Some of the Most Haunted Insane Asylums on Earth

Some of the most haunted places on earth reside right here in the US. If you have read my other hub,Insane Asylums – Americas Most Notorious Hauntings, then you will already have some insight on the gruesome acts that have taken place in these horrid buildings. Illness, tragedy , and death are only but a few of the freakishly hellish things that occurred in these places. The history itself is enough to make one’s skin crawl but the residual energy it has cast over these buildings have long kept the dead from leaving. These spine tingling stories will have you on the edge of your seat. So step inside these brutally fearsome castles and perverted holy place of despair and visit some of the Scariest Places On Earth.

Looking out from within.
Looking out from within.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

The Trans -Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is probably one of the most haunted places in America. The SYFYs channels Ghost Hunters (2008) and Travel Channels Ghost Adventures (2009) has claimed that the asylum is not for the faint of heart and has rightfully dubbed it One Of The Scariest Places On Earth.

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, also known as the Weston State Hospital, A state run psychiatric hospital, is located in Weston, West Virginia. Finished circa 1864 the 242,000 square foot building was built to house 250 souls whom at the time were considered to have mental delusions and other complications of the mind including Schizophrenia, bi-polar, and dementia. Like so many asylums of its day the number of patients increased dramatically over a short period of time and by 1950 the asylum became home to over 2400 patients including the infamous Charles Manson himself. Cruel and unusual medical treatments were used on patients to cure these matters of the mind. Full frontal lobotomies, shock therapy, water shock treatment, and torture were only a few of the ghastly treatments used within these walls. Every mental institution nightmare you could imagine occurred . Padded cells, restraining devices, solitary confinement, and beatings by brutal warders and vicious inmates were just a few of the dispicable acts that took place.There were documented deaths there that numbered in the thousands, with many buried on site, thus making this one of the most haunted places in America.

The last couple of decades at the hospital were extremely violent. Patient to patient killings and female violations were frequently reported throughout the last few years of operation. There was even a report that a nurse went missing for nearly two months before her body was found dead at the bottom of an unused staircase. It was these horrific events that are said to contribute to the high level of paranormal activity within this massive structure. By 1994 the asylum was deemed un-usable, conditions were likened to that of a German death camp, and closed for good. It was purchased, along with its 300 acres of land, in September 2007.

Death is evident in the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. The paranormal activity that is said to occur within these ominous walls is proof that the dead have yet to leave. With so much turmoil, violence, and death it is no wonder that the asylum is home to a vast amount of paranormal activity. The sounds of squeaking, rolling gurneys can be heard throughout the hallways. Reports of screams and ominous voices yelling warnings and such can be heard throughout the facility. Full body apparitions of patients, a nurse, and even a civil war soldier named Jacob can be seen in certain hallways roaming aimlessly along a path that no ones seems to know. Strange sounds and banging noises only lead to the speculation that the asylum is haunted. Is it or not? Try it out for yourself and be sure to let us know!

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is one of my favorite places. It is one of the only remaining asylums in the country that still stands. Fortunately, you can still see this place in all of it’s heyday glory, even take a ghost hunt tour or two at midnight (The owners are now offering tours 7-days-a-week and haunted tours on Friday nights and overnight stays on Saturdays). You never know just what might pop up……mwhahahahaha.

Essex Mountain Sanatorium

In 1869 in Essex County , New Jersey 325 acres of farmland were purchased on the border of Verona and Cedar Grove to establish the Essex County Asylum for the Insane. The facility, mainly aimed at curing tuberculosis patients, caring for orphaned children, and taking care of the mentally ill was known as the Essex Mountain Sanatorium, or simply the “Hilltop”. According to records the facility instituted practices such a shock therapy treatment, full frontal lobe lobotomies, and physical beatings on over 400,000 patients. The death total numbered somewhere in the thousands. “Poorly clothed and sometimes naked, these legions of lost souls were shown pacing aimlessly on the wards, lying on the filthy cement floors, or sitting head in hand against the pock-marked walls” (Deutsch 1948, 41, 49).

Eventually, in 1943 a cure for tuberculosis was found. This advance in medicine made tuberculosis a treatable disease. By 1946 almost all patients who suffered from this disease were cured and the number of ill patients residing in Essex decreased dramatically. No Longer needed the asylum was eventually abandoned in 1970 . The foreboding buildings that once sat atop the hill were left to fall into ruins for almost 2 decades.

