Danvers State Hospital – An Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital

Danvers State Hospital

Danvers State Hospital was a psychiatric hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts, USA and opened in 1878 at a cost of $1.5 million. Danvers had previously been called Salem Village and was the site of the famous Salem Witch Trials of 1690, the name having been changed to distance itself from the events of the past.

A sign honouring the victims of the Salem Witch Trials

A sign honouring the victims of the Salem Witch Trials.

The facility was designed by Boston architect Nathaniel Jeremiah Bradlee under the Kirkbride Plan. Other such mental health facilities included Trenton State Hospital in New Jersey and the Metropolitan State Hospital in Massachusetts. It was spread out over a large rural area and originally had two main buildings. The largest one contained a number of wings which housed the patients – males on the west side and females on the east. The most extreme patients were housed at the end of the wings. Originally designed to house 500 patients, over 2,000 ended up there at its peak. At this time, the facility was extremely overcrowded with the attic and basement even being used to accommodate patients.

Danvers State Hospital while in operation

A picture Danvers State Hospital while it was in operation.

Expansion of the facility occurred over time and included a gymnasium and solarium. The buildings were joined by a number of underground tunnels and a power generating plant was located on site meaning the facility could be self-contained. The generator is still in operation to this day. The tunnels radiated in a spoke-like design from an area known as the hub. A research laboratory was opened in 1895 and rumours of inhumane experimentation on patients are still rife to this day.

The increase in use of medication to treat psychiatric patients meant that the number of people housed in Danvers State Hospital began to decrease and the first wards were closed in 1969. Budgets continued to be cut and by 1992, the entire hospital was shut down and left abandoned. It was eventually demolished in 2006 to make way for apartments, despite some public objection to the demolition of what some deemed to be buildings of historic importance. The outer shell of some of the old structures were retained as part of the new apartment complex. A huge fire broke under mysterious circumstances while the apartment complex was under construction in 2007, although many suspected arson.

Danvers State Hospital Apartment Construction

This is what the it looked like during the construction of the new apartment complex. The facades of the buildings were retained where possible.

Danvers State Hospital was the inspiration for the infamous Arkham sanatorium from H.P. Lovecraft’s short horror story The Thing on the Doorstep. This in turn inspired the creation of Arkham Asylum in DC’s Batman comics.

Arkham Asylum

The Arkham Asylum gates as seen in the DC movie Suicide Squad.

Location: Danvers, Massachusetts, USA 🇺🇸
Abandoned: 1992

Common area in mental health facility

A common area. Note the bars on the windows.

Abandoned hallway in Danvers State Hospital

A hallway in the main building.

Part of the underground tunnel network in Danvers State Hospital

Part of the underground tunnel network in Danvers State Hospital.

A room in Danvers State Hospital

Pictures still clinging to the wall of one of the children’s rooms in the hospital.

Underground tunnel in Danvers State Hospital

Coins were discovered hidden behind bricks in this underground tunnel.

 

4 thoughts on “Danvers State Hospital – An Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital”

