In a secluded spot off Interstate 95 just north of Boston lies a very mysterious gothic building. It resides on 500 acres of state property, complete with its own cemetery. With over a hundred years of history, this building has grown to be a horror fan’s wet dream. This building is the Danvers State Insane Asylum.
Abandoned for over 15 years, the asylum used to hold over two thousand mental patients, even though it was built for 650. This building, built in 1874, held the most advanced research on the insane. Various rumors have spread about the institution. Many say that Danvers was where the practice of lobotomy was perfected. Some say that cruel and unusual experiments were performed on patients. And there are those who say its previous occupants haunt the building. Whatever people say, there is one definite truth: Danvers State Insane Asylum has a dark history.
* 1878: The "Danvers State Lunatic Hospital" is built after a similar hospital shuts down in South Boston, creating a space crunch for hospitals that house the mentally ill.
* 1960s: Changes in medical treatment cause the hospital's incoming patient population to decline.
* 1981: Aware of the hospital's pending closure, local and state officials begin meeting to plan the site's future.
* 1992: The hospital closes.
* 1997: Patricia Degan finds a patient cemetery in a field so overgrown it "looked like a rainforest."
* 1999: The state allocates $38,000 to landscape and put names on graves that could be identified.
* 2001: Archstone Communities is picked from a pool of 11 developers for the redevelopment project. Archstone is to pay $21.7 million for the 75-acre site. It backs out in December 2002, citing rising construction costs and a downturn in the luxury apartment rental market.
* 2003: Avalon steps in to develop the site. The state agrees to sell the property for $18.1 million, in addition to concessions including $1 million for Danvers schools, $4.5 million to house the mentally ill, $500,000 for historic preservation and $500,000 for an affordable housing trust.
* May 2005: Avalon finishes the local approval process. The only hurdle left for the developer is reaching an agreement with MassHighway for the massive project's access on Route 62. Avalon expects to complete its purchase and begin work in September.
DSH 5-27-05 Danvers State developer wins town approval
a nurses horror storys about things that happned in danvers
"It was unbelievable back in those days,'' said Szot, who worked there from 1948 to 1972. "The conditions were terrible and the patients weren't treated right. No one had any idea on how to treat them, and often they were treated very awful. I used to come home every day and tell my family how thankful I am. Once you were sent there, there was probably no chance you were able to come out of there alive. Some of the patients spent the rest of their lives there."
Szot, now 78 years young, recalls some of her experiences as a nurse during her time as a nurse. Since her first day in 1948, Szot estimated that she witnessed nearly 10,000 patients who were abused during her 24 years as a member of the Danvers State nursing staff.
"I remember times when they used shock treatments for the patients,'' said Szot. "No one really knew how to handle them at the time. Often times, they were either left alone or if they acted out on the staff, the doctors would come in and (throw them down) onto the beds. There were even times when they used frozen bed sheets to hit the patients in an effort to calm them down."
sprawling 130-year-old facility that totals more than 300,000 square feet across 77 acres
DSH 7-1-03 Avalon Bay Properties will spend some $82 million to redevelop 77 acres of the Danvers State Hospital property, including the central portion of the Kirkbride Building and two wings. The remaining historic Kirkbride complex will be demolished. It will build 526 residential units on top of Hathorne Hill in 14 buildings, as well as 100,000 square feet of commercial space on the lowlands.
its pretty much got its own town
• Bonner Medical Building (1955)
• Female Nurses Home (1930)
• Female Tubercular Building (1907)
• Gray Gables (1898)
• Head/Pump House (1921)
• Kirkbride Building (1874-78)
• Laundry (1912)
• Male Nurses Home (1927)
• Male Tubercular Building (1907)
• Our Lady of the Hill Chapel (1955)
• Repair Shops (1904-1933)
• Reservoir Gate House (1876)
• St Luke’s Chapel (1964)
• Water Tower (1960
The contour of the Hathorne Hill site itself, 1200 feet fronting on Maple Street and another 2100 feet on the Newburyport Turnpike, was the primary determining factor in the location of the building.The lenth of the complex is 1180', its depth 511'. The entire length of the wall is nearly a mile and there are over 240 angles.Some walls were built as thick as 3 1/2 feet. The Danvers State Insane Asylum, which follows the Kirkbride form, is clearly dressed in a gothic style which was very popular in 1870's.
A&J are the two buildings that held the "excited patients." They connected to the main building at right angles by octagonal entrance towers. These were constructed for a total of 72 patients,they contained 12 single rooms, an attendant's room and dining room. Buildings E&F which was the auditorium, kitchen and administrator offices are flanked by three identical stepped back wings to each side which housed female patients to the right (B,C,D) and males to the left (G,H,I). Designed for a total of 25 patients, each of these six wings contained a dorm room, attendant's room and 14 single rooms.
The grounds of the hospital were carefully landscaped, including the intricately designed flower garden laid out by Italian immigrant gardeners. The massive architecture of the buildings, the beautiful grounds and the superb view of the countryside as well as curiosity about the hospital contributed to making the hospital a popular site for visitors. At times particularly on Sundays over four hundred visitors were not unusual.As society changed so did the hospital. Today Danvers is stripped of its landscaped beauty and all that is left are two graveyards from past patients who died and acres of unused farmland.
thats grave number 666
it wont work if i post it as an image. i dono y.
An underground tunnel system was normal when constructing institutions. Almost every building on the highlands portion of the property is connected via tunnel. They were used for the transfer of patients,storage,fallout shelters and maintenance having a better access to the sewer,heating and water lines in the winter months. Over crowding and tuberculosis became such a problem,patients often had to live in these tunnels rather then a room in the facility.
art work of danvers
the castle on the hill
or the haunted palace
you should watch SESSION9
that movie was made in danvers and has special features about the place on the dvd
oh ps: i did not take these photos. there from the website.http://www.danvers-state-ia.com/