Monday, April 14, 2008

Look Ma, A Room With A View

I was trying to think of a topic to write on and it finally came to me. I figured, “This is nuts, just totally crazy man; cause I can’t think of anything to write about.” So, in the spirit of insanity welcome to my world. I decided to go online and look for pictures of old, abandoned insane asylums. I found this one. It’s called Northampton State Hospital and was located in Massachusetts. I say, was, because it has been demolished now, but in it’s day, well, you can just imagine how much fun it would have been to stay there.

The picture is courtesy of Mental Floss who has posted many photos on the site. I would strongly encourage you to take the mental journey to Northampton. It’s amazing what people can live through, really. I mean the people running the place thought the patients were the crazy ones, let’s consider some of the things they put the patients through. I’d say they get the crazy award as well.

I have a book on asylums in the 1800s. It focuses on women, and many parts of it were written by the women who were actually placed in these places. Many women at that time would be committed to an asylum because their husbands no longer wanted them around; many had their money and possessions taken from them as well. And yes, men had the authority to do that then. All it took were two reputable men to make a statement that the woman was nuts, along with one doctor and boom, off to the institution. They would under go such torments as the water treatment. This was used, god only knows why, as a means of “treating” the patients. It began very early in the morning. The patient would be wrapped, like a mummy excluding the face, in cloth and then drenched with buckets of water and kept wet for several hours. The wraps would then be removed and the patient would be placed into a tub of water where they were kept for several more hours. After a short reprieve for food they would be wrapped once again and drenched for hours. Then the tub, then food, then another refreshing wrap before bed time. I can’t imagine a more relaxing treatment, can you? This would go on for weeks, sometimes months at a time, day in and day out, everyday for weeks or months, everyday. Personally, if you weren’t crazy when you went in you sure as hell would be after the personal, caring and loving treatments.

Well, I guess that wraps up my brief history on insane asylums for now. These places are wicked man and so I guess that’s why they call out to me. Yes, yes I do hear them calling. Don’t you?


Charmi said...

Great post. Love the pic!

maeve63 said...

Thanks Charmi; I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks, too, for stopping by. It's nice to have a visitor.

Charmi said...

Yeah, people just need to know you're around. It takes a little bit of time.

maeve63 said...

I hear ya. Of course it might help if knew people *chuckle chuckle*