Byberry Mental Hospital

Byberry Mental Hospital

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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npr.orgByberry Mental Hospital holds a special place in history. Images taken there highlighted the need for changes to be made in the treatment and housing of the mentally ill. Byberry is where many conscientious objectors worked during WWII. One of those CO’s was a compassionate man named Charlie Lord. Charlie Lord would sneak a camera into the hospital and he captured 36 photographs that were later published in Life magazine in May 1946. “The photos reminded the American people of photos from Nazi Concentration Camps. So it created a kind of mass uproar, nationally.” (npr.org)

The conscientious objectors had witnessed attendants that would often use violence to try to control the mentally ill patients. The attendants would use items such as cut-down broom handles, or rubber hoses filled with buckshot to strike the patients. Attendants would even choke out a patient with a wet towel around the neck of the patient as the attendants had learned it would not leave any evidentiary marks.

Two buildings in particular housed living nightmares for the patients of Byberry Mental Hospital. The “incontinent ward” was where men were kept mostly naked with no furniture, activities, music, or bathroom facilities. It was a large concrete room full of urine and feces. Another building was referred to as “The Death House or Violent Ward” where the patients would often attack each other using whatever they could turn into a weapon. This building contained a room that held row upon row of patients strapped down to the frame of their beds.

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Byberry Mental Hospital opened in 1907 and in spite of all the bad publicity it received in the 1946 Life article it did not close until 1987. I am left hoping that conditions improved for the patients housed there after “The Conscientious  Objectors from Byberry started a national association that helped train and professionalize workers at state hospitals.” (npr.org)

Before Byberry was eventually demolished, it had been reported that the catacombs were spooky and haunted by ghosts of former patients with one that was a particularly violent entity. It was also reported that Satanic Rituals were said to have been performed on the grounds as well.

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

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Ghost Towns-Three Valley Lake Chateau

The Three Valley Lake Chateau Ghost Town is located a quick 15-minute drive west of Revelstoke, BC. Nestled among the mountains it is next door to the Three Valley Lake Chateau.

Three Valley Lake Chateau

History

There is so much history gathered together at the Three Valley Lake Chateau Ghost Town. The founder of the place was Gordon Bell who delighted in preserving antiques of western Canada. Gordon and his wife Ethel purchased the land in 1961 and filled in the swamp with around 25,000 truckloads of rock and fill. The buildings located now at 3VG came from various places in western Canada. Most were originally constructed in the late 1800’s.

What You Will Discover

The entrance to the ghost town is made through the theatre which contains a mining museum and some very freaky looking mannequins. Upon exiting the theatre you fall through time into the early 1900’s and find yourself surrounded by interesting buildings. The buildings range from a church with a graveyard, to a drugstore, a hotel, and even a jail. Mr Bell made sure that there was at least one of everything a real town would need. It is a well thought out ghost town that is interesting and educational. There is a candy store where you can stop for an ice cream or a cold drink to help you make it through the heat of the day.

Antique Cars

By crossing the covered bridge you will arrive at the display of antique cars. The cars date between 1902 and 1929 and have been beautifully preserved. A car lover will find this collection worth the admission price alone.

Railway Roundhouse

Further along your walk, you will discover the huge 3 Valley Railway Roundhouse that has a variety of railroad displays. There you will find a railway Business Car, a Governor General’s Coach, and a 2-6-2 Locomotive. You cannot help but notice the huge 100,000 square foot red roof that covers the turntable as well as the roundhouse back shop, the coach repair shop, and the pattern shop. It is amazing.

Ghost Town Pricing & Hours

18+ Adults = $12

65+ Seniors = $10

Ghost Towns

12-17-year-old Youth = $7

6-11-year-old Children = $5

5 years & under + Free

Family Rate = $30

When you stay at the Three Valley Lake Chateau you can enter the ghost town for half the price.

9 am to 5 pm mid-April to May 31 & September 7 to early October

8 am to 8 pm June 1 to September 6

Click here to learn about Ghost Tours.

Three Valley Lake Chateau

The Three Valley Lake Chateau is located next door to the 3VG Ghost Town. It has the same type of red roof and therefore the whole area seems to flow together. The Chateau is nestled in the Monashee Mountains and has 200 rooms. It is an interesting hotel with many amenities including a pool (with a mural of the Titanic), pool table, ping pong table, floor checkers board, arcade games, a library, and an indoor garden area. The Chateau has a private beach where you can swim in the mountain water, rent a kayak, or soak up some sun. There are extensive outdoor gardens and even a small playground for the kids.

You will not go hungry with four different dining areas to choose from. Make sure to save some time for exploring this hotel. It is the strangest and coolest place we have ever stayed. The hallways seem to go on forever and the roof line begins to impede on the space in the hallways on the upper floors.  There are doors everywhere and a heavy wooden slotted door behind which you can catch a slight glimpse of antiques in a dark room. There is a honeymoon suite called the cave that has a rock ceiling and is furnished with antiques. They also have a honeymoon suite that is called the Eagle’s Nest. It is found at the top of a private staircase where hopefully the groom does not attempt to carry the bride over the threshold for the sake of safety. The rooms are dated and could use a remodel but we embraced the retro ambience and enjoyed the uniqueness of the Chateau. After all, it is not an adventure if you do not leave your comfort zone.

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

 

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