Halloween is just around the corner. At SteelTown Paintball. Many people don’t know about the eerie history of our outdoor location. SteelTown Paintball has been operating for years. However, something more sinister used to occupy the grounds many years ago. Dixmont State Hospital to be exact.
A Mental Institution
Dixmont State Hospital treated all types of illness but it became the first asylum in western PA to treat the clinically insane in 1848. This hospital was small compared to other mental institutions. It housed a little over 1,000 patients during its hay day. For many of the patients at Dixmont, it was their home. All the same, the facility ran as such. For instance, Dixmont was self-sustaining. It rendered its own electricity and sewage. Not to mention it had stables, greenhouses, post offices, a train station and so much more.
However, Dixmont was not known for these items. As a matter of fact, the staff at the hospital were renowned in the area. The administration and staff took great effort to treat patients fairly and provide them a relaxing experience. Unfortunately, budget cuts and limited resources would soon put a strain on this ideal.
Dark Times For Patients
Dixmont soon fell victim to overcrowding issues, much like other mental asylums across the country. Subsequently, every available inch of the hospital was filled with beds. At one point, the hospital reached 1,700 close its doors to new patients. This was the beginning of the end. Financial problems started plaguing the asylum. The hospital soon found itself understaffed with outdated facilities.
As time went on, a new owner took over the hospital with a new approach to treating mental illness. In the 1950s, it was believed that mental illness could be treated the same as many physical illnesses. This meant using new medicines and surgical procedures. The intentions of treatment were well mannered but left patients in disarray. Many could not care for themselves as they were subjected to lobotomies and electro-shock therapy. For years Dixmont remained open, functioning on an ever-tightening budget. In 1984, the hospital finally closed its doors.
Abandoned For Years
After it’s closure the building lay abandon for many years. It soon became an attraction to those looking to do some exploring. Many people believed the building to be haunted. Given its history, this made a lot of sense. Many people lived on the property and many more died from inhumane treatment. Many people have posted their own evidence of paranormal activity. While the building was later demolished. These pictures and videos are the only remaining way to see what the hospital really looked like.
SteelTown Paintball Now
Since the building’s demolition, SteelTown Paintball now occupies the ground. Today people run around the fields playing paintball or airsoft. The history of the land might make some uneasy, but its history is not forgotten. The story is a great one tell to get into the Halloween spirit. For those who can’t get enough of the Dixmont story, some of the patients’ graves can still be found on SteelTown Paintball’s property. Players now enjoy themselves getting into the action of the facility, but keep your eye out for any lost spirits still wandering the grounds.