As I pull up to parking lot, all I can see is a gravel parking lot joining to a small path. a green field covers most of my sightline but I can see some old buildings in the distance. As I cross the field, and the buildings get closer, I can start to see how dilapidated the entire property has become over the last few years since the hospital was shut down. Windows are boarded up and thick layers of paint peel away leaving a layer of rust on every oxidizable surface. The red brick crumbles in places and an eerie silence overtakes the entire atmosphere.
Originally known as the Medfield Insane Asylum, this campus was once the home of over 2300 patients (and 900 staff) in a time when mental health facilities were more like houses of horror. At it’s worst, an average of four patient deaths occurred a week causing a tomb and cemetery to be constructed on site. If you ever read horror books about asylums, they are certainly based off of real life hospitals like this one.
As I walk around the campus I can’t help but think about the countless amount of lives that were lost inside of these walls. Not just to death, but to the decay that surly would happen to someones soul by being trapped here. I can’t stop thinking about lobotomies. Right on the other side these boards, doctors would cut out half of the brain of a patient to help cure them. How insane is that!? To even fathom it makes my stomach turn slightly. Electro shock therapy is another one. I can’t even imagine all the torturous Man am I glad that we have teamed up empirical science with mental health treatment.
It’s mind blowing to me that this facility was open until 2003. Luckily, since the 60’s and the implementations of the Kennedy Administration. Luckily, they started passing laws to ensure humane treatment of those housed in these facilities and slowly they were moved to community homes. Until next time, I’ll enjoy the ambience of this place through movies like Shutter Island.
Closest Supercharger: Farmington MA
FRAM, 83-45-2192, Framingham, MA 01701
Medfield State Hospital
1 Stonegate Dr, Medfield, MA 02052