Essex County Now Raising Money through Raising the Dead

Camera crews from the SyFy channel’s popular show Ghost Hunters paid Essex County up to $1,000 a day for the right to film inside the abandoned Essex County Hospital Center in Cedar Grove, according to The show also paid additional fees to hire off-duty officers for security, and for permits allowing off-site parking and access to restrooms.

The filming was a part of a special live, streaming broadcast on the Internet this past Halloween, which was nationally promoted on the Internet and on the SyFy channel. The hospital center has been rumored to be haunted for years, and has attracted hordes of amateur ghost hunters and curiosity-seekers.
The sale of permits to the SyFy Channel arched some eyebrows, as Sheriff Armando Fontoura has attempted in the past to keep out trespassers on the hospital grounds seeking the same ghosts, blaming local publication Weird NJ for piquing curiosity.
I’ll admit I’ve scampered through the deserted grounds myself. It’s a thrill, trying to keep the car out of sight of the occasional sheriff’s patrol, startling packs of deer, poking around in junk whose significance is magnified by the mere fact that it was abandoned. What about you, gentle readers? Does the Essex County Hospital hold any appeal to you? What other haunts used to exist in innocent Baristaville?
Video by Wheeler Antabanez

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  1. Effectively creepy, good job and good choice of music. I guess if you pay the County enough $$$, they let you inside.

  2. Now there’s a source of revenue. Make people sign waivers – enter at your own risk – and charge admission. ROC? Calling ROC?
    A chance to lower our county taxes.

  3. If they wanted to film something really creepy and scary, they would have been better off spending the day in the County Executive offices.

  4. I have been through the Essex County Hospital grounds…I was involved in feeding a feral cat colony there and I must say, the place is fascinatingly creepy.
    Another creepy spot is the abandoned hospital on Belleville Ave. in Belleville. Scenes from “A Beautiful Mind” with Russell Crowe were shot there.

  5. Not Baristaville, per se, but about 15 years ago, my friend Danny and I visited Demon’s Alley on New Road off of Route 23 North. It was a street of abandoned homes mentioned in “Weird NJ” that were owned by the City of Newark. What made the homes especially creepy was that some of them had painted-on black window shades, complete with pull cords! Took photos, will have to hunt them down. My biggest fear was that my bright blue Camaro would be spotted by the local cops. (It wasn’t, thankfully).
    Danny was a lot more adventurous than I was and actually snuck inside the basement window of one of homes. Not a smart move because then he had trouble getting back out! So here I was, trying to haul a 175-pound man back out on solid ground through a tiny basement window. He made it out but not without losing his silver skull earring in the process. To this day, he likes to tell the story about how the “demons” stole his earring.

  6. Oh…and the other creepy part was that the rumor surrounding the abandoned houses was that all the occupants had been murdered by some sort of Satanic cult in the 1980s. The alleged murderers were never caught.

  7. personally i don’t see the appeal. it’s an old abandoned psychiatric hospital..if they really want to see excitement the camera crew should visit a real psychiatric hospital.
    there are more significant issues and events in our communities that should be documented instead.

  8. Another creepy spot is the abandoned hospital on Belleville Ave. in Belleville. Scenes from “A Beautiful Mind” with Russell Crowe were shot there.
    it’s not abandoned it’s the Garden State Cancer Center and has a sign out in front that says so.

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