There is something incredibly creepy about insane asylums. Perhaps it's because throughout history, each asylum has housed a large number of “unbalanced” people all under one roof. All sorts of odd experimenting often took place to attempt to “right” the “wrong” in people.As society has evolved and become more familiar with mental disorders, insane asylums have developed into the more humane psychiatric hospitals that specialize in the treatment of serious mental disorders. During this process, many of the original insane asylums have been shut down and abandoned. Many now are rumored to be haunted.
Here’s a list of abandoned insane asylums that creep us out.
Hellingly AsylumLocation: English County of East Sussex
History: Hellingly Hospital was the second hospital built in the county as a way to counteract overpopulation in another local asylum. It opened in 1903 and was one of the most advanced asylum designs ever constructed. Along with the typical patients, Hellingly was also once the home to women who had been incarcerated for having children out of wedlock.
Closed: 1994. The land is eventually supposed to be used for new housing in case you’re looking to settle down and start a family in an area that was once inhabited by tons of insane people.
Haunted? Nothing has been reported, but a number of graffiti artists have taken to the halls and left disturbing images that, from far away, look incredibly ghost-like.
High Royds Asylum
Location: West Yorkshire, EnglandHistory: High Royds officially opened its door in 1888. The large estate included your typical patient wards, but also had everything from a library to a bakery to a cobbler’s workshop. It also boasted an impressive 130-foot-tall clock tower.
Closed: 2003. Due to not properly keeping up with contemporary psychiatric practices, the doors of High Royds had to be shut down. Since then, the building has made some television and film appearances and is currently being developed into a new village.
Haunted? A good number of people who have been on the grounds have claimed they have felt an eerie presence that could probably be attributed to the previous tenants of the land.
Topeka State HospitalLocation: Topeka, Kan.
History: Topeka State Hospital opened its doors in 1872. Many stories from shortly after the hospital opened tell of an incredible amount of patient abuse taking place. There were rumors of rape and even reports that some patients had been confined in straps for so long that their skin was growing around the straps.
Closed: Due to the mental-health movement, which veered away from the “hospital” setting, Topeka State Hospital was closed in 1997. There is a cemetery on the grounds that houses around 1,157 individuals.
Haunted? A lot of people have reported seeing ghosts in the windows of the buildings on the grounds. There have been a few who have mentioned seeing a “shadow man,” and rumor has it you can hear music coming from inside the Center Building at certain times of night.
Taunton State HospitalLocation: Taunton, Mass.
History: Built in 1851, Taunton State Hospital was also one of the institutions built to deal with overcrowding. The hospital served as a home to a number of notorious patients including serial killer Jane Topan, and Lizzie Borden, who was tried for killing her father and stepmother with an axe. There are rumors that cult activity took place within the hospital walls, including patients forced to perform satanic rituals.
Closed: The hospital was no longer necessary when it was closed down in 1975. A massive fire broke out within the remains of the hospital in 2006, leaving much of the building leveled and decaying.
Haunted? No visitors are currently allowed, but before that was the case, people mentioned seeing unexplained marking on the walls, lights that turn on and off, and a shadowy man who crawled up and down the walls.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic AsylumLocation: Weston, W.V.
History: Within 15 years of its 1864 opening, Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was home to 717 patients. The institution’s patients included alcoholics, drug addicts and “mental defectives,” and it was often ridiculed for its poor sanitation and living conditions.
Closed: 1994. The grounds are still used occasionally for local events like fairs and tours.
Haunted? Very much so. Or at least that’s what the owners will have you believe since they offer paranormal tours six days a week. Multiple paranormal investigations have taken place at the asylum and it has even been featured on popular paranormal reality shows like "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Adventurers."
Norwich State HospitalLocation: Preston, Conn.
History: Opened as Norwich State Hospital for the Insane and expanded from one building on the property to 30 buildings. At its peak, the hospital was home to almost 3,200 patients. The many buildings were connected by underground passageways that were rumored to have been used to secretly torture patients.
Haunted? You bet. Just like Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Norwich State Hospital also served as a location for an episode of "Ghost Hunters." Common paranormal reports include apparitions of children and former patients, mumbling, moaning, whispers, phantom footsteps, screams and faces seen in windows and doors.
Danvers State Lunatic AsylumLocation: Danvers, Mass.
History: Built in 1874 and officially opened in 1878, Danvers State Lunatic Asylum was an incredibly massive, castle-like structure that was built for around $1.5 million. It is probably best known for being the first such facility to experiment with the pre-frontal lobotomy. Between 1940 and 1950, the asylum housed over 2,600 mentally ill patients even though it was designed to fit only around 600 total.
Closed: 1992. The abandoned, rotting and decaying building was featured in a few films such as 2001’s "Session 9," and is even rumored to be the inspiration for Arkham Asylum from the world of Batman.
Haunted? Incredibly. Reports of paranormal activity include flickering lights, full body apparitions and doors opening and closing on their own.
Pennhurst State School and HospitalLocation: Spring City, Pa.
History: Also known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic, Pennhurst State School and Hospital officially opened in 1908. Within four years of its opening, the institution was suffering from overpopulation. Inmates were sorted into one of three classifications: mentally unhealthy, physically unhealthy or dentally unhealthy. Reasons that children were admitted included children who were mute, paralytic, blind, had imperfect prehension, had deformities of the face, head, limbs or feet, and had offensive habits.
Closed: 1986, due to serious allegations of staff members abusing patients, including reports that patients had been raped, physically assaulted, thrown across the room, slapped with belts and forced to take psychotropic drugs.
Haunted? Very much so. The reports of paranormal activity include doors slamming on their own, screaming, banging on the walls, dragging sounds, items moving on their own, whispers, footsteps and numerous apparitions peering around corners.
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Athens Lunatic AsylumLocation: Athens, Ohio
History: The doors of the Athens Lunatic Asylum officially opened in 1874. The main building had enough space to house up to 572 patients. However, the instution expanded over time to more than 1,000 acres. It included 78 buildings and was home to around 1,800 patients. It was one of the many insane asylums known for using the lobotomy as a solution for mentally disabled individuals. Along with the lobotomies, employee records reveal an obscene amount of hydrotherapy and electroshock.
Haunted? Absolutely, due mostly to an incident in 1978, in which the naked, lifeless body of a female patient was found locked in an unheated room. Her body left a stain that has been impossible to scrub away despite numerous attempts to clean it. It has been reported that the spirit of the woman can be seen peering from the window of the room in which she spent her final moments. Other reports include hearing disembodied female voices, seeing lights flickering, seeing shadow people and hearing the sound of squeaking gurneys.