Construction began in 1858 but was delayed due to the Civil War. It was completed in 1881, and this enormous structure is the largest hand-cut stone building in America. (It is the second largest in the world, surpassed only by the Kremlin.) It was built to house 250 patients but by 1950 it reportedly contained over 2400 patients! Conditions were horrible for the patients — they were kept apart from families and friends, and so-called treatments included frontal lobotomies and electro-shock therapy. Thousands of deaths occurred here, including patients killing one another and employees of the asylum. And since many were buried right on the grounds, it’s no surprise that this historic psychiatric hospital is one of the most haunted places in America.
The facility stayed open until 1994 when it was forced to close due its deteriorating condition. It was bought in 2007, and today it not only offers ghost tours (including a Private Paranormal Tour) but also historic tours that sound fascinating. >> Tour information
I am hoping to spend my Halloween taking part in their Overnight Ghost Hunt this year. (If you can’t make it on Halloween, a few other dates are currently available.) On previous tours, visitors have reported seeing ghostly forms, lights and orbs, etc. and hearing gurneys being pushed back and forth, banging noises, voices, laughing, screams coming from the electro-shock area, and warnings to leave the building! You can go it alone, but I think I’ll stick with the group option. Not that I’m afraid of encountering spirits and experiencing paranormal activities in a dark, scary, oppressive asylum all by myself, mind you! It’s just that I think it would be even more fun sharing the experience with other like minded individuals…yeah, that’s it! (You can find more like-minded individuals on their Facebook page.)