Top 10 HORRIFYING Mental ASYLUMS in the United States

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Top 10 HORRIFYING Mental ASYLUMS 10. Topeka State Hospital Where : Topeka, Kansas
Years of Operation: 1872 to 1997 It’s hard to come to grips with the medical
justification for castration, but somehow the practitioners at Topeka State Hospital
found the practice suitable. After Kansas law saw it fit to administer
castrations for “habitual criminals, idiots, epileptics, imbeciles, and insane” in 1931,
Topeka State Hospital went on to perform 54 castrations. If castrations were not enough to frighten
you, accounts detail stories of a patient who had been strapped down so long that his
skin began to grow over the straps. In addition, patients were victims of rape
and other forms of abuse. What makes the abuse of patients at this hospital
so disconcerting is that it was later revealed that many of the identities and illnesses
of the patients were unknown, with the hospital lacking the proper paperwork for them to be
committed. Somehow, the Topeka State Hospital remained
open until 1997. 9. Waverly Hills Sanatorium Where: Louisville, Kentucky
Years of Operation: 1910 to 1961 The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is another case
that demonstrates man’s willingness to experiment on his fellowman with little regard or concern
for his well-being. While not exactly deemed a mental asylum,
the Kentucky hospital housed tuberculosis patients during an era of medical uncertainty
on the subject. Without a prevailing paradigm for medical
treatment of tuberculosis, doctors resorted to barbaric methods. Cases of doctors’ removing ribs and muscles,
and even having inserted balloons into the lungs to help them expand more are well-documented. The death rate at Waverly Hills Sanatorium
has come under fire with independent researchers and medical personnel at the sanatorium claiming
different figures. According to Assistant Medical Director Dr.
J. Frank W. Stewart, the highest number of deaths in a single year at Waverly Hills was
152. Independent researchers have argued that number
is closer to 162, and have extrapolated that over 50 years Waverly Hills Sanatorium was
open, approximately 8,212 died in their care. 8. Overbrook Insane Asylum Where: Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Years of Operation: 1896 to 1975 Operations began in 1896, with Essex County
officials designating 325 acres of land as the new location of the County Asylum for
the mentally ill. Specifically chosen for its scenic view, officials
believed its remote location and high altitude location would provide a healthy, peaceful
setting for patients to rehabilitate in. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Soon after opening, the patient-to-staff ratio
became unbalanced, leaving too many patients in need of care that they weren’t getting
from an overworked staff. The results were frightening. Conditions were so bad that 24 patients froze
to death in their own beds in the early 20th century while more than 150 patients went
missing and were never found. Despite all of this, Overbrook remained open
for nearly a century, eventually closing in the 1970s. 7. Willowbrook State School Where: Staten Island, New York
Years of Operation: 1947 to 1987 One of the most important cases on our list
is the Willowbrook State School – a state sponsored institution for children who were
intellectually disabled that became the catalyst for reform of mental health institutions. Things were so bad at Willowbrook that during
the 1960s, Robert Kennedy referred to it as “zoo-like” and a “snake-pit.” Initially designed for 4,000 children, by
1965 Willowbrook contained a population of 6,000 people. First-hand accounts claimed that patients
were left to wander around the facility covered in their own urine and feces. However, what’s more troubling is the experiments
that the doctors carried out on the very children they were supposed to care for. Struggling to find answers about the outbreak
of Hepatitis, medical researcher Saul Krugman “used the children of Willowbrook to answer
those questions. One of his studies involved feeding live hepatitis
virus to sixty healthy children,” according to researcher and author Paul Offit. “Krugman watched as their skin and eyes
turned yellow and their livers got bigger. He watched them vomit and refuse to eat. All the children fed hepatitis virus became
ill, some severely. Krugman reasoned that it was justifiable to
inoculate retarded children at Willowbrook with hepatitis virus because most of them
would get hepatitis anyway. But by purposefully giving the children hepatitis,
Krugman increased that chance to 100 percent.” The great horrors of Willowbrook led to the
passage of a federal law — the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980 6. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Where: Weston, West Virginia
Years of Operation: 1864 to 1994 An amalgamation of many of our other cases,
the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum had it all. Built to house only 250 patients, by 1949,
the hospital had over 2,400 people in its care. A 1938 report by a survey committee organized
by a group of North American medical organizations found that the hospital housed “epileptics,
alcoholics, drug addicts and non-educable mental defectives” among its population. Those that they were not able to control were
locked in cages with others even being lobotomized with rudimentary instruments such as ice picks. All in all, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum’s
