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Monday, August 26, 2013
Danver’s State Hospital, Danvers, Massachusetts
Chance of Paranormal Activity - 4
Status - Demolished, Residences
Investigation Ease - 2
The State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers was constructed in the spring of 1878 near Danvers, Massachusetts. It constructed according the Kirkbride Plan after Thomas Kirkbride a prominent psychiatrist in Philadelphia in the mid-1800s. It was constructed at a cost of $1.5 million.
The hospital was originally 2 main center buildings with 4 radiating wings and a tower measuring 130 feet in height. It was built to house 500 patients with the possibly of putting 100 more in the attic however by the 1930′s and 40s it housed 2,000 patients with severe over crowding.
The site was also used as a nurses school and a pathological laboratory.During the 1960′s the hospital began to explore alternative treatments and de-institutionalization and the inpatient population began to decrease. Because budget cuts the hospital was closed in June of 1992.
In December of 2005 the property was sold to Avalon Bay Development and despite a public outcry and a legal case (of which there have been many complaints about the courts handled it) all buildings slated for demolition were destroyed by June of 2006. Avalon’s plan was construct apartment complexes on the site however in the early morning hours of April 7, 2007 a large fire broke out in all of Avalon’s construction trailers and 4 of the apartment buildings.
Only the original facade of the administration building was left but it also burned in the tremendous heat from the fire. The fire was visible from Boston 17 miles away and the webcam Avalon had set up on the site suddenly quit transmitting at 2:03 am possibly due to the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Danver’s State Hospital location is now an apartment complex called Avalon Danvers but there are numerous complaints about treatment by the buildings managers, high rent increases, large amounts of noise, vandalism, domestic violence and other crimes as well as electrical problems. There are also complaints of dangerous people living in the complex and nearby. It could be that Avalon is just not a good property manger or is the site really cursed?
The team have always said that laughed at people who move into the site of a demolished psychiatric hospital (what were they thinking?) but after reading some of their letters I have to say I really feel sorry for them as well.
The original name for Danvers was Salem Village. This is where the Salem Witch Trials were held not in the current town of Salem. People were actually hung on Hawthorne Hill where the hospital was built.
Jonathan Hawthrone, perhaps the most fanatical judge in the infamous Salem Witch Trials, is said to have lived in a house on the same hill long before the hospital was built. He over saw the deaths of 23 innocents.
The mold infested crops that have been said to have caused the hallucinations that lead to the Salem Witch Trials are said to have been grown on the same hill as the hospital was built.
By the 1940s faced with intense overcrowding the hospital resorted to brutal techniques including early-style shock treatments, lobotomies and hydrotherapy (total immersion in freezing cold water).
Dozens of requests were made to perform seances on the property to the Massachuetts Department of capital Assets who owned the property during the period of abandonment. All were denied.
Jeralyn Levasseur lived on the property as a child in a house lent to her father by the Hospital administrator. She remembers hearing footsteps in the second storey hallways when no one else was home as well as doors that would open and close as well as lights flickering. She also remembers her brother and sister seeing the apparition of an older woman scowling at them. When she was in high school all of the covers were ripped off her bed when no one else was in the room.
There are 2 schools of thought about the site. One says it is purely haunted by the incredible amount of negative energy from both the witch trials and the horrific treatment of the overcrowded patients at the hospital. The other school says the actual ghosts of former innocents killed in the witch trials and the former patients still walk the grounds.
Countless apparitions of both former patients and staff, shadow figures, phantom sounds of voices, laughter, crying, screaming and every other imaginable sound, feelings of being touched, pushed and tugged at, feelings of being watched, not being wanted, general unease, intense and uncontrollable fear and intense overwhelming sadness, reports from people of having their names spoken, doors opening and closing on their own, electrical disturbances, light anomalies, mysterious mists and glows and pretty much any other paranormal activity ever experienced.
A feeling of intense evil is said to hang over this area (perhaps pre-dating the hospital) that seems to exist to this day.
Danvers Avalon Today
For the best look at the hospital in its abandoned state but before construction was began please watch the movie “Session 9″.
Directions to Danvers Avalon the site of the hospital before it was destroyed.
From 95 North
Exit 49 (Rte 62 Danvers/Middleton) Left at Stop sign Straight through 1st traffic light Left at second traffic light onto Old Maple Street. Arrive at Hathorne Hill. Make an immediate right onto Kirkbride Drive.
From 95 South
Take exit 50 onto Route 1 South toward Route 62/Middleton. Turn right onto Route 62 West toward Middleton. Turn left at first traffic light onto Old Maple St. Arrive at Hathorne Hill. Make an immediate right onto Kirkbride Drive.