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Film / Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is a Korean Found Footage Horror Movie by Jung Bum-Shik.
The group sets up their base camp, where Ha-Joon hunkers down to capture everything, the group enter the building on midnight of the anniversary of its closing and begin their mission. Shame their mission is more dangerous than anticipated.
The movie was released on March 28th, 2018.
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum contains examples of:
- Artistic License – History : The real-life Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital was built in 1982, long after when its movie counterpart supposedly closed down. It also closed not because the director went mad, but largely because complying with a certain environmental law would have greatly strained the hospital's finances.
- Black Eyes of Evil : Anyone possessed by the ghosts at Gonjiam have their eyes turn completely pitch black.
- Blatant Lies : To goad the crew into continuing the stream, Ha-Joon denies the supernatural change in graffiti below Charlotte's.
- Blood from the Mouth : The mouth of the ghost that floats up behind Ha-Joon in Room 402 has blood around her mouth.
- Book Smart : Je-Yoon teases Ah-Yeon as this.
- Ye-Joon ties a panty to a tree as a marker. In true Blair Witch Project fashion, Charlotte and Ji-Hyun find themselves running in circles around that panty.
- Not much later, we see lab equipment (and the dead chicken) scattered on the forest.
- The doll in the same lab reappears in Room 402, heralding the arrival of its owner.
- Charlotte's holy water shows up only twice - once as a demonstration, and the other shows it seemingly boiling away or being poured with rainwater.
- Camera Abuse : After Ha-Joon is attacked by a ghost in Room 402 , we the P.O.V. of the drone as it falls to the ground, breaking the lens on impact.
- Cat Scare : When Je-Yoon enters the bathing room, he sees what looks like the top of someone's head in the tub and freaks out. Ah-Yeon reaches in and pulls it out, revealing it's a wig on something white.
- Cutting the Knot : Attempted a few times over the film. A number of people who have come to Gonjiam have tried to open the door to Room 402, usually by trying to break the lock (since none of them have the key). The crew try as well with a circular saw , but they can't open it either .
- Downer Ending : All of the cast are possessed/taken by the ghosts of Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital. Also, the livestream cut out when Sung-Hoon admitted to staging all the hauntings to Je-Yoon an Ah-Yeon, so everyone leaves the livestream disappointed, not knowing what happened after.
- At one point, Sung-Hoon, Je-Yoon, and Ah-Yeon find themselves in a room full of ankle-deep water with no visible exit, and what looks like the surface of water in the hole in the ceiling above them. It's in this room that they're possessed by ghosts one-by-one.
- Time is also a mess inside the asylum, with Charlotte's death occurring much later from the P.O.V. of the surviving crew and Ha-Joon seeing himself get killed by the director.
- Flipping the Bird : Ji-Hyun straps one of the cameras to her middle finger. When she does it at the start of the movie, she states it's for a "fuck-you-mentary".
- Foreseeing My Death : It's partly obscured by the window, but footage from Ha-Joon's drone shows someone violently jerking inside it. It isn't until later when Ha-Joon looks from the same window that we realize he IS the one jerking, and that's because the director is hanging him.
- Found Footage : This movie chronicles a group of people who disappear inside of Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus : While reviewing the footage, Ha-Joon sees a split-second shot from the P.O.V. of a seventh filmer. There are only six crew members inside the hospital at that time.
- Full-Frontal Assault : How Charlotte meets her end inside Room 402.
- The Gadfly : Ah-Yeon really enjoys making fun of Je-Yoon being a scaredy cat.
- Going in Circles : Ji-Hyun and Charlotte run into the same tree marker twice as they attempt to head back to their ten.
- First with the crew enjoying time at a bar the night before heading to Gonjiam.
- Second when they decide to go swimming by launching each other off of a giant floating balloon.
- Third when they're eating noodles in the home base tent before they head into Gonjiam.
- Haunted Technology : The ghosts may or may not have fudged with the stream numbers. The ghosts in the background of the webpage also walk away from the screen at the end of the movie.
- The ping-pong ball sound is described in the legends as a harbinger of a ghost's arrival.
- Ji-Hyun, once possessed, launches into a stream of apparent glossolalia.
- High Heel Hurt : Subverted - Charlotte has little difficulty navigating through the forest and the hospital despite wearing heels.
- Holy Water : Inside the asylum, Charlotte fills a small bowl with holy water and places a video camera in front of it to record its reaction. At the end of the movie, the water starts either boiling, or catching water.
- Hope Spot : While running through the woods, Charlotte finally finds the tent home base and runs inside it, hoping to find Ha-Joon. She ends up in a room in the asylum she doesn't encounter, with a contorted, naked man in the room with her.
- Horny Vikings : Ah-Yeon's quip about Charlotte and Ji-Hyun's Screw This, I'm Outta Here moment has her comparing the scene to a "Viking ride."
- Charlotte threatened to quit over Seung-Wook touching a patient's doll.
- Ha-Joon increasingly comes into blows with Sung-Hoon and Seung-Wook once Charlotte and Ji-Hyun run away. He completely loses it once Sung-Hoon drops The Reveal .
- Sometimes in the movie, we see the image freeze or turn black while the sound continues, before it cuts back to normal. The biggest instance of this happens in the first half of the movie.
- One of the first signs the hauntings start to get real is the garbled UI on the livestream. Ha-Joon doesn't seem to care or notice.
- In-Universe Camera : Since this movie is done in the Found Footage style, the movie's P.O.V. is shown from multiple cameras.
