UPDATE: Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and officials from K. Hovnanian Homes confirmed today that demolition would begin in the next few weeks. A reader sent Baristanet a photo of the nurse’s quarters. Can anyone spot the ghost in the picture at the bottom of the story?
It’s time of service past, the now defunct Essex County Hospital Center campus in Cedar Grove — which housed and treated psychiatric patients from 1896 until its final closure in 2007 — has been slated for demolition. In a news conference this afternoon, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. will join with officials from K Hovnanian to discuss the details of the plan. The County Executive requested that K Hovnanian remove the abandoned buildings because they had become “safety hazards and eyesores in the community,” according to a press release.
Formerly known as the Overbrook Insane Asylum, the facility has been a source of eerie fascination for many, and the site of ongoing alleged paranormal activities.
The subject of TV shows Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters in 2008, the 90-acre ground is said to be haunted. According to Weird New Jersey, which has written extensively on the hospital’s history, Overbrook suffered a major catastrophe during the winter of 1917. The failure of the hospital’s boilers during particularly cold weather resulted in the death of 24 patients in 20 days, with patients freezing to death in their beds. The New York Times featured the tragedy on December 21 of that year.
Watch the video above by Baristanet’s special reporter on creepy places, Wheeler Antabanez, and then tell us if you believe in paranormal activity. Is it just a sad old eyesore, like the county says, or is it haunted. Or both.