Dilapidated mental institutions have this inherent property of generating fear and terror in people’s mind. And when the grisly stories of physical and mental torture once practiced in these institutions blend with tales of tortured spirits screaming at night or sudden appearances of paranormal creatures, even skeptics are terrified. Take a dig of our exclusive list of most haunted asylums in America. The 9,857,306 sq. km of land covered by The United States of America not only offers us the Disneyland and Statue of Liberty but also with 20th century relics of mental hospitals that are believed to be haunted. The gigantic asylums dotting the landscape of United States now just bear stories of abandonment and inhuman abuse that have been passed down through out generations.
If walls could speak, they would have narrated the endless encounters of rapes, murders, sufferings faced by people for years together in this cursed places.Before we take a tour of the top ten haunted asylums of United States let me warn you, this is not for the weak hearted.
Waverly Hill Sanatorium, Louisville, Kentucky
In 1910 Waverly Hill Sanatorium was built as a two-story hospital to accommodate 40-50 tuberculosis patients but kept on expanding till 1924 and turned into the present massive structure. Doctors at this hospital carried out devastating experiments that included insertion of balloons in lungs and removal of ribs. Almost 64,000 patients who were admitted in here died over the years due to inhuman treatments by fellow sufferers, caregivers or doctors. In 1930s, a nurse suffering from tuberculosis found out her illegitimate pregnancy by the owner of the sanatorium and hung herself with a light bulb wire in room no.502. Later, the owner was found dead with beard trimmers filled with blood beside him. A 500ft long tunnel ran from the first floor to the bottom of the hill and was used to remove corpses surreptitiously. The building and the tunnel still remain intact.
Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Institution, Downey, California
Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation hub’s building was established in 1888 and was known as the Los Angeles County Poor Farm. Overtime it was established as a physical, occupational and mental therapy hospital. During World War II the entire wards were filled with iron lungs for the army victims. With increasing numbers of deaths in the hospital, the mental wards and other surrounding buildings were abandoned over the years. During 2006, a team of investigators found amputated limbs, brain tissues and other organs in a freezer in the morgue which heightened the legends and stories surrounding it.
Creedmoor Psychiatric Hospital, Queens, New York
Established in 1912 Creedmoor psychiatric hospital crossed 7,000 inpatients by 1918. The hospital campus covers 300 acres with 50 buildings, 24th building being of greater prominence. Creedmoor is known for its notoriety and violent wards. Some of the city’s worst criminals were sent there to be locked down permanently using heavy medication. In the late 1970s rapes, murders and violence started in Creedmoor hospital. Legend says a patient was found dead from a crushed throat while wearing a straitjacket. The hospital had to close that ward and after ten years building 24 was abandoned. Other than few parts Creedmoor Psychiatric Centre is still functional.
Athens Lunatic Asylum, Athens, Ohio
From 1874 to 1993 Athens Lunatic Asylum or The Ridges served many patients, from Civil war veterans to violent criminals with various mental disabilities. The main building had rooms for 572 patients and was 853ft long and 60ft wide. 1930 patients have been buried in the three cemeteries of the Ridges. It gained its disrepute from the practice of lobotomy conducted by doctors to treat mental patients there. Infamous Dr. Walter Jackson Freeman performed more than 200 Trans-orbital lobotomies in order to cure a series of mental disabilities. His negligence and careless methods caused deaths of most of the patients undergoing lobotomy. In 1979, body of Margaret Schilling was found weeks later, after she went missing, in an abandoned part of the tuberculosis building. Her body left an imprint at that place and it lasts even today. Eventually the hospital was closed in 1993 and the buildings were renovated and included in the campus of Ohio University.
