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Haunted Asylums of America

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At the bottom of this article are links to abandoned asylum locations that offer visiting opportunities so you can investigate for yourself!


Kirkbride Buildings

The dawning of a new era began with Kirkbride Buildings, beautifully adorned buildings offering hope for the hopelessly insane, or horrible dungeons with pretty curtains, you tell me!? In these beautiful mansion-like buildings, people endured shock and hydrotherapy, the most advanced medical help for mental afflictions in the era. If you were really not doing well, you were a candidate for a full frontal lobotomy to simmer you down.

Danvers State Outside & Inside The Grounds! - A Truly Spooky & Historic Site!

Check out the outside grounds, building and insides as they are now at Danvers State Hospital (an abandoned asylum). Only parts of it now stand as some of it burned down and some of it was developed into housing. I would not want to live there! Most of the buildings contain original Victorian architecture in their exterior. There is still a graveyard that won't soon be developed. How would you like to live in the condos and modern apartments that were once a place where lobotomies and hydrotherapy were once performed. Word is around the campfire that a boy roasted to death in the heating duct work, also. He got lost and was eventually found badly decomposed.

Patient's Feelings About Danvers State - Spooky & Locked In!

You get there and you just want to leave, but there in no way out. You can feel the darkness on the grounds and within. Danvers State Hospital was built on a site that used to be a prison and has an extensive tunnel system underneath. The main purpose during Danvers State Asylum's heydey was to transport dead bodies out without patients being really aware of what was going on.

Mental Health

Danvers State Hospital History - Some Background About Danvers State

When did it open? What was its main purpose? What were some "modern medicine" techniques developed during its successful and revolutionary days. If you call a "successful" frontal lobotomy successful for the turn of the century, I guess this was revolutionary for the time! Hydrotherapy and shock therapy were some other so-called "modern" methods to "humanely" treat mental patient for the era when Danvers State Hospital was at its peak.

Danvers State - Notoriously Haunted Insane Asylum


Danvers State is mostly burned down and developed into condos and apartments, but pieces remain in Massachusetts, near the infamous Salem (the home of the witch trials)! Actually, parts of Danvers is where the witch trial happened, in Olde Salem village. Is the place cursed, you tell me. It can be seen from the highway as a creepy eyesore to remind us of what once was! The original hospital was built on Hathorne Hill, which was once owned by the most notorious judge of The Salem Witch Trails, Judge Hathorne. His father's house once stood on that hill.

The tunnel system underneath Danvers State Hospital served to carry out dead bodies as not to disturb the patient population in the event of a death, creepy! Danvers State Hospital is a great example of a historic Kirkbride, and I use this example, because it was just basically torn down and turned into apartment buildings. Some of the original structure remains, but it loses some of its historical "charm" and context due to this action.

Buffalo State - New York Insane Asylum


This infamous Kirkbride building has long since been abandoned! It is now known as Buffalo Psychiatric Center. It was once called New York Asylum for the Insane back when it was appropriate to call it so.

Hudson River Asylum (State Hospital) - Another Beautiful Abandoned Kirkbride Building


Hudson River is another hospital that once was a beautiful Kirkbride building. I always refer to it as Danvers State Hospital's twin. Its almost identical. It began to close its large, hulking buildings in their full capacity in the 70's in a situation similar to Danvers State Hospital and other Kirkbride Plan Hospitals with the advent of community mental healthcare. The hospital is located in Poughkeepsie, New York, very close to Albany (upstate NY). It officially closed its last administration building in 1992. Thanks, Todd :)

Pennhurst School - Disabled Children's School & Extended Care Facility


Pennhurst State School & Hospital

This medical facillity was once known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic. As this charming title suggests, it was once a medical facility in Spring City, Pennsylvania designed for young people (mostly children) with severe mental and/or physical disabilities. It closed on December 9, 1987 some time after it had been exposed for being not such a nice place to live to put it very mildly. Lawsuits were brought in the late 70's after an extensive expose that aired on television exposed horrific abuse at the facility. Some buildings at the location have been torn down, but it largely still appears as it did when it was running.

Eloise Asylum's Ghost Hunting Tour

Oregon State Hospital Cremation Canisters

Oregon State Hospital

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Asylums That Offer Tours

  • OSH Museum
    The Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health, where One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed, offers tours for a small fee, $6 for seniors and students with ID and $7 for general admission. It's in Salem, Oregon.
  • Eloise Haunted Tours Events
    Paranormal investigation opportunities are available at Eloise Psychiatric Hospital in Westland, Michigan with Unknown Paranormal of Detroit as your guide.
  • Walking Tour of the Historic Athens Asylum - Southeast Ohio History Center
    You can buy tickets by calling (740) 592-2280. Tours as of 2019 were held on Sundays every month from 2-4 pm.
  • The Willard Suitcase Exhibit Online
    Due to Willard's current use, as a New York State Department of Corrections facility, Willard is usually off-limits to the public, but opens once a year for a tour. Check out the suitcases left behind in the attic of the facility online!!!
  • Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum -.Weston, West Virginia
    Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was formerly known as the Weston State Hospital. It was built in the mid-1800's. You can tour this nationally recognized landmark. Daily heritage tours are available for both small and large groups.
  • Fergus Falls State Hospital - Fergus Falls, Minnesota
    Tours of the inside of the facility are not available. However, the grounds are public property, and visitors are invited to stroll around the scenic campus. On occasion, a local museum offers outdoor walking tours during the summer.
  • Pennhurst Asylum (Pennhurst State School)
    Pennhurst State School & Hospital closed in 1986, but is a spooky location due to the nasty energy that remains in the air due to all the horrific abuse that took place there. Tours are available around the Halloween season.
  • Asylum 49 (Old Tooele Hospital)
    The Old Tooele Hospital was purchased for tours. Its located in Tooele, Utah. You can call the scare line for more details of visit Asylum 49's websites for events and tour information. Paranormal investigations are welcome if you ask and call ahead!

