The shuttered Kings Park Psychiatric Center continues to lure trespassers,...

The shuttered Kings Park Psychiatric Center continues to lure trespassers, authorities say, based on stories that its buildings are haunted. Credit: James Carbone

The former Kings Park Psychiatric Center, rumored to be one of Long Island’s most haunted sites, is off-limits to anyone looking for a fright on Halloween weekend.

Officers with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said they will increase patrols with State Police at the former hospital and road blocks at Nissequogue River State Park to prevent trespassing and criminal mischief on the property from Friday through Monday.

The former hospital, which opened in 1885 and has been closed since 1996, has often attracted the curious because of lore that the hospital that once treated 9,000 patients is now haunted by its former residents.

The property was transferred to state parks in 2007 and gained fame on websites telling of creepy destinations. State parks have been conducting extra patrols and security each Halloween for several years and reduced the number of trespassing visitors from as much as 800 down to about a dozen each year, said Long Island State Parks Regional Director George Gorman.

"You have a number of online websites that list it as one of the scariest places on Long Island," Gorman said. "During Halloween, people want to be scared and Kings Park Psychiatric Center is rumored to be haunted with ghosts from decades ago."

But State Parks officials said despite the thrills, the former hospital is extremely dangerous to unfamiliar explorers. In past years, police have had to rescue teens who became locked in the former rooms or lost in the cavernous tunnels underneath the hospital that are unmapped by park officials.

The former hospital includes unstable walls and roofs at risk of collapse, cancerous substances such as asbestos and lead paint, and exposed broken glass and metal. The former asylum is also surrounded by poison ivy and officials said the abandoned buildings could still house dangerous or dead animals.

Park officials and state police plan to continue patrols and monitoring of buildings after Halloween weekend. Only visitors and vehicles with appropriate reason to visit the park and facility will be allowed to enter for the weekend, officials said.

While much of the hospital is fenced off, park officials said they visit local schools to warn students of the dangers of the former hospital.

"It’s not safe. It’s trespassing," Gorman said. "We want to make sure kids realize there are tunnels that aren’t mapped with extensive records and they shouldn’t go into the tunnels."

Several of the buildings have been demolished and park officials are going through planning with community input for the future of the park.

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