Ultimate Guide to the Most Haunted Insane Asylums in America

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There was a time when those who suffered with a mental illness were not treated well. Over the last one hundred years, the number of abuse reports regarding mentally ill patients is staggering. Years ago, many of the procedures that were used to try to cure these diseases were actually forms of torture, to a slightly lesser degree. For that reason, it should come as no surprise that many American asylums are said to be quite haunted.

Below are some of the most haunted mental institutions in the US, along with a bit of the demented history associated with each.

Danvers Insane Asylum

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This location resembles a castle more than a hospital. Danvers was home to criminals who were mentally ill, include those who had a tendency towards violence. There were many reports of inmates murdering each other, as well as staff members. Danvers would go on to become so understaffed that dead patients could be left to rot for days before being removed. The spirit activity here is reported in the hallways and in the back area, where there is a cemetery.

Rolling Hills Asylum

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Rolling Hills initially started as a farm in 1827. The East Bethany, New York property went on to be used as a home for the poor, struggling, and mentally ill. In the 90s, Rolling Hills began being used for other purposes, such as antique shops. Even so, reports of the sights and sounds of the ghosts of former patients are still coming in to this day.

Willard Asylum for the Chronically Insane

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Most who enter the doors of the Willard Asylum never returned to society. Sadly, many of the patients who died there still remain in the hospital. Willard was constructed in 1869 and was known for many ghastly treatments, including hanging patients by their thumbs when they refused to calm down. Of the more interesting ghosts in this haunted location is that of a female doctor who worked at the hospital before she herself went insane.

Richardson Olmsted Complex

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Constructed in 1870 in New York, the Richardson Olmsted hospital was reportedly often understaffed. This led to many problems, including patients having to sleep in their own excrement. This hospital was used for many experiments, most of which involved essentially pulverizing the brains of patients, causing them to die. These experiments certainly may provide an explanation for the reports of the otherworldly screams that are often heard by visitors.

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital

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Folk singer Woodie Guthrie referred to Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital as “Gravestone” after he spent time there during the 1950s. This was because such a large number of patients died while Guthrie was there. Constructed in 1876, Greystone Park was closed in 2003, amid reports of sexual abuse that was taking place. Ghost hunters and visitors who are brave enough to enter Greystone say that they encounter the shadows of the former patients.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

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Interesting fact about the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – it is the second largest hand-cut stone building in the entire world (the Kremlin is first). This West Virginia asylum was constructed during the Civil War and served as home to some of the more notorious lunatics of our time, including Charles Manson. Ghosts of Civil War soldiers are often seen in this former asylum, as is a ghost by the name of Ruth, who is said to actively be haunting the location, even causing physical harm to some visitors.

Pennhurst Asylum

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Pennhurst Asylum is located in East Vincent, Pennsylvania. Pennhurst opened in 1908 and never really had a clean reputation, being widely known for abusing patients and other scandals. At this hospital, patients were reported to have been chained to walls, while young patients were forced to basically live in their cribs for years on end. Many murders took place, by both patients and staff. The spirits that haunt Pennhurt have been known to scream at visitors, with some warning visitors to get out, presumably while they still can.

Hudson River State Hospital

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Hudson River opened in Fairview, New York, in 1871. Hudson River functioned as both a mental institution and a tuberculosis hospital. Many report hearing ghostly voices in its halls. Perhaps the ghosts are telling visitors of the abuses that took place there many years ago.

While we no longer have these types of institutions in the US, we still have not worked out the best means for caring for those with mental issues. It is quite possible that the psychiatric institutions that are in operation today could very well be the haunted locations that we are telling stories about tomorrow.

 

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Man Captures Incredible Photo of Ghost Walking Through a Graveyard

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Of all the places that one might expect to see a ghost, a graveyard ranks very highly on the list. A graveyard is exactly where one Reddit contributor was when he captured to ghost photo shown here. The photo appears to show the ghostly figure of a man, possibly walking through the graveyard. Upon closer inspection, the face appears to be looking in the direction of the photographer. While this is merely speculation, one thing is for certain – the pale, blueish face certainly does not appear to be the pallor of a living, breathing individual.

