We like to post anything that's spooky, haunted, abandoned or fun.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


DANVERS STATE HOSPITAL: Established 1874. Opened 1878, closed 1992

LOCATION: Hathorne Hill in Danvers, Massachusetts. The town of Danvers was formerly known as Salem Village (the actual location of the 1692 Salem witch trials). Witch-trials Judge Jonathan Hathorne lived in a house atop Hathorne Hill.

POPULATION: Originally constructed to hold 450 residents. Housed well over 2,150 at times.

KIRKBRIDE COMPLEX: 313,000 sf. complex of 17 buildings erected between 1874-1878.
ADMINISTRATION BUILDING: 23,600 sf. dormitory building constructed in 1928.
BONNER BUILDING: 100,000 sf. medical building constructed in 1955.
COTTAGES: Several cottages built between 1850-1932.
OTHER: Maintenance, storage, and former farming structures.

Danvers State Hospital (officially known as the "State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers") was built in 1878 (and opened in the spring of that year) under the supervision of prominent Boston architect Nathaniel Jeremiah Bradlee, on an isolated site in rural Massachusetts. It was a multi-acre, self-contained psychiatric hospital designed and built according to the Kirkbride Plan.

Constructed at a cost of $1.5 million, with the estimated yearly per capita cost of patients being $3,000 the hospital originally consisted of two main center buildings, housing the administration, with four radiating wings. The administration building measured 90 by 60 feet, with a tower 130 feet in height. Connected in the rear was a building 180 by 60 feet, in which the kitchens, laundries, chapel, and dormitories for the attendants. In the rear is the boiler house of 70 feet square, with boilers of 450 horsepower, used for heating and ventilation. Water was pumped from Middleton Pond. On each side of the main building are the wings, for male and female patients respectively, connected by small square towers, with the exception of the last ones on each side, which are joined by octagonal towers. The former measured 10 feet square, and were used to separate the buildings. The original plan was designed to house 500 patients, with 100 more possible to accommodate in the attic. However, by 1935, 2,150 patients were being housed, and overcrowding was severe.

While the hospital was originally established to provide residential treatment and care to the mentally ill, its functions expanded to include a training program for nurses in 1889 and a pathological research laboratory in 1895. In the 1890's, Dr. Charles Page, the superintendent, declared mechanical restraint unnessessary and harmful in cases of mental illness. By the 1920s the hospital was operating school clinics to help determine mental deficiency in children. During the 1960s as a result of increased emphasis on alternative methods of treatment, deinstitutionalization, and community-based mental health care, the inpatient population started to decrease.

Due to budget cuts within the mental health system the hospital was closed in June 1992. The area itself is completely closed and monitored closely by campus security. In December of 2005, the property was sold to AvalonBay Development. Demolition of most of the buildings began in January of 2006, with the intent to build 497 apartments and condominiums on the 77 acre site.

As of June 2006, all of the Danvers State Hospital buildings that were marked for demolition have been torn down, including all of the buildings on the lower grounds. Avalon bay predicts that they will have properties available for rent/sale by Fall 2006.


HAUNTED SALEM Haunings, History

OPACITY Pictures, History, News

DANVERS STATE INSANE ASYLUM History, Pictures, Media, Media

CASTLE ON THE HILL Pictures, Art, Stories

FALSE HOPE Stories, Great pictures

DREAD CENTRAL "HORROR'S HALLOWED GROUNDS" Pictures, History, Session 9 info

PEABODY INSTITUTE LIBRARY OF DANVERS History, Hospital records, Library materials, Archival materials, Links

SESSION 9 is a great horror thriller filmed at Danvers State Hospital

Danvers State Mental Hospital, closed down for fifteen years, is about to receive five new visitors. Gordon Fleming, the man who owns and operates the Hazmat Elimination Co, badly needs to win a contract to remove asbestos from the hospital. To seal the deal, Gordon unwisely promises that he and his crew can complete the massive job in only one week. Hazmat gets the gig and the following Monday their dangerous work begins. As the work week continues, the crew is drawn deeper into the mysteries that surround the asylum: rampant patient abuse, medieval medical procedures, and rumors of demonic possession. The hospital holds many dark secrets but then, so do each of the men. The longer they struggle under the grueling pressure of their job, the more likely it seems that one of them will crack. The question is, which one will it be?

Genres: Suspense/Horror and Thriller

Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.

Release Date: August 10, 2001 NY/LA/BOS

MPAA Rating: R for language and brief strong violence


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