If you were a patient at Eastern State School & Hospital (located in PA) please get in touch with me via: e-mail (click on view my profile and you'll see the link).I am looking to connect with residents to share stories and to find a few lost friends that are very dear to me.I will be sharing my thoughts and stories about my stay there during the late 80's, I will be posting first names only on this blog as I recall them.If you have anything to constribute e-mail me and I will post it for you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Cottages & Units....

Here's a list of cottages and units at ESSH for those who forgot; when I was there in 88-89 some of the cottages were just used for storage.  After talking to a few people who were there in the later years, some of the cottages/units changed, for instance; when I was there unit 2 & 4 were for boys located in the main building, unit 1 & 3 were for girls, however that might of been different when you were there!

Andalusia, Buckingham, Croyden, Durham, Eddington, Fallsington, Grier, Harrow, Ivyland, Jamison, Keith, and Langhorne..The name New Hope was given to Langhorne in the last few years of operation and housed boys who had more freedoms and liberties and required less supervision. Croyden and Durham were for little boys. Andalusia at one time housed little girls.

The main building had 3 levels, the main level had offices, the second level is where the units 1-4 were located, the 3rd floor was where the forensic unit was located, this was a lockdown!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012


                                                 This brings back so many memories!

I'm back!

It's been a while since I last posted a story!  My father passed away a little while back, Parkinson's & Dimentia, and I spent his last yeah by his side...I didn't forget about the group and I'm eager to get back to posting...I have quite a few emails to catch up on...

Anyway questions thoughts about ESSH you like to share please send them my way to (essh.gibbs@gmail.com)

Any photos you may have and would like to share feel free to forward them so I can post them here...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Therapy at ESSH?

I remember a lot of things about ESSH, faces, good times & bad, the layout of the place, even meeting with the doctors a few times, but I can't for the life of me remember any regular therapy sessions! Once I first arrived, I had meetings what seemed like everyday with somebody, but I think that was more or less to gage my baseline and whether it was safe to take me off my meds! (I came from North Western Institute, and almost everybody was on medicine there) They finally decided to take me off my medicine and I was fine, I remember the doctors and staff asking me over and over through my first month how I felt due to the medication order being cancelled! Anyway, I would think because of the name ie: hospital, that would mean therapy of some sort! What I do remember, is cottage meetings where after school we sat in the living room and went around in a circle to talk about our day or about anything bothering us! (I guess that could be classified as therapy to a degree) I remember being outside playing ball or even at school being told to go back to your cottage for therapy, 99% of the time the session went like this, How's your week going Michael, good, any trouble sleeping or thoughts of suicide, no I'm fine, every once in a while I would go off on a tangent about how I was on restriction and I was right and the staff were wrong and how I didn't do anything (but I did), the shrink would just sit there writing things down and when I stopped he would say something like, well Michael I think you need to work on your people skills, you are very smart and your inability to deal with people is holding you back.....Anyway, these sessions lasted maybe 20m, and some of them were literally, (I feel good doc, can I go back outside to play?).......I can't speak for everybody who went to ESSH or even for the other patients in my cottage, because I know for a fact some of the kids had meetings more often that I did! But, a lot of us had very little if any!

I look forward to any thoughts on the above, and if you don't want to post it thats ok to, just e-mail me if you like...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I haven't posted in a while, not because I don't have anything to say but because I found a small group on FB of past residents! I'm still looking for a few people from back then, but I will be posting on here again! By all means, if you have anything you like to post on here pertaining to ESSH, please e-mail it to me and I will post it for you......

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Move to Fallsington

This is a picture of Fallsington, the cottage I moved to from the Durham Unit. As you can see the grass is over grown and this was after the state shut the school down. Fallsington was for older boys and why I was moved there instead of Croydon (Durham was for younger boys, Croydon was the next step up, then Fallsington) is a story I don't wish to talk about I'm a little embarrased about it but will briefly mention it anyway. First let me refresh the readers memory that I came from North Western (Psych. Hospital) and it was very strict there and safe. My 2 years there even though I hated it, I got use to it. When I arrived at ESSH, Durham cottage was my unit. I soon found out that often times on the weekend some cottages would shut down due to lack of staff. This happen because some kids went on homevisit and the staff ratio was out of wack. (this I think was the cause of my hatred of moving, to this day I hate moving and the staff had a nick name for me, "on the road again") Anyway, my first weekend at Croydon was awful, these kids were loud, pain in the ass, no respect for anybody what so ever. All I can say is the cottage was hell for me, atleast compared to what I was use to! (I will go into detail in future postings) I don't remember how long in I was before I was called into the office, I was told I was being moved to Croydon because I was too young to go to Fallsington. Well this didn't go over well for me to say the least. At first I asked why, and from there I was crying my eyes out, it was the only thing I could do and kept asking why I couldn't move to fallsington. Well this went on for atleast 2hrs, finally they gave in and I was moved to Fallsington where my good friend Joe K. was staying. It's not that I feared for my safety at Croydon, it was the atmosphere, the kids that were there, were just plain bastards.....For 11/12 year old kid I did more than well at Fallsington, I arrived with no problems, Joe showed me around, and I felt at home there.....One of the reasons why I did so well there was because of my maturity level at such a young age.