Cedarcrest Hospital, Newington

December, 2012 by Ray Bendici
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Image courtesy of Bing maps

The Damned Story: In the early part of the 20th century, the state of Connecticut built a number of facilities to help treat children suffering from an array of illnesses, chief among them tuberculosis. As the debilitating disease was eventually controlled in the state, however, the need for so many specialty hospitals diminished, but rather than be demolished, a lot of the buildings were re-purposed as mental-health facilities. They often served as such for decades before ultimately being shuttered in more recent times due to budget constraints.

One such facility was Cedarcrest Hospital in Newington, which currently sits mostly abandoned, although some of the smaller buildings on the campus are used by state agencies. At capacity in its heyday, the attractive facility tucked away in the woods just off of the Berlin Turnpike could provide treatment for 128 patients, which it did for many years before closing for good in 2010.

Of course, like the other abandoned former mental asylums in the state, various stories eventually sprung up about the facility, especially about the place supposedly being haunted, although there's very little evidence to support this premise other than "It's a former mental asylum." Those who venture near claim to have heard disembodied screams and doors slamming, along with reports of orbs and other spirit-like sightings.

Some (abridged) history of Cedarcrest Hospital from the Asylum Projects wiki:

The original facility was built in 1910, and was opened as the Hartford County Home for the Care and Treatment of Persons Suffering from Tuberculosis. More buildings were added, and two decades later it was renamed Cedarcrest Sanatorium, but continued to treat those afflicted with tuberculosis and other chronic diseases through the 1960s. In February 1976, the campus became part of the Department of Mental Health, and was reopened as a psychiatric facility under the auspices of Cedarcrest Regional Hospital, where it helped those who suffered from mental disorders and addictions.

As mentioned, the hospital was officially closed in 2010, with its residents being transferred to the Greater Bridgeport Mental Health Center and other facilities across the state. In 2012, the property was put up for bid. As of the end of 2012, there was no official word on the status of any proposed sale.

We were not able to find any specific instances of why it's believed by some that the property is haunted. It is, however, currently abandoned and as such, some of the buildings have fallen into disrepair, creating a creepy atmosphere.

Our Damned Experience: We have not visited Cedarcrest, and as it is not open to the public, we will not be stopping by any time soon.

If You Go: The former Cedarcrest Hospital is on Russell Road, just off the Berlin Turnpike in Newington.

Like many state facilities that have been closed, there is no trespassing on the property, so if you decide to visit without any sort of permission—which we strongly discourage—don't be surprised if you're escorted off the property and to a local police station, while in handcuffs.

 

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Comments

Submitted by Michael D'Antonio (not verified) on
I live close to this place. In high school kids from neighboring towns would trespass on the property. The main hospital (the one which closed in 2010) was not the actual destination for thrill seekers. On that property was the original hospital, which was most likely the building that opened in 1910. That building had been abandoned for decades, and was condemned. It was very small compared to the newer facility, and because of its abandoned state, it was very spooky. Also this building was secluded from the main facility and parking lot. It had overgrown grass all around, and the trees hid the building from plain sight, so all that one would see was this old brick crumbling building peeking out from this dark wooded area, of course at the local mental hospital! Adding to the lure, the building was used by local fire stations to train cadets. So on the inside, the building had plenty of fire and smoke damage. My Uncle happened to train cadets at this facility when he was a fireman in the 1980's. My uncle also drove ambulances, sometimes for Cedarcrest too. So he let me in on some of the history. According to him, when he set up fire training exercises at the old building, he noticed the lobotomy room. That, he said was the spookiest of the places in there. He never experienced anything paranormal, he just had an eerie feeling about that place, especially that room, because of what went on there. I have only tried to go there once. When I was in high school a group of us went to trespass in the old hospital. We were stopped in the parking lot by State Police, they patrol there constantly, beware. Needless to say we made it out, but the trooper gave us a hard time, searched us, and found nothing. He did want to write us a ticket for vandalism. You see we were baseball players, my friend had his gear in the trunk (with glove, cleats, balls, etc) and the cop was trying to pin some recent broken property on us. He was obviously trolling us, it worked. We have never returned. So beware and be warned, if you try to venture on the property, you will get caught and harassed. Be safe!

