Bayley Seton Hospital – Staten Island, NY

Bayley Seton Hospital – Staten Island, NY

On October 1, 1831, Staten Island’s first hospital, the Seaman’s Retreat, was opened here by the Marine Hospital Service, to serve retired naval and commercial sailors.[2] Three of these original colonnaded structures remain,[as of?] dating from the 1830s and 1840s. The Marine Hospital Service provided medical treatment to naval personnel.

On May 6, 1857, the neighboring New York Marine Hospital (also the “Quarantine”) in Tompkinsville, about 1 mile (1.6 km) north along the shore, was attacked by a local mob, fearful of the mostly immigrant detainees. The next year, on September 1, 1858, a mob again attacked the hospital, burning it down in what became known as the Staten Island Quarantine War.[3][4]

A new quarantine center was created on Swinburne Island (a fill off the South Shore of Staten Island, about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of Fort Wadsworth). In 1874, some of these resources were transferred to the Marine Hospital Service buildings at what is now the Bayley Seton campus. The Seaman’s Retreat was also housed there; when it moved around three miles (5 km) northwest in 1883, it became Sailors’ Snug Harbor. At that point, the entire complex was operated by the U.S. Marine Hospital Service.[5]

National Institutes of Health

With this move came a greater need for the study of disease. In 1887, 28-year-old officer Dr. Joseph J. Kinyoun established a single-room Laboratory of Hygiene for Bacteriological Investigation on the top floor of the Marine Hospital, where it remained until 1891. The building still stands and is part of Bayley Seton Hospital.[6] In 1902, the United States Congress passed legislation to fund the laboratory and move it to Washington where, as a result of the 1930 Ransdell Act, it became the National Institutes of Health.

Later history

In the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt began a campaign to construct and maintain U.S. Public Health Service Hospitals, to serve the military, veterans, and the general public. As part of this process, the current main building of Bayley Seton was constructed. The Staten Island Public Health Service Hospital was built as a five- to seven-story hospital, in a Mayan revival style. Until 1981, it operated inpatient and outpatient services, emergency, surgery, and rehabilitation wards.[7] Military installations at Fort WadsworthFort Hamilton (just across the narrows in Brooklyn), the Staten Island HomeportMiller Field Air Station, as well as air, naval and Coast Guard installations built during the Second World War assured a large military and veteran population for the hospital.

In 1980, President Ronald Reagan announced plans to close or sell all such hospitals, and despite local protest, Staten Island Public Health Service Hospital was sold to the Sisters of Charity of New York, a Catholic medical and social services system.

Bayley Seton

The Sisters of Charity renamed the hospital Bayley Seton, after their order’s founder, New York’s Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. The renamed hospital expanded its campus buildings to include the Saint Elizabeth Ann outpatient clinics, and turned over part of the campus to the New York Foundling Hospital.

In the 1990s Amethyst House, a women’s Drug Abuse Treatment center was opened,[8] as well as an Alcoholism Acute Care Unit on the 3rd floor, a St. Vincent’s Nursing School on the fifth floor,[9] social service agencies in other buildings, including the Richmond Center for Rehab & Specialty Care Center, hospital inpatient drug rehab treatment services, services for co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders, a comprehensive psychiatric emergency program), and the center for a mental health client dispersed housing and in-community employment program.

Saint Vincent’s

In 2000, Sisters of Charity turned over Bayley Seton (along with their main Staten Island hospital) to Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, which already included the Sisters’ Manhattan and Westchester County hospitals, to create Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers New York.[10] Facing financial difficulties almost immediately, Bayley saw around half its services closed, including its emergency room, pharmacy, surgery, and most medical clinics.[11]

After filing for bankruptcy in 2003, Saint Vincent’s spun off or closed almost half its sites, including selling another hospital on Bard Avenue to Bayonne Medical Center, becoming Richmond University Medical Center in 2007. Most psychiatric and addiction services were retained, as were outpatient clinics for geriatrics, patients with HIV infection, military and family health services,[12] and mother and baby care.

At the beginning of 2008, Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers and Richmond University Medical Center negotiated a deal to share Bayley Seton. As of 2007, there were an estimated 1,500 patients who used the Bayley Seton facilities regularly,[13] and as of 2004, the hospital employed approximately 550 staff, just more than half the 990 employed in 2000.[14]

Six smaller buildings were closed, staff consolidated, and a deal was struck whereby at the end of 2008, the Salvation Army would purchase the Bayley campus, demolish the main hospital, and build a recreation center.[citation needed] There was public, political, and press outcry at this plan, especially because Richmond University Medical Center announced it was going to end most operations at Bayley Seton and scale back operations at its main campus.[15]

From 2014 to 2019, the TV series Gotham used the hospital as a setting for interior and exterior scenes set in Arkham Asylum.[16] The Amazon series Hunters also used the campus for filming. Many films have shot on the campus including “The Adjustment Bureau”, “Salt”, “Terrifier 2” and the locally shot comedy “Abnormal Attraction” starring Malcolm McDowell, Bruce Davison, Gilbert Gottfried, and Leslie Easterbrook. [17]

As of 2020, the main hospital building was still in operation at reduced capacity. The Salvation Army had purchased a seven-acre portion of the campus, and intended to redevelop the site into senior housing or a community center, but had yet to raise the funds to do so. Buildings on that portion of the campus were demolished in 2018.[18][19]

To book a night

This is not an option. They aren’t letting people in there. Most videos out now are of people breaking in. This is not advised. Paranormal Reality TV was recently there to investigate, as they have an inside connection.

  • 5 / 5
  • 5 / 5
  • 3 / 5

Based on 2 ratings

Reviewed by 2 users

    • September 9, 2023 6:04 pm

    Baley Seton was a massive undertaking. Plenty of great photos, and just an awesome exploration experience.

    While this location is supposed to be one of the most haunted locations on Staten Island, I felt it was not as active as the hype suggested. But still an amazing experience.


    • Massive location
    • Hidden areas
    • Free reign
    • September 2, 2023 4:02 pm

    Had the opportunity to investigate Bayley Seton Hospital as a guest on Paranormal Reality TV along with some great friend investigators. The investigation did not disappoint. During the 2 nights of investigation we experienced intelligent responses during Q&A sessions on multiple devices, in different areas of the building. We captured unexplainable audio anomalies. Saw my 1st shadow figure on the children’s floor. The building is massive with many floors and rooms that we didn’t get a chance to investigate. Would love the chance to be able to revisit in the future to see if we get similar results. As you can see from reading the overview of the Hospital, it has a long history. Could this possibly explain some of the experiences? Personally, I feel it was a combination of residual and intelligent energies…

    • August 28, 2023 2:54 pm


    This is a great location to investigate, my wife and I stayed overnight. First off Jay is a great host very informative and checked in on us to make sure we didn’t have any problems. We had multiple Rem pods go off upstairs and down. We had questions answered using the Rem Pods, we also had cat balls going off thru out the night. We caught EVPs and also had flashlight interactions. We will definitely be back to investigate it again. Make sure you bring plenty of battery, because you will go thru them fast.

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