31 Days of Halloween Day 17: Danvers State Hospital

31

Only 14 days until Halloween!

Throughout the month of October I’ll be posting once a day with something to get you into the Halloween spirit, including movie and book reviews, real haunted places, occult topics and more. Come back each day and join in the fun!

Nestled on Hathorne Hill in Danvers, Massachusetts is one of the most notorious asylum’s in the world. Danvers State Hospital looks foreboding with its towering Gothic architecture, complete with imposing spires. The building is so dramatic-looking that word is H.P. Lovecraft was inspired by it when writing about Arkham Sanatorium.

The hospital was built back in 1887 and was purposely made to be beautiful, in an attempt to show compassion to the patients. As time wore on, that compassion gave way to increased demand, and the population soared from the originally intended 600 residents to over 2,300. The staff was overwhelmed by the sheer number of patients, with some dying and not being discovered for days. Lobotomies were performed regularly, some say with far too much frequency, making it a place that visitors described as freaky.

People claim that many malevolent entities still dwell in Danvers State Hospital. While one might understandably assume that the paranormal activity is due to the horrors performed on the insane, there is more to the story. The hospital was built in what used to be called Salem Village on the exact same spot as the house that was owned by one of the Salem Witch Trials judges.

Today, modern condos populate much of the area where the hospital once stood. Only a portion of the original building remains, with most of the rest of the complex having been leveled. The cemetery was left undisturbed, as were some of the underground tunnels. The fact that people would want to live in that area is frightening to many, even though it’s in a great location. Some apparently have moved their intentionally because of the macabre history of the land.

Danvers State Hospital started to wind down in the 1960s. It was finally closed in 1992. .

Have you been to Danvers?

Would you live in the condos?

Leave a comment below and join in the Halloween fun! We still have ­­­­­­14 more posts to go this month, so come back and see what else I have in store.

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