You are SO right Michael. This place is patrolled contantly by state police because after you pass the Humane Society on Russell Rd the road becomes state property. So even driving up the road before you actually hit Cedarcrest, they will stop you and ask you where you are going. It's not a pass through road so there is nowhere to go. Good luck and keep us informed if you find a good way to get in!

Submitted by Kim (not verified) on
I live pretty close to there and me n my friend are planning to find a way in so we will keep u all informed. We have equipment to try to find proof of a haunting wish us luck

Submitted by Anthony (not verified) on
Decided to stop by this place on the way back home.. All I can say is don't waste your time going here. Driving down the road right off of Berlin Turnpike we came to the entrance of the lot but before that we were stopped by orange traffic cones in our lane and a security patrol car with the guy standing outside of it. I opened my window and he said "May I help you?". I had nothing else to say besides "we're lost, and turning around right now." As we turned around a lady officer hoped out of the car with a silver clipboard, almost as if she was jotting down my license plate number. Both security guards starred at us as we drove away. By far the most intense security I have seen near an abandoned facility.

Submitted by Steve (not verified) on
Hmm that's interesting. Abandoned facilities rarely have security that strict. Most places I know in the state just have regular patrolling by a state officer or security guard. Anyway, I've been aware of this hospital, but I was never successful at finding much information. Thanks for sharing!

Submitted by Commenter (not verified) on
Unlike most abandoned hospitals, the campus here is still used by the state. The Department of Revenue Services has an office here, which likely helps explains the intense security.

Submitted by Past employee (not verified) on
I use to work at this facility. Witnessed few deaths, hangings... Ect. Never really experienced any paranormal stuff. But co workers did.

Submitted by Heidi (not verified) on
I honestly believe that there should be a group dedicated to historical preservation that is allowed to go on tours of these places, even if just to be up close to the outside. Anyone ever decide to go through the woods and onto the backside of the hosp?

Submitted by John (not verified) on
IVe been mountain biking up behind the facility. there is even a state trooper behind the facility. seems pretty schetchy, never crossed the fence though

Submitted by John (not verified) on
IVe been mountain biking up behind the facility. there is even a state trooper behind the facility. seems pretty schetchy, never crossed the fence though

Submitted by Stephanie Trolltoll (not verified) on
Security is that tight huh? I was planning on going here sometime soon. How do I get permission to gain access to the buildings?

Submitted by Molly (not verified) on
Steve, I'm pretty sure it's that way because the facility is relatively new and only been closed a short period of time. I've heard they're trying to sell it, so I'm assuming the state wants to keep it intact for potential buyers. And anyone doubting the security story, I've seen them there. Several times, including yesterday. Road is still blocked off with cones, and there was one car parked and another patrolling. We turned around in the condos before Cedarcrest, but if you drive to the blockade, they WILL document your plate number, approach the car, and ask you what you're doing. So beware. I'm not some dumb noob teenager, I've done more than my fair share of exploring, and I won't touch this place with a ten foot pole unless something changes. It's not worth the risk.

I was at the location of the old asylum right around January 1st 2013... it has been demolished. There is nothing there but bare ground (and snow). True, the Google and Bing images show it's still standing, but the watermarks on the maps show that the demo probably took place at some point in 2012.

Submitted by Charles O'Meara (not verified) on
what is wrong with you people? oh wait, i know, you've seen too many lame movies. the reason it's patrolled is because idiots like you want to go up there, poke around, end up getting hurt then they have to waste resources rescuing you. or your parents sue the state.

Submitted by Molly (not verified) on
Well good for you, Ian. I was up there in December, January, and March, and there ARE security cars. And your friend is misinformed. The state doesn't hire security companies or drug activity. They use state troopers.

