The Byberry Menatl Hospital is one of the many many abandoned asylums in the USA. It is located in Philidelphia, PA. I have always had somewhat of an obsession with it, but never knew the real background of it. I have been getting many questions about this particular building, and until now, many of them went unanswered. As if summoned from the depths, SPOOQEYRUBEN, who has contributed before, sent this in. It contains some stories as well as the background. Enjoy!
Also, a link was sent in with film footage of the inside of Byberry (the realplayer plug-in is required.) Here is the link to it (Video by Karl L. Papendick) It's the link at the bottom of the page.
Note: I am not sure how much of this is true. It seems pretty trustworthy, but as far as acurate history and accuracy of the stories, I have no way to know for sure. So I take no responsibilty for this! It is, however, a good enough reason to not explore this abandoned building, and it is entertaining. The history seems about right. But like I said, I can not proove the truth to it all. Thank you. If you would like to view what people have said about this story [mostly disagreeing with other experiences] go to the feedback section.
I live in a suburb just outside of Philadelphia a few miles from Byberry Manor and yes that place is very very damn spooky. As I understand it back in the early 1950's the place was built to house all types of the mentally unstable, from the criminally insane all the on down to people who had alzeimhers disease or some other mental illness and they were misdiagnosed as someone who for seemingly no reason just lost their marbles.
Byberry Manor/Byberry Mental Hospital was a federally funded federally controlled mental health facility. Back in the 1950's when it was started IT WAS NOT done just for Philadelphia, it was done on a national scale. There are suppost to be dozens if not literally hundreds of these seemingly and/or completely abandoned formerly federally funded and controlled mental institutions all about the country.
The details of what you are about to read is definitely the most disturbing and the sickest story of any urban legend that I have ever known. The gov't apparently did not take much more than the crazy people with them after they left because soon after Byberry was closed in the late 70's, hundreds (at a minimum) of people went into Byberry and stole everything. Inparticularilly all of the copper fittings, the steel, and the aluminum from the plumbing, bags of cement from the storage buildings, mops, buckets, medical equipment, clothes (left over from the patients aswell as the hospital staff), floor tiles, ceiling tiles, anything and everything that was left behind was fair game for the people who went in their and made that place their cash cow. As I understand it they made alot of money off that place because they stole anything and they sold everthing(even so I have heard that their is still more to be had in what is left in Byberry). After most of what had been ripped out of Byberry had been ripped away it became a haven for vagrants and the homeless. In time the rumors say, it became a home for satanists aswell as for others. One such story was that their is a group of people who live in Byberry(yes, it is their home). The group worships a demon that is a devil other than satan and they sacrifice animals to it. This cult does not allow its members to leave, infact they do not want anyone to leave once they entered Byberry although they do very much welcome the curious and anyone else. It is said that if anyone enters Byberry and meets up with the members of this group that they will try and keep you there, even if it means killing you and anyone else that they find in there home. It has been said that if you go for a walk around the grounds, just around the buildings & such you can find the body's of dead animals strewn here & there. Some years ago in some woods that are not far from where Byberry is some kids found like six or seven dead dogs on what appeared to be an alter left their by some satanist cult. And when the police investigated what solid leads they had come up with had lead them to Byberry.
It has also been said that people who are nothing more than curious have gone into Byberry "just to look around" and have made the very grave mistake of walking into the wrong room(s). There are suppost to be certain rooms in Byberry that have a specific type of mechanism built into the wall(s) of the room that when say a certain amount of weight is applied to the floor of the room underneath the floor boards is released a mechanism that will cause the springs, levers (or whatever) in the wall to release a door down upon the threshold of the doorway, thus dooming the very unlucky person(s) in the room. It has been said that this has happened to more than one person and that because the strength of the door is so that the person or person's in the room are left with two choices: starve to death or commit suicide. Its been said that the FBI goes into Byberry anywhere from once a month to maybe once a year to clean out the bodies that pile up. Its also been said that since their are suppost to be senator's, judges, police officials among other's that are in positions of authority in our society that linger within the satanist cult that is within Byberry, I am left with the impression that those FBI agents that go into Byberry are satanists themselves.
Another story that I have come across was that there was a girl who's mother had told her that her own mother (the girl's grandmother) was a patient/inmate or whatever you want to call it and that when the mother was a young girl she had to go and visit her mother in Byberry. Some the other patients were known to be quite violent so as punishment they took away their clothes because this shamed them. Most of the patients would stay in their rooms and would not come out until their clothes were returned to them. Some of the patients had supposedly also been abused. As I understand it beatings for many of the patients were quite common.
The most awkward story for me because it hits so close to home is that my own mother told me that she used to volunteer at Byberry to help with some of the more docile patients. To just sit with them & feed them. Typically the one's that would just sit there & stare off into space and couldn't or wouldn't feed themselves.
It was decided at some point between the mid-1970's to the late 1970's that big governments attempts to mandate and control these institutions was a losing battle and so it was deregulated and left up to the states to control and in the late 1970's Byberry was closed. About 1985 Byberry was used as a haunted house for and represented by the now defunct Eagle 106.1 radio station. I remember going to that haunted house and I had a good time. That haunted house was a good idea but it was short lived. It did not last much past the first year. I had heard that a developer within the last few years had bought the property and was going to do something with it. But because many if not all of the buildings in Byberry are filled with so much asbestos that if they knocked it down the dust cloud would fill many of the surrounding communities. And so nothing was done with it. If you go there today there appears to be a private security company that has control over the place and if you drive around its perimeter you will see unmarked vehicles parked with people keeping a watchful eye for anyone dumb enough to get spotted trying to sneak in or for anyone who thinks that they won't mind if you hike through & between the buildings coming from Carter St. heading for the blvd. or vise versa. Although all of Byberry is not completely useless. From where the main building is north of Byberry Rd literally right across the street to the south of Byberry Rd. are a number of buildings. The one bldg. that is closest to the blvd. is used as a rehab center for prostitutes, junkies and so on. There are atleast ten maybe as many as twenty buildings behind the bldg. closest to blvd. and they all appear to be extremely vandalized and very very abandoned.
Maybe the very weirdest thing about Byberry is the catacombs. There are tunnels connecting to the sewer system that also connect to the sewers underneath the surrounding neighborhoods including the storage sheds that are said to be underneath the NE airport. This it is said is where the majority of the cults spend their time. These tunnels connect to subbasements connected to the basements of the buildings that make up Byberry such as it is today. The sewers themselves were built by whoever it was that was responsible for building the sewers within the last hundred years or so many of which are no longer even used, but many of the connecting tunnels were built by those who have been known to frequent those tunnels aswell as Byberry itself and I am not referring to those that are just curious! There is a story of an individual who is as its been said was a patient at the hospital while it was still a hospital. This man runs around in the tunnels carrying a machete. There are those who have said that they were curious enough to go into the tunnels and look around and unfortunately came across this lunatic. He chases people with his machete raised over his head screaming in a rage and although most people have made it out and away from him some people have died in the tunnels because of him and he still roams the tunnels to this day. If you want my advice "Stay the hell out of those tunnels and stay the hell away from Byberry". All of the people that I know that have gone in to "just look around" have gone in groups typically ten or more. All clumped together with flash lights and a baseball bat or two, so scared that they can barely move,...until they see or hear something that just freaks them out so bad that they become nothing more than a blur. To be honest there's the good kind of curious...Pen Ryn,...Cry Baby Bridge and then there's foolish,... Byberry, Area 51, The Pentagon.