History of Madness 2 – Abandoned Victorian Arkham Asylum Wards

Previously, we explored the early days of this infamous sprawling gothic Asylum and took you into the decaying first floor Of its ward for the criminally and violently insane Today we take you deeper into its dark abandoned halls and explore what was left behind in the last days of this massive institution on this explore with us today our think maker myself and guest explorers free spirit and dark sparkle We left off last time heading up the stairs to the second level as we enter these long hallways We will be taking you through offices therapy and medical rooms patient dorms and cafeterias This room looks to have been a small medicine storage room or pharmacy with a dumbwaiter for moving it between the floors These porches dot the side of the wards having allowed patients to sit in the Sun now we are home to strange graffiti visages This rec room has not only an overturned pool table but a walker strangely stuck in the ceiling A major feature of the ward layout are the lengthy corridors that form each section of the double 8 shape of the building a View outside shows one of the newest buildings looming in the distance By the 1950s there were some six thousand patients in this sprawling complex of buildings all around us The Cheney Memorial Building was a 10 story 960 bed Edition built in 1952 that helped the hospital cope with its massive needs for housing and care It was named after. Dr. Cheney who himself had built the very ward for the violently insane that we explore today Dr. Hunt was next to step in as superintendent and finally discontinued insulin shock therapy where patients were injected with large amounts of insulin to induce short daily comas repeated for weeks on end and also, he oversaw the cessation of patient lobotomies by 1957 in 1962 dr. Snow stepped in as superintendent and created a 67,000 square foot rehabilitation center in 1971 which was the last large development on the site by 1975 the original old Kirkbride Asylum was mostly empty with newer buildings active around it still a Decade later by 1984 the hospital population had fallen from 6,000 to just 900 by 1987 the old 1800s Kirkbride began to suffer from floor collapses and the building was boarded up in 1990 by 1994 the campus and it’s smaller offshoot campus combined and Finally in 2000 The Cheney memorial building was abandoned as well leaving the complex empty and open to decay scrappers and vandals This thinner hallway connected one side of the to eight shaped sections to the frontal v-shaped area which housed the cafeteria A whole smashed in this wall reveals a shaft with a chimney Hmm On the wall a phrase acknowledging the physically trapped nature of the people who sat in this room every day The patient tub sits alone on the floor Um, not really a little bit This darkroom acted as a storage for ward supplies As we head downstairs to a section we could not previously reach the flight is ringed by a distinctive anti-suicide caging Cuatro These rooms seemed to have been offices and are covered with extremely out-of-date tech junk It’s hard to imagine someone coming across these in a hundred years when already these items are almost alien to us This room is completely full of manuals hard drives and discs from the earliest days of personal computer technology The disk reads in 1987, it’s unlikely the word was used much past the 1990s when it housed a cooking school for patients In the far end of this cafeteria, like room are a few chairs still sitting in the Sun Or a small something The sample meal selection seemed very bland These suggestions to deal with stress appear to be an original staff posting The darkroom is not only cluttered with furniture but also contains lots of daily records Hello good Yeah I don’t want I Didn’t dare explosion hazard not using a presence of flammable anesthetic Oh What appears to be an old ECG machine sits on a desk It’s like a burned-out journey to find out gun a Field arson has left a scorched wheelchair I don’t know what it is The whole area is littered with medical leftovers and suggests an area of treatment rooms Underfoot our feeding tubes and oxygen tubes forming coiled snake light piles In this room a single chair sits with the oxygen tank holder the patient would have wheeled around with them Room upon room of old sagging stained chairs and the remnants of ill patients everyday lives A last very intact chamber holds almost perfectly arranged medications and equipment The destruction and vandalism in this room is just a small symptom of the greater destruction of the hospital grounds In 2005 the huge campus was sold to developers for just 3 million dollars in 2007 a fire destroyed the massive south wing of the main Kirkbride building Just three years later the floors collapsed in 2012 The last smaller off-site buildings closed due to a budget deficit with the patient’s moving to other hospitals in 2015 developers announced a 200 million dollar plan of development of the site into 750 homes a retail plaza and a hotel and the demolition of 60 or so existing buildings That same year in a shocking crime William McKinney was charged with stabbing to death Jerusha Christie and Dumping her body on the hospital grounds his friend. Jerome Harris was also charged with assisting in the cover-up Finally in 2018 the campus suffered a further fire that destroyed the main Kirkbride Administration Building which had been a focus of historic preservation Battles the fire conveniently cleared the way for development to continue on the rest of the site which includes the ward we explored today the site of the old Kirkbride today is heartbreaking for anyone that loves rare historic architecture a Scan of the south male patient wing shows collapses fire damage and extreme decay This 150 year old building is now a blankly staring shell with ornate arches peaked roofs and complex brickwork The trees in the front have been cleared for planned demolition We take the risk and move towards the front which is a secure area due to the recent arson in the distance to the left the Kirkbride administration buildings towers loom Behind us are the tall buildings of the newer campus The administration building is a truly remarkable structure even gutted by fire as We thought might happen responded and a policeman drives quickly towards us ending the exploration today It’s unlikely that the builders of Thomas Kirk Brides massive Undertakings would have imagined that they would in just a hundred 50 years be bulldozed to put up mundane. Wooden houses storefronts and walking areas For the patient’s inside these gothic Towering peat wards their stories are forgotten and they lie in local unmarked graves by the thousands The successes and abuses of their doctors and staff seem lost to us Today the mentally ill freely wander the streets with few services to treat them many of them pass patients of these very hospitals as These last great houses of healing and horror slowly fade away. So do the lessons held in their wards Join us next time as we explore two strange and mysterious miniatura painted sites Subscribe and explore with us today