Fairfield Hills State Hospital, Newtown, Connecticut
Fairfield Hills State Hospital operated from 1931-1995 and housed over 4,000 mentally ill patients. The facility has gory history of performing frontal lobotomy, hydrotherapy, patient seclusion, shock therapy and electroconvulsive therapy. In hydrotherapy patients were forced to stay in bath tubs or bathe in ice waters for hours together, at times even for 24 hour, and even weren’t allowed to go out for excretion. Psychosurgery was also performed resulting in death of more than 100 patients. Tunnels connecting the buildings were constructed so as to transport equipment and even corpses during winter or stormy weather. The institution was closed in 1995 and the tunnels which were believed to be were sealed and demolished in 2009 by the state.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, Western Virginia
Build by Richard Andrews the Trans-Allegheny psychiatric hospital was a Kerkrade planned hospital operating from 1864 to 1994. It housed epileptics, alcoholics, drug addicts and other mentally defective patients. Here also the patients had to suffer from lobotomies as the caregivers thought it was the only way to restore sanity. As it became overcrowded with 2400 patients during 1950s, the facilities steadily degraded and inhuman treatments and brutality increased. Many patients hanged themselves, murdered others, tormented each other and were buried in a mass grave in the hospital grounds. Charles Manson, a murder, was the most famous patient in this institution. As violence and rampage increased with time due to lack of proper provisions the government of U.S State had to shut down the hospital in 1994.
Penn Hurst Insane Asylum, Spring City, Pennsylvania
Established in 1908 November, Penn Hurst Insane Asylum was housing not only mental patients but also immigrants and orphans those who had no other accommodation. But soon it was filled with ghastly incidents of sexual abuse, mental torments, physical torture and child abuse. It is reported that children who beat each other had their teeth pulled as a form of punishment in that inhumane institution. In 1987, when the court found out over 3,000 patients were not receiving adequate care the institution was closed down. It is believed that the people who lived there and died there are still there. Ghost hunters and investigation groups have reported appearance of a woman in old style nurse’s uniform, unknown screams uttering ‘I’ll kill you’, ‘Why are you here ?’, ‘Why won’t you go ?’.
Topeka State Hospital, Topeka, Kansas
Founded in 1872 Topeka State Hospital served the mentally ill. But little did it do to serve patients out there. The patients were subjected to rape, abuse and uncovered confinement in leather strap. It is reported once a journalist went there and witnessed a man strapped down for so long that skin had begun to go over his restraints. It also earns its ill-fame from the 54 castrations that took place, most of who were of unknown identities and illness and had no proper paperwork to be committed. In 1st April 1987 Kenneth D. Waddell, a high risk patient, was committed in the adult forensic ward and on 23rd February 1993 he murdered therapist Stephanie Oilrig whose body was later found in one of the bathrooms of the ground building. The cemetery of the hospital covers 2.8 acre plot with 1,157 graves and only 16 headstones. The hospital was closed on 17th May 1997 and most of the historic buildings were demolished in 2010.
Danvers State Hospital, Danvers, Massachusetts
Under the supervision of Nathaniel Bradley the Danvers Lunatic asylum was built in Gothic style and opened in 1878. It could accommodate 600 patients but by 1939, 2,360 patients were stuffed there like livestock. The hospital facilities were deplorable and sometimes patients were found dead days later in some forgotten room. Eventually the practices of confinement, shock therapy, straitjacket and prefrontal lobotomy, ice picking were used to treat the mentally ill, most of which had fatal results. Many ghost hunters claim to have found phantom footsteps and shadows in the hackneyed institution buildings. Jeralyn Levasseur asserts to have seen one time apparition of a scowling old lady when she used to live there as a child. It was closed in 1992 due to lack of proper treatment and staff.
Taunton State Hospital, Taunton, Massachusetts
The last haunted asylum in our list is the Taunton State Hospital in Massachusetts. It was built in 1854 and originally known as State Lunatic Hospital at Taunton. This institution was mainly built to relieve the Worcester facility from its overpopulation. Jane Toppan, a homicidal maniac, was the most notable patient of this asylum. She confessed to have killed 31 patients while working as a nurse. Legend says the authorities of Taunton hospital were more terrifying than some of the patients it housed. Supposedly some doctors and nurses used to take patients to the basement and forced them to perform satanic rituals. Reports of a shadow man exist who would crawl on the walls and silently watch the patients. In 1975 main parts of the building was closed and abandoned and by 2009 most of the historic building was demolished.
Take a dig of these Top 10 spooky places in Illinois that will give you a nightmare.
Whether you believe or not, these bone chilling stories of insanity and apparitions are enough to take away a night’s sleep. And if you see some shadows moving around don’t be frightened, at least better than staying alone, right?