Since then, stories and rumors have circulated about the the strange occurrences that are known to have taken place here. Tales were told of escaped lunatics that roamed the hallways of the derelict buildings and made their homes in the subterranean tunnels that permeated the facility’s foundations. (These tales are not unsubstantiated claims as with many asylums once its doors were closed patients without immediate family were left to fend for themselves. Usually, they became vagrant and would take up residence in the only place they knew, the abandoned asylum.) Although the asylum is patrolled and is trespassing is well, to say the least, FORBIDDEN, ghost hunters and alike have occasionally been granted permission to explore the old buildings. In doing so most of them have had the snot scared out them and its no wonder when tales of screaming voices yelling for them “to get out” or wondering ghostly children who lurk behind every twist and turn on the 3rd story floor wait patiently for the right moment to strike. Some people have reported ghostly apparitions appearing out of nowhere walking the halls, unexplainable strange mists, ghostly footsteps, and a wheelchair that seemingly moves about on its own. As if phantom voices and ghostly mists aren’t enough to tingle every hair on your body the atmosphere itself washes a sense of fear and foreboding over you. With hospital beds, gurneys, and medical equipment strewn about the place, from a time that no longer exists, one can not help but to imagine what lurks behind closed doors.

Courtesy Of
Courtesy Of

Norwich State Hospital For The Mentally Insane

Norwich State Hospital For The Mentally Insane resides in Preston, Connecticut and has a reputation of being a very haunted building. Of course, the dilapidated condition of the facade contributes a lot to the assumption, as does the history associated with it. Built in 1904 the hospital housed patients suffering from mental illness, chemical dependency, tuberculosis and harbored violent patients found guilty of crimes by insanity. “Up until 1971 the Hospital housed and treated the very worst Criminally Insane patients that Connecticut had to offer. The majority of murderers, rapists and violent criminals that successfully copped an Insanity plea found themselves committed to the infamous Salmon Hall, the asylum’s maximum security building. The rogues’ list of patient inmates that passed through its doors is a long one…” ( Source ).The population began in the low 1000s but by 1960 the census had risen to a whooping 3,600 people. Treatment for patients consisted of hydrotherapy, shock treatment, heavy sedation and other less humane acts of violence including but not limited to sexual and physical abuse.

The hospital grounds surround an enormous 900 acres of the Connecticut woods, an area isolated from the outside world, with a large number of brick buildings that appear to be of Gothic-style architecture (most likely Kirk-bride) of which most are connected by a series of underground tunnels.These Underground tunnels stretched back towards the Thames river, connecting almost all the structures with a traversable passage ensuring that travel from building to building was easy. Then in 1996 due to de-institutionalization the Norwich Sate Hospital For the Mentally Insane closed its doors for good. This massive structure is now vacant and owned by the state.

“The first documented tragedy to occur at the asylum was the suicide of a patient. Edward K. Arvine, a lawyer, had voluntarily admitted himself as a sufferer of “melancholia.” In December of 1914, he hanged himself in his room withan improvised rope of torn bedclothes, attached to an iron grating. His death would be but the first of many tragedies at the institution. An explosion of a hot water heater in 1919 killed two employees, teamster Fred Ladd and night attendant Thomas Duggan. Hospital cook Fred Smith, while crossing the road, was struck and killed in 1925, by an automobile driven by Robert Anderson, a supervisor at the nearby tuberculosis sanatorium. Annie Prudenthal, a trained nurse and former patient at the hospital, killed herself with a knife at her home in 1930, after having been discharged from the Norwich Hospital only a few days before”( Source ). ( For more horrific accounts of death at the hands of this beast take some time to visit this site. There are over a hundred accounts of murder and death that occurred at the asylum.)

As far as paranormal activity people have encountered and reported hearing blood curtailing screams both human and in-human, the voices of children, physical movement of artifacts like wheelchairs and gurneys, moaning, footsteps, and a torrid of other ghostly sounds. Human faces appearing out of the shattered windows with in the dilapidated building have also been encountered along with strange lights, shadow figures, and ghostly mists.

Norwich is probably a hot spot for paranormal debate at the present time as Syfy’s Taps team just recently aired their investigation of the asylum last night May 5th 2010. Scare factor topped the charts as the show was ultimately impressing. Although no full body apparitions appeared for their 15 minutes of fame the evidence the crew did capture was nothing less than startlingIf you missed the show you can catch it here !

If you have noticed, I am one of the fortunate ones that are drawn to the mysterious and the macabre and I say fortunate because when you are experiencing these places first hand you are experiencing a genuinely true piece of history that no book, article, or website could ever convey. The paranormal aspect of these adventures are a positive side note. Imagining the history that occurred within those walls are what truly makes your spine tingle, a tingle that even the best paranormal photos or video streams could ever do. Over the years I have accumulated many visits to some very interesting places including graveyards, supposedly haunted houses, asylums and the list goes on. Each place was defined by its own “personality“. Many were cold and barren and freakishly morbid where others had a subtle but off charm to them. Either way, to see the deteriorating paint, the crumbling fixtures, and left behind mementos of a forgotten past those are the things that I will never forget. Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, a heaven and a hell, a great black abyss, or skeptical of any after life, there lies in these massive structures experiences waiting to happen that would surely change your mind.

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