Haunted Place: Willard Asylum

October 17, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Today we are going to dig into a haunted place known as the Willard asylum. Unlike many of the buildings or hospitals that I have been talking about over the last couple weeks the Willard Asylum is still functional and in 1995 was declared a Historic building.

History of Willard Asylum:

The property for the asylum was purchased in 1850 and was originally going to be the site of an Agricultural college. The American Civil War put a damper on this just like many of the hospitals and dreams created around that time. It was under the direction of New York’s Surgeon General at the time to make the completed buildings on the property into and insane asylum.

Little did these people ever know is that these places would eventually become areas of supernatural phenomenon and paranormal activities.

I know I mentioned the asylum is still operational but the older buildings have been shut down and the newer facilities under the same general name are still in operation. So the part that has the historical significance is actually open for tours at the time but under strict supervision and guidelines. This is because parts of the grounds are still functioning as the asylum and is pretty much under the same restrictions as a prison or jail.

Weird History:

A while back someone doing cleaning in the old infrastructure found old suitcases. In fact there were around 400 suitcases that all belonged to prior patients committed to the asylum. Can you imagine the way any of those spirits felt about their long lost items being forgotten? It is said that the suitcases were properly distributed back to those who would be in the rightful possession of them but still. Do you think if anything in them was haunted, making the facility a haunted place that the discovery of these released some of that phenomenon of freed the spirits? Maybe even allowed it to travel home to the ones who are family or friends. Perhaps not. Perhaps the asylum is the embodiment of the spirits that make this a haunted place.

Of course since the insane asylum operated from the previous last two centuries it would be known to use the older practices of treating the insane. Some of these pieces of equipment are still very much intact and can be seen in the pictures of the asylum which seems to be in fairly good shape compared to others I have looked at.

A Haunted Place…suitcases:

I know it sounds a little simple and not that eerie but it reminds me of something that I have seen in person and if you have it might send the same creepy feeling trickling down your spine. First scenario I think of is Ellis Island. There you can walk along a row of misplaced and lost luggage form the migration of Europeans and others in the early part of the last century and before then. Looking at these pieces of luggage reminds me that there is a story in there. Each and every little bag, suitcase, satchel, or trunk has something hidden. Some hidden past. Also whatever is inside will have the same stories.

I’ve even found this to be eerie to me in old houses that I use to renovate. When you find a little tin can that someone once hid, or the weird stuff in the walls and attics that you could find. Makes you wonder if it was left behind by accident. If it was hidden away to hopefully never be found again. Or if someone knew that there was something amiss about the items and had no idea what to do with them. To kind to hand them off to others, like passing a curse. Or perhaps seeking some type of power from the connection these items could possess. Still, just putting those out of sight, like in the case of Willard Asylum’s suitcases, doesn’t necessarily put them out of mind. The place is still considered to be a haunted place. With or without the suitcases.


Thanks for Reading,

Joshua Crane Dowidat


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