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Eerie Photos From A Massive Mental Hospital Farm In The 1930s

Eerie Photos From A Massive Mental Hospital Farm In The 30s image

Eerie Photos From A Massive Mental Hospital Farm In The 1930s

Have you ever wondered why people will sometimes refer to insane asylums as funny farms? These eerie photos by LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt might shed a little light on the subject.

Shot in 1938, the photos are a rare glimpse within the walls of State Hospital, a massive mental hospital that sprawled for over a thousand acres in Long Island.

Though it was originally meant to serve as a utopian "farm colony" for the mentally ill, it soon became as overcrowded as the inner-city hospitals it was designed to replace.

Pilgrim State Hospital, along with its two neighboring farm colonies, became examples of a state-run incompetence and poor handling of vulnerable people.

These were the dreaded "funny farms" that one could be sentenced to work on if you failed to meet society's standards. Thankfully, Pilgrim State Hospital downsized over the years and is much smaller today, which we hope means the patients are able to receive better care.

Via Vintage Es

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