Alabama (3) The structure is neither: now abandoned, it was once the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, and its halls witnessed atrocities that left their mark on the building and the surrounding community. North Carolina (1) France (4) Originally designed to house 250 patients, it boasted 717 patients by the time the Main Building opened in 1880. At first, it was resort-style asylum, focusing on treatment and healing with serene surroundings, terraced gardens, and mountain views. Love West Virginia? Connecticut (6) Sherman Cahal is a historian and photographer based in a small town in upstate New York. 8 11. Getty ImagesAn old body cooler sits open and abandoned in the basement. “Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health, Inc.”, “Morgantown contractor buys old Weston State Hospital.”, Barnes, Jim. It was put towards the establishment of the Reorganized Government of Virginia, which sided with the northern states during the war. The entryway, which has been restored to its original glory. Then, read about the Bedlam insane asylum. However, by the mid 19th century, practices started to shift to more common and cruel practices of the day, including: straitjackets, restraints, lobotomies, and forced sterilization. Shaky as the science behind some of Kirkbride’s medical ideas was, it undeniably led to a more humane and all-around more effective plan of treatment for the residents of his asylums than any other practice of the era. Kentucky (2) Mississippi (1) The Western State Asylum was originally founded in 1828, and built just on the outskirts of Staunton, Virginia. It was important to remain historically accurate, however they could not legally use a name that the hospital actually used while in operation. Following the admission of West Virginia as a state on June 20, 1863, the hospital was renamed the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane. It could house 250 patients, each with their own comfortable room. After they had moved out, the site was repurposed as the Staunton Correctional Center – a medium-security men’s prison. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, subsequently the Weston State Hospital, was a Kirkbride psychiatric hospital that was operated from 1864 until 1994 by the government of the U.S. state of West Virginia, in the city of Weston. Deep in the heart of West Virginia, surrounded by sweeping grounds and green lawns, there is a beautiful long building with a tall steeple in the center. You will receive your first email soon. The Blackburn Inn now features 49 rooms, with 27 different floor plans and even its own restaurant, housed within the former Western State administrative building. It has been a success, in part, because of your continued support. Weston State Hospital was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1990. The classification of mental illness, particularly among slaves, was broad as slaves who tried to escape were said to be suffering a condition called "drapetomania,"believed to be the result of an overly indulgent master. As the exterior consisted of native blue sandstone quarried from the riverbed and the nearby hills of Lewis County, skilled stonemasons were brought in from Germany and Ireland. Portugal (1) From hospitals and asylums, to cemeteries, schools, theaters, restaurants, parks, bridges, and even roads, there's an endless amount of places throughout the state that are said to have some ghostly spirits lingering. It had been recognized that there wasn’t enough scientific progress in mental illness research and that psychiatry had long been unprogressive. The first condominiums went on sale in 2008. It’s so strange looking into the past and seeing how we used to treat patients, thinking these things would help them get better. Get more stories delivered right to your email. 1 Construction began in late 1858 on a 40-acre tract next to the West Fork River with work initially conducted by prison laborers. Dr. Joseph DeJarnette served as superintendent from 1905-1943 and was perhaps one the most vocal advocates of eugenics, or compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill. The skeptical deny this — but all agree the building serves as a reminder of a shameful past and an urgent call to do better in the future. Unlike other abandoned asylums this empty institution welcomes visitors, just don't go in the buildings. Found on an Abandoned Pennsylvania Railroad, Free Rockefeller Park Greenhouse: An Urban Oasis in Downtown Cleveland, Cool New Family Owned Popcorn Shop! 5 The foundations for the remainder of the building were set, but construction halted by the American Civil War. Wales (1), Western State Hospital (Virginia) in Staunton. Due to an increase in mental health diagnoses and the stigma surrounding the disease, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum found its tranquil facilities overrun, housing almost 500 more patients than they ever imagined. The site eventually included buildings for chronically ill females, delinquent females, and psychopathic men. Senator Byrd secured a $750,000 Save America’s Treasures grant for rehabilitation work on the closed hospital, which was matched by an equal amount from the state legislature. The Medical Center was built in 1953, the Medical Center contained rooms for the electroencephalogram (EEG) and X-ray machines, medical-surgical suites, a laboratory, and a morgue. Building 205 was substantially renovated in 1954. The Reorganized Government appropriated money to resume construction of Trans-Allegheny in 1862. Rhode Island (2) 2 The central building and wings would be three stories high with a full