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The decorative patterns on the window bars do little to hide the fact that this was a place where you were not free to come and go. Note the dark stains where the wrought iron bars have rusted, adding more than a little creepy-factor. Also, note the flourescent light on on this fourth-story window...in an abandoned ward.

 

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[Edited text from Ohiolost.org]

 

Ridges Lunatic Asylum

On the campus of Ohio University; Athens, OH.

 

The hospital was in operation from 1874 to 1993. Construction of the facility began in 1868 and the hospital opened on January 9, 1874. For many years, the hospital was Athens, Ohio's largest employer. The state hospital was eventually decommissioned and the property deeded to Ohio University. Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare now administers a psychiatric hospital in Athens, within view of the original Athens Lunatic Asylum. The history of the hospital documents some of the now discredited theories of the causes of mental illness, as well as the practice of harmful treatments, such as lobotomy. Disappointments, religious excitement, seduction and masturbation are listed as causes of insanity in the early annual reports of the hospital.

 

The old hospital was featured in an episode of the Fox Family Channel television show "Scariest Places On Earth," which claimed Athens, Ohio was the 13th most haunted place on Earth.

 

One of the ghost stories that lingers with the site comes out of a very true story about a profoundly mentally delayed woman named "Margaret," who, in 1978, wandered into an unheated and abandoned portion of the asylum. She got locked in, and, unable to scream for help, died of exposure. When she was found, she was completely naked, with her clothes in a neatly-folded pile beside her body. Due to the sun's direct exposure and five weeks of decomposition, her body left a stain which could not be removed and could still be seen if the building weren't locked tight.

 

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Taken on March 24, 2008