Friday Fun Facts- Uhmm Not So Fun Today

Have you ever heard of Willard Asylum? Believe it or not, this place was a major improvement for the mentally ill. Take a look at some of the facts:

– The average stay was…30 years.

– 400 suitcases were found in the attic after it shut down. They dated from 1910 to 1960 and weren’t found until 1995. All were still full of the owners belongings.

– When patients died, they were buried. No names were on the tombstones- only numbers.

– The only one with names are those that participated in the Civil War and were furnished by the government.

– There are almost 6,000 people buried there.

– The New York Office of Mental Health has classified the cemetery records as medical records and have sealed them.

– Willard opened in the 1800s.

– It was a 900 bed boot camp or shock camp…the only problem was that it lasted for up to 30 years for many of the patients.

– When it opened, it was not uncommon to keep people deemed insane naked, in chains and locked up 24/7. Willard did try to be different by giving them some freedom and jobs to have a sense of purpose.

– One of the doctors who treated patients there, became a patient!

– Even though this institution tried to improve the conditions of the mental patients, there was much to be desired. Many records remain closed.




4 Responses to Friday Fun Facts- Uhmm Not So Fun Today

  1. How awful! The reasons for admission basically let you shut anyone away. I’m asthmatic. I’d have been done for!


  2. I couldn’t believe some of the reasons for admittance! Love the suppressed masturbation one- not even sure I understand what that is!!!
    It was not and still isn’t to be good to be mentally fragile.


  3. Ruth Kenjura says:

    I find the one “ill treatment of husband” interesting.


  4. jbrayweber says:

    I have heard of Willard before. But this should not surprise you. That said, by looking at the reasons for admission, I have to wonder if anyone was ever considered sane. Or SAFE for that matter. Scary times, indeed.


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