Danvers State Insane Asylum

Danvers State Lunatic 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. read more

Alton Mental Health Hospital

Alton Mental Health Hospital

Location: Alton, Illinois

In 1916 forty patients moved into the hospital prior to its opening in 1917. The hospital continued to grow in response to the needs of the surrounding area and by the 1930s  the hospital had opened a ward for WWI veterans, another for civilian men, another for women and a separate ward as a Tuberculosis Sanitarium. The 1940s brought electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) into fashion for those suffering from mental illness. The 1950s saw the practice of lobotomies used on the mentally ill. read more