Ghost Asylum – Peoria State Hospital – S03E03

imageFor their next investigation, the Ghost Asylum team is in Illinois to investigate the Peoria State Hospital. It opened it’s doors in 1902, and as it was the business of the time, took in far more patients than it could handle and those with nowhere else to go. It took in alcoholics, the mentally ill, the homeless, epileptics and even orphaned children. As you might expect, the treatment was poor, including the normal practice of lobotomy and electroshock therapy. The death toll is estimated at over 10,000, a vast majority were most likely affected by tuberculosis. It seems every hospital lost thousand of patients to that disease. But this will be the last investigation, as the hospital is being torn down.

Some of the claims from locals include voices, shadows, footsteps and doors closing. And as they start to investigate, Chris and his team get hits on their K2 meters as well as their "periscopes", plus the usual bangs and scraping sounds. They also get the word, "blind" which they believe could be Rhoda, a patient who was treated in a shocking manner.

It seems Rhoda was locked in a cage for almost her entire life. Her limbs were gnarled and destroyed. Her mind even more shattered than when she went in. Her madness, if there was any to begin with, increased to the point where she gouged out her own eyes and smashed out her own teeth. Any treatment she may have received certainly didn’t help.

On their first night, they play an old film which was taken at the hospital during a Halloween party in 1944. A Halloween party at an asylum seems like such a strange thing to do. But while it plays, they feel they get the words "mama", and "one place". The team attributes this to someone seeing their "mama" in the film and this is the "one place" they have lived all their lives. There is also a reference to "60" and "ghosts" as though there are 60 spirits still roaming the halls of the hospital.

For the second night, it’s time to build their ghost capturing apparatus which they call, The Phantom Cage, which will hold a music box, crystals and a meter to indicate if they capture anything. Basically it’s the same cage that Rhoda was kept in, which makes it seem like something they would be angered over not enticed by.

But as they continue for day 2, they bring in Emily and Gina to help comfort the child patients. The goal of the night is to try and lead the spirits that want to leave down to their cage. As they move their lasers around, the K2 meters goes off and they feel tugging at their legs. They also feel they get the words, "It’ll be okay". On their thermal imager, there is an outline of a head with eyes.

At the end of the night, they feel they’ve done all they can, but there is nothing to confirm they’ve captured anything or helped any of the spirits leave the building.

This is one of the rare times, if not the only time, I’ve heard of one of these hospitals being torn down. That just doesn’t seem to happen for whatever reason. Most of the time someone is trying to restore it and turn it into apartments or a motel. Nothing is mentioned about what they plan to do with the cemetery that’s out back.

But when it comes to evidence, what do we have? It should come as no surprise that an old building from 1902 is loaded with creaks, bangs and knocking sounds. It closed in the 70s, which gives animals plenty of time to take up residence and plenty of time for the elements to chip away at the foundation. Does that discount every sound and bump? Not specifically, but it means a vast majority of those sounds can be explained and should be expected.

As to the voices, well, that is for each person to decide. I don’t put much stock in those as there are too many ways to replicate and interfere with such things.

The Peoria State Hospital is a textbook example of good intentions, but another monument to the failed treatment of mental illness. Is it a haunted location? Are the spirits of Casey and Rhoda still wandering the halls? Who knows, but let’s hope not. What a terrible place to end up in both life and death.

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