Submitted by Ian Lombardo (not verified) on
@ molly according to my research the building failed to sell on july of 2012 the only reason the state police is up there is for securing the area and that only residents of tinsmith and schoolhouse crossings can get to and from their houses and csp was doing an investigation on drug activity on the premesis according to a friend of mine who lives on tinsmith. i was up there on veterans day there was no security patrolling until i crashed my bike on the road and then a car with an amber strobe light came and asked if i wanted to sit in the pavillion if you want to call it while i washed out my wounds and that was how close i got to the building itself. my dad a former AETNA Ambulance Paramedic( Now chief of the ambulance in the neighboring town) used to do transfers from hartford hospital to cedarcrest almost everyday! and i've only heard two stories so far but there are more to come!

I suppose it's easy for people to confuse the old asylum (now demolished) with the new hospital, since the two were right next to each other. Don't bother looking for the old asylum because it's gone. The security is only put there to protect the new building.

Submitted by Matt (not verified) on
I was there just a couple hours ago. Two friends and I walked around the building that closed in 2010. We walked around the old cottages and then went and saw the quary behind the campus. There were multiple people walking around there. A couple with their baby in a stroller. There was a security car (not state trooper) parked and all of us walked right by them and nothing happened.

Submitted by another ex-employee (not verified) on
The state does hire security teams. Don't go here. You will be detained here and pinched by Newington PD., or the State. Hospital 2 was in ruins when I was there. Back in time, Hospital 1 had an operating room on the 4th floor, and the smaller out building was a morgue. The picture at the top of this post is Hospital 2. It was full of windows and glass walls. It was thought, (at the time) that fresh air and sunlight would cure tuberculous.

Submitted by Ian lombardo (not verified) on
Molly the information in my comment about the drug trafficking investigation came from the Wethersfield Police department. Since I called in to dispatch about seeing drug paraphernalia. On Russell road so. The state police was called

Submitted by Ry (not verified) on
I've lived in Newington my entire life, First of all the article fails to mention that there were TWO Cedarcrest Hospitals, The original building is ALL the way at the end of Russel Road, It's discussed above. The second building was used until 2010 and did house mentally unstable teens & adults. When I was a senior in NHS (Newington High) we used to throw parties on Cedar Mountain. In 2005 I tried to drive up to the cottages with a friend. We were promptly pulled over by an incredibly rude state cop who harrassed me for not carrying an ID (I wasn't driving & didn't plan this) they searched our car for "spray paint" and let us go. The female officer showed up in another car (and her little clipboard) and took our plate number. First and last time I ever went there, and its within 5 minutes of my house..

Submitted by patti roberts (not verified) on
Hello, I am researching TB in the 40s and 50s...my relative was incorrectly put into Cedarcrest when she was a high school Junior. I am looking for anyone who has any connection to the original Cedarcrest Sanitorium during those years...many thanks.

Submitted by Chris thomas (not verified) on
I went to cedercrest today it's heavily guarded

Submitted by Glenn T (not verified) on
Info on cedarcrest The complex is was made up of many building One is still active as part of the department of special revenue they have there own police there they are not State police rather police for the agency . The hospital has a police force mainly building and grounds patrol officers from the department of mental health and addcition there are really 4 hospitals two of them have been demoed but they were two 4 story hospitals way at the end of Russell road . The original hospital was on the right as you enter the newer building they the building that sits there now is what used to be the hospital up until 2010 . as for the sings for trespassing the state still has cottages that house PTs at the end of Russell road as well as radio tower that are active nOt to mention a very large cliff

