Willowbrook State School, it was constructed in 1938 for the care of mentally handicapped children. In 9142 the building was converted into an army hospital then in 1947 it was named Willowbrook State School. In 1962 the hospital was pretty much a dumping ground for the poor mentally ill children, the place was for a 4000 occupancy and swelled to over 6000. the conditions were horrific for the children and with severe under-staffing the conditions could only worsen.

1963-1966 they were conducting medical studies on children, these poor things were infected with hepatitis, some of these occurred by them being fed the stool of another child. I’m sorry I can’t see how that is a medical study, it just seems cruel and gross.

In 1971 cuts for funding escalated the problems, the local media soon got wind. Once the exposure came so did the lawsuits, 1983 they planned closure, the last child left in 1987. In that year Andre Round, who had worked there, killed and buried Jennifer Schwieger on the abandoned grounds.

From the buildings tragic tale come stories of ghosts, satanic worship and people being followed by dark figures. It is of course possible that when you are being followed by mysterious dark figures, they are homeless people wondering what on earth other people see in the place…

Bedell Ghost, Staten Island’s avenue has the tale that if you go down the road at night with no lights on you can see a ghost hanging from the trees. The road was a dead end but has now opened up as where the mansions were built.

The consensus from sceptics and sensible folks is that it may well have been an optical illusion,. Or popularised from a small source and it escalated. I am sure that is more likely the case, with no reason for the hanging to be there and nothing to suggest a body was found it seems more likely to be a local urban legend.

Vanderbilt tomb it is located in the Moravian cemetery, Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the richest Americans of all time, donated 8 ½ acres to the cemetery. His son William Henry Vanderbilt then donated a further 4.

The tomb was constructed by William and designed by Richard Morris Hunt, a famous architect of the time. It was built between 1885 and 1886, and is three stories high. It is a replica of a Romanesque church in Artes, France. In the tomb is Cornelius and several family members.

The section that contains the tomb is closed off to the public by means of a large iron gate. The area has been said to have tragedy and accidents linked to it, a woman was killed there when she tried to open the gate and it fell on her. She was killed instantly. A man in a grey suit is also said to chase passers-by from the tomb, it may be that Cornelius is still protecting his resting place.

One widely reported occurrence seems to be that if you take a photograph in front of it, you may find that people are not in it that should be, or you have a random addition.

If you have visited or have any experiences to share please do.

 

Vanderbilt Mausoleum

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