Taunton State Hospital

(State Lunatic Asylum at Taunton)

60 Hodges Avenue, Taunton, MA

(508) 977-3000

Status: Former Insane Asylum; Abandoned; Heavily Burned then Demolished; 48 Bed Facility

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History

This site was the second lunatic asylum built in the State. Like all other facilities of this type in the late 19th early 20th centuries it was built to alleviate over crowding at the hospitals that proceeded them.

In all cases they were followed by a third, a fourth hospital and so on.

Taunton opened in April of 1854 providing a campus with fresh air for the patients and a main building designed on the Kirkbride style. A central administration section with patients housed in great wings like a big bat out from administration; female on one side, male on the other, with the most violent patients the furthest out on the wings.

The campus was expanded in the 1870’s – 80’s and 90’s. In the early 20th century group homes, juvenile facilities and infirmary wards were added.

The curved halls that connected the main buildings became the facility’s signature.

The main site was closed down in 1975 and abandoned including the original main Kirkbride building. In 1999 the dome on the roof of the administration building – see photo above – collapsed due to lack of maintenance.

On March 19, 2006 a massive fire broke out in the main building completely destroying administration section of the main building leaving the abandoned wings standing on their own and open to the elements. Per our research this is when the State put up the large walls around the site ending the explorations of urban explorers and paranormal investigators.

Despite becoming a historic district in 2009 most of the historical buildings including the remaining parts of the Kirkbride building were demolished. Lack of care and maintenance since the abandonment had left them barely standing.

Only a 48 bed psychiatric facility is all that remains open now. It functions as a treatment center for both women and youth suffering from substance abuse.

 

Paranormal Activity

This site is considered one of the most haunted both in the State and in North America.

There is an urban legend that a Satanic cult was operating in the basement of the hospital while it was operational. This is, of course, so cliché that even the word cliché doesn’t cover it.

After the closure explorers did find a lot of strange symbols and apparent blood on the walls of the basement and staff did describe being physically prevented from entering the basement by a cold dark force.

Many people say there is still a dark force present on the former campus. It is conveniently labeled as the Devil but putting aside all silliness and propaganda it seems likely that some sort of dark force still haunts the old campus.

After all the killer nurse Jane Toppan did die here. She admitted to using her geriatric patients as guinea pigs and confessed to poisoning 100+ people.

Phantom screams described as painfully loud and blood chilling date back to before the site was closed. These screams are now reported throughout the old site and in the woods surrounding it.

The apparition of a man dressed in white has walked the halls here since the hospital was open and was reported by multiple patients. He was also reported as crouching in the corners of patient’s room seemingly watching them. Today he’s still seen walking the grounds and will vanish if approached.

Disembodied voices, laughter, crying and screams for help is still reported on the site.

When the buildings still stood doors opening and slamming shut on their own was reported often.

The shadow figures that once slinked along the halls in the hospital are now seen in the ruins in the surrounding forest.

In the remaining facilities still open on-site lights turning off and on and flickering on their own still happens often enough to be reported.

Other reported activity: apparitions of former patients and staff; light anomalies; electrical disturbances; time and dimensional slips; unexplained noises; objects moving their own and feelings of being watched.