Danvers State Hospital – Danvers, Massachusetts, USA
Danvers State Insane Asylum, dubbed ‘the castle on the hill’, was established in 1878 to provide residential treatment and care to the mentally ill. Standing proudly atop Hathorne Hill, its appearance, both beautiful and imposing in equal measure, was the vision of Dr. Thomas Kirkbride, a man dedicated to creating a humane and compassionate environment for those suffering from debilitating mental illnesses. The hospital was originally designed to house 500 patients, but by the late 1930s, admissions had exceeded 2,000 and overcrowding became a serious problem. Danvers State Hospital closed its doors for good on June 24, 1992.
In 2005, the property was purchased by Avalon Bay Development. Left to decay for 13 years, a large proportion of the former hospital could not be salvaged. Consequently, several buildings were lost to the wrecking ball. If you should find yourself in the area today, you’ll be greeted by Halstead Danvers – a luxury apartment complex, complete with a health and fitness club, a theatre and, according to my sources, a former patient or two!