- In-Universe Factoid Failure : Charlotte has no idea who Park Chung-hee was, and is completely surprised to learn Park Geun-hye is his daughter. Justified somewhat in that she's a second-generation Korean-American immigrant.
- Jumpscare : After Ah-Yeon and Sung-Hoon are possessed by ghosts , Je-Yoon looks down at the camera, and a bloody-faced woman shrieks in his face and possesses him too .
- Ha-Joon stays behind as the Mission Control . Individual segments have Ji-Hyun and Charlotte document the first and fourth floors, while Ah-Yeon and Je-Yoon are in the third. The second floor, meanwhile, is always explored with the complete group.
- Averted by Je-Yoon who suggested the group chase after Charlotte who had threatened to leave over the doll issue.
- Locked Door : The door to room 402 is the one door in the asylum that's locked. People have tried to open it, but no one has been successful. It finally opens at the end, when Seung-Wook is wheeled into it.
- Mission Control : Ha-Joon stays behind in the tent to coordinate the entire stream, at least until the final act.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds : Ha-Joon slowly grows irritable as the film goes by, insisting his crew to push through for the sake of the view count.
- Money, Dear Boy : In-Universe - there could be as many as 500 million reasons Ha-Joon really wanted the stream to continue.
- Naturalized Name : Charlotte uses an English name due to her immigrant background.
- Nervous Wreck : Both Je-Yoon and Charlotte get scared easily. Ah-Yeon has a lot of fun trolling the former over this.
- Nostril Shot : When everyone is equipped with a front-facing GoPro, this is bound to happen.
- Nothing Is Scarier : Used liberally throughout the hospital scenes.
- Night-Vision Goggles : When Sung-Hoon, Je-Yoon, and Ah-Yeon find themselves in the strange water room, Je-Yoon asks Ah-Yeon for the camera. She gives it to him and turns on the night vision function to look around the room.
- The Place : The titular haunted asylum, Gonjiam, is where the movie is set.
- Real After All : Ha-Joon, Seung-Wook, and Sung-Hoon are revealed to the film's audience early on that they've staged their verbiage as well as every scare in their Horror Times livestreams, with the unscripted reactions from their guests helping to sell these scares to the audience. About halfway through the film, the two inside the asylum realize that real paranormal activity is happening, though Ha-Joon handwaves the issues away and even agrees to pay the other two more simply because they're so close to Ha-Joon's goal of one million viewers. This decision doesn't go well for anyone.
- Reality Has No Soundtrack : The movie features sound effects only in the first act. Once they arrive at the hospital, the only ones we hear are the crew and the surrounding environment.
- Room 101 : A ton of brave souls have tried to unlock Gonjiam's mythical Room 402. Everyone who attempted to do so reportedly either went missing or were on coma, and our protagonists try to be the first to get in there.
- Scary Flashlight Face : When Ji-Hyun says that midnight is when the ghosts come out, Charlotte and Ah-Yeon shine their flashlights in their own faces.
- Charlotte had already threatened to leave earlier over Seung-Wook touching a patient's doll, believing it would curse the entire crew.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax : Ha-Joon, Seung-Wook, and Sung-Hoon are faking the haunting at the asylum to try and pull in one million views, using the others as eyewitnesses to confirm their findings. They sometimes chuckle about what they're doing to each other when the others aren't around.
- Significant Reference Date : The asylum opened on the same day Park Chung-hee seized power and closed down the day he was killed.
- Tempting Fate : One graffiti at the entrance warns that anyone who enters the asylum will die. Another written directly below it just says "screw it."
- Those Two Guys : Sung-Hoon and Seung-Wook are almost always seen together.
- Thrill Seeker : Charlotte wants to explore seven of the world's freakiest places according to CNN. She's been in Aokigahara, Sedlec Ossuary, and La Isla de las Muñecas.
- The Watson : Ah-Yeon is a bit unfamiliar with the gear ghost hunters use, so she has the crew explain them to her.
- Voice of the Legion : Featured in Room 402 and in Seung-Wook's involuntary trip to that room.
- Volleying Insults : Downplayed - Je-Yoon and Ah-Yeon trade barbs early in the film. Their kinda-antagonistic relationship disappears once the hauntings (both real and staged) start.
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Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum
2018, Horror/Mystery & thriller, 1h 33m
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Gonjiam: haunted asylum videos, gonjiam: haunted asylum photos.
The crew of a horror web series travels to an abandoned asylum for a live broadcast. It soon encounters much more than expected as it moves deeper inside the nightmarish old building.
Genre: Horror, Mystery & thriller
Original Language: Korean
Director: Jung Bum-shik
Producer: Kim Wonguk
Release Date (Theaters): Apr 13, 2018 limited
Release Date (Streaming): Sep 18, 2018
Box Office (Gross USA): $111.2K
Runtime: 1h 33m
Distributor: Well Go USA
Production Co: Hive Media Corp.
Cast & Crew
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Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum Review – A Genuinely Terrifying Found-Footage Entry
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Starring Seung-Wook Lee, Ye-Won Mun, Ji-Hyun Park, Sung-Hoon Park, Ha-Joon Wi
Written by Beom-sik Jeong, Sang-min Park
Directed by Beom-sik Jeong
Found footage films are some of the most contested and criticized titles within horror, especially in the past few years. While the explosion of titles that began with Paranormal Activity certainly contained several gems, there were just as many, if not more, titles that failed to capture the magic and essence of what makes that subgenre so effective. However, those who love that style of film can now safely add South Korea’s Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum to the list of movies that do it right.