Reddit user, Bertnz, is the individual who is credited with taking the photo. He had the following to say about the ghost photo:

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“Hi all Im new to all of this mainly just a lurker. After reading u/such_karma ‘s story of seeing a face that appeared to be a pale blue and had dark holes for eyes it reminded me of this picture that I took 10 years ago on a windy rainy night at a local cemetery. It was with a basic digital camera that id already had for some years in 2006. Im no expert at photo editing so unsure on how to do a zoom in on the face in the picture but everyone id ever shown it to has always agreed that its surely a face. Im interested to see what you guys an girls think. Heres the link Cemetery face. face is on the left in photo.”

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While the photo is clearly not of the best quality, there is no denying that something out of the ordinary is there, and that something does resemble a face. The proportion does seem to be a bit off, with the size of the head being large in relation to the headstones. But then, do ghosts follow the rules of human body size after they’ve departed this life? There are no “rules” to be followed, so there is no one to say that a spirit has to be a specific size. Real ghost photo or photographic error of some kind? Post your opinion below!

Interested in seeing other incredible ghost photos? If so, check out the Ghosts on Film series. Written by Troy Taylor, “the author takes an in-depth look at the controversial and mysterious history of spirit photography, including a look at the mediums and scientists who pioneered the field and the most famous pictures that allege to be ghosts captured on film.” The Best of Ghosts Caught on Film: The Paranormal and Supernatural Caught on Camera series are excellently researched using a variety of sources, including both historical and first-hand accounts, and of course the author’s own thorough paranormal investigations.

 

A Haunted House So Terrifying You’re Required To Sign A Waiver Before Entering

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It should come as no shock to hear that haunted houses can scare you quite a bit. The truth is that they are setup for the sole purpose of having visitors pay to be scared. However, it isn’t every day that you hear about a house that is so scary and so disturbing that guests are made to sign a waiver before they can enter the door! Paxton Manor in Virginia is not only a haunted attraction; it is also an official historic site that is known for it’s ghosts and paranormal activity.

In 1872, the mansion known as Paxton Manor was built in the northeast portion of Leesburg, Virginia and known at the time as Carlheim. It was built by Pennsylvania resident Charles Paxton, after whom the house is now named. The structure is an impressive 20,000 square feet and was included on the National Register of Historic Places by 1979.

In the late 1800s, Paxton Manor was constructed in Leesburg, Virginia. At the time of construction, the manor was known as Carlheim. Charles Paxton, who was originally from Pennsylvania, is he individual that the manor is named after at this time. The home is over 20K square feet and was on listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the late 1970s.

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Paxton Manor now acts as the home of the Margaret Paxton Memorial Learning and Resource Center, which is a non-profit resource for young children. Its secondary use is much more sinister. During October, as well as other times each year, Paxton Manor allows the general public to enter the home to go on ghost tours. The profits generated from the self-guided ghost tours go towards the resource center, so at least that part of the story is much less sinister.

“Shocktober” is one of the favorite events for ghost hunters and lovers of all things horror. However, it is the “My Bloody Valentine” event that requires all guests to sign a waiver before being allowed to enter. During this event, each guest is allowed to remain in the manor for thirty minutes, wandering around the dark hallways, not knowing who or what is watching them. Creepy clowns and demented dolls hide in the darkness, awaiting those who dare enter. The manor features over 30 rooms that can be explored during the tour. although many choose to exit well before making it that far.

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Paxton Manor does allow official ghost hunters and paranormal research teams to visit. These teams can register for overnight access. Guests can also register to stay the night along with professional ghost hunting teams. With the haunted house props and setup scares aside, the home is well-known for being a truly haunted location, and this is one of the reasons why the haunted house events and tours are truly terrifying. The website does make it very clear that visitors must enter completely at their own risk.

If you’re interested in visiting the manor or registering for an overnight stay, click here. Have you been to Paxton Manor? Have any scary stories or ghost stories to share? If so, contact us! We might just share your story and photos on our site!

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