Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Recently an old hospital, Weston State Hospital in West Virginia, was sold at auction to new owners who have named it the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Weston State was a mental institution, and the new owners have events planned for after they refurbish such as “Psycho Path” dirt bike races, "Hospital of Horrors" haunting tours in October, and a "Nightmare Before Christmas" tour on Dec. 23.

Does this bother others as much as it bothers me?

CBS News Story about Weston Hospital


Anonymous said...

Yes the name is terrible.

rechal said...

Not just the name -- equating people mental illness and/or disabilities with Halloween themes and amusement parks is beyond cruel. Do they also plan to have a Bat Cave Ride to make fun of blind people, or a Boob Tube Ride to mock mastectomy patients? How about Stump Races for amputees?

Ashley's Mom said...

Excellent points, Rechal

rechal said...

Don't. Get. Me. Started. Thanks for finding this story. I've emailed to a number of people (including Dave Hingsburger), and plan to make a stink myself.

I have no problem with a museum that explores the history of our treatment of mental disabilities and illnesses. Indeed, I believe it's important to see how far we've come. But to EXPLOIT the degrading treatment that so many people suffered in these institutions for a buck, makes me want to vomit.

I've spent the last couple of days shooting video interviews with people supported by Hope House Foundation in Hampton Roads. I just downloaded a couple of videos from people who'd been institutionalized -- one for a few months, the other for years. The stories they told horrified me. No one should ever be treated that way. And to make LIGHT of that experience? Do these people have no conscience?

Psycho Path? Are you kidding me? "Oh, aren't crazy people just the FUNNIEST?" Hey, you wanna see someone really funny? How about someone with balance problems due to hydrocephalus? Or how about people with Down Syndrome who don't speak clearly because of their enlarged tongue? Clearly, everything that comes out of their mouth is hysterically funny. Not that it has any substance. Not that they have an opinion.

Okay, I'm not making any sense here, so I need to stop.

But I will be writing to that so-called museum, and I will cc every damned disability blog out there.

Ashley's Mom said...

Rechel, do you work with Hope House? I am in Richmond, and at one time, a behavioral counselor from Hope House would drive to Richmond to work with my oldest daughter. I am really interested in finding out more about Hope House and all the services that you offer.