horrible treatment of patients undoubtedly contributed to the tens of thousands of lives
the asylum claimed during its surprisingly long years of operation. 5. Byberry Mental Hospital
Where: Byberry, Pennsylvania Years of Operation: 1907 to 1987 Civil disobedience seems to have gotten a
bad reputation in our current political climate, but it’s certainly effective. When Charlie Lord, a conscientious objector,
was assigned to duty at the hospital, he took 36 black-and-white photographs which was enough
to shut down Byberry Mental Hospital. The photos led to mass outrage with even First
Lady Eleanor Rossevelt pledging her support to combat the issue. Other reformers compared the conditions to
“nazi concentration camps,” and described the overcrowded conditions where patients
were sleeping in their own feces and urine. Multiple first-hand accounts describe the
overwhelming filth of the facility and the patients’ ability to roam the facility naked. Lord’s images of the inhumane conditions
were published in a 1946 issue of Life magazine, and sparked widespread reforms of mental health
facilities. With public pressure growing, the facility
was force to downsize and eventually close its doors. 4. Bloomingdale Insane Asylum Where: Morningside Heights, New York City
Years of Operation: 1821 to 1880 Established in 1821, the Bloomingdale Insane
Asylum was formed with the intention of morally rehabilitated mentally ill patients. However, the hospital’s practices strayed
greatly from its “moral” principles. Journalist Julius Chambers managed to expose
its revolting practices in 1872 by taking extraordinary measures. With the help of a senior editor of the New
York Tribune, Chambers managed to have himself committed to the Asylum for ten days. After exiting the institution, “he published
a story detailing the inhuman practices at the asylum, including patients who were kicked
and choked until they bled, and, in some cases, “driven to suicide by systematic cruelties.” As a result of his muckraking, the Bloomindagle’s
Insane Asylum was forced to release twelve patients at the facility who were not mentally
ill. In addition, Chambers’ subsequent book,
A Mad World and Its People, led to reform for the rights of the mentally ill. 3. Pilgrim Psychiatric Center Where: Brentwood, New York
Years of Operation: 1941 to Present In the case of Pilgrim Psychiatric Center,
the gross misconduct of a single patient is more telling than the rampant abuse of its
populace. In the 1940s, Belulah Jones was taken to Pilgrim
Psychiatric Center, at the time the largest hospital/asylum in the world. Belulah was admitted by her husband after
her pregnancy with her last child, resulted in psychosis. Familly members state that her husband consented
to the leukotomy only because doctors said it would work and was the only alternative. There, Beulah Jones had 15 rounds of electroshock
over 10 weeks, despite her delusions continuing. Later, a lobotomy was performed where doctors
drilled holes into her brain and swiped at the frontal lobes. Belulah Jones’s story led Christine Johnson,
her grand-daughter, to pour over her file and demand answers on the use of the medieval
practices and why a Nobel peace prize would be awarded to a man that legitimized lobotomy
and made it into a public practice, Dr. Egais Moniz. After spending decades in the facility, in
1972, Belulah Jones was released. Somehow Pilgrim Psychiatric center is still
open today. 2. Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital Where: Morris Plains, New Jersey
Years of Operation: 1876 to present Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital does not
differ greatly from many of the other wards on this list. It was guilty of overpopulation – squeezing
2,412 patients in a space meant to hold no more than 1,600. Additionally, Greystone administered Insulin
shock therapy, electroconvulsive therapy on veterans suffering from PTSD. However, what makes Greystone unique is the
fact that it housed one of the legends of folk music, Woody Guthrie. Guthrie had a stint at Greystone from 1956
to 1961; he was suffering from Huntington’s disease, a hereditary, degenerative nervous
disorder which would eventual prove terminal. During his stay there, Woody referred to Greystone
as “Gravestone.” Guthrie wrote hundreds of letters from “Wardy
Forty”, the nickname of his hospital wing, which goes to show that patients who are diagnosed
with mental illness still need the human contact and interaction that we all do. 1. Pennhurst Insane Asylum Where: Spring City, Pennsylvania
Years of Operation: 1908 to 1987 While abuse to any patient is reprehensible,
Pennhurst Insane Asylum’s treatment of children puts it in a league of its own. Built to educate and care for the mentally
disabled, Pennhurst soon came to be identified for just the opposite. As a result of investigative reporter Bill
Baldini, in 1968, the public learned of the horrible conditions in the asylum. The news report, titled “Suffer the Little
Children, showed neglected children’s screams filling the air, large scale physical and
sexual abuse and a general lack of empathy towards patients. The report also revealed that children who
bit one another got a warning, with a second warning leading to a child’s teeth being
pulled out. After a second report by former resident Terry
Lee Halderman, the courts found that over 3,000 of the institution’s patients were
not receiving adequate care, and the institution was closed.


