Haunted History: Exploring Abandoned Asylums and Institutions

By Sophia Maddox | February 22, 2024

Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital, South Korea

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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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.


Beelitz Heilstätten, Germany

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In the late 1800s, a crew of builders put their heart and soul into creating Beelitz Heilstätten as a serene spa, minus the fluffy robes, for folks grappling with tuberculosis. 

World War I crashed the party and suddenly, Beelitz Heilstätten got a military makeover. Adolf Hitler swung by for a pit stop after catching a thigh wound at the Battle of the Somme. Post-World War II, the Soviets took the reins and turned the place into a military hangout for about 50 years. In 1994, the Soviets packed their bags, leaving Beelitz Heilstätten to fend for itself. 

Fast forward to the new millennium, where a group of heroes decided to rescue some buildings from the clutches of decay. Meanwhile, the rest of the property continued its slow dance with deterioration, probably practicing the "Macarena" of dilapidation. Beelitz Heilstätten is not just a crumbling relic. It's a Hollywood hot spot. Thanks to its advanced state of decay, this place has starred in cinematic gems like "The Pianist," "Dark," and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay," proving that Beelitz Heilstätten could go from a tuberculosis retreat to a red carpet-worthy decay spectacular.