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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

Fairfield Hills — The Abandoned Asylum

Mental asylums were riddled with deceitful practices over the past few hundred years, but some of the remnants still linger — waiting to spook anyone who wanders near the once-harsh facility.

Fairfield Hills Hospital, tucked within the small community of Newtown, first opened in the 1930s. During its day-to-day operations, the hospital housed up to 4,000 patients. It was opened due to overcrowding at nearby hospitals. Patients were sent to Fairfield Hills for various mental illnesses, and in an attempt to alleviate the situation, doctors participated in now-limited practices like hydro therapy, insulin shock therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and lobotomies.

As if that wasn't creepy enough, Fairfield Hills also operated an underground tunnel. Staff would wheel patients to and from different therapy rooms - and even to the morgue. Due to many illegal trespassing attempts and safety concerns, the tunnels were closed shut in 2009.

Although Fairfield Hills shut down in 1955 due to deinstitutionalization, some of the buildings on the former campus still operate today. Current buildings in use include the Newtown Youth Academy, the Newtown Municipal Center, and the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

The modernized buildings add sort of a buzz-kill to the "spooky" experience. It doesn't feel as eerie as I would have hoped, since there were so many people walking the grounds. The cars and hum of conversations around me seemed to normalize the adventure. However, few people walking were actually interested in the buildings.

After taking a closer look, I was able to see dirty curtains, decayed ceilings, and bleak hospital rooms. Some of the buildings were fenced-off, but it's still possible to see the destruction inside. It's almost as if all remnants of the buildings were left abruptly - sitting still in time.

While there's no way to actually enter any of the abandoned buildings (legally), you can peek through windows and even walk on the grounds. At points, my exploring partner and I heard whispers in the wind and laughs in the distance — but did we actually hear spirits that have passed on, or was it all just a part of our imagination?

Find out for yourself by visiting the Fairfield Hills grounds. The hospital may be abandoned, but there's definitely vibes surrounding the campus - just waiting to be explored.

Scare factor: 👻 👻 (2/5 ghosts)

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