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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Is the White House Actually Haunted? Check Out these Ghost Stories from Pennsylvania Avenue

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1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the official street address for the White House. The historic home has housed every United States president since the John Adams was in office in 1800. As far as American homes go, few are more historic. What many people don’t know is that few U.S. homes are reported to be more crowded with the souls of the undead. Where are these reports coming from though? And is there any REAL evidence that the famous home is in fact haunted?

Ghosts of First Ladies

According to one legend, Abigail Adams, who was the very first First Lady to reside in the home remains there in spirit to this day. There are reports that Abigail Adams can be seen hanging laundry to dry in the East Room. She is not the only former First Lady that is reported to be haunting the White House. Dolley Madison, wife of president James Madison has also been reported to have been seen in ghost form in the house. Madison, who is credited for designing the Rose Garden while her husband was president, is said to have returned to stop the garden from being removed years later.

Those are just two of the many accounts of hauntings taking place at the White House. The Rose Room, which is commonly referred to as the Queen’s Bedroom, is reported to be the most haunted room in the home. There, the spirits of everyone from Andrew Jackson to Abraham Lincoln are reported to be haunting the room.

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Ghost of Abraham Lincoln

Visitors and residents alike have reported seeing the ghost of Abraham Lincoln walking around the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Both Eleanor Roosevelt and Grace Goodhue reported seeing Lincoln’s ghostly apparition in the Lincoln bedroom. In addition, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands stated that while staying the night at the White House, she heard Abraham Lincoln knocking on her bedroom door. (We’re not exactly sure what it was that made her think the know was his.)

Are the White House Ghost Stories True?

Many believe that hauntings are brought on by deaths that involve trauma and strong emotion. If you’ve read any number of ghost stories, you’ll find that most are linked to unfortunate events. It seems that ghosts do not take up residence just anywhere. They most often choose to haunt locations where they perished or where some type of event took place. The White House no doubt meets the “conditions” for not only one haunting, but many, so while this does not provide evidence, it does provide an optimal scenario for ghosts to appear.

While most of the evidence is circumstantial, there are plenty of White House ghost photos online. With so many tourists passing through the home each year, it stands to reason that some of them would capture paranormal photos if the home is indeed haunted. Interested in reading additional ghost stories from the White House? Read Ghosts of the White House or Who’s Haunting the White House? You may also want to check out this article from the History Channel (History.com) website: Ghosts In the White House.

Ridgeway Chronicles Chapter 2: “Wake Up Mark!”

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THE RIDGEWAY CHRONICLES

As mentioned in Chapter One, the Ridgeway home was rented to my cousin and her husband after my parents moved out. They too would report strange disturbances in the home. While I did not encounter these events first-hand, they are worth repeating, and I feel that I can do it with enough accuracy. After all, we’ve been rehashing these events over and over throughout the years, so I do feel that I can recollected well enough to pass the details along.

There are actually two occurrences that I would like to cover here. The first involves voices in the wall. My cousin’s husband at that time was a congenial guy, one who liked to joke around, but was certainly not known as a prankster or jokester. Knowing his personality, I was surprised when he phoned my cousin one day while she and I were together, claiming to be hearing voices in the walls of the Ridgeway home. He claimed that the voices started off sounding like a conversation between two people, but later sounded like more.

He placed the phone directly to the wall so that we could listen in, and sure enough, we could hear the sound of many voices. The voices did not sound menacing, but instead lively and happy. In truth, it sounded as though a party was taking place within the walls, as crazy as that sounds! I would have sworn that I heard glasses clinking, as though there were a toast taking place. We did, of course, accuse her husband of playing a joke on us. It was the obvious thing to do, but he never did admit to playing a joke and held to his story throughout all the years to come.

The second story that I wish to add to these chronicles involves my cousin. At the time they lived in the home, she was frequently claiming to be feeling a presence. One day, she started telling me of how she was hearing whispering in her ear during the early morning hours while she was still asleep. At the time, she was not able to make out any of the words. She only knew that there was a voice very close to her ear and it was loud enough to cause her to wake up (quite scared, of course).

whispering-in-earOne day, she phone me, frantically recounting the most recent event. As was frequently happening, the whispering in her ear had taken place, but this time the voice was louder and more clear. “Wake up Mark!” She said the sentence was clearly heard and demanding. Obviously, she had no idea who Mark was and verbally announced that to the room. “Who is Mark?” Complete quiet. No response (although I’m not sure she was really hoping there would be one).

In the days that followed, the whispers would die down (no pun intended). It is often said that it takes quite a lot of energy for a ghost to show itself or to make itself known. If this is true, it could have taken a lot for the ghost to tell her to awaken Mark (or Marc?). My cousin and her husband did not live in the Ridgeway home much longer after that. Their reason for moving was not entirely the haunting, but it did factor into their decision to move to a new home within the same town.

 

 

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