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4 Most INSANE & Notorious MENTAL Asylums Ever

Metal illness is now a fully accepted phenomenon. But back then, mental illness was considered the work of the devil and often those who suffered ended up suffering an even more horrendous fate than they could imagine.

The next five places were supposed to be sanctuaries meant to treat those with mental problems. Instead, they became a place of torture and grief. These are the 5 most insane and notorious mental asylums ever. New York City Video Production Company

5. London’s Bethlem Royal Hospital

Founded in 1247, the Bethlem Royal Hospital started as a priory for the New Order of St. Mary of Bethlehem. At first, it was created to serve as an alms collection center for the Crusades and eventually it transitioned into becoming a hospital catering only for the mentally insane. The first "mad folk" patients were admitted around the 15th century. Since it was first founded, it has moved to four different locations but it's horrific reputation has only grown. The first building was a bungalow type structure with 12 "cells" for the patients, a kitchen, an exercise yard and a chapel at the center.

4. Aradale Mental Hospital

Considered as one of Australia's largest abandoned asylums, Aradale Mental Hospital, formerly known as the Ararat Lunatic Asylum, was first built in 1864. It's official opening was in 1867. The hospital contained 63 buildings, with each building or ward made to accommodate certain cases including one for "morons," " lunatics," and those who were violent and unstable. The Aradale Hospital operated for 130 years and during that period it's estimated that more than 13,000 people died in the vicinity.
It was awfully easy for anyone to be admitted to Aradale. All it took was one signature from anyone that was admitting the person. However, it would take eight signatures if any patient wanted to get out.

3. Athens Lunatic Asylum

Known better as "The Ridges," the Athens Lunatic Asylum cranks up the creepy factor to 11. One look at the Gothic structure and you can tell its rich history most likely wasn't pleasant. The building was first built in 1868. Its iconic design follows "the Kirkbride Plan" which was a standard for asylums during the era.

By 1874, it officially opened its doors and started taking in patients. Initially, it was a center designed to treat Civil War soldiers who suffered from PTSD. Of course, the disorder was unknown then and generally treated as "insanity."

2. Pennhurst State School and Asylum

Once dubbed as the "Shame of Pennsylvania," Pennhurst State School and Asylum epitomized the horrendous state of most asylums in decades past.

Originally, Pennhurst wasn't intended to be an asylum but instead as a hospital and state school. The government recognized that a hospital caring for the physically and mentally disabled needed to be built. They catered to patients who had psychological or physical "abnormalities" including those that are blind, deaf, mute or those with imperfect speech. The first time they are admitted, the officials would classify them into categories like "insane" or "imbecile."

1. The Federico Mora Hospital

The Federico Mora Hospital in Guatemala is considered one of the most dangerous mental health institutions in the world. When you walk in, the patients often lie motionless on the floor or in their cells – appearing to be heavily sedated. Some are barely clothed while others are naked and covered in their own urine and feces.
Patients inside long for human contact and interaction, something they rarely get from any of the staff that is already underpowered as it is. The staff says the patients are only sedated because it's the only way for them to cope. For every two or three nurses, there are over 60-70 patients. New York City Video Production Company

5 Most Insane and Notorious Mental Asylums Ever

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