Where in the Hudson Valley Contest: “Buried Secrets” Cemetery
This nondescript patch of land holds the remains of patients who died at a nearby hospital for the criminally insane
This month’s Where in the Valley location is, admittedly, a bit haunting. Located in a wooded area, this virtually unadorned burial ground is the final resting place for nearly 1,000 patients who died at a now-defunct hospital for the criminally insane. Chiseled on the headstones are the patients’ ID numbers; more recent burials feature nameplates. It’s said that the infamous late-19th-century serial killer Lizzie Halliday is buried here — along with her demons.
Accepting its first 261 patients in April 1892, this state hospital confined and treated individuals committed to it by criminal courts, as well as inmates who were declared insane while serving their sentences at state institutions. Through the decades, patients were subjected to various “treatments” and procedures, including electric- and insulin-shock treatments, and even lobotomies. By 1949, the facility was packed with almost 1,500 men and 250 women. Today, another prison utilizes parts of the old hospital’s buildings.
Can you name the location of this hospital cemetery and the institution the long-dead patients once called “home?” Submit your answer to the form below; the first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!