The Scattered Mosaic of Monson State Hospital


IMG_3089_new IMG_2953_newWe 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.

 

IMG_3104_new IMG_3113_newThe 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 IMG_3444_newapproximately 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.

IMG_3175_newAs I walked around this complex and after my short visit there today, I only have more questions.  Questions about the bodies that laid upon some of those beds.  I wondered about the staff and patients who saw theses buildings and stairways, what did they see?  What did they hear?  What were the instructions for what was seen and heard? 
When we left once section of the old state hospital, we see another complex of buildings with all of the doors and windows bolted.  No broken windows or time-shattered doors to betray any secrets unlike other parts of Monson. 

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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.
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