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum follows YouTuber Ha-Joon (Wi) and his crew of paranormal investigators as they recruit a few people to join them as they break into Gonjiam, dubbed one of the freakiest and most haunted places on Earth. Livestreaming their investigation, Ha-Joon commands the team from a nearby tent as the crew wanders through the four floors of the asylum, his team setting up staged events that will trick and terrify their guests. As they venture deeper into the halls, actual supernatural events occur and the team realize that not just their sanity is at risk.
Never breaking from its found footage mechanic, Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum rather embraces it with utmost glee. The team openly show off the multitude of cameras that they will be using and how they will be applied for maximum viewing effect. Cameras are placed in front of faces, the corners of rooms, and even a drone makes a limited appearance.
While the film may start in an almost eye-rolling, cringe-inducing manner, if you can make it past the first 15 minutes then you’re in for a truly unsettling and deeply frightening experience. The halls of Gonjiam are brilliantly lit and shot so as to make the shadows as dark and deep as possible and the illuminated portions dingy, filthy, and full of potential scares. Every inch of the screen feels like it could contain a malevolent spirit, so the eye is constantly wandering, trying, and failing, to pierce the darkness.
Much like 2011’s Grave Encounters , the crew roaming the halls of Gonjiam begin experiencing strange, almost hallucinatory events that call into question what is real and what is staged. Director Beom-sik Jeong knows how to draw out the scares and makes delightful use of timing, playing with scares that come instantly and those that are meant to linger for much longer than a single jump. That there is no clear indication on what type of scare is coming next only serves to add to the tension, making for a viewing experience that left me tense and nearly covering my eyes and ears for the vast majority of its runtime.
My only gripe with Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum was the almost tacked on ending, which wrapped up the story of one of the investigators. However, the scene felt like an afterthought, as though the writers suddenly remembered that there was this character that hadn’t yet gotten a resolution. However, it was still dealt with in an effectively spooky manner.
- Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is the real deal. Deeply unsettling and unrelentingly scary, it is a film that must be seen.
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Gonjiam: haunted asylum.
2018 ‘곤지암’ Directed by Jung Bum-shik
Experience the horror.
The crew of a horror web series travels to an abandoned asylum for a live broadcast, but they encounter much more than expected as they move deeper inside the nightmarish old building.
Wi Ha-jun Park Ji-hyun Oh Ah-yeon Moon Ye-won Park Sung-hoon Lee Seung-wook Yoo Je-yoon Park Ji-a
Won-guk Kim Kim Jin-woo William Kim Oh Yun-dong
Executive Producers Exec. Producers
Kim Do-su Kang Kwan-ho Jung Hyun-ju Choi Byeong-hwan
Jung Bum-shik Park Sang-min
Jung Bum-shik Kim Hyung-ju Yang Dong-yeop
Camera Operators Camera Operators
Wi Ha-jun Yoon Byung-Ho Park Sung-hoon Ji-Hyun Park Ah-yeon Oh Ye-Won Mun Seung-Wook Lee
Production Design Production Design
Baek Kyung-in Jeong Seong-gyun
Park Yong-gi Kang Ju-suk Park Ju-kang
Costume Design Costume Design
Hive Media Corp
Releases by Date
- Theatrical limited
02 Aug 2018
07 sep 2018, 27 sep 2018, 29 sep 2018, 31 oct 2018, 15 nov 2018, 23 nov 2018, 13 dec 2018, 23 mar 2019, 04 may 2019, 28 mar 2018, 19 apr 2018, 09 sep 2018, releases by country.
- Theatrical +13 (Han Cine - Korean Film Festival)
- Theatrical limited (Fantasia Film Festival)
- Theatrical limited (CPH:PIX)
- Theatrical limited (Korean Film Festival in Paris)
- Theatrical limited (On Vous Ment! - Lyon Mockumentary Film Festival)
- Theatrical limited (MOTELX - Lisbon International Horror Film Festival)
- Theatrical 15
- Theatrical limited (Molins Film Festival)
95 mins More at IMDb TMDb Report this page
Review by Madeleine ★★★★ 7
Did not like when that lady talked funny and wanted her to go away very badly.
I'm upset! Why did I watch scary!
Review by MushiMinion ★★★★ 1
As far as protégés of The Blair Witch Project go, Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is genuinely unsettling in all the right ways. It only staggers briefly towards the end, when it begins to lean too far into familiar genre staples, reminding us that this found footage film is in fact just a movie... but not before scaring you with some disturbing ideas of its own first.
Room 402 is not for the faint of heart.
Review by Maddy Flowers Sheehy ★★★ 2
when that girl made the forbidden c’mere kitty noise, i simply did not like it!!!!!!! too scared
Review by Shane McAvoy ★★★½ 7
found footage movies will literally just do the blair witch guy-in-the-corner shot for the rest of time and I will always find it scary I mean look at this shit
O /|\ /\ ——————————————————————————
Review by kyrs ★★★½ 3
when she did the pspspsps i knew im gonna have nightmares tonight
Review by CinemaVoid 🏴☠️ ★★★ 1
Eh Deadly Lady Oppan Gonjiam Style
Review by chef jeff ★★★★ 28
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Here is a cute photo of a puppy for all you poor souls who suffered through this film. :)
Review by haley ★★★★
should've listened to charlotte
Review by Bunny🐰🪓 ★★★ 10
G.H.A., the latest entry in the found footage horror genre can be reduced to a mediocre film if you judge it way too critically which I did, but upon my second viewing I actually found it more entertaining, who would have known turning down the dickhead switch actually feels nice at times 😂,
The plot isn't original and is predictable for the most part but it still wasn't that bad, the movie quite nicely captures how in today's scenario people are easily blinded by the hunger for fame and money and are will to do anything for it, with some good performances, great camera work (no shaky cam) and some great scares, imo G.H.A. is a good popcorn flick that can be enjoyed without thinking much about it.
