What Are Some Famous Abandoned Mental Hospitals?


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Some famous abandoned mental hospitals are Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts; Topeka State Hospital in Kansas; and Athens Lunatic Asylum in Ohio. Each of these institutions was operational until the 1990s, with some seeing a gradual decline of patients from the 1960s. Like many abandoned mental hospitals, these three are associated with accounts of malpractice or other shocking events.

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Danvers State Hospital is known for having had far too many patients for staff to deal with adequately. This resulted in extremely poor healthcare, overmedication, the use of shock treatments and straightjackets. Danvers staff also made excessive use of the prefrontal lobotomy, which led to this institution's reputation as the birthplace of the procedure.

The Topeka State Hospital, which opened in 1872 and closed in 1997, is famous for a range of alleged cruelties, including rapes, extended confinement with straps and chains, forced sterilization and castration. A total of 1,157 patients are reported to have died within this institution, most of them likely to have been buried in the site's cemetery although all graves are unmarked.

Staff at Athens Lunatic Asylum also used lobotomies and electroshock therapy on their patients. Like the Topeka State Hospital, over 1,900 patients died at the facility and were buried in unmarked graves outside.

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