Foxborough State Hospital was located in Massachusetts, USA and was historically known as the Massachusetts Hospital for Dipsomaniacs and Inebriates. As a result of a declining number of patients, the hospital was closed in the 1970s and after being abandoned for a period, much of it has now been redeveloped.
The Massachusetts Hospital for Dipsomaniacs and Inebriates was originally built to treat alcoholics. It opened in 1889 and was designed by architect Charles Brigham. He was renowned for his innovative and groundbreaking designs which fused elements of the English Queen Anne revival with American colonial design. He subsequently designed the 1898 annex to the Massachusetts State House in Boston and the 1906 The First Church of Christ, also in Boston.
The building was located at the junction of Chestnut and Main Streets in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The original campus comprised of a number of residential wards in an L shape, with an administration building at the centre and a variety of ancillary support buildings on the grounds. At the time, Foxborough had a number of small neighbourhood communities and was seen as an ideal location for the facility. It turned out the location was not as ideal as had been hoped. There was constant issues with inmates escaping as a result of easy access to roads and railways. It was eventually decided to move the state substance abuse facility to a new campus in Norfolk which opened in 1914.
The hospital began to treat psychiatric disorders in 1905. In 1910, the name was changed to Foxborough State Hospital to recognise the change in focus away from treating substance abuse and addiction.
The hospital continued to develop over the first half of the 20th century. Some of the ancillary buildings were connected by long corridors and additional wings were built. The last dormitory building was constructed in the 1950s. An eight body morgue was also located at the facility, surprisingly large for a hospital of this nature.
As new treatments for mental illness were discovered, there was less of a need for facilities like Foxborough State Hospital. The number of patients declined and by 1975, it was closed. It joined a list of abandoned mental institutions in Massachusetts that included Worcester State Hospital, Danvers State Hospital and Metropolitan State Hospital.
Many of the former patients are buried in a nearby cemetery. There are about 1,100 graves, each marked with a cross. Each has a patient number and a date of death but no formal identifications have ever been made.
After the hospital was closed in 1975, some of the buildings were reused by state authorities. In 1994, the campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The facility was eventually sold to a developer in 2004 after lying abandoned for a number of years.
As usual with buildings of this kind, there are a number of urban legends and ghost stories associated with it. Many of the people who worked in the buildings after the hospital had closed spoke of doors slamming, sounds coming from nowhere, shadows moving and other strange things happening. One worker said that pins in the bowling alley in the basement would be set up by themselves. Another said that buildings A and B were freezing no matter what the weather was. There are many other stories of paranormal activity.
While awaiting redevelopment, a fire broke out in the main building. It was largely contained to one ward and damage was limited. In 2005, redevelopment began with some buildings demolished and some repurposed as condominiums. some of the ancillary buildings were adapted for family housing. A shopping plaza was built on the site.