Sometimes you wake up on a sunny, spring day and all you crave is a nice drive to an abandoned insane asylum.

So last weekend we did just that.

In the town of Medfield, Massachusetts lies a slowly decaying campus of brick buildings that made up what was the Medfield Insane Asylum. The property took 4 years to build and opened in 1896. This hospital was different from many others of its kind because it was constructed to a “cottage plan”, meaning that it would be made up of multiple infirmaries and wards, offing different levels of care instead of just one large one building tending to every patient.

In 1914, the name of the facility was changed to Medfield State Hospital, a decision made by the superintendent who thought that calling it an asylum portrayed a sense of hopelessness and isolation. The hospital saw its most patients during the 1930s and 1940s. As the decades progressed, less and less patients were admitted any many were approved to leave thanks to new, effective medicines. By 2003, buildings had reached serious despair and there were less than 200 patients left.

The eerie atmosphere of this place was felt during the entire visit, but never so much as towards the Northern part of the property where we discovered extremely tall, fenced-in areas. This appeared to be an area for patients of the “exited wards” who were not allowed to roam the grounds freely. There were old rotting benches and non-working electrical alarms at the gate entrances.

For those interested in making the trip, the site is currently open to the public for visiting. There are over 30 buildings so you’ll have plenty to check out. There are signs posted all over the place to keep out of the buildings, which I assume are decaying away and for this reason it was painful not to get a glimpse inside. I kept imagining what the interiors looked like, boarded up for the last 20+ years. Especially the basements, attics and crawl-spaces. Good lord.

Medfield State Hospital has been used as a filming locations for Shutter Island, The Box and The New Mutants. That’s nice to know, but I couldn’t help thinking of the future TNUC photo-shoots that are most certainly going to be happening at this beautiful abandoned site.

Just down the street is the hospital cemetery, a burying place for patients who had no family to claim their remains. 841 graves are present.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: