Pilgrim State Hospital & Cemetery

Pilgrim State Hospital served the counties of Brentwood, Suffolk, and New York. Pilgrim was the largest state hospital in New York State. At its peak in 1954 it held 13,875 patients.

2012 Pilgrim State Hospital History
Pilgrim State Hospital – OPACITY
Pilgrim State Hospital – Emptiness – OPACITY.
A word about TOM KIRSCH, the man who created OPACITY. His work is superb! You could spend a few hours just looking at his photographs!

Life.Time.Com – Strangers To Reason: Life Inside A Psychiatric Hospital, Pilgrim State Hospital 1938.

Alfred Eisenstaedt - Time & Life Pictures-Getty Images-Pilgrim State Hospital 1938-Woman

Alfred Eisenstaedt – Time & Life Pictures-Getty Images-Pilgrim State Hospital 1938-Woman.

(LIFE Magazine Article: The Shadow Of Insanity 1938.)


Alfred Eisenstaedt - Time & Life Pictures-Getty Images 1938-Pilgrim State Hospital 1938-Men

Alfred Eisenstaedt – Time & Life Pictures-Getty Images 1938-Pilgrim State Hospital 1938-Men.

 LIFE Magazine Article: The Shadow Of Insanity 1938.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO They’re Buried Where? by Seth Voorhees

THE BAD NEWS: Thousands Remain Nameless! 6.15.2015.

THE GOOD NEWS: One Man Is Remembered! 6.14.2015.


1901 New York State Hospitals


By 1901, there were thirteen state hospitals for the insane in the State of New York. All these hospitals buried their dead in anonymous, unmarked graves. Some had their own cemetery like Willard State Hospital; others used city and county cemeteries like Rochester State Hospital. Most of these state hospital cemeteries are unmarked, unkempt, and forgotten. None of the thousands of former psychiatric patients’ names have been released to the public. Considering that in 1870, the first patient was buried in the Willard Cemetery, which in the year 2012 covers a span of five or six generations, these people have waited long enough to be remembered. When you release the names, you remove the stigma. The following is a list of most of these long-closed state hospitals; there are more.

1. Utica State Hospital – Counties of Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Saratoga, Schenectady and Warren.

2. Hudson River State Hospital – Counties of Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam, Richmond, Rensselaer, Washington and Westchester.

3. Middletown State Hospital – Counties of Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster.

4. Buffalo State Hospital – Counties of Erie and Niagara.

5. Willard State Hospital – Counties of Allegany, Cayuga, Genesee, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates.

6. Binghamton State Hospital – Counties of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Otsego, Schoharie and Tioga.

7. St. Lawrence State Hospital – Counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, Onondaga,Oswego and St. Lawrence.

8. Rochester State Hospital – Counties of Monroe and Livingston.

9, 10. Long Island State Hospital – (Kings Park and Flatbush, Brooklyn) – Counties of Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk.

11, 12. Manhattan State Hospital – (Manhattan and Central Islip) – Counties of New York and Richmond.

13. Gowanda State Homoeopathic Hospital (Collin’s Farm) – Counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Wyoming.

Additional State Hospitals:

14. Pilgrim State Hospital – Brentwood, Suffolk County, New York

15. Mohansic State Hospital – Yorktown, Westchester County, New York

State Hospitals for the Criminally Insane:

16, 17. Mattaewan and Dannemora State Hospitals