These Disturbing Images From Insane Asylums Will Make You Cringe

You never know what’s going on in the mind of an individual. Many people over history have tried to find the key to the mind. Some people try to use hypnotism, and others try to examine the human brain with all manners of experiments. Patients have been brought into insane asylums for different reasons, each requiring special treatment. We have many images about insane asylums, but looking at these may make you cringe.

A Man Wears a Dog Mask

What do you see in this particular image? Do you see an individual that has been affected by the environment around him or do you see something disturbing about this man? You really cannot tell what this individual is feeling.

Here is some information about this particular image. The gentleman in this photo resides in a mental asylum in Japan. This patient has resided in this asylum for many years and he wears an unusual dog mask. This gentleman may have adopted the mannerisms of an actual dog or may have had a connection with a dog. This man has reportedly barked at staff when he is angry.

The Mummies of St. Elizabeth

The heading may sound like a title for some 80s B-rated horror movie, but there is nothing cinematic about these mummies. You see that the living individuals in the image have in a sense been “mummified.”

You could see why this image is disturbing. This may have been a way of restraining people and had been regarded as being a “humane” form of constraint during this period of time. St. Elizabeth’s hospital has since been shut down, and it is said to be haunted.

The Story of Eliza Camplin

This image is of a woman named Eliza Camplin. Eliza Camplin was a patient that was admitted to the Bethlem Royal Hospital 1857. She was said to have been diagnosed with acute mania, which in today’s day and time would be known as bipolar disorder.

The photograph on the left shows Eliza Camplin perhaps in one of her manic episodes and it was taken at the time when was admitted to the hospital. The image on the right shows Camplin in a normal state reading a book. She had some “treatments” done to her, which included rotation therapy. Rotation therapy involved spinning an individual from a ceiling harness until the patient vomited. The patient would also be covered in ice cold water for hours afterward.

The Ultimate Halloween Experience

If you happen to catch an image of an insane asylum today, you will see that a majority of asylums are abandoned. Abandoned buildings have often been the subject of intrigue by everyone from journalists to historians.

Some people look at these asylums and wonder about the stories behind them and their patients. The most curious of people want to know the daily routine of the residents and staff and ultimately why these buildings closed. What some individuals may not know is this: A lot of these abandoned asylums and hospitals have been used by teens to enhance their Halloween experience.

The Restraining Chair

This may seem like a familiar image when it comes to mental institutions. You have seen straitjackets and perhaps you have seen the restraining chair in movies and music videos.

Although the images of the restraining chair may have been used for various entertainment purposes, being in the chair was far from pleasant. The gentleman in the picture was named H. Clarke. He was photographed in 1869 showing the conditions inside of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum. This photo was a part of several photos showing what goes on inside insane asylums.

Why Are There so Many Abandoned Institutions?

You may have noticed an abandoned building in your neighborhood. Mystique and intrigue surround abandoned buildings, and the many stories about its past residents are kept within its walls. Have you ever thought that the abandoned building that you are looking at might have been an insane asylum?

The story behind these abandoned institutions may vary, but funding for these institutions abruptly stopped and people were no longer willing to put any money into it. The release of certain images and the public’s perception of these institutions in society may have contributed to their closing.

It Is Not Polite to Take Pictures

Today, there are too many cameras to track. People whip out their cameras to snapshot and film anything that is slightly interesting. Some people love to be filmed to get the notoriety out of the situation, and others might have a problem that could arise in anger.

A photographer just happened to visit a mental asylum somewhere in Asuncion, Paraguay where this image was taken. One of the patients there saw this photographer documenting the institution and the patient did not take this lightly. The patient stood in front of the camera with a gaze that only the camera can clarify.

The Heretic’s Fork

If you went against what was deemed the “norm” in society, then those unorthodox behaviors could end up flagging you as a person requiring a psychological evaluation. Mental institutions have dated back to as far as the year 872 in Cairo. Once a person was put into the mental institution, they could be subject to the most horrendous treatment.

One such torture device that was used on people who were believed to be blasphemers and heretics was known as the heretic’s fork. It was a device with a double sided fork that included a leather strap which was tied around a person’s neck. If the person tried to go to sleep, the fork would dig into their skin. It was also impossible to talk with this device.

The Steam Cabinet Was Used For “Correction”

Letting off steam is natural in a person who has experienced some angry emotions. It is good to vent in order to release the emotion that is held inside. Who could have imagined that actual steam could be used to calm someone who was deemed mad?

There may have been some scientific truth to using a steam cabinet. The steam cabinet was used to calm patients. The procedure does seem a bit unorthodox, but people still use steam cabinets even to this day. The purpose of the use of steam cabinets today is to release toxins from the body. Steam cabinets are also said to promote weight loss in individuals.

The Risk Of Being LGBTQA

Take a walk outside and take a really deep breath. Inhale deeply, and then exhale slowly. What type of scent did you pick up on? Did you smell the fresh outdoors, or the scent of someone cooking a dish? You may have smelled something unpleasant or something very sweet as well. The one thing that you can definitely smell is the freedom to be what you want to be.

This was not so in times past. Anyone who was a member of the LGBTQA community were considered pariahs in their settings. Being LGBTQA was even labeled as a mental disorder and people actually ended up in mental institutions because of their sexual preferences. These individuals were often subject to “treatments” intended to “cure their problem.”

