We hiked a short hill while the humidity seemed to beat us with each step toward the now abandoned Monson State Hospital in Palmer, MA. I still did not know what to expect because I only Googled the Monson State Hospital once to look at the place my friend suggested as a possible abandoned adventure in Palmer, MA. As we approached the gate, I saw one of the taller buildings peering at us part ominous, part mystery, and other parts daring us to come closer to get another look.
The Monson State Hospital a.k.a. Massachusetts Hospital for Epileptics a.k.a. other combinations of names has history dating from the 1700′s and some sources mention 1800′s. Monson State Hospital is approximately composed of 76 buildings and 688 acres of wild ferns, nettles, and other plants. Information Monson is like trying to put all of the pieces together for a mosaic hoping that it might become a clear picture. Statements or various reports are mentioned in passing about epileptics being castrated, apparatus being used to bolt patients to walls, hold them in place in tubs or in beds. Additionally, a hospital Superintendent, Dr. Flood, is mentioned in few sources as having ties to the eugenics movement.
As my curiosity grows for all things Monson State Hospital, I am still slightly haunted by the red spray-painted words “Help” upon the walls in the room that had the rusted bed frame. It is oversimplified in an abandoned place like this to view it as just reckless vandalism.