Haunted History: Exploring Abandoned Asylums and Institutions

By Sophia Maddox | January 16, 2024

Kings Park Psychiatric Center, Kings Park, New York

If you listen closely to the sound of history, the echoes of despair reverberate through the forsaken corridors of abandoned institutions, where debt-laden souls were callously cast into frigid confinement. The grim legacy persisted as the shadows of mental illnesses seized others, drawing them into the desolate embrace of institutional walls. Within these cold confines, the weight of cognitive disorders became a silent torment, an indomitable force driving inhabitants into bleak isolation. Afflicted by specific contagious maladies, some were marooned, left to wither in the solitude of abandonment. Today, these spectral structures stand as poignant monuments to human suffering, lonely sentinels scattered across desolate landscapes, silent witnesses to the forgotten and discarded chapters of our shared past.

Let's explore the desolate remnants of these forsaken institutions and asylums, where the haunting solitude and abandonment permeate every crumbling brick and echoing corridor.

 

 

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The New York Times

Kings Park Psychiatric Center emerged in 1885 as a solution to the overcrowded turmoil of Brooklyn hospitals. Yet, an unforgiving 1893 report laid bare the dreadful truth: "unsuitable and unhygienic buildings, inadequate facilities, insufficient and poor-quality clothing, and often food unfit for human consumption." The solitude within those walls became an oppressive force, engulfing all who walked through its gates. Officials cast individuals into the asylum for offenses as trivial as lacking the means to care for themselves or bearing a child out of wedlock. 

Within the sinister embrace of Kings Park, doctors engaged in macabre practices masked as treatments. Hostility extended to orderlies using pillowcases as instruments of suffocation, snuffing out the feeble flicker of life in their tormented victims. The facility reached a haunting peak, imprisoning up to 9,300 souls simultaneously. The chilling legacy of Kings Park Psychiatric Center finally came to an end in the 1950s. Yet, the building remains standing as a testament to the individuals who lived there.


 

Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital, South Korea

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Shutterstock

In the quiet aftermath of its demise in May 2018, Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital lingers as a spectral figure in South Korea's haunted history, its eerie tale etched into the fabric of its enigmatic past. This building, built in the 1970s, was a psychiatric hospital and a repository of tragic and mysterious stories. 

Things turned sinister in the 1990s when a sewage system disagreement occurred. The owner and director clashed on whether to upgrade, leading to the hospital's closure. As whispers of the director's demise and the owner's escape to America swirled, Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital transformed into the stuff of local legends, an unsettling enigma in the landscape.

After the building's closure, the shattered windows and decaying walls became nature's way of saying, "I'm taking over now." Mother Nature decided to turn the place into her avant-garde art project, complete with vines, weeds, and a touch of existential despair. Vandals played the role of intrusive spirits, breaking windows and scattering shards across the lifeless floors.