The Mysterious Brain

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2010 Amy

Guestbook Comments

Amy (author) from New England, USA on February 15, 2013:

@todd-macisaac-1: Thanks for the update, Todd. Hudson River creeps me out, because it looks just like Danvers State. I used to live up there and even looking at those buildings gave me the creeps! Driving up close to the buildings gave me the eeriest feeling! Even if it wasn't haunted, those old turn of the century Kirkbride buildings are terrifying! Kirkbride himself was a cool guy, though! I wrote a lens on him, too!

todd-macisaac-1 on February 03, 2013:

You have the caption for the original or "Main Building" at Hudson River State Hospital incorrectly stating it was abandoned in the 1970's......this is not true...the hospital closed in 1992 and this was the administration to closed in 1992. I worked in the Cheney building on the Admissions Men's unit ward name is Todd MacIsaac in facebook....if you'd like more info on the hospital including the haunting that goes on there please do message me.

Amy (author) from New England, USA on September 20, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed this lens :)

anonymous on September 20, 2012:

good work

Amy (author) from New England, USA on September 13, 2012:

@siobhanryan: I'm glad you enjoyed reading about it. I used to live very close to an abandoned asylum. Its now an apartment complex, I wouldn't want to live there!

siobhanryan on September 13, 2012:

Creepy-we still have similar in Ireland-Blessed

Amy (author) from New England, USA on August 30, 2012:

@Spiderlily321: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Spiderlily321 on August 30, 2012:

Very cool lens. Thanks for sharing this!

Amy (author) from New England, USA on August 08, 2012:

Cool. I wanted to go to school in Connecticut, but I ended up at community college, because I had a little bambino, lol. Of course, he's not so little anymore.

Amy (author) from New England, USA on August 08, 2012:

I grew up in Mass, about 30 miles north of Boston.

Amy (author) from New England, USA on August 08, 2012:

It holds a terrible stigma and I do think part of it is because you can't see it. Mental health care really is in its infancy if you compare it to other types of medical care. Its an interesting subject, huh.

Amy (author) from New England, USA on August 06, 2012:

I have given the Colorado shooter serious thought. I have personal experience in my family with mental illness and they release sick people into society too quickly. Do I think that mental patients should be permanently placed in asylums, no, but I do think a month or two to figure out what is really wrong and to really medicate them properly is important. Maybe it would prevent tragedies like the one that happened in Colorado. Imagine how the government funding mental healthcare for just a couple of months would have prevented such a high number of casualties, medical treatment, and pain and suffering. It astounds me!

Amy (author) from New England, USA on August 06, 2012:

New England is such a scary place and living here all my life has made me get into this scary stuff hardcore, lol. A good "freak out" is fun for me!

Amy (author) from New England, USA on July 30, 2012:

@JenwithMisty: I love creepy, lol!

Jen withFlash on July 29, 2012:

Oooh creepy!!!

Amy (author) from New England, USA on July 10, 2012:

@Oneshotvariety LM: Thanks. Anything old and Victorian creeps me out beyond belief :)

Oneshotvariety LM on July 10, 2012:

Spooky! Abandoned buildings creep me out too! Great lens!

Amy (author) from New England, USA on June 19, 2012:

@anonymous: I don't know what other people find scary, but abandoned buildings of any kind give me the willies :)

anonymous on June 19, 2012:

Very creepy!

Amy (author) from New England, USA on April 03, 2012:

@MillBucks: Me either.

MillBucks on April 01, 2012:

You would never catch me inside an Asylum, too scary!

justholidays on January 16, 2012:

Fantastic lens! Some of those building are splendid. How could simply people think of turning a beautiful architecture into a nightmare for any humain being? That remains a mystery to me.

kimark421 on January 01, 2012:

Great lens. I have always wanted to visit one of these.

gypsyman27 lm on December 19, 2011:

I would guess that since murder and suicide happened at most of these places, that they are on unhallowed ground. So, to answer your question, yes they are cursed. Very entertaining, enjoyed this lens immensely. Happy holiday to you, and a wish that you enjoy a happy holiday season. See you around the galaxy...

DanCooper on December 09, 2011:

very interesting lens. keep up the good work.

Zut Moon on December 08, 2011:

Creepy for sure ...

DuaneJ on December 07, 2011:


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