Xtreme Xplorations

Modern Ruins

Northampton State Mental Hospital




Northampton State Mental Hospital




Location
: Northampton, MA

Current Status
: Redeveloped

Background: This was the 4th Kirbride mental hospital to be built.  It was erected in 1856 and had a time capsule buried underneath the cornerstone.  It was orignally intended to hold 250 patients but quickly expanded to hold around 600.  Overtime the hospital became more and more crowded and the hospital kept making additions and expansions to hold the patients which made the hosptial very complicated to navigate your way through.  The underground tunnels were just as confusing.  The hospital eventually grew to a population of around 2500 patients and basically just served as shelter for these people and the hosptial was only able to give the patients a place to live and the basic living needs and not so much treatment of their problems.  The hospital also housed its own morgue with an 8 person freezer which at least 594 but possibly as many as 1200 people passed through during the hospitals operation.  There are 594 confirmed burials on hospital grounds but many records have been lost and the unmarked patient gravestones have all sunken below the ground.  The hospital, like many other large state mental hospitals, closed forever in 1993 with the last 11 patients leaving in august of that year wether they were ready to or not.  The hospital did see some action around 1999 though when two movies were filmed there.  "Cider House Rules" and "In Dreams" both filmed there and released in 1999.  "Cider House Rules" used what I believe to be the newer or other ad-min building as the orphanage.  I got some pictures of some of the stuff left behind in the Kirk which might have been from "In Dreams."  The Hospital Hill redevelopement group has sunken its teeth into the place and already torn down a few buildings and put up some condos but they aren't as bad as Avalon Bay however.  They are planning to try to save the Kirkbride and many other parts of the place and make it into some sort of small housing and shopping village.  Kind of weird but its better than just leveling the place in my opinion.  The Kirkbride building is still fully in tact because it is the last phase of the redevelopment plan and under heavy security.  But it won't be the old Hopsital on the Hill it once was for much longer.