41 thoughts on “History of Madness 2 – Abandoned Victorian Arkham Asylum Wards

  1. I hope you enjoy the new exploration and have a great week! We are headed to Ireland in a few days to hopefully add some more great forgotten mansions to the channel. Stayed tuned!

  2. Amazing as usual man πŸ”₯πŸ”₯. Huge fan of the history and narration. Keep killing it brother. Looking forward to some content from Ireland ✌️🀘

  3. Hi , Desrtify Urbex. This is my first time to watch your videos. God bless πŸ˜‡ you with your friend. Good luck.

  4. That's the sad part when, people visits and put up graffitis picture on the walls. OMG. Can't believe it to see a Walker on the ceiling ?

  5. Great video. Thanks! Oh, that "wheelchair" stuck in the ceiling wasn't a wheelchair. It's an oxygen tank cart for the large bottle of O2.

  6. It's a beautiful architecture structure but , what hurts the most is due to all different types of incidents that had happened.

  7. Thanks for sharing this historic hospital and asylum case. It's a great pleasure to spend your time on it. God bless πŸ˜‡ you and keep safe.

  8. Thanks a million Sir for liking my comments and, take care. God bless πŸ˜‡ you and your friend. More power to your adventure.

  9. I think it's a travesty that significant architectural buildings like this, despite there former use end up like this and the fires seem very convenient to me, well from the developer point of view. Great video guys

  10. This is a cool video. I did enjoy it. Another great place being torn down. I love these old Kirkbride Asylums sad this is going to be gone. πŸ™‚

  11. Rasputin & the Empress 1932 TCM. All Barrymore's exceptional acting skills, literally takes my copd breathe away!!! Oh their famille exceptional talents

  12. This last weekend a couple of friends and I took a trip to the Trans Allegheny asylum Kirkbride for a tour. The stark contrast between these two pieces of american history really is heart breaking. So much wasted potential for something great.

  13. Great video ! The plight of the mentally I'll goes on ! As you said in the streets! They have freedom to roam! My oldest son lives with me ! I have POA and see to his needs..my youngest son and my daughter's will continue if I should be the one to leave this Earth first! There actually is a Mental hospital in the neighboring town. My mother was in an institution,like the one in this video! Thanks for shining the light in a heartbreaking history that some of us share!πŸ‘πŸ™‹πŸ•ŠοΈ

  14. There is a huge former "mental hospital" near my home that has been unoccupied for 20+years because it's full of asbestos. It's a sick building as I imagine a lot of the places you explore are. You shouldn't go into them without masks and special clothing. You can carry the fibers on your clothing and not know it.

