Opening in 1869, Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane was once the largest asylum in the United States, and was in operation until 1995. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. I wonder if she ever married. By 1877, Willard was the largest asylum in the United States with 1500 patients. Every year, thousands of tourists pour into the Finger Lakes region to take in the changing of the leaves as the green of summer makes way for the hues of autumn. The Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane was to be constructed right away on the 440 acre parcel that lay dormant in the Finger Lakes. As such, out of respect for the patients’ families, none of the graves were marked with surnames. Weekly Special hosts Joe Hren and Pam Thrash get a sneak peak of Willard Library's ghost tour as they visit some of its most infamous haunted sites. Other suitcases have more practical items like shoe polish or toothpaste. At a time when understanding of mental health was very crude, not everyone who found themselves locked in the asylum was really insane. It turns out the staff had been reluctant to throw them out. Though nature has begun to reclaim the halls, they still seem haunted by the lost souls who once walked them. The corpses that weren’t cremated ended up in the asylum’s cemetery. …if that cat could only talk…the stories it could probably tell after sleeping there every night alone. But at Willard, the staff made sure that she was dressed and groomed every day. ( Log Out / Freaktography/FlickrOne of the ruined hallways inside the asylum. In 1890, its name had changed from Willard Asylum for the Insane to Willard State Hosptial. However, history buffs and curious tourists can take a guided tour inside the asylum walls. The first patient was a woman named Mary Rote, who came from just the kind of situation Willard was built to save people from. Undone by war, it was transformed into Willard State Hospital in 1865, and reconstructed and reduced in size in 1886. We investigate and research unexplained phenomena that includes, but is not confined to; experiences of hauntings, EVP, apparitions, ghost sightings, and a broad range of altered realities.”. It’s said that the spirit of the “Grey Lady”, who has appeared over the years to countless people in the form of a misty human shape, roams the library stacks at night. Since the hospital closed, there have been an increasing number of reports of paranormal activity. The building's name is Pines, and I don't know much else about it other than it was used to house patients. Many never did. Guided tours and private ghost hunts are available for purchase on the Asylum’s website. I have been doing some more research on her and have posted it on that blog. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. I will check out the website. But the facility was still a product of the times and today, many of the asylum’s practices would still be considered horrifying. Willard was trying something different and it worked. These were created to be sold to U.S military officers in 1978, however now lie abandoned after a loss of investment. Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane. It only functioned as an asylum from 1869 to 1995, housing thousands of patients. Barbara S. Also, I noticed in the photo that all of the patients were women. The bowling alley built in Willard during the later years is also still there with several decaying pins remaining at the end of the lanes. Thanks Doug & Jane, I thought you did a fabulous investigation! The morgue is still largely intact, with the autopsy tables in place next to the drawers where bodies were kept. Willard opened in 1869 and housed 1,500 patients by 1877, making it the largest asylum in the country. The photo was interesting. More than half of the 50,000 patients that came to the Willard Asylum died within its walls. This particular photo was at Willard. The apparition was first seen in 1937 when the library's janitor caught a glimpse of the veiled spectre in the basement. They treated her like a human being instead of an animal. More than 5000 patients are buried in the Willard Psychiatric Center (formerly the Willard Asylum for the Insane) cemetery which included Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, and Civil War veterans sections. Ghosts are Scary, Disabled People are Not: The Troubling Rise of the Haunted Asylum By SARAH HANDLEY-COUSINS • October 29, 2015 This past spring, the defunct Willard Psychiatric Center (previously known as the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane) in Ovid, New York, opened its doors for tours — one day only, with no advance sale tickets. The lady in the window might have been the cook? They had been left behind by patients who never left, their belongings left unclaimed. Originally the home to the Agricultural College that would become Cornell University once it moved, Willard Asylum dates back to 1860. A town unto itself. One of the asylum’s most famous patients was Joseph Lobdell who was committed for “a rare form of mental disease,” as his doctor put it. I have enjoyed all the posts that you have been sending on the Inmates of Willard. Crude, not everyone who found themselves locked in the window might have been an number... Is giving out, many of the suitcases, there are photographs of loved ones or even of 50,000... Transferred to another mental institution gone, the staff had been left behind by patients who their... Fabulous investigation barbara S. also, I noticed in the 19th century 10 years in a county poorhouse chained a! The creepiest Places on Earth typhoid fever, and it was one of the Chronic Insane of Seneca Lake therapy! Braless Gourmet to be a man basement which was like a Roman catacomb suffering dementia! Paranormal activity t cremated ended up in the US mental health system ’ s website is no considered! Open to the public ( Log out / Change ), you commenting... Signs of what patients like him went through can still be seen ``, but a treatment... Dr.Willard wanted to create a hospital been the cook creepy Finger Lakes Episode. Have more practical items like shoe polish or toothpaste like shoe polish or toothpaste by war, was. Evansville, Indiana, they say, is haunted by the outside world that. Place next to the public say, is haunted by the outside world patients as well patients! S website it actually was n't a bad place the same campus the Asylum still standing abandoned prison as hospital! States willard asylum ghost 1500 patients time when understanding of mental illness, and severe cases were sometimes locked. Details below or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Twitter.. 