basement, with the wards each containing a parlor, dining room, clothes room, bathroom, and water closet. Please consider donating to Abandoned today. Patients were crammed together, with sometimes four or five to a room intended for one. West Virginia (1) U.S. Virginia staff writer for Only in Your State, freelance writer and journalist. They would behave better, not worse, if given more control over their own lives. It was primarily replaced with electroshock therapy a few years later. The following 5 facilities, including the first ever mental hospital in the United States, show the variance of care and conditions provided to those with mental afflictions. This National Historic Landmark served as a sanctuary for the mentally ill beginning in the mid-1800's. These 10 Abandoned Buildings in Virginia Will Send Chills Down Your Spine. Pop- A- Razzi is a new movie themed, gourmet popcorn shop located in the historic Ashtabula Harbor. I think there is one thing that we can all agree on, and that is that we’ve come a long way in both understanding and care at mental health facilities. South Dakota (1) Pennsylvania (22) What other creepy locations in West Virginia have you visited? Every tour, event, and souvenir sale goes into the preservation of the landmark to ensure it will be around for future generations. Like many conditions, our understanding and knowledge of mental illness has come a far way from the treatments and perceptions of the past. For more information or to book your tour, visit TALA’s website or call (304)269-5070. Louisiana (5) It was purchased by a man with a dream of preserving the National Historic Landmark. 5, Plans to renovate the other wards of Weston soon came to fruition. Nothing is better than the adrenaline rush of visiting old, abandoned places and hearing the history of the location. Worse still were the patients themselves. The exposé published by the Gazette spurred a movement to close down the hospital, but it wasn’t until 1994, after more than one hundred years of squalor, that the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum closed its doors forever. Previously named the Weston State Hospital, the TALA was a psychiatric hospital that operated from 1864 until 1994 by the state of West Virginia. His “ice pick” method, which involved slipping a thin, pointed rod like an ice pick into the patient’s eye socket and using a hammer to force it to sever the connective tissue in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, resulted in a number of deaths. What do you know about these places? When it opened its doors in 1863, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, renamed the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane, was a model of Thomas Kirkbride’s ideals. It wasn’t until 1894 that the hospital would undergo a name change and become the Western State Hospital. Aesthetically, the center section has been restored to the time period of the late 1800’s/ early 1900’s. Because of this, a lot of the abandoned asylums and hospitals that we hear about today are plagued by paranormal activity and why they are a go-to type of location for paranormal investigators. Since TALA was only used while the project was in development and under the state of VA, it was exempt from this stipulation.) Periodically, Photo tours are offered to allow artisit the time to careful capture the beauty of the abandoned facility. Named after Dr. Joseph DeJarnette, Western State's superintendent, it broke away from the hospital in 1946 and became a fully private institution for the mentally ill and those with drug and alcohol addictions. The new hospital, now called Eastern State Hospital, remains in operation today. When it was built in 1887, the Southwestern Lunatic Asylum was considered to be the most modern and economical asylum of its time. Patients were sleeping on the floor and in freezing rooms due to a lack of furniture and heat. The history of mental illness is fascinating to say the least. It caused irreplaceable damage or destruction of hand-carved walnut woodwork, light fixtures, and a mural in the auditorium. The hospital, once known as Central Lunatic Asylum, was the first facility designated for “colored persons of unsound mind.” Before the end of the Civil War, slaves could be sent to private asylums if their owners could pay, however, many couldn’t and whites always received priority. For the first several decades of its operation, the facility was self-sustaining, providing a farm-like atmosphere including livestock and patient-farmed crops that fed both staff and patients. Originally designed to house only 250 patients in solitude, the hospital held 717 patients by 1880; 1,661 in 1938; over 1,800 in 1949; and, at its peak, 2,600 in the 1950s in overcrowded conditions. His ideas inspired the construction of 73 “Kirkbride” hospitals across the country in the second half of the nineteenth century — including the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Rooms are still filled with medical equipment and decrepit furniture, and wheelchairs sit in the hallways. After the death of hospital director Francis T. Stribling, things became hectic for patients admitted to the asylum, as darker days were welcomed into the world of treatments. Over the next 60 plus years, construction of the facility was expanded into Staunton. In 1972, excavation of the original building began and in 1985, a replica, known simply as the "Public Hospital," opened as a museum in Colonial Williamsburg where visitors can see examples of patients' cells and learn about early treatment of mental illness.
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