This weekend my family and I went to a haunted building for my little sister’s birthday. Everyone in my family loves watching programs on TV about paranormal activity and also about history so we were all excited to go on this eight hour drive. The building we traveled to was named Hill View Manor and it was located in New Castle, Pennsylvania. The facility first opened its doors in 1926 under a different name. It was first named “The Lawrence County of the Aged” and it was a poor farm. The poor farm housed the mentally ill, severely destitute, and elderly residents that had no family to look after them. The thing I found strange was that the people living in the poor farm were called “inmates” and were treated like prisoners even though the inmates joined the poor farm to help them make money and to make a better living.
Most of the inmates were men and they out numbered women to ten to one. A lot of the men were very harsh to the women inmates so the management at the time made the women their own cafeteria and their activity center.
The poor house even had their own Embalming Room but they did not embalm their dead properly. They would warp the corpses in a plastic bag and they would stack three bodies on top of each other in one grave. The didn’t even bury them well enough because one day in the 1940’s two men were walking in the poor house cemetery and they found a leg and a arm sticking out of the ground. Lawrence County finally made the poor farm take care for the dead properly and after that incident they kept and close eye on the facility.
Researchers found many death certificates of the inmates down in the building’s basement and found out that most of the deaths were caused from a smashed skull. Our tour guide believed that the inmates were tested on but nobody is for sure why.
During the 1970’s the building slowly started to become a skilled nursing center after the building changed managements. This new management added new sections to the building including a three-story addition and a basement floor. In 1977 they changed the name “Lawrence County Home of the Aged” to “Hill View Manor” which they kept the name until the building closed in 2004 because of financial issues.