Closed for nearly 60 years: This real NJ asylum is now a haunted adventure
PASSAIC — There is still plenty of time to get scared this Halloween season in New Jersey.
Brighton Asylum, located at 2 Brighton Ave., in Passaic (on the border of Clifton) is New Jersey’s most visited and scariest haunted house destination for over 10 years now, according to the website.
The asylum opened once again after shutting in 1952. It has been featured on "The Today Show," "Cake Boss" and visited by actor James Franco.
What is the legend of Brighton Asylum?
Brighton’s industrial complex was used for housing mentally unstable and psychologically damaged individuals in the mid-1940s. Many of these patients were violent and often needed to be isolated to protect the staff and other patients.
The most violent patients were housed in the main central building, which was referred to as The Brighton Asylum.
There was a ground service tunnel that allowed staff to travel from outside to any building within the complex. The tunnel also was used for medical deliveries, and to keep the public away from seeing what was going on inside Brighton Asylum.
On the second floor of the asylum were the staff quarters: home to many nurses, doctors, orderlies, technicians, and more. There were rumors of bizarre gatherings, parties, and even experiments taking place in these quarters.
Such horrific acts were reported to have taken place there that the quarters were dubbed “The Bleeding Grounds.”
The state permanently closed the facility in 1952, following years of extremely harsh living conditions, grotesque medical experiments, staff disappearances, and blood-curdling screams heard through the wee hours of the night.
After 59 years, Brighton Asylum reopened in 2011 as a haunted attraction. Since then, thousands of people have been exploring the very hallways and rooms where patients “lost their minds.”
Other unthinkable events that took place between the 1940s and 1952 are waiting to be uncovered.
What will you experience?
Those who dare to see what’s behind the walls of the asylum will experience three award-winning haunted houses, live entertainment, immersive escape rooms, and larger-than-life photo experiences.
Be sure to purchase tickets online. It is the only way to guarantee entry.
For tips on how to survive Brighton Asylum, visit here.
The show starts as soon as you arrive. While you wait to enter, expect to be entertained or spooked by monsters. Feel free to take pictures with them. They love the spotlight.
Guests will enter in max groups of up to 10.
What are some of the latest additions?
New at the asylum this year are The Twitching Hour, The Hack Shack, and Fear Pressure.
The Twitching Hour: This is a paranormal experience. With nothing but flashlights and the latest ghost-hunting equipment, this bone-chilling event takes place after the haunt closes for the evening and lasts two to three hours with an experienced Brighton Asylum paranormal guide.
The Hack Shack: This is New Jersey’s newest and most immersive axe-throwing experience. Axe masters will show you how to throw axes at a wooden target while making it creative and unique.
The Fear Pressure: Experience these escape room challenges where you and your group have only five minutes….that’s it…just five minutes, to escape intense situations where the clock is ticking, and you guessed it, the pressure is on.
Hang on to that special someone! You’re sure to jump out of your skin!
Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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