Creepy And Disturbing Images From Insane Asylums Of The Past

May 8, 2014 | 2 Comments » | Topics: Interesting, WTF

The Pilgram Psychiatric Center in Long Island, NY, USA could house as many as 14,000 patients at a time. This self-sufficient mental asylum adopted extremely aggressive methods of “curing the insane”. Lobotomies and electric shock therapy were the norm. The doctors at this asylum started using large doses of insulin and metrozol to drive patients into a violent coma, just to be rid of them.


Lobotomy tools.


Serbian Psychiatric Hospital. Photo taken by George Georgiou who worked in Kosovo and Serbia between 1999 and 2002.

Female patients receiving Radium Therapy, early 20th century.

A chair used to restrain hysterical patients.

An insane asylum patient restrained by warders, Yorkshire, 1869, Henry Clarke.

A patient undergoing lateral cerebral diathermia treatment in the early 1920’s. Diathermia used a galvanized current to jolt psychosis sufferers. Doctors eventually deemed it unsafe and unreliable.

Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA insane asylum, 1870’s.

A chronic schizophrenic patient stands in a catatonic position. He maintained this uncomfortable position for hours.

Basement dining.

Reasons for Admission

Pilgrim State Hospital Brentwood NY, USA 1940s.

Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry. Man in restraints, B, violent ward. 1945.

Mechanical slapping massage device at BC sanitarium.

Abandoned Norwich State Hospital, Connecticut, USA.

A mother who has tuberculosis, and is on strict bed rest, leaves her room at the sanatorium for a Sunday walk with her family…. but she does not leave her bed.

Drawn by a paranoid schizophrenic patient.

Cuenca, Spain, 1961 Insane asylum.

Sections of brain encased in wax. West Park Mental Hospital Mortuary.

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. “Foundling Hospital, playroom.” Tots at the Washington Asylum for ‘Foundlings’.

Self-harm in 1964.

Patients in steam cabinets in 1910.

An x-ray of needles driven into the flesh by a self-harming patient.

An abandoned asylum in Limbiate, Italy.

In the late 19th century it was a widely held belief that masturbation caused insanity and devices such as this were designed to prevent the wearer from touching or stimulating himself. They were often used in mental institutions.

An insanity mask from the 17th century.

Hydrotherapy first used in the early 1900s, Immersion in a tub of water to make a patient relax when agitated or relieve some ailment, lasted a few hours to overnight. 1936.

Sometime in the 1800’s.

Sunland Asylum…Dr. Freeman, the quack who invented lobotomies. The procedure turned most ‘problem’ patients into zombies.

Patient in restraint chair at the West Riding Lunatic Asylum, Wakefield, Yorkshire ca. 1869.