We have heard of asylums where prisoners, the mentally ill, and even those who simply need some help go to, typically these locations were available in a different time and place. Usually they are hospitals that have reputations for being strict, violent, or even reputed to be haunted. But what about now? Where do the criminally insane, the mentally ill violent people go when they are sentenced to hospitalization?
I’m sure that there are many locations around the United States, but one that I have found is still in operation in southern California; Patton State Hospital. This is a forensic psychiatric hospital with a licensed bed capacity of 1287 for people who have been committed by the judicial system for treatment.
Originally built in 1890 and open for patients in 1893, the name of the hospital was originally the Southern California State Asylum for the insane and inebriates. It was renamed to Patton State Hospital in 1927.
From it’s opening until 1934, some 2,024 patients died and were buried on the hospital grounds.
Some notable patients:
- Edward Allaway: California State University Fullerton massacre. Edward was a custodian who had a history of violence and mental illness. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, he was found insane by a judge and imprisoned at Patton State until being moved to Napa State Hospital in 2016.
- David Attias: Isla Vista Killings. A 2001 vehicular homicide where five people died. David was ruled legally insane and sentenced to 60 years in a mental institution. In 2012, he was released to walk free after serving only 10 years. (Seems suspicious.)
- Joan Barry: Her reason for being in the hospital is really unknown, but she was found walking the streets barefoot, carrying a pair of baby sandals and a child’s ring, while murmuring. She is most well known for winning a paternity suit against Charlie Chaplin for her daughter Carol Ann.
- Bettie Page: Yes, that Bettie Page. The Pin Up Girl of the 1950’s. Bettie’s life wasn’t ideal, and her career was littered with violence and mental illness. In 1978 she had a nervous breakdown and an altercation with her landlady. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and spent 20 months in Patton State Hospital. After her release she had other run in’s and was arrested for assault, which put her back in the hospital for eight years, she was released in 1992.
I wonder how many horror stories could be learned from this location? Unfortunately I was unable to find any paranormal happenings at the hospital, but I would be very eager to find out more. If you have been near the hospital, or have visited the museum, please share your information.
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