  15. I really enjoyed this one without the music being on it all the time! Your detailed history and narration are great!! Your videos are improving so much, that you are better than what we in the UK watch on our tv's! Thinkmaker makes the camera work to a very high standard, unlike some that are here in the UK! I was amazed at the patients records being left around! Truelly excellent work, and enjoy Ireland, as it is a beautiful country. old Tich.

  16. Info-The difference is that an Asylum usually refers to a state run facility, while a Sanitarium is privately run. Although there is some overlap between the two terms. … In broad definition a Sanitarium is simply a privately run hospital for the long term treatment of various chronic ailments, both physical or psychological.

  17. Great video as always. Spooky in places, errie at times. Do you suppose we instill the scare factor in ourselves because of what the buildings were and whom they built for? Do we scare ourselves? Mind you , I must admit I wouldn't like to explore at night 😊
    Take care all of you . Thank you for sharing

  18. I just love the architecture of those old buildings, so sad they are not being saved. The place is huge. I remember those old floppy discs, we had them in the school computers.

  19. Thank you for the wonderful explore and amazing narration loving your work as always πŸ™‚ Keep up the great work πŸ™‚

  20. Love your videos. Wish you could "hook up" with a psychic. I watch many paranormal shows and consider myself an aficionado. You have potential my friend. Very few work with a psychic. Just a thought. Be safe and protect from something following you home. You may not even be aware

  21. 2:56 Someone had serious anger issues, that Walker did not walk up there by it self…that was funny!

  22. There's a smaller version of this kind of place still operating in Ireland, Antrim. Here's the link:


    I used to live in the estate beside the hospital from birth until I was 10, and it was the first place (along with its now demolished, eerie abandoned properties) I learnt to go off and explore. It was a rather creepy place, too. The patients used to be found wandering the nearby forests, the roads, and even on the railway line (where one was sadly hit by a train) in their green and white gowns. There have been many suicides, too. I remember seeing one; he looked for all the world like some kind of ghostly zombie hanging from a tree. It scared my friend and I to the point we ran through forest and fields all the way home in a direct, straight unbroken line (to hell with barbed wire fences, which we jumped like gymnasts!).

    It is living history, when for all intents and purposes the hospital should have been abandoned by now as it is no longer fit for purpose.

    This excellent exploration and video is its future…sadly…

  23. I enjoyed this soo much more than the first, as there was more natural light from the windows, I could see a whole lot better, in part 1 I found the corridors dark & the rooms were a bit hard to see in, but I guess u have to be careful with ur lighting so as not 2 be seen, I luv luv luv ur narration, u give us soo much history on the places u investigate, u really do ur homework well on the buildings & u talk in a real clear voice, also I luv when u are narrating u don't mute the sounds from the initial investigation, I hope u do get to read this as I know this one is a month old, but new subby here & I wanted to let u know how much I enjoy ur way of investigating… πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ŠπŸ‘ŠπŸ‘ŠπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ By geez if only these walls could talk hey… πŸ˜€ Thankyou

  24. P.S. In case u were wondering what I meant by "mute the sounds while narrating" what was meant by that was, while u are narrating, I still want to hear u walking, stepping over the debri, doors opening, closing or creaking, coz I want to feel as though I am there exploring with you guys whilst u narrate & if it's muted it kinda takes away from that feeling… I hope that makes sense… πŸ€” πŸ˜€

  25. Finally an urbex channel that explains the history of the location and doesn't claim it's haunted and hear noises all the time

  26. You go into places that are rotting and filthy and come out to tell the tale. I'm beginning to go for your channel in a really big way. The walker in the ceiling really does it for me.

  27. I wonder if Thomas Kirkbride knew he was creating a design icon. If so I wonder if, given their legacy, would he have changed it to be a bit more mellow and square w/ less attics and fewer levels of basement.

  28. Thanks SO much ,I thoroughly enjoyed that. You guys go to a lot of trouble to tell and show us about the history of this place ,so that's much appreciated. Pity some items from each era could've been saved in part of a museum as so much history is lost from these places.πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ’žπŸ˜€.
    P.S looking forwards to see the one about Ireland. Have you been to Scotland, Wales or even my place England?

  29. A tragic waste that a use was not found for the complex, so many great buildings such as this have been lost and with them the history. Both parts are well worth watching.

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