At the time of its opening in 1908 the organization was referred to as “The Pennhurst Institution for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic.” The excessive complex of buildings was once a home to over 3550 patients and operated by 575 employees. Patients were put to work maintaining the facility, running shops, and other miscellaneous duties. The state was actually profiting from the facility. When the outside community found out about the inner workings of Pennhurst, many considered it nothing more than a grim warehouse for the mentally retarded. Investigations brought lawsuits against the institution, which was found guilty of violating patients' rights by way of abuse, sexual assault, isolation, and worse. The facility was forced to close in 1987 and has been vacant since. Work is in progress to convert the old hospital into a haunted attraction.
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