  1. I worked in a psychiatric hospital in New York. The horrors you read or watch were true. It can get out of hand quickly. Please do not put all the blame on staff. Imagine working 8 hours and your supposed to be in charge of 3-4 patients. Not hard to do, but now imagine your in charge of taking care of 30 patients. Back then if you said anything or told this to anyone. You found yourself with charges against you and you’d be another welfare strain on society.

  2. I'm from ks and that state hospital is also not to mention haunted like a mf but I would like to castrate the male staff and strap them to the beds and watch the skin grow over the straps tbh just so they know how the patients felt

  3. What's disturbing to me is that nowadays, many people have diagnosed mental disorders, like anxiety, depression, etc. and we are more open about it nowadays than back then. Imagine if everyone with a diagnosed mental disorder was forced to live in these conditions: many of them are completely sane, anyway.

  4. The old Central State Insane Asylum here in Nashville, TN was horrible, but i don't know how you can get pictures of it at this point. It's been torn down. The new Central State is now called Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute…They are on the news all the time for mistreating patients. I was a patient there back in 2014 and I saw them abuse someone…

  5. While (of course) not defending electroshock therapy at one time it was considered state of the art. So using it would not necessarily mean that the institution was abusive or even subpar.

  6. I’m surprised Chicago read Tinley Park mental center and Lincoln Park mental center or not on this list because those were very bad especially Tinley park they found The place cause cancer that’s why they were shut down

  7. Yes like people have no Clue of the things that they post and fabricate things about pine breeze in Chattanooga TN until they actually lived in the evil of that place..I quote don't talk about it unless u know what it's about

  8. You do realize that these have been closed and the one in Maine was closed. They will closed with no plan as to where the patients would go so they would dumped onto the street and some of them are still trying to find homes and or group homes subsidized housing and it was a bad idea to close them the way that they did.

  9. Belchertown state school in Belchertown Massachusetts was really bad. Look it up on Google. Or search for my friend "Richard Dresser."

  10. There are those who would benefit from these institutions, such as the dotard Trump, Mitch McConnell, Jimmy Jordan, and Stephen Miller, to name just a few from the Republican Fascist Party, aka, "The Fourth Reich." 👌

  11. The Columbia University campus was built on the grounds of the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum. One of its buildings survives to this day.

  12. After Waverly Hills closed,it was made into Woodhaven Geriatric hospital. I think my grandpa went there in 1973. And it was such a sad place! The patients were sadly neglected. And in 1974 (? ) he passed away, in the infamous room 502. Pretty wild isn't it!

  13. The castrations where a part of the American eugenics program. I forget the name of the judge but, I’m sure he was a Supreme Court judge. The quote is something along the lines “that surely one generation of idiots is enough.” Hell, West Virginia had a law that you had to castrate “morons” or people with a mental or genetic handicap until like five years ago.

  14. Oh man….you forgot Central State Hospital and Valle Vista Hospital in Indianapolis IN and Greenwood IN , respectively

  15. The thing about United States is that they close down all the asylum and feel all the jails up with mentally ill people!! WTF?

  16. Graystone is way creepier than what is shown there's tunnels that they used to go from one building to the next and bars on all the windows

  17. As I watched this video I kept thinking how nothing has changed since this country was founded. The mentally ill are still thrown out on the the street to suffer and go hungry. Treatment of the mentally ill is a barometer of the nations progress and it's ability to care for it's people. In the U.S. we have failed miserably and continue to do so with no major improvements anytime soon.

  18. I wonder how many people confuse the subject matter of a video with their opinion of it's content when they hit the (Thumbs Up/Down) ?

  19. Just want to add don’t go to St Dominic’s in Jackson. They wrote down things that weren’t true that they claimed I’d said. The dr increased my lamictal from 75 mg to 300 mg in 5 days! I was even told by a nurse, “Nobody is gona come get you” (insinuating nobody cared). & gave me the # to Salvation Army. I was called a liar to my face by a nurse—- I could go on & on. Just want people to beware. This place almost MADE me suicidal. I definitely wasn’t before I was admitted.

  20. I think we still need these places just with better care I dont think they belong in prison cause that's where they are sent now that these are closed

  21. I would argue for castration in repeat or violent sex offenders, and pedophiles (would prefer the death penalty actually but for some reason the pantywaists who run our government like to use tax dollars to keep these animals alive) to answer your question at the begining of the video.

