Abandoned Asylums America

In this post we are looking into the halls of another abandoned asylum in America. This one was known as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum(a.k.a. TALA) located in Weston, West Virginia. This particular asylum was built in the mid- 1800’s to house the mentally ill.

History of TALA

The contruction of TALA began in 1858 and took until 1881 to complete. Originally designed to house 250 patients it opened to patients in 1864 and by 1880 it housed 717 patients. By 1950 TALA housed 2,400 patients and included those suffering from epilepsy, alcoholism, drug addiction, and non-educable mental defectives. With the limited knowledge, resources, and empathy of the time, some patients were kept locked in cages. (the-line-up.com)

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum has stone walls that are 2.5 feet thick. It is America’s largest hand-cut stone masonry building and is the second largest in the world, behind the Kremlin. (the13thfloor.tv)

Image result for trans allegheny lunatic asylum. Abandoned Asylums America
tripadvisor.com, TALA, abandoned asylums America


According to americas-most-haunted.com there have been reports of apparitions of nurses, doctors, and patients seen walking the corridors, and screams have been heard.

Located in the east corner of Ward 4 the spirit of a young girl called Lily has been seen interacting with a variety of toys that are set out in a room dedicated to her. It is believed that Lily was either abandoned by her parents, or that she was born in TALA after her mother was committed there. Lily passed away at the age of only 9 from pneumonia. Lily is close to some of the current ghost tour guides and her spirit will follow visitors and her giggles have been heard. Lily will even interact with visitors occasionally by rolling a ball across the floor to them when asked .

Image result for trans allegheny lunatic asylum
americas-most-haunted.com, Lily’s room, TALA, abandoned asylums America

TALA’s younger residents are said to occupy the upper floors of the hospital and seem to enjoy having visitors during the tours. TALA also houses the spirits of two vicious murderers. One is called Slewfoot and he haunts a lavatory, while an unnamed serial killer haunts the area of the seclusion cells.

TALA has a section of the building that was utilized during the American Civil War. This section is known for the sounds of footfalls, and tortured moans and misty forms and shadows have reportedly been seen. (americas-most-haunted.com)

Add TALA to our paranormal tour bucket list. Seems like we will be going all over Hell’s half acre.


The Other Half

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Danvers State Insane Asylum

Danvers State Insane Asylum

Location: Danvers, Massachusetts (aka Salem Village until 1752)

According to the historyofmassachusetts.org, the Danvers State Lunatic Asylum was built between 1874 and 1878. The land on which it was built is called Hathorne Hill after Judge John Hathorne of the Salem Witch Trials who had lived there. The land was purchased from a farmer, Francis Dodge, in the 1870s. It cost $1.5 million to build the asylum at a time when America was still recovering from their Civil War. Over time approximately 40 buildings went up to house TB patients, staff, the medical building, machine shops, two nursing homes, a pump house, cemetery, and cottages, many were connected by underground tunnels.

Danvers State Insane Asylum
Danvers State Insane Asylum. Photo courtesy of: historyofmassachusetts.org

From 1920 to 1945 the treatments doneĀ  at the Danvers State Insane Asylum on patients included ECT and lobotomies. Patients often faced neglect and the use of restraints. These treatments are said to “have left a massive psychic imprint on the walls.” (hauntedrooms.com)

Dr. Walter J. Freeman II reportedly conducted numerous lobotomies in the Danvers State Insane Asylum. The care of the patients declined as overcrowding took over while staffing levels remained unchanged. Eventually, the asylum closed in 1992. Reports from visitors to the asylum included hearing voices asking for help and tortured screams.

The building’s facade remains as luxury apartments were constructed and opened in 2008. The area is now known as Halstead Danvers. I wonder if the screams are still heard?


The Other Half

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