Review by benton tarantella 1
every character in found footage horror movies about haunted locations: we heard this place is haunted. apparently no one who visits makes it out alive. but we’re built different
(spoilers: they are not built different. they are never built different)
Review by Vishwas Verma ★★★ 3
Some scenes were scarier than I thought. The story is not that good but they succeed, what they wanna show us.
That scene on 1:11:00 and 1:27:00 damn,,, don't wanna remember.
Review by Sylvia ★★★★½ 5
That was top-tier horror entertainment. Watching this at 3am was a good idea, definitely added to the atmosphere.
I really appreciate the way it was made and acted. Lots of creativity and effort. Even though the story itself wasn't the most original, it delivered a bunch of creepy moments and scares. And it didn't rely on jumpscares, creating tension and a feeling of dread instead. And I'm here for that.
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- View history
Charlotte Moon is a main character in the 2018 South Korean found footage horror film Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum .
Biography [ ]
Charlotte Moon is a Korean-American dancer living in South Korea. With her family back in the United States, Charlotte moved to South Korea on her own to join a dance crew. She's also an avid traveler and lover of spooky places; she has visited 3 of the 7 spookiest places on Earth according to CNN: Sedlec Ossuary in Czechia, Island of the Dolls in Mexico, and Aokigahara Forest in Japan. She's excited to make Gonjiam her 4th spot on the list.
Gonjiam [ ]
Charlotte is introduced at a café where members of a popular YouTube channel called "Horror Times" have invited 4 applicants to join them on their next livestream. She's the third to arrive, after Ji-Hyun and Ah-Yean, and introduces herself as an American who currently lives in Korea to be near her dance crew.
Charlotte and Ah-Yeon meet with Ji-Hyun at a cafe.
During the meeting at the cafe, she also meets the captain of the team, Ha-Joon, and his two employees: Seung-Wook and Sung-Hoon. The fourth and final applicant, Je-Yoon, arrives late. To get to know each other better before working together for the livestream, the group goes out for food and drinks. Charlotte reveals to the group that she's already been to 3 of the spookiest places on Earth and is excited to add another to the list. Everyone tells horror stories they've heard about Gonjiam.
Charlotte sits with the crew in a van as they travel to the Asylum, located in the country.
On the day of the livestream, everyone is packed into a van as they drive from the city into the country. Charlotte is excited when captain Ha-Joon reveals they plan on ending the night by opening the door to the infamous Room 402. Upon arrival at the Asylum, they park a short distance away and set up camp. The team then attaches GoPros which allows for a POV camera and a face camera. Charlotte is impressed when Sung-Hoon shows her camera's feed on the main monitors.
Charlotte and the crew are all prepared to stream their broadcast inside the Asylum.
When everyone is all set, Ha-Joon wishes them luck and they set out down the path toward the Asylum. During the walk, Je-Yoon finds a pair of underwear and Charlotte suggests they use it as a marker for when they return to camp. Je-Yoon ties the underwear to a tree.
The groups arrives outside the Asylum and greet the live audience of the broadcast before heading in and explain their goals for the night. Once inside, they describe what they see, hear, and smell. Charlotte pours out a dish of Holy Water and places a camera nearby in the hopes of capturing the supernatural. When a door seemingly closes on its own, the group goes to investigate. Inside the room, the Director's Office, they find shattered photographs depicting the Asylum's Director and her patients. They also find an old sign with the Ex-President's name inscribed. Charlotte, being a Korean-American, doesn't recognize the name, and the others in the group laugh at her ignorance of Korea's history.
Charlotte asks the group about Park Jung-Hee, the name on the sign,
Later, with the group slitting up, Charlotte is paired with Ji-Hyun. Charlotte decides to tag her name on the wall, including the number 4 as a sign that she's now visited 4 of the creepiest places in the world. She explains that she tags her name each time she visits a freaky destination. Below her name are the words 'Let's Live'.
Charlotte shows off her tag, with the words "Let's Live" written below
Charlotte and Ji-Hyun then explore the Laboratory, which is filthy and covered with water. They also find broken furniture and a creepy doll lodged in a cabinet. Charlotte excitedly tells Ji-Hyun that one of her friends managed to visit this exact room and shows off her friend's selfie. Wanting to get a picture with the same framing, Charlotte accidentally knocks over a jar. Inside the jar was a rotting chicken, and the smell is so putrid that Charlotte and Ji-Hyun decide to leave the room immediately.
Outside, they decide to head to Room 402 to explain to the audience the background behind that room. Charlotte explains that they've set up infared cameras to detect any sign of the supernatural approaching the room, while Ji-Hyun gives more background on what the room was used for back when Gonjiam was a psychiatric hospital and how no one has ever been able to open the door since its closure.
Charlotte explains the infrared flashes the the streaming audience
Charlotte and Ji-Hyun join the rest of the crew as they're going to perform a ritual to awaken the spirits. The re-enter the Director's Office which has been newly decorated with bells attached to red string hanging from the ceiling. Ah-Yeon, as the youngest, performs the ritual by burning incense and an amulet, and then everyone sits and waits for a response. There's nothing at first, but then the bells begin to shake and fall from the ceiling. Charlotte screams and everyone runs from the room in a panic. Charlotte reveals that she's never experienced anything like that and this building is on another level of creepiness.
Without Charlotte's knowledge, Seung-Wook and Sung-Hoon meet in secret with Ha-Joon to laugh about the bells falling from the ceilings. They've been manipulating the night to make everything appear more frightening for their viewers. Sung-Joon reveals that Charlotte's reactions to the incidents have been entertaining, and that they should target her more. Ha-Joon agrees and they return to the main group.
Having calmed down somewhat, the group agrees to search the Laboratory where Charlotte and Ji-Hyun explored earlier. When Seung-Wook points out a doll sitting on a shelf, Charlotte and Ji-Hyun tell the group that it's been moved from its original position. Through their earpiece Ha-Joon claims that it looks like the exact same doll that appeared in one of the old photos of a patient. Seung-Wook picks up the doll from the shelf and Charlotte freaks out. She screams and runs from the room in hysterics.
Charlotte and Ji-Hyun tell the group that the doll they've found has been moved from its previous position.
Outside in the hallway, Charlotte explains that you can't touch or move any objects in places like this. She thinks they're all cursed now and wants to leave. The others try to calm her down, but she's adamant about the danger they're in. Meanwhile, views on the livestream continue to increase.
Charlotte's fear is driving up the viewing numbers for the livestream.
Seung-Wook apologies and explains that he didn't realize his mistake, and that he'll never do it again. Ha-Joon tells the group that he understands if people want to quit, but they may as well continue on since they've come all this way and are nearly finished. Charlotte grudgingly agrees to stay, as long as no one else touches anything.
Ha-Joon splits up the group: Je-Yoon and Ah-Yeon install the infrared flashes outside Room 402, while the others try to explore as much as possible before it gets too late. Charlotte and Ji-Hyun follow Seung-Wook and Sung-Hoon into a room filled with coffins. There are holes in the coffins and Seung-Wook places his hand in one in an attempt to open it. He stumbles and it appears as though something has grabbed him. He pulls his arm out in a panic. Charlotte screams that the building is cursed. Ji-Hyun is angry with the boys, accusing them of faking it. Ha-Joon asks him to put his hand in again. Charlotte and Ji-Hyun try to stop him, but then Ji-Hyun offers to put her hand inside instead, hoping to prove that everything has been faked.
Once her hand is inside, nothing immediately happens, but then she's forcefully grabbed. Charlotte screams and the boys pulls Ji-Hyun away from the coffin. Charlotte notices that Ji-Hyun's arm has been scratch with sharp claws. Then the coffin door slowly opens and everyone turns to look. Charlotte, freezes in a panic as something brushes up against her and pulls at her scarf. She screams and runs from the room, with Ji-Hyun and the boys following.
A ghost pulls at Charlotte's scarf.
In the hallway, Charlotte sees that the words beneath her tag have been changed from "Let's Live" to "Let's Die". She screams at the boys that they're all going to die if they don't leave. Ji-Hyun argues with the boys and tries to get the operation to shut down. The boys refuse, but only reluctantly, and Charlotte and Ji-Hyun storm off and leave the asylum.
On the path back to the tent, Charlotte breaks down crying and thinks that because she tagged the wall she's certain to die. Ji-Hyun comforts her and tells her they're headed back to camp now where they can sleep and leave in the morning. Ji-Hyun promises Charlotte that they're be going home soon. They continue down the path until they run into the underwear tied to the tree. Elated, they know they're getting close to the tent.
After several more minutes of walking, they come across the underwear marker again. Stunned, they can't believe what they're seeing. Charlotte realizes that the path they're on is just as cursed as the building. Ji-Hyun smells something and Charlotte, looking down at her feet, sees the chicken and other equipment from the Laboratory spread out on the ground.
Then Charlotte notices that Ji-Hyun has gone quiet and rigid. She approaches Ji-Hyun and reaches out to her. Then Ji-Hyun looks up at her, eyes completely black and begins murmuring an unnatural sound. Charlotte screams and a bright light shines on her from above. Ji-Hyun's possessed body continues making the noise as Charlotte is lifted into the hair. Charlotte continues to scream and wrestle with whatever is lifting her off the ground. She finally manages to break free and runs away from the scene, hyperventilating. She finally sees the tent and runs inside.
Charlotte is shocked by Ji-Hyun's possessed body and attacked by a supernatural being.
Instead of finding herself back in the tent with Ha-Joon, Charlotte is in a large, dark room. She shines her flashlight into the corner and sees a still-possessed Ji-Hyun standing completely still facing the wall. Charlotte looks down and sees the doll at her feet. She whimpers and shines the flashlight around the room, trying to get her bearings.
She stops when the light reveals a naked man standing in the middle of the room. She quivers, but does not scream, and realizes she's only a few steps away from the exit. She slowly walks over to the door, trying to make sure the naked man is not following. But she hears shuffling and sees the naked man following her toward the door, step for step. She places her hand on the doorknob, but it won't budge. She begins crying out for help, then Ji-Hyun's possessed body appears again and the naked man starts twitching. Charlotte pounds on the door and screams for help, but no one is there. Finally, she turns and sees the naked man charging for her, and it grabs her around the head and pulls her to the ground. She screams as she's dragged off into the darkness, falling silent not long after.
Charlotte looks on in terror as she realizes she's trapped in Room 402 with a ghost.
- 1 The Farm (2018)
- 2 Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 (2024)
- 3 Sam Carpenter
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The Tennessee Wraith Chasers are on a mission to capture a ghost at one of America's most haunted asylums. At each imposing location, they use tested paranormal theory and their Southern sav... Read all The Tennessee Wraith Chasers are on a mission to capture a ghost at one of America's most haunted asylums. At each imposing location, they use tested paranormal theory and their Southern savvy to try to bag an otherworldly prize. The Tennessee Wraith Chasers are on a mission to capture a ghost at one of America's most haunted asylums. At each imposing location, they use tested paranormal theory and their Southern savvy to try to bag an otherworldly prize.
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- 35 User reviews
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- Trivia Every investigation ends with the guys trying to capture an actual ghost.
- Connections Referenced in Exorcism: Live! (2015)
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- Aug 24, 2015
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- September 7, 2014 (United States)
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The Director is protrayed by Korean actress Park Ji-a .
- 1 Characteristics
- 2.2 Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum
- 3 Powers & Abilities
Characteristics [ ]
The Director ran the most prosperous & successful mental hospital in Korea. She recieved many achievements for treating mental, political, and criminal patience. Other than her affinity for ping-pong, much about The Director's background has been left up to rumors, these including that she killed her patience and that the institution was made to torture them.
The spirit of the director was heavily implied to have haunted the hospital aftet this, as some victims experienced hearing a ping-pong ball before they were killed. This is further supported by the spirit that appears at the end of the film, heavily implied to be The Director. Her method of murder was picking up her victim by the neck and hanging them to death. Her spirit, or the spirits of the hospital, used their abilities to manipulate their victims into staying, implying that they were motivated to kill rather than to keep tresspassers away.
Biography [ ]
The Director was the director of Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital, recieving much praise and admoration for her work. One day, she dissappeared, and the hospital was left abandoned.
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum [ ]
We recieve what is believed to have been the first sighting of her when two teenagers attempt to get room 402 (the ICU). After unlocking the door, they are met with the ghostly face of a woman before the footage cuts off, the teenagers reported to have gone missing afterward.
Many of Park Jin-A's appearances throughout the bulk of the film are through old black-and-white photos. Before all of the film's participants were corrupted, the ghost of a female in black clothing could be seen, although it is undetermined whether or not this was the director. Park Jin-A is physically seen towards the end of the film when Ha-Joon went to go looking for his distressed companions. His camera catches a ghostly woman float in the air, landing behind him and nestling inot his back. He hears breathing, and so he uses the camera to see whats behind him. He finds the screaming face of the director, a noose appearing to be around her neck. She then lifts Ha-Joon, presumably killing him.
Powers & Abilities [ ]
- Technokenesis - The director–or spirits associated–demonstrated an ability involving being able to manipulate electronics. This was first seen when they were able to mess with Ha-Joon's stove, computers, and lights. This was again seen when they were able to corrupt the drone sent in to investigate the home. This was last demonstrated when the spirits were revealed to have been manipulating the view-count on the crew's stream, making them appear to have milliions of views when really they had around five hundred.
- Levitation - The director briefly demonstrated an ability most common with paranormal beings, that being levitation. This was seen when the camera observed her floating above the floor towards Ha-Joon, then later when she used it to float him into the air and choke him to death.
Gallery [ ]
- It was noted that the hospital was rumored to have been built on top of where Japanese soldiers burried Korean resistance fighters. This may have been meant to imply that paranormal activity from the grave sight may have influenced The Director's villainous tendancies, but this is never confirmed or elaborated upon by the film.
- The hospital was rumored to have been a torture facility disguised as a mental institution. Evidence to support this includes the patients looking horrifying in group photos found in the hospital, and what appeared to have been box-like torture cells appearing in one of the rooms. In addition, one of the ghostly patients that appear near the climax of the film appears to have a huge scar running down his spine.
- The ghost that appeared at the end of the film was only heavily implied to have been The Director, as the spirit was seen to have had a noose around her neck. This connects to The Director because she was rumored to have killed herself.
- 1 The Dealer (Buckshot Roulette)
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Best Horror Movies Set in Asylums, From 'Unsane' to 'Shock Corridor'
They're easy to get into. They're impossible to escape from!
Asylums and mental health hospitals, for all the good they might do in real life, are often synonymous with horror movies. The setting can lend itself to multiple kinds of horror, from being held prisoner by cruel staff to being unfairly deemed insane, by way of haunted halls and cruel ghosts. However, outside of horror video games which feature this setting regularly, how many horror movies actually take place in asylums? Excluding dramas and thrillers like Girl, Interrupted and Martin Scorsese 's Shutter Island , this list curates the best horror movies set in asylums for your perfect mad-house movie marathon:
RELATED: 10 Great Psychological Thrillers for Fans of 'Shutter Island,' According to Rotten Tomatoes
10 The Ward (2010)
"Master of Horror" John Carpenter ( Halloween , The Thing ) returns to the genre for his most recent film to date. Set in Oregon in 1966, The Ward stars Amber Heard as Kristen, who, after setting fire to an abandoned farmhouse, is institutionalized, only to find herself being haunted by the ghost of a former psychiatric patient. Marrying both the horror of unfair imprisonment with the idea of haunted halls, this supernatural psychological thriller also stars Chernobyl 's Jared Harris .
9 Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)
This creative found-footage horror movie from South Korea is named after the real-life psychiatric hospital of the same name. An enormous commercial success, this film became the third most-watched horror movie in South Korea, making almost 10 times its budget at the box office in the US alone. Fans of The Blair Witch Project will likely love this story of a web-series crew that live-broadcasts their experience wandering the halls of this haunted asylum. Gonjiam is full of edge-of-your-seat tension, directed by Jung Bum-shik .
8 Session 9 (2001)
Westworld and Ozark 's Peter Mullan stars as a man tasked with asbestos abatement at Danvers State Hospital. His team consists of CSI: Miami 's David Caruso as a heartbroken Romeo, Stephen Gevedon as a law-school dropout aware of the building's history, Josh Lucas as a gambling addict, and Don't Breathe 2 's Brendan Sexton III who has a pathological fear of the dark. Their creepy task only becomes creepier when they discover audio recordings of a woman with dissociative identity disorder, and begin to hear voices in the halls. This cult favorite is directed by The Machinist director Brad Anderson .
7 Unsane (2018)
While escaping a stalker, Claire Foy 's Sawyer unwittingly signs an agreement to spend 24-hours in the custody of a psychiatric hospital. After she begs for police assistance, and has altercations with staff and inmates alike, she is retained for seven more days. This stressful Steven Soderbergh movie quickly unfolds, and secrets about the facility and its diverse cast of characters are revealed to Sawyer. Joshua Leonard also stars, following on from his role in another asylum horror in 2004, Madhouse , which very nearly made this list. Ted Lasso 's Juno Temple and SNL 's Jay Pharoah round out the cast, showcasing their dramatic chops.
6 A Cure for Wellness (2016)
The Ring 's Gore Verbinski directs this neo-gothic psychological horror movie starring Dane DeHaan . When a financial executive visits a wellness center to retrieve his boss, he is turned away, only to be involved in a car crash that places him in the wellness center himself. There he meets another patient, Hannah, played by modern horror icon Mia Goth ( X , Pearl ), as well as Jason Isaac s ' Dr. Heinreich Volmer, and the mysteries of this wellness center come to the fore. This movie, set in the Swiss Alps is inspired by Thomas Mann 's 1924 novel The Magic Mountain .
5 Asylum (1972)
This British film (dubbed House of Crazies in subsequent U.S. releases) was written by Robert Bloch , author of the novel Psycho, which became the Alfred Hitchcock classic . Based on Bloch's short stories, this anthology movie sees Dr Martin ( Robert Powell ) interviewing the inmates of a mental institute, taking us into the world of each of their four stories. One installation even stars horror icon Peter Cushing , the pre-eminent star of the Hammer Horror movies from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s. The film ties together in a haunting epilogue that stays with viewers long after the movie is over.
4 A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp return as Freddy Krueger and Nancy respectively, this time joined by eventual household names Patricia Arquette and Lawrence Fishburne . After a run-in with Freddy leaves her wrists bloody, Arquette's Kristen is sent to Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital because her mother fears she might be suicidal. There, the original Elm Street "final girl" Nancy happens to intern as a therapist and befriends her patients, teaming up to learn how to fight Freddy Krueger. This installment was intended by Wes Craven to end the series, but its success merely warranted further sequels for the franchise.
3 Stonehearst Asylum (2014)
What do Ben Kingsley , Kate Beckinsale , Michael Caine , David Thewlis and Brendan Gleeson all have in common? This all-star horror-thriller about the staff and patients at the titular mental asylum! This film, also known as Eliza Graves is loosely based on the 1845 short story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether by Edgar Allan Poe . When an Oxford professor in 1899 shows his students a case of female hysteria, they protest that she is sane, but the professor insists that all mental patients claim to be sane. One student takes up residency at the asylum to uncover the inhumane treatments the asylum is dubbing "revolutionary."
2 The Ninth Configuration (1980)
An ex-Marine takes on the job of running a mental asylum in a remote castle, where he hopes to rehabilitate the patients by letting them act out their wildest fantasies. Sound familiar? This story by The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty (along with The Cabinet of Doctor Caligary ) inspired the framework of Scorsese's Shutter Island . This impressive transition from novel-writing to screenwriting earned Blatty a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, as well as being his directorial debut. The movie stars The Walking Dead 's Scott Wilson and takes place "toward the end of the War in Vietnam," inviting profound interpretations that enrich this already enthralling film, making for something more thought-provoking than your average asylum-based horror.
1 Shock Corridor (1963)
Originally written in the 1940s for Fritz Lang under the title Straitjacket , Samuel Fuller wrote and directed this tale of a journalist played by Peter Breck . In a desperate attempt to win a Pulitzer Prize, Johnny Barrett (Breck) intentionally commits himself into a mental asylum, hoping to untangle the mystery of an unsolved murder, but as you'd expect, not only does he uncover the horror of the asylum, he also witnesses the horror of being engorged by insanity, first hand. As the classic poster states, " Shock Corridor opens the door to sights you've never seen before!" and although this may not be quite true anymore, in this modern age, this film is so celebrated for its achievements that in 1996, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
Every ahs: asylum character based on real-life people.
Many characters in American Horror Story: Asylum are based on real-life people, among them murderers, victims, and witnesses of strange events.
Every season of American Horror Story takes inspiration from real characters and events, though making significant changes to them to fit the show’s style and tone, and American Horror Story: Asylum has many characters based on real-life people. After exploring the stories of the ghosts living in a haunted house in American Horror Story: Murder House , the series took the audience back to the 1960s in AHS: Asylum to see the horrific events that took place at the fictional mental institution Briarcliff Manor. Asylum mixed the horrors of social experiments, racism, and a serial killer with a supernatural element that might seem out of place: aliens.
American Horror Story: Asylum followed the stories of Kit Walker (Evan Peters), an innocent man arrested under suspicion of being the Bloody Face killer; Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) , a journalist whose investigation of Briarcliff led her to be committed to it; and Sister Jude Martin (Jessica Lange), head nun at Briarcliff whose beliefs were put to the ultimate test. American Horror Story: Asylum is widely considered the best season of the show, and it might make it more terrifying to know that some of its main characters were based on real-life people.