Submitted by John A (not verified) on
Very cool I stumbled across this article! I wanted to share one of my many experiences exploring this place. First of all going during the day by car was near impossible. Police and security frequently watched this place for trespassers. since i lived not far away me and some friends would hike a trail up Newington mountain and make are own path to the rear of the site. find a hole in the first fence and sprint to the side entrance where a tree took down part of the main fence surounding the building. there were a few ways in but the most popular and easiest to enter was a side entrance. after walking in it wasn't hard to notice the sound of the old steam pipes that tick and rattle every now and then. i remember thinking how strange it was. you would come up to the main hall ground floor you could either go right down the hall, straight up the stairs to the next floor. Now to the left was kinda creepy a large room with old child sized beds, frames with rusty coils. a ton of old AC units and other run down appliances. up the stairs to the first floor was cool i remember the 8 ft wide fire doors at each end of the hall they had a big sign on them "in case of fire shut door". now the second floor was the most interesting it had a office which still had a desk and a chair later we gathered more chairs and made a sort of chill room. there where also shower rooms and other smaller offices. all the way down the hall was a dining area with wall to wall windows. now to one side of this room there was a door, then a steel staircase outside the building which had a gate. going up these stairs led to the roof. which had some uneasy spots to avoid stepping on. in the middle of the roof was the elevator shaft which was caved in. went here often but once i turned 18 stopped taking risks with the law. Hope this helps draw a small picture.

Submitted by Lyndsay (not verified) on
As far as googlemaps shows, the older building (to the right) has been demo'd. Anyone know when they took 'er down?

Submitted by anon (not verified) on
As far as I know it was 2012. You can drive through during the day and pretend like you're just turning around and the guards will probably leave you alone if you are quick. The demolition notice is still there but the building is gone.

Submitted by Rich (not verified) on
Back in the late 70’s I was assigned to Cedarcrest Hospital as a 3rd shift security guard. I worked for a private firm then. My shift was from 11 pm to 7 am. My job was to drive the security van to the abandon buildings and search them for unwanted activity. All I had with me was a flashlight. There was no lights working inside these buildings at the time. While I never experienced anything haunted, I did hear some curtailing screams and I know they were real and not imaginary. Across the street was the boiler building. A worker would be there often and I would spend a lot of my time with him or in the van venturing out only on occasion. I soon quit because it was just too creepy of a place to work at. On another note, Russell Rd. merges with Jordan Lane which is a throughway into Wethersfield. I remember driving there at night with some friends. Rumor has it that Jordan Lane was nicked named Lover’s Lane in that guys would bring their girlfriends and park their cars there. Rumor also has it that a murder once took place on Jordan Lane. Jordan Lane was thought to be haunted as well not only because of the murder, but the cemetery is there also.

Submitted by Maria (not verified) on
A couple friends and I decided to go there and we parked the car down the read from the facility. We ended up hiking around, through the woods in back of the hospital. There we hoped the fence and shot some pretty creepy photos. All in all the hospital has no windows and is rather terrifying. But, we ended up getting caught by security. We did not get arrested or anything but we did get escorted off the property. :CCC It was cool but definitely highly patrolled.

Submitted by Jbloos (not verified) on
In my early twenties... We used to explore the asylum that has since been demolished I guess. It was a smaller building set back off the road covered by trees , overgrowth. This was 2004 ish. The place was seriously creepy at night. We heard voices and other odd noises inside. There was no security or cops back then. Was a real cool place to explore back in our ghost hunting days. There was and still us a bunch of other buildins there now but pretty sure the real creepy old one is destroyed now.

Submitted by ncik (not verified) on
This place is not haunted. Me and some friends jumped the fence after parking our cars a good distance away. I have been to many haunted places and the air grows thick and stuffy from the activity. This place did not feel haunted at all. It felt like an abandonned building. Dont waste your time

Submitted by Will (not verified) on
Didn't know the place was abandoned and came in from the abandoned road that goes behind the quarry. I've lived in newington in cedar mt's shadow for 34 years. I always wanted to get into the old hospital but while the new one was manned security was tight. I didn't know the new hospital was also abandoned so we figured it was fine to be walking over there. We walked all the way up to the guards car with my brother and our two dogs. It was parked in the road with the cones and all. The jackass was asleep lol. We were literally within 5 feet of his open window while he slumped over in his seat. Just turned around and went back the way we came. Anyone with any kind of reasonable ability to be sneaky could easily have had their fill of the place. I think I may go back some night at like 3am and take a look around. No lights no getting spotted pretty simple lol. But yeah if you drive up the main road like a jackass you'd be caught for sure. I really wish I knew it was abandoned in 2010. I would have gone in the old hospital some night for sure.

