31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums

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Sometimes after looking back at our history and the way we once took care of things, I am grateful to see that we have evolved. That is how I feel when looking at these crazy photographs of asylums that are decades old. I think it was a lack of knowledge that lead to such brutal behavior, but I will let you decide for yourself.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums1. This is just plain creepy.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums2. Patient in restraint chair at the West Riding Lunatic Asylum, Wakefield, Yorkshire ca. 1869.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums3. Sunland asylum, this is Dr. Freeman, the man who invented lobotomies.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums4. A ‘self-decorated’ patient in the 1800’s.

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31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums5. Hydrotherapy first used in the early 1900s, Immersion in a tub of water to make a patient relax when agitated or relieve some ailment. This lasted a few hours to overnight. 1936.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums6. This is a 17th century insanity mask.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums7. In the late 19th century, it was believed that masturbation caused insanity. Therefore this device was created to prevent men from doing such insane behavior.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums8. An abandoned asylum in Italy.


31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums9. An X-ray showing needles driven into the skin of a patient in a psychiatric ward.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums10. Patients in steam cabinets in the early 1900’s.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums11. Medicating for self harm.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums12. Washington, D.C., circa 1921. “Foundling Hospital, playroom.” Tots at the Washington Asylum for ‘Foundlings’

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums13. Sections of brain encased in wax, for research.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums14. Insane Asylum in Spain.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums15. Drawing from a paranoid schizophrenic patient.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums16. A mother who has tuberculous, and is on strict bed rest, leaves her room at the sanatorium for a Sunday walk with her family…. but she does not leave her bed.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums17. Norwich State Hospital in Connecticut.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums18. This is a Mechanical Slapping Device used in the asylum in BC.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums19. This is at the Philadelphia State Hospital, this man is in the violent ward.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums20. These are Lobotomy tools.


31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums21. This is a picture of patients in the asylum in the 1940s.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums22. Reasons to be admitted in the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. 

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums23. This was the dining hall in the basement.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums24.The Pilgram Psychiatric Center in Long Island, NY, USA could house as many as 14,000 patients at a time. This self-sufficient mental asylum adopted extremely aggressive methods of “curing the insane”. Lobotomies and electric shock therapy were the norm.


31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums25. In the 1870s, this was the asylum in Michigan.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums26. A patient undergoing lateral cerebral diathermia treatment in the early 1920’s. Doctors eventually deemed it unsafe and unreliable.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums27. This is the image of an asylum patient being restrained by workers.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums28. This chair was used to calm down irrational patients.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums29. These are female patients being treated with Radium therapy.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums30. Above is a schizophrenic patient, he stood in this position for hours.

31 Haunting Photos From Old Mental Asylums31. And lastly, this is a patient of Serbian Psychiatric Hospital taken in 1999.

These photos are incredibly creepy, but open your eyes to how horrible ‘insane’ patients actually were treated. I am grateful that some of the procedures that were used are no longer thought of anymore.

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