3 April 2013

Five Of The Creepiest Asylums


Buildings formerly used as insane asylums are creepy and disturbing for a number of reasons. Even the best of these institutions were often the site of crude medical procedures and inhumane treatment of the inmates. Add to that the fact that most of these facilities have been abandoned with numerous structures, furnishings and medical instruments left on-site and the result can be a very chilling place to visit. The following are five of the creepiest asylums in the world.

Trans-Alleghany Lunatic Asylum—Weston, West Virginia
Construction began on this facility in 1858 and the first patient was admitted in 1864. The buildings were designed to allow in therapeutic sunlight and fresh air but for most of its years in operation the patients were kept in overcrowded conditions. Patients were subjected to involuntary commitments, lobotomies and other appalling treatments. The asylum was eventually closed in 1994. Reportedly the home of many ghosts, it is now privately owned and offers daytime tours and nighttime ghost hunting expeditions.

Central State Hospital For The Insane—Indianapolis, Indiana
Some portions of this asylum date to the mid-1800s. Like many other historic asylums this hospital was used to house patients with a variety of mental problems ranging from mild depression to homicidal insanity. Several buildings have been demolished since the hospital closed in the mid-1990s, and the site is supposedly haunted by the spirits of a number of patients who died there. Deceased inmates are reportedly buried in unmarked graves scattered around the 100 acre site.

Mid Wales Hospital—Talgarth, Wales
Built between 1903 and 1921 with many later additions Mid Wales Hospital was used to care for shell-shocked soldiers from both World Wars as well as other mentally ill patients. The hospital was closed in 2000 and has since fallen into disrepair. Many rooms are covered in green mold and the once beautiful decorative woodwork is rotting away. Some of the buildings have also been partially demolished, allowing a cutaway look inside. The site’s reputation as a creepy decaying asylum is not helped by its location in the ominously named Black Mountains of Wales.

Norwich State Hospital—Norwich, Connecticut
Norwich State Hospital has the unfortunate distinction of being built upon the ruins of an ancient Native American village. In the decades since it opened in 1904 the site grew from around 100 acres to nearly 1000 acres. The dozens of eerie abandoned buildings are interconnected by even eerier tunnels where it is rumored that patients were beaten or otherwise abused by doctors over the years. Closed since 1996 the site is officially off-limits to the public and may be used for commercial development in the near future.

Whittingham Mental Hospital—Whittingham, England
Housing mentally ill patients as well as people with tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, Whittingham had a population of over 3500 at its peak just after World War 2. The hospital closed in early 1995 and the buildings have since crumbled. Looters, vandals, souvenir hunters and metal thieves have hastened the destruction. In addition to collapsed roofs and passageways, peeling paint and other debris, the site is made still more peculiar by the Christmas decorations left in place when the facility closed.

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License: Creative Commons image source

About Today's Guest Writer:
George Mansfield is a clinical psychologist who works in an institution designed to help those with severe mental illnesses. He enjoys writing about some of the more uncommon afflictions that plague the human mind, as well as historical accounts of facilities, doctors, and ailments. George is also a contributing writer at bestmentalhealthdegrees.com, an excellent resource for people interested in getting the education needed to begin a career in mental health.

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