  22. Ive been to waverly hills. Our team did a paranormal investigation there. I walked down the body chute at around 2am. Shits definitely unsettling. Its one of those places where you can feel the erie energy in the air.

  23. Do you have to speak like in a doubled up speed with no room left to us to stop and think? It feels like you repeat what you just memorized before an exam. The video could last a few minutes more. Why this hurry?

  24. Many people put into those places didn't start out insane. Many were unwanted family members dumped off and forgotten about.

  25. This just breaks my heart into a million pieces especially the Willowbrook entry. May all the patients finally be at peace.

  26. While the treatment of patients in these hospitals was horrendous, we are looking back on history with 20/20 hindsight. Yes, many doctors and nurses were intentionally cruel but some thought they were truly helping. We know now that insulin therapy and shock therapy don’t really work. Shock therapy or ECT as it’s known now is still in use. I have watched it be administered first hand. Yes, we use anaesthetia on the patients now when they didn’t before. The lobotomy was often used as a final treatment and for a select few, it did help. We have to remember that they didn’t have the knowledge back then that we do now. I don’t disagree that patients were treated horribly and lived in horrendous conditions but don’t label every single doctor, nurse or hospital worker who worked within these places a monster!

  27. Lunatic asylums were terrible but they were also necessary.. We used to have a place to put crazy people and now they are running the Democratic party.

  28. You can Add the Waltham Metropolitan State Hospital – Waltham, Massachusetts.

    I'm 66 years old, and a Survivor at age 7, of ElectroShock Treatment I received there 1963

  29. My grandmother was lobotomized and spent 16 years in Danvers Mental asylum in Massachusetts. She was fifteen minutes away and it was kept secret from her grandchildren! Us!

  30. im a mentally ill person who has been in several facilities in Canada, i realize im different from society, but was treated like a person in the places i went,

  31. I often think how fortunate I am to live in this time because of how easily I could have ended up in a place like these.

  32. I work at Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum such a rich and horrible history but we have to acknowledge the past so we sont repeat our mistakes

  33. The sanatorium here in Louisville is a big, old, scary looking building, but what happened there was humane and benefitted those who stayed there. What’s often forgotten is the history of Louisville’s “Lakeland” Asylum across town, where documented lobotomies, ECT, overcrowding, underfunding etc. were all present.

  34. I can't imagine the hell these poor people
    went through, most were sexually abused ,
    died and beyond worse ! I just hope those
    nurses , doctors and watch man are dead !

  35. Not much has changed, I would know ,they just know how to hide their abuses of patients better,I personally was tied down and when they did that ,late at night the health care aide sexually assaulted me.What a devastating thing to happen when you are Legally tied down and then sexually assaulted, then,no one believes you cause of mental illness

  36. As a person who works in a psychiatric hospital it's amazingly horrific to me the things that used to happen and at the same time I hope this makes people and companies aware of the dangers of over crowding and understaffing you cant excuse what happened in these hospitals but this is the danger of understaffing not alot of people understand the immense stress placed on psychiatric hospital staff when taking care of 10 or 20 clients to one staff and 90% of the clients not wanting to be there and showing little in the way of respect to staff

  37. I saw a woman rip out of a straight jacket at Willowbrook  my grandmother worked at the place before is closed in 1987 but I think it closed in 1986 all of the people where put out on the street

  38. So what replaced these institutions after they closed? Oh yea right…. the prison system.

    For all the self aggrandizing and unjustified claims of societal advancement, human beings are just as barbaric as the realities presented to head waggling viewers watching this vid.

    The example of these institutions hiding away from public view the embarrassments of society and the out of sight out of mind peculiarity of “normal” people does not negate the horrors endured by defenseless human beings that were/are experimented upon by sadistic practitioners of the medical INDUSTRY.

    Legalized sadism labeled as treatment.

    The more one learns about who really rules mankind and of the primitive nature of man, the more nauseated one becomes as a result of the knowing.

  39. mr moniz gee that sounds german nottttttttttttttt and the pilgrim place is still open after the holocaust———- woo hoo why aint that closed

  40. Top tenz…
    make click bait crap for kiddies. At least read Wikipedia instead of some troll reading you a paragraph from it.

  41. Byberry hospital is not in Byberry, Pa… it's in Northeast Philadelphia on Byberry road… well was anyway. They knocked it down and they recently built a 55 and older community on top of it.

  42. I think society would be better off if mentaly or physically deficiant people were simply euthanized at birth, it would be a kindness really

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