Electroshock Therapy Was Not So Therapeutic

Have you ever had someone play a prank on you in which you were standing on a rug or carpet and you would then see someone rubbing their feet against this rug or carpet. You then became the unfortunate victim of a touch that made somewhat of a crackling sound. The feeling is unpleasant.

Electroshock therapy is the same type of experience, only much, much worse.The aim of a mental institution was to correct a patient’s illness with treatment. Using electricity was supposedly helping the patient in electric shock therapy but did more harm than good. Surprisingly, electroshock therapy is used today, but today we have much safer methods implemented than in times past.

A Nice Relaxing Bath That Is Not So Pleasant

There seems to be a focus on the use of water in the treatment of mental patients over history. Looking at this image seems a bit normal to us, but what is really going on in this picture? We see that the individuals are obviously being monitored while they are in bathtubs. The individuals being watched while in the tub ire not the main issue here.

These hydrotherapy baths had patients being held down by some type of apparatus in the bath. They were held against their will. This was so that the patient would feel the need to get out of the water, but they could not because they were held down until the staff felt that it was time for them to get out of the tub.

The “Utica Crib” Was Not for Babies

People who worked in these institutions seemed to have somewhat of an eccentric imagination. Imagine putting an individual in a crib for all to see. This individual is not a baby or some young child, but a man. The so called “Utica Crib” was used in the Utica Insane Asylum as a way to stop people from posing as a threat to themselves and others within the walls of the insane asylum.

A cell or padded walls might have been sufficient for such a purpose, but putting a man in a crib could be seen as extreme. As a matter of fact, the Utica Crib was used for almost 100 years before it was seen as being inhumane to individuals placed inside of it.

A Familiar Character We Have All Seen Before

More than likely, you have seen this character before. Think back and you will remember who this character is. You see certain talking animals, some of which will not be named. You also see an unfortunate girl who just happened to stumble upon these “characters.”

Spoiler alert: Does the name Jervis Tetch ring a bell for all of you comic book fans out there? Okay, it is time to let the cat out of the bag. If the guy in the image looks like the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, then you are correct. The Mad Hatter has its place in history. In the 18th and 19th centuries, people were exposed to toxic levels of mercury while working in hat factories, which affected their behavior. They were put in insane asylums and deemed “Mad Hatters”.

Do You Know What a Lobotomy Is?

Electroshock therapy was a horrible method of trying to treat someone in a mental institution back then, but there was a treatment that was far worse than that. This treatment is what was known as a lobotomy. You might have heard of this term but you may not know what it truly is or what it entails.

A lobotomy is an operation in which an incision is made to the prefrontal lobe of a person’s brain in order to treat them of a certain mental illness. This involved the use of an icepick to make the incision on the prefrontal lobe. A person would essentially become a zombie and they would be prone to suicidal thoughts.

The Hydrotherapy Shower

Hydrotherapy was used in institutions in two ways: Hydrotherapy was used to punish patients and also used to calm patients down. Medication has really taken over in the field of mental therapy and hydrotherapy is all but gone now.

Water was thought to be an effective treatment for patients suffering from insomnia, suicidal thoughts, and manic episodes. Caregivers would carry out these treatments for several hours, overnight, or even days at a time. The cold water assisted in slowing down blood flow to the brain, calming the patient.

Not Just a Name but a Number

When dealing with populations such as prisoners or patients, the name is taken away to strip the identity and a number is then substituted for the person’s name. These numbers were present on the clothes of the patients and thus the patients were known by their number rather than their name. Assigning numbers to individuals was seen as dehumanizing and some people still view the substitution of numbers for names as being inhumane.

This photo was taken at an asylum called “The Ridge” aka the “Athens Lunatic Asylum.” The male and female patients were separated from each other so they would not mingle with each other.

The Inspiration Behind Shrek

You are more than likely familiar with the Disney character Shrek. As with some characters, there was some reali life inspiration behind the creation of this character. With Shrek, the inspiration is obvious once you see the facial expression in the image.

The idea of the character came from a person who was believed to have a mental condition but in fact, didn’t. The Shrek character inspiration came from a man by the name of Maurice Tillet, better known as a wrestler named The French Angel. Tillet had a disease called acromegaly, also known as gigatism. The disease made him grow uncontrollably and altered his appearance. Tillet was actually a very intelligent man and spoke 14 different languages and served in the French Navy as an engineer.

A Day in the Life of Boxer

As mentioned before, there have been photographers who documented the lives and the conditions of mental patients confined within the walls of a mental institution. The outside world would not have known about the people or the conditions of this “world” without someone going in and documenting the conditions that boggle the mind to this day.

A photographer documented this gentleman years ago and this gentleman was known as Boxer. Boxer was a mental patient in a mental asylum at Cerne Voda. This asylum was re-purposed and was once used as a military hospital. Boxer had to be chained because he would cause a commotion by running around the institution and frightening other patients.

Green Day Films Video At Mental Care Facility

In 1994, Green Day filmed the video for Basket Case at the Agnews Developmental Center in Santa Clara, California. This was a real mental institution and they felt that they needed the institution to really drive home with their video.

The facility where they filmed was established in 1885, originally deemed “The Great Asylum for the Insane.” The building was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, where 117 patients and staff were killed. The building was rebuilt in 1911. Like many mental health facilities, it was abandoned, vandalized, and even set on fire before its proper demolition.