Submitted by JayD (not verified) on
The hospital (the one that closed in 2010) has a lot of radio equipment on the roof that belongs to various Starry expanded.ate and Town agencies. I work for a company that maintains it. I haven't been in there for a year or so, but it was a creepy place even when it was still operating. I never heard or saw anything paranormal, the place just gives you a creepy feeling. The elevators seemed to have a mind of their own and I got stuck in them more than once. A co-worker who has been there recently says the place is suffering from neglect. Too bad, 'cause it's kind of a cool old building. Yes, the old hospital at the end of Russell Road was demolished years ago as the quarry expanded.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Most of the radio equipment in the main building belongs to NARL (Newington Amateur Radio League) and the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) and one antenna belongs to North Central CMED in Hartford

Submitted by Ian Lombardo (not verified) on
there was a couple that was up there in december, they were stopped by an officer and were asked what they were doing up there. the officer seemed to not care what they were doing and was willing to give them a tour but because of a recent copper pipe theft from the building he was unable to do so, so i think that the state is getting less restrictive over patrolling the area. but i dont know if that's going to change because of the recent pipe theft

Submitted by Jenna Burns (not verified) on
I've heard people at school talking about it but I never really new it was there, so last weekend I went up there to look and it was super creepy ,especially because it was during a thunderstorm. There's like old houses off of back roads all labeled by cottages 1-14. They all have a super freaky vibe to them. With vines and vegetation all over them, I'd love to get in one of them. But eventually the security pulled us over but the guy was super chill and we basically told him we were just driving through looking around at the stuff and he said it was haunted, he told us we shoulda brought him McDonald's and told it was cool if we kept driving around.

Submitted by Guard (not verified) on
Yeah I'm one of those pesky security ppl lol but to be honest the original buildings have been knocked down the remaining two were put up in the 70s the building we are allowed to access is creepy I've took pictures to my surprise only two creepy thing showed up Security is here because the police do training here as well as fbi and some of the smaller buildings are leased to Drs and state depts so yeah ur not missing too much the buildings we would all love to enter are gone

Submitted by @GanjaSmokeFlame (not verified) on
Getting inside was a struggle. id say the easiest way to get in would be through the forest by the first building not cedarcrest, to avoid any state tropers, note that you do have to climb a about 7 ft fence but it is easy, so basically once you get there look out, and hit the entrance thats on the left side, it will look like elevator door, all you have to do is pull the door out. once that you are inside. I found lots of old papers with some little info about one person who would be there. the stairs are going to be in a room to the right once you approach. i got to see the kitchen and much more. only problem i encounterd was when i open a door that said "not a exit" and an alarm went off and i left the site, the state troop was still there. If you plan to go goodluck and be low about it, and have good vibes!

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Submitted by susan smith (not verified) on
I had to stay there for 2 and a 1/2 months, the staff was nice the bldg was old inside and depressing, you can't get better unless the inside is pleasant. This was a state hospital that was very old, my experience with Connecticut the state facilities are not nice at all. CVH is depressing also.

Submitted by susan smith (not verified) on
I had to stay there for 2 and a 1/2 months, the staff was nice the bldg was old inside and depressing, you can't get better unless the inside is pleasant. This was a state hospital that was very old, my experience with Connecticut the state facilities are not nice at all. CVH is depressing also.

Submitted by susan smith (not verified) on
I had to stay there for 2 and a 1/2 months, the staff was nice the bldg was old inside and depressing, you can't get better unless the inside is pleasant. This was a state hospital that was very old, my experience with Connecticut the state facilities are not nice at all. CVH is depressing also.

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