Pennhurst Insane Asylum – Spring City, PA – 5/24/14

This past month has been amazing and busy.  Celebrated my 27th birthday, photographed two shows, went on a hike, and finally visited a place I’ve wanted to visit for years.  Yet, the future looks even better with a week in Ohio, weekend in Boston, week in Montana, and finishing my MBA.  Sadly I’ve been behind on pictures including those two concerts and the hike.  The MBA is close to being done and the workload is mounting.  I haven’t had time to go through photos or post them until today and I wanted to start with the big one.  The place I’ve wanted to visit for years, Pennhurst Insane Asylum.

When I first heard about the “Shame of the Nation” I wanted to visit it right away.  This was my first real exposure to knowing about abandoned insane asylums and seeing the pictures made me want to see it for myself.  I didn’t think I would be able to get in because since it has been abandoned someone bought the property and security has been put in place.  However, Matthew Christopher of was able to get me and a few others into two of the buildings with guides.  I couldn’t believe it.

We were given access to the Mayflower and Devon buildings.  Obviously the others were either in bad shape still or set up for the Halloween Attraction they put on each year hence why we could only visit two.  Even if we could go to the others, I don’t think we’d have enough time in the day.  Just from the two buildings, I still could make a day out of photographing them again.  There is so much to cover!

I won’t go into the history of Pennhurst because you either know it or you can research it, and be prepared to be shocked.  The tour guide gave us a quick rundown of the two buildings and the grounds which ended in the basement of the Mayflower.  Some people stayed to do light photography while others went back upstairs.  I stayed in the basement in the pitch black where class rooms were.  While walking in the dark I realized I am in a place known for its creepy weirdness.  Something might happen, and I just kept going thinking this is amazing.  I didn’t once feel anything for all those paranormal enthusiasts.  In fact I felt excited and great!

One photo I will point out is the dryer photo.  I took the photo and thought that might be cool, but during editing it looked blurred and noisy.  I was going to delete it until I looked into the dryer.  Granted there is plenty of graffiti throughout the grounds, but this one, if graffiti, is nicely placed.  I kept the photo just because of the face in the dryer.  Just looks plain eerie.

I was on the grounds from 10am to about 4pm.  As I said above there is still a lot more to cover at Pennhurst and that includes visiting these buildings again.  I could spend days there just photographing.  I took over 600 photos and only kept 70!  Like Greystone Insane Asylum, these buildings are enormous and even though they aren’t in the best shape, I hope they never disappear.  However I hope the bugs do because I got bit too much at Pennhurst.

Matthew Christopher’s Website

Pennhurst Address

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