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The Creepiest Places on Earth: Willard Asylum

Some people like traveling to many creepy places, most specifically abandoned buildings that look dilapidated and are completely damaged because of years of neglect. While you have the usual abandoned homes and hospitals, there is nothing creepier than visiting an abandoned mental asylum.

One of the thousands of mental asylums in the world you should know about is the Willard Asylum. You can find the creepy asylum situated near Seneca Lake, New York, which is a popular tourist attraction during summer. Make sure you do not go too far, or you can find yourself near the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane.

The Asylum’s Early Days

Before it became a deteriorated building, it was a beautifully constructed asylum meant to rescue mentally ill people from other facilities where they were tortured, caged, or chained. The asylum was supposed to be where mentally ill people could be adequately treated and become a productive part of society. Everyone thought of it as a new concept after the facility opened its doors to patients in 1869, but the concept the facility tried to prove was effective.

There was one patient named Mary Rote who was treated poorly in her own home. She had dementia at that time, and she was chained to her bed for at least ten years. But after being taken into the Willard Asylum, she slowly got better with time because of how great the staff treated her.

A close up photo of the autopsy table found inside the Willard Asylum.

The Downfall of Willard Asylum

The asylum tried to keep following the concept for a while, but several things started to go wrong slowly for everyone. Patients could not leave the asylum until the administrators told them they could. Most of the patients who went to the asylum were not sick, which was not new back then since there was not much information about mental health, unlike today’s age.

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Joseph Lobdell was one patient that was diagnosed with a “rare mental disease,” where he was born a woman, yet he felt like he was more of a man. It was a rare occasion back then for doctors, unlike today, where most of the community accepts transgender people. Joseph was not insane, yet people placed him inside the asylum, where he spent ten years until he was transferred to another mental hospital until he died.

If you visit the asylum today, you can visit the morgue, where you can see horrific details of patients who committed suicide. You can also find that most of the morgue is still intact, with autopsy tables and the crematorium untouched. The uncremated corpses were buried in the asylum’s cemetery, which had no plaque of their name but only their number. When it closed in 1995, there were hundreds of suitcases belonging to patients found in the basement. Most of the things were personal belongings, including photos and books. Some of the patients who owned the suitcases never had the chance to see their loved ones outside.

Riley Brown
Written By

Riley is a history, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in San Diego. He received his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Multimedia from the University of Oregon. His work has been featured in many finance and lifestyle publications throughout the US. When he is not writing, Riley enjoys reading and hanging out at the beach with his dog.


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