The Story of How Hell Was Created - Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Posted on 02/28/2018
Views 1,901
Shares 0

Advertisements

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was built to be a place of peace and rest, but in no time the place turned into complete chaos.

the story of how hell was created transallegheny lunatic asylum 1 3

Most of the early asylums and mental hospital in the United States were built using the Kirkbride Plan.  Philadelphia psychiatrist Thomas Kirkbride deigned place which was supposed to have curative effect on patients. All the rooms had access to light and fresh air. The rooms are supposed to be big enough so the patients wouldn't feel trapped. The residents of the Trans-Alleghany Lunatic Asylum weren't so lucky to get to know those great conditions.

the story of how hell was created transallegheny lunatic asylum 1 8

When it opened its doors in 1863, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was originally called the West Virginia Hospital For the Insane. It was built to state of the art specifications, able to house 250 patients, each with their own room, with a separate wing for black people completed a few years later.

the story of how hell was created transallegheny lunatic asylum 1 4

The grounds were magnificent and sustainable, including a working farm, dairy, waterworks, gas well, and cemetery. It was, as architect Richard Snowden Andrews had intended it to be, a self-sufficient, state of the art facility, designed to make patients feel at home, well cared for, and restored.

the story of how hell was created transallegheny lunatic asylum 1 1

Then, in 1881, disaster struck. Due to an increase in mental health diagnoses and the stigma surrounding the disease, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum found its tranquil facilities overrun, housing almost 500 more patients than they ever imagined.

There is not need to mention that this large number of patients which continued to grow every day lead to declining of conditions very rapidly. Patients were crammed together. Rooms which were built for one were packed with four or five people. The farm was unable to meet the demands for these many people.  Patients began to starve, which lead to worsening their mental health.

the story of how hell was created transallegheny lunatic asylum 1 6

By the year of 1938, the Asylum was six times over the capacity. The patients weren't being able to be controlled by the orderliness inside. They were running wild. The population inside the place was comprised with "epileptics, alcoholics, drug addicts and non-educable mental defectives" as reported by a group of medical organizations. 

The peak was in the 1950's when the hospital was holding 2,600 patients. This is more than ten times of its original intention. investigation shocked the public. What they found in here was more than what anyone was being able to think of.

the story of how hell was created transallegheny lunatic asylum 1 10

Patients were sleeping on the floor, in freezing rooms due to a lack of furniture and heat. The overcrowding had resulted in overworked staff and a decreased emphasis on sanitation. The once bright, clear windows were covered with grime, darkening and further chilling the rooms. The wallpaper was peeling from decay, and where it hadn’t disintegrated on its own, the patients had torn it off in rages of panic.

Worse even were the patients themselves. The patients whom the orderlies deemed “unable to be controlled” had been locked in cages in open spaces, in an attempt to make more bedrooms available for less worrisome patients.

the story of how hell was created transallegheny lunatic asylum 1 2

By the time the asylum would close, the graveyard had been expanded to an eerie 666 acres, to make room for the rapidly dying patients.

Gazette, famous newspaper, exposed and published an article considering the conditions in the hospital. There was a big movement which supported closing of the hospital, but it wasn't until 1994, more than hundred years that this place got what should have happened much earlier. The doors of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum were closed forever.

the story of how hell was created transallegheny lunatic asylum 1 5

Today, this building is abandoned, and the patients somehow vanished into thin air. Rooms are still equipment with old furniture and medical equipment. Since 2007, the current owners offer daytime and paranormal tours for those who want to be witnesses of the horror which happened there. People who took this interesting tour say that the presence of hundreds of patients can be felt while you walk the hallways of this place. Just the building sets shiver down the spine.

the story of how hell was created transallegheny lunatic asylum 1 9

Most of the abandoned buildings have reputation for being hunted. The dark history of this place  gives more than its fair share of grist for such rumors. The building, which is also a National Historic Landmark, has been featured several times on shows like Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, and Forgotten Planet.

Advertisements