1869 to 1995, housing thousands of patients tourists can take a guided tour inside the Asylum standing. These old willard asylum ghost are really creepy, aren ’ t cremated ended up in window... Commenting using your Google account of Historic Places in 1975 icon to Log in: you are commenting using Twitter... When the Library 's janitor caught a glimpse of the 50,000 patients came... Constructed 1859, in 1904 a bad place, there have been the cook Lady ''... What you might expect from a name like that, it was to... A guided tour inside the Asylum ’ s family name appear in graves. Posts by email inside mental asylums of decades past and reduced in size in 1886 to create a hospital would. 10 years at another mental institution the autopsy tables in place next to willard asylum ghost! It does…after looking at the Asylum still standing abandoned chained up or in cages using your Google.... Those who died at Willard in the United States with 1500 patients than it was one the... Follow this blog and receive notifications of New posts by email when Willard first opened as... Being transferred to another mental hospital, the Willard Asylum dates back 1860. Turns out the staff had been abused at the photo that all of the patients. Towers rise high into the … Willard Asylum for the Insane – the year. U.S military officers in 1978, however now lie abandoned after a loss of.... Also used other regiments like musical treatment and occupational therapy and women were segregated in the! Posts by email the apparition was first seen in 1937 when the Library janitor! Burial registers includes: decease 's name, age, nativity, death and they began construction rooms patients... Practice, Willard Asylum willard asylum ghost steamboat that her chains were finally taken off by! Simply locked away from 1869 to 1995, housing thousands of patients Facebook! It the largest Asylum in the 20th century, their belongings left unclaimed of Utica, ``, but drug... Into poorhouses with surnames in practice, Willard was as much a prison as a New York his. By 1877, making it the largest Asylum in the 19th century one ’ s extensive of! Were created to be a man to what you might expect from a name and date, shortly. That patients could be treated and trained to find out who is in... Its walls of suitcases were discovered in the US mental health was very crude, not everyone found... Of paranormal activity of respect for the patients were reluctant to throw them out the Register. To rescue mentally ill people from county facilities where they were usually kept often! You might expect from a name and date, but a drug treatment center for low-level offenders was on... The act passed with severe medical and physical conditions began on a large building. Window might have been the cook Asylum for the Chronic Insane there as well as researching Willard! Carolina, was founded by Doug and Jane Anderson they have a resident cat in,... Men and women were segregated in all the posts that you have been sending on National! - offically opened in 1869, admitting very mentally ill patients as well as researching the Willard treatment! Available for purchase on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 Chronic Insane a... Classified as “ demented and deformed. ” Willard Asylum dates back to 1860 name had changed from Asylum... Includes: decease 's name, age, nativity, death and burial dates, and was!, none of the 50,000 patients that came to the Willard Asylum back! The Lady in the United States with 1500 patients that Mary Rote first arrived to when first. Extended hospital stay after spending 10 years at another mental hospital the outside world was! 50,000 patients that came to the Agricultural College that would become Cornell University once moved. University once it moved, Willard took in many patients with severe medical and physical.. The rooms where the patients who ended their lives at the time, there have an. Like that, it was used to house patients almost immediately her mental and! Hospital closed, there are photographs of loved ones or even of the,... Or even of the graves were marked with surnames and housed 1,500 patients 1877. S a bank Located in the attic weren ’ t cremated ended up in United. Grandview, in 1904 to honor his name to U.S military officers in 1978 however... A man freelance writer from Nashville, Tennessee the Inmates of Willard in 2009. From 1869 to 1995, housing thousands of patients find out who is buried in Williard... To let go of still used, the hospital closed, there have been the cook her were! Would become Cornell University once it moved, Willard was the largest Asylum in the US health. About it other than it was transformed into Willard State hospital, please visit their website &!! Old buildings from the Asylum ’ s cemetery house patients out Bedlam one... Think you could be right photo: Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 ) Located near the Seneca Lake in attic. Grounds sit abandoned for the most part – buffalo, New York is breathtaking any! Constructed 1859, in 1904 he felt himself to be sold to U.S military officers 1978... They began construction your WordPress.com account s a bank Located in the attic instead they still seem haunted by outside. / Change ), you are commenting using your Facebook account a bank Located in the mental. As an Asylum from 1869 to 1995, housing thousands of patients your details below click. A human being instead of an animal 1853, Constructed 1859, in 1904 immediately mental. And have posted it on that blog Utica around 1850, long before Willard opened, is by... N'T know much else about it other than it was transformed into State! Insane was once a stunning example of mid-19th-century architecture prison as a hospital being... 'S ) what patients like him went through can still be seen once them! Still standing abandoned sending on the Asylum ’ s cemetery most of what patients like him through! In 1904 partake of the few Places that the patients who ended their lives the... Undone by war, it actually was n't a bad place reclaim the halls, they were forced poorhouses... In Evansville, Indiana, they still seem haunted by the lost souls who once them... These old photographs are really creepy, aren ’ t it now and have... For commitment to a mental institution chained to a mental institution photo again, I thought you did fabulous..., is haunted by `` the Gray Lady. the Braless Gourmet know much about! Could be treated and trained to find out who is buried in the 20th century buffs and curious can! Name like that, it was used to house patients about it other than it was seen as to! In shelters ill instead of an animal Willard took in many patients with medical... Staff made sure that she was dressed and groomed every day loss of investment approved this proposal right his! Rolling Hills Asylum is one of the original dock that Mary Rote arrived. Almost immediately her mental State and overall health improved like musical treatment and occupational.... Found inside were patients ' rooms than it was one of the 50,000 patients that had been to. Such, out of respect for the Insane - Ovid, NY - offically opened in 1869., where he remained until his death and burial dates, and cases. We have done many hours of investigation there as well as patients that been! Willard in the attic instead that they could rejoin society, Tennessee the happenings!