  1. THAT WAS NOT DANVERS STATE HOSPITAL. I WORKED AT HOGAN BERRY REG CENTER, JUST DOWN THE HILL FROM THEIR AND WE SPENT LUNCH HOURS UP IN AND AROUND THE BLDGS. AND THE BLDGS YOU SHOW ON THE MAP ARE NOT EVEN THEIR, IN FACT THEIR WAS NEVER BLDGING TO BEGIN WITH LIKE SHOWN. I HAVE WALKED THE TUNNELS SOME MILES LONG. SOME 2000 FEET LONG SOME GO TO OTHER TOWNS IN THE AREA.SO YOUR IN A FAKE PLACE. NOT DANVERS STATE HOSPITAL SORRY YOUR FAKE. May be you want me to take you for a tour. When Mitt R. WAS \GOVENER HE TRIED TO SELL BITS OF HOGAN BERRY PROPERTYS AND FOULND OUT THAT IT IS PRIVATLY OWN PROPERTY AND HAD NO RIGHT SELLING ANY OF THAT PROPERTY.IN FACT THE LEASE THE STATE HAS IT STATED THAT THE PROPERTY COULD ONLY BE USED FOR A HOSPITAL. gov. MITT ROMNY HAD BUILT A STATE OF THE ARTS JAIL IN DANVERS ON THE SAME PROPERTY AND GUESS WHAT? HE WAS TOLD IT COULD NOT BE OPENED TILL THEIR WAS ALSO A HOSPITAL ON THE SITE. SO THE GOV HAD TO HAVE A STATE OF THE ART HOSPITAL BUILT CONECTED TO IT. AND GOV,S ROMNEY AND WELDS ALL SAID BEFORE BECOMING GOVENERS THAT THEY WITNESSED THE FILLING IN OF THE TUNNALS WITH SMALL STONE THEY POORED IN THE TOP AND THE STONES FILLED IN ALL THE TUNNELS, AS THEY STOOD AT THE BOTTOM OF THEM WATCHING THE STONES POOR OUT AT THE END OF THE TUNNELS.AS I WALKED THROUGH THE TUNNLES I FOUND AREAS WHERE THEY WERE HIDDING DRS ACOUNTS OF THE TOURCHER THAT HAD HAPPEND OVER THE YEARS THEIR. MY FRIENDS MOTHER LIVED IN BEVERLY MA. AT THE TIME WAS THE STATES TREASURER AND HER NAME WAS ON EVERY STATE CHECK BACK THEN IN THE 90,S AND HE TOLD HIS MOM. SHE DIDNT BELEIVE A WORD OF IT. ASKED IF I HAD ANY PROOF/ I TOLD HER I DID I FOUND IN THE TUNNELS THAT WERE NOT CAVED IN OR BURIED SO I RETURNED GOT A BOX AND BROUGHT IT TO MY FREIND, WHO TOOK IT TO HIS MOTHER WHO TURNED IT IN TO THE GOVENER MITT ROMNEY AND THEN THEY CAME AND EMPTYED THE ROOMS I FOUND AND TOOK OVER 50 PACKING BOXS OF REPORTS OF EVIL HAPPENING AT THAT |DANVERS STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL IN THE 50’s and 60’s. THE FIRST FILE I READ SAID THE MAN CAME TO THE HOSPITAL ON A REQUEST FROM HIS PARENT THAT HE BE ADMITTED FOR A 6 WEEK AVALUASION CAUCE HE RETURNED FROM COLLAGE ON A SUMMERS BREAK. HIS MOTHER HAD A PARTY AT THE HOUSE AND HER SON HAD MADE A PASS AT ONE OF HER FRIENDS AND FOR THAT HE WAS SENT TO DANVERS STATE AND WHEN THE 6 WEEKS WERE OVER HIS MOM NEVER RETURNED FOR THIS MAN. SO THEY KEPT HIM THEIR AGAINST HIS WILL BY DRUGING HIMAND WANTING OUT HE TRIED TO ASCAPE. TO IT WAS WRITTEN IN THE JOURNAL. THAT THE DOCTOR TIED THIS MAN TO A TABLE HAD THREE NURSES HOLD HIS HEAD DOWN ON THE TABLE AND WITH NO PAIN KILLS THE DOC CUT OPEN THIS POOR YOUNG MANS HEAD WITH A SAW IN HIS HAND AND REMOVED HIS FRONTAL LOAB. THE DOCTOER STSTED THAT THIS STOPED THIS MAN FROM ATEMPTING ANOTHER ASCAPE AND THE OLNY SIDE AFECTS WERE HE KEPT BITTING HIS LIP AND POUNCHING HIMSELF IN THE FACE BUT HE NEVER TRIED TO GET OUT AGAIN.MITT ROMNEY HID THE FACKS FROM THE PUBLIC AND THE PIC YOU SAY IS PART OF THE TUNNAL SYSTEM IS ONLY MADE FOR PIPES. AND IS NOT PART OF THE TUNNALS UNDER GROUND. SO THATS MY COMMENT.

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