We all love a good, creepy abandoned asylum or ghost hospital. They are what nightmares and horror films are made of. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you can’t deny that these places are incredibly creepy.
They are places of suffering and agony, places where people were tortured and abused, where they were given all kinds of cruel procedures in the name of treatments and, occasionally, places that were home to the criminally insane. Their history, their endless hallways and confined cells and the fact that they are now resigned to hollow shells of broken glass, empty desks, and the detritus of squatters and drug addicts makes them the perfect place for people who love to be creeped out.
What follows is a list of such places: the creepiest abandoned asylums in the world.
Danvers Lunatic Asylum, Massachusetts
This was home to mentally unstable criminals, which makes it a half-prison half-asylum. It first opened in 1878 and is said to have been the inspiration for many classic horror stories, including some of Lovecraft’s work. It is also said to have been the real life asylum that inspired Arkham Asylum in the Batman universe.
What makes this abandoned asylum even creepier is the fact that it was situated at the heart of the Salem Witch Trials and is also said to have been where prefrontal lobotomies began. As if this was not enough of a creepy ghost hospital, there is also a graveyard on site. This is home to the people who died in the Danvers Asylum, including those who were given “Treatments” that didn’t quite agree with them.
Then again, if you start drilling into someone’s skull and chipping away at their brain, what do you expect?
Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital, South Korea
This abandoned asylum is said to be the most haunted asylum in South Korea. According to the legend of this ghost hospital, patients who were sent here would die in “mysterious circumstances”, which is believed to be the reason it shut down and became the hollow, empty shell that it is today.
That’s not quite true. As is usually the case, the legend is better than the fact, because the Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital actually shut down due to a severe sewage issue.
Other legends about this abandoned asylum include an owner who used the patients as his playthings, keeping them as hostages and then running away to the United States when the questions began to pour in.
Lier Sykehus, Norway
Located in the town of Lier, Norway, which is a short trek from the city of Oslo this abandoned asylum has been empty since 1985 but it was active for about 60 years prior to that. Since it has closed down this abandoned asylum has been one of the most haunted hot spots in Norway.
There are actually parts that still house psychiatric facilities and the patients that use them and it is from these patients where we get some of the creepiest ghost sightings. Many of these are said to stem from the 50s and 60s, where a lot of experiments were conducted on the patients. They tested many drugs on them, including formulas that even the pharmaceutical companies weren’t too happy to give to humans. It goes to show just how messed up the guys that ran this place were.
You know you’re evil when the pharmaceutical companies are the good guys in your life story.
This is actually the first insane asylum to have been built in Europe. Now a full fledged (and entirely creepy) abandoned asylum, Narrenturm was first built in the 18th century. It is still in use today, albeit not as an asylum. It is home to the Anatomical-Pathological Museum, which showcases all kinds of bizarre specimens, from deformed fetuses in jars to human organs, wax models and more.
Basically, they took something that was incredibly creepy and managed to find a way to make it even more disturbing.
This is basically a walled city that was built to house thousands of patients and staff and to keep them all confined. Psychiatric hospitals in the UK often have several different blocks, all part of the same campus but not the same building. What makes this abandoned asylum so special and so creepy is that all of these blocks are connected, which allowed staff and patients to traverse the entirety of the hospital without ever venturing outside.
Although it has long since been a ghost hospital, there were over 2,000 patients in here at its prime. This included everyone from women considered “hysterical”, who were really just fobbed off by families who didn’t want to look after them anymore, to people who were seriously ill. There were also women sent here because they were the victims of rape or because they bore illegitimate children and the families couldn’t bear to be around them anymore.
If ghosts do exist then we imagine there will be a lot of angry ones here. Quite frankly, we don’t blame them.
Other Ghost Hospitals and Abandoned Asylums
There are many more abandoned asylums and ghost hospitals out there. These buildings are often too big and too dilapidated, which means thy will require too much money to restore, but at the same time they are just too damn impressive and valuable to bulldoze. So they can sit there for many decades after the last patients leave.
Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra
As much as our autocorrect hates this abandoned asylum, we love it. Located in Italy, this asylum was unbelievably cruel to its patients, one of which made a record of all the horrible treatment he was given in the walls of the asylum. If that doesn’t sound like the ultimate horror story then we don’t know what does.
Denbigh Insane Asylum
This was the first asylum for the mentally ill to be built in Wales. It is now a crumbling ruin, said only to be frequented by the ghosts of its former patients.
This is a Canadian abandoned asylum that has played host to countless films and TV shows over the years, as well as plenty of Youtube videos. It is an empty shell with a creepy interior that makes it the perfect place to shoot horror movies. Although it has the look of a long-since abandoned asylum, parts of it were still treating patients as recently as 2010.
This asylum is located in a sprawling area of great natural beauty, with thousands of trees and hundreds of acres of woodland where animals and ghosts can wander freely.