Captive Asylum

With elaborate stone construction and elegant Monticello-inspired architecture, it is not readily apparent that this campus of buildings was originally a psychiatric hospital. Built in 1911, this institution was established “for the segregation of the epileptic and feeble-minded.” When it opened, this community was lauded as a model institution for the treatment of the developmentally disabled. It was considered a progressive alternative to the high-rise asylums of that time period. In 1950, the hospital gained notoriety as the site of one of the first human trials of a still-experimental polio vaccine. Ironically, the well-intended goals for this facility were displaced by overcrowding, malnourishment, and even the torturing of patients. The hospital has been closed since 1996.

 

This site is a source of many paranormal legends, and people regularly visit the site in the hopes that they will experience something supernatural. I did not notice anything unusual during my visit, but the interior of the buildings have a generally disturbing character. One building looked like an infirmary, complete with hospital beds and medical supplies. Another building suffered a catastrophic fire, as you can see in the photos. After sitting abandoned for so many years, it is no surprise that ivy and other brush are consuming the exterior of the buildings. Some of the buildings have been put to use by a local middle school, but the remainder are vacant, with no plans of renovation in the near future.