Paranormal State – The Ghosts of Willard Asylum

Paranormal State – The Asylum – Parts 1 & 2

I saw this episode of Paranormal State starring Ryan Buell, on A & E a few months ago, and since I am interested in the history of The Willard Asylum for the Insane (Willard State Hospital), I wanted to share it with you. Yes, I do believe that every person has a soul, and I do believe in the possibility that some souls may be stuck here on earth in a place where they don’t want to be, for whatever reason.

I wanted to share this episode because it shows a panoramic view of the Willard Cemetery which is a disturbing 25 acres of anonymous, unmarked graves; only the veteran’s graves are marked. The video also shows the original State Agricultural College Building which was turned into “The Branch,” and later renamed “The Grandview,” which held over 200 mild, insane, female patients (the basement of this building is shown quite a bit with its rounded, brick arches).

Willard was unique because it was built for the “pauper chronic insane” population of New York State and opened on October 13, 1869 (not 1866). Willard’s main building or “Chapin House,” named after Dr. John B. Chapin, the first physician superintendent of Willard, no longer stands as it was demolished around 1984/85. The group of red buildings with boarded up windows is one of four “cottage style” buildings that made Willard different from other state hospitals because they could segregate patients (over 200 patients in each group of 5 buildings), and expand the hospital in an economic (cheap) way to serve the needs of the state.

This cemetery has been blessed numerous times but the people who are buried there still remain anonymous.

Part One

Part Two

To learn more about The Willard Asylum for the Insane, buy my book:

The Inmates of Willard 1870 to 1900, A Genealogy Resource

The Inmates Of Willard 1870 to 1900 / A Genealogy Resource

The Inmates Of Willard 1870 to 1900 / A Genealogy Resource