(Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane)(Central State Mansion Apartments)(Indiana Museum of History)

2800 – 3300 Blocks of West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN

Status: Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital Complex; Museum; Most Buildings not Accessible; Residential Building


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From the Indiana State Archives


This location was authorized as early as 1827 but only opened in 1848 as one house with 5 patients. By 1928 the site and population had exploded to covering many acres and over 3,000 patients. Overcrowding became such a problem that those considered criminally insane had to housed with those attempting to overcome simple social issues. By 1948 the complex had 2 massive buildings – one housing the male patients and one housing the female patients – as well as a working farm, a hospital for physical illnesses, an amusement hall and a chapel.

The site was closed in 1994 when tales of patient abuse began to come to light and the State government began to look at alternatives to institutionalization.

The site is now largely abandoned and closed to the public but unlike many of its fellow hospitals it has not been completely demolished. There is currently a museum dedicated to the medical history of Indiana on the grounds housed in the former Pathology Building.

Only some of the buildings were demolished over the years; for example, the female and male wards are now gone – only a large lawn occupies their former location. 10 buildings belonging to the former hospital remain as of 2011.

In 2013 the Administrative Building as well as other buildings were purchased by a company wanting to refurbish them. They began changing the Administrative Building into student apartments; some of which were occupied by 2014. The building is now called the Central State Mansion.

The hospital is located in the 2300 – 3300 blocks of West Washington St on the western side of Indianapolis. As of 2003 the property is owned by the city.

There is cemetery on the grounds but rumors abound of many unmarked graves as well.


Paranormal Activity

Shadows, being touched and pushed, screams coming from some buildings (especially in the basements where the violent patients were kept usually in restraints), phantom footsteps, apparitions in hospital gowns on the grounds and in the buildings and cries from a victim who was murdered at the base of a tree.



I received a letter from a former patient of this institution and it has opened my eyes a lot to the human equation of these, well basically, Hell houses they called hospitals and the inhumane treatment people suffered in such places. His personal experiences were at Central State Hospital but I’m quite sure his thoughts mirror how others feel about what happened to them in other institutions.

I am posting his thoughts in hopes more eyes will be opened as mine have. His name has been omitted in order to protect his right to privacy.

“All of the trespassers of these places need to be more careful of whose law they are trespassing against. Spiritual or physical.

I watch these videos and I remember things that are sad not scary.

Look you all, you are illegally trespassing and possibly disturbing a miserable sacred ground of long forgotten souls, that were forgotten by any one that loved them long before they arrived here. I received electric shock therapy here twice illegally in 1979. when I was there all you can hear were muffled moans and see smug orderlies with the power of day and night for everyone there. Give this place a rest. Someone tear down the hall of tears please.

It is interesting that people look for the other side, and probably inevitable that one would want to know what waits for them there. But the places of violence and misery may have outcomes unsavory for both the physical and spiritual . A reasoning voice of understanding is what most people need who have not experienced the troubles these institutions provided…perhaps you will expand and let the voices mingle from both sides of the spectrum…”-