Weird NJ: Greystone Park

Halloween is right around the corner.  For today’s post I wanted to talk about the
creepy part of Halloween.  We all know
all of the scary stories about Jason, Michael Myers, and Freddy Kruger, but
what do we know about the spooky part of Halloween?  Well, for this week’s post I want to talk
about some Weird NJ places that I may or may not have been to/inside
before.  Today’s post is a little sad
because it’s about Greystone, which has recently been demolished and this is
all that’s left standing.  I’ll get into
Greystone in a little bit but I want to start off by explaining that first
picture.  This post will have a few
different parts but I will write in bold letters above it so if you want to
skip over some stuff that’s fine!  It’s kind of scattered throughout this whole post.
*The Beginning*
When children are little they are known to see things that grownups
don’t because they are innocent and I guess you can say believe in things that
adults don’t.  When we first moved into
the house we’ve been at since my little brother was born which was in
1993.  The house that we moved into at
the time was fairly new, I believe less than 10 years old.  My parents used to be extremely social and
they would have parties at our house all the time.  I would get to play with the kids then the
kids would go to sleep while the grownups stayed up a bit and then off they
would go back to their homes.  For some
strange reason one of the nights that my parents were entertaining, out of
nowhere I had an urge for the grapes that I knew my mom had moved into the
kitchen by that point.  I looked up in
the window that we have over the kitchen sink and I saw a girl.  Not a girl my age (I was about 6 or 7 at the
time) but more of a teenager.  She had
long brown hair and I remember seeing a cameo broche around her collar right
where the buttons are.  She was wearing a
gown but it looked like it was from late 1800’s early 1900’s.  My parents didn’t believe me at all and said
how I was seeing things and it was probably my reflection.  They also thought I had an extremely active
imagination.  First of all my hair was
definitely not that long, and second of all how would a little kid know what a
cameo looked like?  So I wrote a story
about it at school.  The story ended the
way I knew my parents would want it to end that what the little girl saw in the
haunted room was just a Halloween costume. 
I kept this image to myself for a long time until a few years later I
experienced another interaction with what I like to call ghost girl in our
house.  I’m not going to go through all
of the experiences over the years because I could probably write a novel but I
will say this, she’s harmless, she doesn’t come inside, and she likes to play
jokes.  My mom finally believed me after
she experienced something.  Well she
doesn’t believe 100% but she believes that it’s definitely something
unexplainable.  She’s afraid to believe
which I think is what is holding her back.  Now I know that probably about 75% of you don’t believe and the other 25% either believe me, have had it happen to them, or are skeptical.  Which is totally fine, I won’t be offended either way!
From a very young age I was interested in things that would
usually be scary to most kids.  Then
ghost hunting became a thing, and it became a show.  Well actually multiple shows (Ghost
Adventures is by far my favorite one) and I used to watch each one.  Before those shows ever started I heard of
something called Weird NJ.  It’s a
magazine/website that talks about all of the creepy places to go in NJ and what
legends surround it.  Greystone Insane
Asylum was one of them.  I may/may not
have gone inside at one point so I will tell you stories in the third person
once I get to that point.  I did try to
get in touch with three different sources to interview them but they all
brushed me off and said they’d call me and never did and I figured after the
first 2-3 tries I wasn’t to become THAT person just for a story when I could
find most of it online.

*Greystone’s Story*
First a little history about Greystone, and some of this may
or may not be correct, I don’t have references just whatever I remember from my
research.  Greystone was built in 1876
with Thomas Story Kirkbride’s design.  Kirkbride’s
design was on purpose focusing on the patients. 
There were new therapies for the “insane” in Europe pretty much stating
to treat these insane people like normal people and treat them with kindness; I
forget exactly what it was called.  So,
with that in mind he designed the asylum to have lots of light coming in and
make it feel less like a prison I guess you can say. 
Unfortunately later on studies showed that this type of
therapy was not as effective as the old fashioned way which resulted in electro
shock therapy, ice baths, and other violent ways of taking care of the insane
as they liked to refer to them in the past. 
This facility was built in order to help the other asylum in the state
of NJ from their whole being overcrowded issue. 
The asylum was originally built to accommodate 350 people, that was
their max capacity.  However, in the 1950’s
they had reached an all time high of 7000+ patients.  This was due to the veterans suffering from
PTSD after WW2.  You can only imagine
what the conditions were.  From what I’ve
read even the staff at Greystone admitted that the sanitary issues were
absolutely sickening.  They had cots,
these patients didn’t have their own rooms anymore.  Patients would often soil themselves and
instead of the nurses cleaning the clots they would just use them the next day
for someone else.  These patients WERE
STILL HUMAN BEINGS!  It sickens and
saddens me because yes some of them may have been bat shit crazy but I’m sure
the hospital took advantage a lot of the time because these people weren’t all
there.  The sad part is that this
hospital wasn’t split up correctly.  They
mixed the clinically insane, WW2 veterans, and the criminally insane all in one
building.  You also have to take into
consideration that back in the day people with epilepsy and those types of
issues were also institutionalized because doctors did not know what they know
In the 1970’s and 1980’s there was a new trend so to speak called
deinstitutionalization.  This pretty much
means that people were claiming that patients with mental health issues were
better off living at home with their families and that being hospitalized would
not help them get better.  I think this
also has to do with the fact that the medication/drugs were starting to become
a little more advanced so they thought this would be the right way for these
patients.  I didn’t mention this earlier
but Greystone used to treat their patients like humans and “allowed” them to
work, however it was for free.  In the 70’s
this was now forbidden and the hospital had to at least pay them minimum
wage.  Along with this Greystone had to
build cottages/halfway houses is what you can call them.  This was for patients who were almost ready
to be back in the normal world.  Now let’s
fast forward to the 90’s.  This is what a
lot of people know about and probably where all of the ghost stories come
from.  This was when patients were
escaping.  Patients that were criminally
insane (including sex offenders) were able to escape.  The staff was accused of terrible things like
rape, I mean how else would female patients end up pregnant?
There’s a lot of in between things that happened with the
facility itself, not the patients.  This
is what lead to it closing its doors officially in 2008 and started the demolition
that is still currently underway.  Now, I
know that’s a lot to read and if you’ve made it up to this point, now you get
to read the creepy stuff.

Jacket, Scarf, Bag:  Burberry // Pants:  Marshalls (old) // Boots:  Enzo Angelino (old)
^Taken from my Instagram (@jerseygirltexanheart)
*Ghost Story*
And Pictures
I don’t know many ghost stories except for whatever was on the Ghost Adventures episode.  It’s in the first season when they say they can’t disclose what mental institution they were at, yea it was Greystone.  I saw how y’all tried to be sneaky but I knew exactly where you were.  So here is the story in the third person because I allegedly may or may not have been inside the building haha.
There was a group of kids that were either in high school or right out of high school who decided it would be a fun idea to go inside of Greystone.  Of course it was going to be a thrilling experience since officers patrolled the area like crazy.  They found a window that was open (the glass had been taken out probably by a previous snooper/ghost hunter).  They all went inside and immediately felt creeped out.  It was as if the hospital staff got up and left.  At the time the group of kids did not know that the hospital (not the new one up the hill) was not officially shut down, however there were no more patients or staff.  The building looked eerie, and sad.  There were medical records all over the place.  They weren’t fresh records, they were obviously there for a very long time.  There were personal belongings like dolls and clothes that were scattered everywhere.  They felt weird being in the hospital.  They were also able to find the underground tunnels that many knew about, but only some could find.  They walked down these very cold and weird tunnels.  The only lights they had were their flash lights so if these went out they would have no idea how to get out.  They stumbled upon a single jail cell in the basement that was connected to these tunnels.  Why was there just one jail cell?  What was this used for if you had all of these other ways of holding down patients if they got out of hand.  To this day one of the people in the group does not know, although she was dumb enough to stand inside of it.  Good thing it didn’t somehow close.  They walked through the rest of the hospital finding the part of the hospital that was going to undergo renovation in order to try and save the hospital.  Unfortunately for the people working on it they did not know that within less than 10 years the building would be demolished.  The group didn’t experience anything ghost related but they were creeped out, they did hear noises, but nothing that made them think something was there, until they left.  The girl of the group took a doll.  To this day she has no idea what possessed her to take the doll.  When she did though, bad things started happening to her so she ended up getting rid of the doll for good and everything stopped.  May this have been supernatural or just coincidence?  It’s possible but she will never know.  

Goodbye Greystone.  It’s sad to see the historic value of this building go, but I’m sure people and their families affected by what happened behind those walls are happy to see it go.

7 thoughts on “Weird NJ: Greystone Park”

  1. Great blog post! I lived in a house once that unexplained things went on and our guests would get scared. Door knobs turning, the sound or feeling of someone sitting on the couch and chair. It is very strange. The house was at one time storage for the mortuary next door! Ghost Adventures are my favorite too. Lots of other great shows too all years after my experiences none of us knew what to think so we just ignored it.


  2. I love Ghost Hunter stories, but I enjoyed reading this, so sad about the mixing of WW2 vets and the "insane" and really ill. Thanks for sharing.
    Thank you for linking up to "Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me"
    Rachel xo
    Garay Treasures

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