Danvers State Lunatic Asylum is propably one of the most notoriously haunted and intriguing places on earth. High atop Hawthorne Hill, overlooking the scenic countryside, sits an incomprehensibly massive structure. Danvers has long been termed a brutally fearsome castle and perverted holy place of dispair and destruction. Donned the "withches castle on the hill" Danvers State Lunatic Asylum was constructed in 1878, costing a mere 1.5 million dollars, and was considered to be an architectural masterpiece. The asylum resides in the town of Danvers, Massachusetts which many people are unaware was formerly known as Salem Village. Salem Village was the first actual location of the 1692 Salem witch trials. Unbeknownst to some, the witch trials did not begin in Salem, but in Salem Village, or present-day Danvers at a church on Centre Street. The trials were later moved to a larger building in Salem when hysteria ran rampit and onlooking spectators swormed the church. More significantly, the most fanatical judge of the witch trials, Johnathan Hawthorne, lived in a house built by his father in 1646 at the top of the hill, in the exact location on which the asylum stands today, hence the name "Witches Castle". Creepy? For sure.
Danvers was the epitomy of ever changing health care at the turn of the century and its humane treatment of patients earned it a brilliant reputation. But like so many others of its time it fell victim to rising cost, lack of governement funding, understaffing, and over population. Its deteriorated physical state was a hell-hole likened to that of a german death camp. A once humane facility had turned dark by the mid half of the century.
Danvers, between 1940 and 1950, housed over 2,600 mentally ill patients in a structure only designed to house 600. Due to over crowding it relied on medical interventions customary to infamous asylums of that time- shock treatment, hydrotherapy, insulin shock therapy, psychosurgery and lobatomies (the frontal lobotomy was said to be perfected here) to keep its burgeoning cencus under control. Patients became haggard and ghostly, often spending a majority of time alone and in solitary confinment in a space no larger than a small bathroom. "Poorly clothed and sometimes naked, these legions of lost souls were shown pacing aimlessy on the wards, lying on the filthy cement floors, or sitting head in hand against the pock-marked walls" (Deutsch 1948, 41, 49). It was so bad that a lifeless patient would go unnoticed for days.
Finally in 1992, Danvers State Lunatic Asylum shut its doors for good. The remaining patients were placed accordingly in other facilities and the castle was locked down. 14 years passed as the building sat abandoned, then in 2005 the property was bought and parts of the once grandier hospital were demolished. Although still reconizable, Danvers State is now apartments and although the part of the original structure was kept, the foreboading that once emanicipated from this great palace is gone.
With such a trivial history its no wonder why Danvers was dubbed one of the scariest places on earth. Although converted to apartments the lure and legends of Danvers remain. People have reported flickering lights, full body appiritions, hearing invisible footsteps and doors that open and close on their own. Whether the hauntings are residual energy burned into the atmosphere of this errie place or whether they are intelligent , its up to you to decide!