag (Morris County Daily Record) related to some attacks on staff etc. that I can recall.

All in all, for a couple of dumb teenagers, it provided that perfect combination of scary and the unknown. I think we used to make up stories of why people were there...
posted by Funmonkey1 at 10:49 AM on January 15, 2014

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