Insane Asylum

To say this abandoned Insane Asylum was creepy would be a huge understatement. Every floor, every wing is pitch black, the windows are all boarded up and the only light comes from small air vents that help circulate fresh air throughout.

The tales of the types of procedures performed in this Insane Asylum are shocking, and knowing that this building was in use during some of the darkest days of Psychiatric care just makes your mind wander – and wonder what went on in these halls and rooms.

At the time, the main Physician and Superintendent of this insane asylum thought that he could cure female patients of their mental issues through gynecological surgery.

It was a widely accepted notion that disease in one part of the body was capable of producing symptoms in a distant region, I’ll let you all figure out the rest!

A memory shared by a former employee of this now abandoned Insane Asylum:

When asked if he had observed any treatments, (Name) recalled taking male patients for Electroconvulsive Therapy, which was one of his duties as tenant staff. He alludes to one of the hospital’s major challenges, which was having enough staff to manage the volume of patients:

“You’d take one ward at a time, ten people or so. By the time the next guy was ready, he was looking and seeing the guy before him convulsing.”

He also mentioned that Dr. (Name) had ECT done on himself to prove the safety of the treatment and so he was aware of what the treatment felt like.

This Insane Asylum began using Electo-Convulsive Therapy in 1944.

Shock treatments were administered up to three times a week, and could take place over several weeks. The dangers associated with shock therapy included fractured bones from the convulsions, and brain damage.

Electroconvulsive therapy was used on patients suffering from depression, catatonic or manic excitement, paranoid reactions, hebephrenics, and schizophrenia.

Believing that there was a connection between damaged or misplaced female reproductive organs and mental insanity, the superintendent at this Insane Asylum ultimately performed over 200 surgeries on mentally insane female patients…some of these surgeries may have happened inside the operating room on the other side of this door.

Of the 106 surgeries performed between 1895 and 1898 the superintendent claimed that 71 patients, “either recovered their mental health or this was improved”

A list of some of the surgeries performed:
– 16 hysterectomies
– 12 removals of diseased ovaries and tubes
– 22 operations involving the replacing and retaining of the uterus in the normal position
– 30 operations on the cervix
– 21 minor uterine diseases
– 8 operations for vaginal lesions

All in the name of mental health….

Many doctors were publicly skeptical about the success of the superintendents surgeries, claiming that insanity could not simply be cured with a surgical procedure.

After the Doctor’s death, gynecological surgeries performed at the Asylum decreased dramatically.

5 thoughts on “Insane Asylum

  1. Little known fact.. “electrotherapy”… is still used today in large Ontario hospitals for patients. (Many of the patients for psych purposes)

  2. I think the doctor who performed these surgeries was Dr. Henry Cotton. He was famous for performing unnecessary treatments and surgeries on patients because he believed it improved their overall health.

  3. its so nice to see an abandoned place with NO graffiti and other people’s junk strewn about….its almost clean…– great pics! Thanks for sharing….

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