Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is The Asylum In Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark A Real Place?

The 2019 horror film "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" proved to be just as genuinely terrifying as the classic children's books it sought to adapt. The movie sees a group of kids come into possession of a haunted book written by a deceased girl named Sarah. To their horror, the group discovers that new "scary stories" mysteriously appear in the book and then take place in the real world, with a number of the kids being targeted by nightmarish monsters. The movie has no shortage of scary set-pieces and sequences, though there is one especially disturbing scene that stood out to audiences.

At one point, the group visits an abandoned insane asylum where Sarah was once held to learn more about her. One of the kids, Chuck, is isolated from the group and is soon confronted by a terrifying humanoid creature called the Pale Lady, who slowly creeps down the halls of the asylum toward him until he finds himself trapped. The Pale Lady then absorbs Chuck into her own body, leaving his ultimate fate ambiguous, at least for the time being.

It's one of the highest-tension scenes in the movie, bolstered by the ominous atmosphere of the hospital with its flickering red lights and long, empty hallways. But fans may be wondering whether the hospital where they shot this sequence has any similar sort of reputation in real life. As it turns out, there is much more to this particular location than meets the eye.

The asylum in the movie may be haunted in real life, too

The abandoned asylum from "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" is, in fact, a real place that used to be known as the Pennhurst State School and Hospital. The asylum was in operation between the years 1908 and 1987, during which it housed and cared for a large number of physically and mentally impaired patients. Unfortunately, cases of patient abuse by the supposed care providers rose drastically over time until the asylum was ordered to be closed for its terrible conditions.

It didn't take too long after that point for Pennhurst to build up a different sort of scary reputation, with some claiming the hospital was haunted, presumably by the patients who suffered at the hands of their abusers. Indeed, the site was soon rebranded as the Pennhurst Asylum and marketed as a haunted house tour attraction. Intrigued tourists can still visit Pennhurst for historical tours during the day and paranormal investigation tours throughout the night.

Fans can now rest assured during their next re-watch of "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" that the haunted asylum in the movie is just as creepy and sinister in the real world. They can even plan a visit to Pennhurst themselves, though such a venture is probably not for the faint-hearted. After all, visitors risk having their very own face-to-face with a ghost somewhere inside that complex of long, dark hallways.