By in Sci Fi & Paranormal

Abandoned Insane Asylum

We have an abandoned insane asylum not too far from where I live. It was originally opened in 1861 and was located in Northport, Alabama. It's original name was the Alabama State Hospital for the Insane. It was later named after Dr. Peter Bryce. Bryce was a young doctor from South Carolina who went to Europe to study how psychiatric patients were treated there. He came back to this country with a lot of new ideas that he was excited about implementing. No longer were patients shackled and he insisted that patients be treated with respect. He took control of the new hospital and it was renamed for him. So it is now known as Bryce Psychiatric Hospital. There is the abandoned Bryce Hospital and a new Bryce Hospital that was just opened this year.

Fast forward a hundred or so years. Governor Lurleen Wallace toured Bryce Hospital in the 1970's and compared it to a concentration camp. The conditions were abysmal. A very big embarrassment for the state. Young Dr. Peter Bryce would have been appalled. The history of the facility is quite fascinating. But this isn't really a history lesson. The subject is the old abandoned Bryce Hospital.

The abandoned hospital is extremely creepy. And of course it is said to be haunted. After the civil war some of the big plantation owners needed people to work in the cotton fields. So who better? They enlisted the services of the black mental patients. After all, isn't hard work supposed to cure what ails you? A lot of the patients were miserable and lived horrible existences. So in a situation like that wouldn't you expect a ghost or two?

It is quite illegal to sneak into the old hospital and explore. It can be very dangerous. But that doesn't stop anyone! You can go to YouTube and see tons of videos where people have done just that. One of the best videos is a local band who went into the hospital to sing to the dead. It is really quite touching. It didn't take too long before the Alabama State Troopers showed up. Can you imagine trying to explain to the popo that you are just there to sing to dead mental patients? The premise was they were trying to soothe the souls of the departed. Instead of hauling the band into the pokey, the trooper asked for them to sing a song to HIM. They complied and after the song, the trooper told them to please vacate the premises. So they did . . . until the next day. Then they showed up again to sing to the dead. They got quite a few EVPs. I think one of them told the guys to please leave them alone. Scared the you know what out of them. I guess the departed didn't care for their type of music.

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AngelSharum wrote on September 8, 2014, 3:50 PM

Very interesting. I'd like to take some photos of the place but I wouldn't want to meet any of the ghosts.

MegL wrote on September 8, 2014, 6:10 PM

What are EVPs? Is the "p" for patient? Some of those places have absolutely fascinating photographs taken of them.

sharron wrote on September 8, 2014, 6:53 PM

No, Meg. EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena. It is a fancy way of saying a recording of a voice from someone or something we cannot explain.

SandraLPetersen wrote on September 9, 2014, 7:48 AM

I'm fascinated by old abandoned properties and this sounds very interesting. Abandoned hospitals for the mentally ill always seem to have stories of hauntings, don't they? I've never explored an old building that has supposed ghosts but I did visit an abandoned building associated with iron ore mining in northeastern Minnesota. Took a lot of photos.

sharron wrote on September 9, 2014, 9:48 AM

Look closely, maybe a ghost is in a photo. emoticon :winking:
I really do enjoy the videos of the folks who explore abandoned properties both here and in Europe. It is amazing what they find.

LarrySells wrote on September 10, 2014, 8:27 PM

I've studied mental health and asylums for a long time now. I'm bipolar. Nationwide the asylums used their patients or clients as slaves both whites and blacks equally, guinea pigs; experimented on brain surgery like lobotomies and electric shock therapy which were sometimes give out a punishments. Mild punishments were put in a padded cell, straitjacket or both, restraint to bed, chair, or even a wall. Meals and water were withheld. Some mental asylums had what they are called holes. Here they placed their misbehaving patients into. These holes were so dark that the person inside could barely see their hand. The person who entered one of these asylums didn't matter anymore. They were told and taught that they were inhuman and subhuman. Their family didn't love them and want nothing to do with them anymore, for that's why they are here. In fact, it wasn't uncommon for the people who ran the asylum to have the family to sign a paper saying that they would not see their family member while they're in the asylum. When they are signed in the asylum, it was a death sentence.
This didn't change for many until the 1950's and 1960's. It started to get better, but many inhuman acts like electric shock therapy were still carried out as punishment and wide awake, which stopped in the 1990's and electric shock is given at the last resort and only if the patient wants it.. When electric shock therapy is now given the patient is put to sleep. Now the asylum pays its patients if they chose to work. When a person enters the asylum, it is no longer a death sentence.

inertia4 wrote on September 15, 2014, 7:22 PM

sharron sounds interesting. I think I will look up some of those videos. I wonder if the ghost hunters or one of those other ghost shows ever went there to investigate.

sharron wrote on September 16, 2014, 12:15 AM

I have never seen any ghost hunter shows go to Bryce Hospital. But I am glad you brough