19th Century Asylums

Posted: November 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

Orbitoclast used in transorbital lobotomy

dverse Poetics: If Walls Could Talk Posted by


Some say this house is haunted.
It is; but not the way you mean.
There are no wispy phantasms
floating in the air, moaning, dragging
chains, running bony fingers through hair.
But, let me enlighten you to the frightful
things I’ve seen, things that have etched
themselves in walls and studs and nail.
Pain and sorrow, insanity and despair,
a thousand screams of madmen
from dreams of fiendish nightmare.
Those scenes and sounds still haunt me
though this asylum has long been closed
and the (mis)treatment of experimental
hopeful cures were finally exposed.

  1. lynn__ says:

    How patients with mental illness were treated was frightful! Unfortunately, today many of them are homeless or in jail. They need safe places to live, along with compassionate counseling and the right balance of meds. My dad is doing well, living with bi-polar disorder in assisted living.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mish says:

    Chilling memories for these walls all especially those mistreated. The mental health system has evolved but definitely not fast enough, with so many gaps and stigmas existing today.


  3. hypercryptical says:

    Having done my psyche (nurse) training in a building such as you describe – I know this. I could feel its awful history echoing around the walls.
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. NJ says:

    Oh goodness, yes! The horror that took place and still does is horrifying.


  5. The thought of those buildings still in operation far into the 20th century frightens me… and how many that are now less treated (or at best behind chemical bars)… I wonder it we would ever know how they should be treated.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    This is absolutely chilling, Debi, I can hear those walls as they whisper out those frightful stories!


  7. Brian says:

    The asylums closed because of mistreatment and the patients released outside the walls. Today, they are in jail instead, different walls same mistreatment.


  8. Mark says:

    Sometimes the scariest things are those things that are real. A nice and timely write.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Prajakta says:

    This literally gave me the chills – the secrets those walls contain are horrifying, more so because they are all real.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Grace says:

    I can’t imagine the horrors of those mistreated and unkindly forgotten in those walls. Well done Debi ~

    Liked by 1 person

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