by Andrew K. Arnett

What does it take to make a place haunted? Friendly ghosts not withstanding, I would presume it requires some heinous action afflicted upon a person, resulting in trauma, fear and eventual death of said person. Then, the aggrieved spirit is obliged to linger about, scaring the bejesus out of passers by. With its checkered past, you would be betting house money if you guessed Kings Park Psychiatric Center was haunted. Reports from the area suggest Kings Park is haunted AF.

Numerous apparitions and ghostly voices have been reported in buildings 7, 29, 93 and 136. A ghost of a girl named Amanda is said to haunt the playing field, along with a black phantom dog. Another spirit is of a 17-year old girl who died from too much electroshock therapy. The spirit of a former patient named Joseph is is said to linger at the old recreation center. There have also been 3 separate cemeteries owned by the hospital, all with associated apparitions and mist spotted in those areas. Visitors often complain about feeling distressed, dizziness, terror and overcome with a feeling of abandonment or of being watched.

One urban explorer talks about hearing screams, feeling cold air and an encounter with an apparition. In his testimonial he states:

I have gone here hundreds of times before. For the most part nothing happened at least in the beginning. I was there with my professional camera and while trying to take a picture of a stairwell my camera was glitchy. So I stepped back and went to try again, this time when the flash went off, in that split second some man screamed at me with a lot of anger. There was no one there. I went home and looked at my photos and found in that specific picture an orb in the far bottom dark part of the picture. They were all over my photos. I go back a month or so later to celebrate my birthday. I had a feeling to walk out into the hallway and I was alone. As I’m walking I hear someone running towards me. The noise gets louder as if they were running at me and there was no one there. I stood there as it came closer and closer and when it got about an arm length away, the running stopped and I was hit with a huge gust of freezing cold air. It was like someone had ran right through me. I tried to communicate with this entity but nothing else had happened. About a few weeks following this extremely weird experience I went back and I had a lighter explode into hundreds of pieces. I had a feeling in my chest like I was not alone. People tell stories but to have three separate experiences myself I know that there are souls left inside those buildings and they are not the friendly kind.

Kings Park Psychiatric Center. Photo © 2021 Andrew Arnett

Building 93 is a location that is often cited for paranormal activity. A gurney has been seen rolling on its own volition through the basement at Building 93. Photos have been presented showing a ghostly mist descending from the walls inside.

Urban explorer Laura Leita and her husband, both graduates of Stony Brook University, claimed, “We were just getting into the lobby when we heard an immensely loud banging. It sounded like someone was trying to take the building down.” In another part of the hospital, Leita took some photos which, upon examination later, revealed a shadow like apparition. “There was this strange dark form in the upper left corner,” she said, which persisted throughout a progression of shots throughout the interior.

Another Shadow Person type of apparition was reported by a group exploring Building 93. They claim:

Two friends of mine and I had went there about 5 years ago now. We were walking around to the front of the building, cant remember its number, its the one with the neighborhood behind it. While walking to the front of the building, keep in mind the only light we have is moonlight, I look to my left and see the side of the building right next to the entrance and it’s pitch black. Next thing I know the shadow expands and another shadow shoots out, zooming right in front of the three of us. It stops for a second and then shoots right into the bushes to our right. This shadow was moving at about 30 to 40 mph and was able to displace the air around us. This shadow was also huge probably about 7 or 8 feet tall. We immediately ran back in the direction we came from. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going there as there is a lot of drug activity and from what I’ve heard gang activity. My friend did some research and came to the conclusion what we had encountered was a Wendigo. I however know a little bit of native American folklore and stated if that was a Wendigo, we wouldn’t be alive to even be discussing this. Whatever it was though it did not seem very friendly, there was almost a sense of malicious intent behind this experience. Don’t recommend going.

Another legend associated specifically with the Wisteria House, aka Building 15, where they kept the violent and criminally insane, concerns a patient referred to as Marie Hatchet who earned her nickname by killing her parents with an axe. The legend states that Marie escaped from her confines and had to be gunned down by police on the hospital grounds. The ghost of Marie Hatchet is said to roam the corridors of Wisteria House, with axe in hand, searching for her next victim. The story has inspired the movie Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet.

The plot of the movie is of interest because it delves into the legend in greater detail. In the film, Mary Mattock suffers from menstrual psychosis after she has her first period, then proceeds to murder her parents with a hatchet. She is committed to Kings Park Psychiatric Center but is raped and impregnated by a guard there. The crime is hushed up by the staff and Mary gives birth but the child is stillborn. Mary flips her wig again and, welding an axe, goes on a murderous bender through the hospital. She attacks her rapist and is finally gunned down by cops after throwing the rapists’ severed head at them.

This, according to the film, is how Mary Hatchett became folklore in Long Island, spawning annual “Blood Night” seance parties at Mary’s grave on Sweet Hollow Road in Huntington, near Mount Misery. This brings to mind the night Sophie and I witnessed a group of young people walking along Sweet Hollow road in the middle of the night, just up the street from the cemetery where the legendary ghost of Mary lingers. Were they participating in this Blood Night ceremony? Perhaps that is the answer to the question which puzzled us that night that we were doing our own investigation at Mount Misery.