Danvers State Hospital
Location: Danvers, Massachusetts
Status: Closed 1992
The hospital was designed to house 450 patients suffering from various mental illnesses. When it first opened in May of 1878, under the name the State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers, it was a one-of-kind facility. The hospital administration refused to use physical restraints on the patients and emphasized curing patients rather than merely hiding them away from the public. By the 1920s and 1930s, the hospital started to suffer from severe overcrowding and a lack of funding. The number of patients grew to over 2,000 while the size of staff remained relatively the same. As a result, the quality of care began to deteriorate as the overwhelmed staff struggled to control the massive number of patients. Patients were soon subjected to lobotomies, shock therapy and “special garments,” presumably straitjackets, as a means of control. Danvers would finally close in 1992. In 2001 the film Session 9 was filmed on the grounds. Today the buildings have been turned into an apartment complex. Sitting nestled between the apartments is what was the main building for the mental asylum which has been closed to the public.
Currently, visitors are allowed to tour the grounds of Danvers State Mental Hospital. The second and fourth Tuesday of every month, Danvers State Mental Hospital will be open to the public from 10:00 am to 12:00 Noon. No entry to buildings is allowed. To Register call Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 978-365-7352. Meet at the security trailer at the top of the Highlands Parcel. You must be 18 or older to visit.
Do not trespass on this property, all violators will be arrested.