Related: What Happened To Kit's Children After Asylum? AHS S10 Made It Confusing
1 Kit & Alma Walker - Barney & Betty Hill
Kit and Alma Walker (Britne Oldford) were a young couple who had to keep their marriage secret as it was an interracial relationship, which was stigmatized and illegal in the 1960s. One night, while at their home, Kit heard strange noises outside but when he went outside to investigate, he was startled by a blinding flash of light and a thunderous sound. Kit ran back into the house, only to find the objects in the living room levitating, after which he was pinned against the ceiling by an unseen force. Kit had a series of strange visions of green humanoids standing around him, but as Alma went missing after this event and his story was too strange, nobody believed him and he was, instead, believed to be the Bloody Face killer .
Kit and Alma’s story in AHS: Asylum was inspired by that of Barney and Betty Hill, an interracial American couple who claimed to have been abducted by aliens in 1961. According to the Hills, they encountered a UFO on September 19, 1961, while driving back home from a vacation. After observing a strange object in the sky, the Hills explained it rapidly descended toward their car, and Barney, using binoculars, claimed to have seen eight to eleven humanoid figures peering out of the craft’s windows. The Hills then drove away as fast as they could, but they heard a rhythmic series of beeping sounds, the car vibrated, and a tingling sensation passed through their bodies, after which they experienced the onset of altered consciousness. Another series of beeping sounds brought them back to full consciousness, and they realized they had traveled about 35 miles south and had spotty memories of the road. Their stories have been analyzed countless times and debunked as well.
2 Grace Bertrand – Lizzie Borden
Grace Bertrand (Lizzie Brocheré) was a patient at Briarcliff who later became Kit’s second wife and mother of his son. Grace moved to America from France with her family when she was nine years old, but she was constantly raped by her father at night. When Grace told her stepmother about it, she told her to not say anything to anyone and bribed her with candy. One day, tired of the abuse, Grace murdered her father and stepmother with an axe, and as her stepsister, who witnessed the murders, refused to believe her father did so much harm to Grace, she testified that she killed them without a cause, so Grace was sent to Briarcliff.
Grace’s story in AHS: Asylum takes many elements from that of Lizzie Borden. The story of Lizzie Borden has inspired a number of movies, TV shows, and books, as her case received widespread publicity back in the late 1890s. On August 4, 1892, the bodies of Lizzie’s father, Andrew, and her stepmother, Abby, were found at their home, and Lizzie’s contradicting answers to police officers made her a suspect. After a long process and lots of theories on Lizzie’s motives and more, she was acquitted of the murders, but all these events followed her for the rest of her life. It has been speculated that Lizzie was physically and sexually abused by her father, that she and her maid had an affair and Abby had found them together (and that her maid confessed on her deathbed to have changed her testimony to protect Lizzie), and that the maid was the real murderer.
Related: American Horror Story: What The Aliens In Asylum Really Mean
3 Pepper – Schlitze Surtees
Pepper (Naomi Grossman) was a woman with microcephaly who performed at Fräulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities in American Horror Story: Freak Show , after which she was committed to Briarcliff Manor. After the death of her “husband” and performance partner, Salty , Pepper refused to keep performing and Elsa took her to live with her sister, Rita Gayheart, who along with her husband, mistreated Pepper. Rita and her husband killed their disfigured infant nephew and framed Pepper for it, after which she was convicted of murder and sent to Briarcliff.
Pepper was inspired by Schlitzie Surtees, an American sideshow performer who also appeared in a couple of movies, most notably the 1932 classic horror movie Freaks . Like Pepper, Schlitzie was born with microcephaly and intellectual disability, and was often presented in shows as female or androgynous to add to the mystique of his unique appearance. Schlitzie died in 1971 at the age of 70.
4 Oliver Thredson/Bloody Face – Ed Gein
Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto) was a psychiatrist brought to Briarcliff to assess Kit’s competency to stand trial, but he ended up manipulating Kit into admitting to the murders Thredson committed, as he was the real Bloody Face killer. Among Thredson’s many crimes were the murder of Lana Winters’ girlfriend, Wendy, and raping Lana, who gave their son up for adoption. When Lana got out of Briarcliff, she used her pregnancy to trick Thredson into confessing his crimes, after which she killed him at his home.
Thredson has become one of the scariest characters of American Horror Story , so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he was based on one of the cruelest murderers in American history: Ed Gein . Gein exhumed corpses from local graveyards and confessed to killing two women (Mary Hogan and Bernice Worden), and when the police raided his house after the disappearance of Worden, they found a truly horrific scene. Gein used the bodies of his victims and all the corpses he exhumed to make trophies, including a corset, bowls, leggings, masks, and a lampshade. Gein was found guilty of Worden’s murder but also legally insane, and he spent the rest of his life in a psychiatric institution.
Related: Bloody Face Is Actually Lana: This AHS Theory Makes Asylum Much Better
5 Lana Winters – Nellie Bly
Lana Winters was a journalist who after sneaking into Briarcliff to investigate what happened there, was committed to it as Sister Jude threatened her girlfriend, Wendy, to expose their relationship as it was considered taboo and illegal at the time, so she signed a statement claiming Lana was mentally ill. Thredson earned Lana’s trust and helped her escape, only to take her to his home, where he raped her. Lana eventually left Briarcliff for good and she not only got a confession from Thredson but also killed him, proved Kit’s innocence, and exposed Briarcliff and its staff’s cruelties. Lana also killed her and Thredson’s son, John, who confronted her about his past, as she knew he was following his father’s steps.
Lana Winters was based on Nellie Bly (real name: Elizabeth Cochran Seaman), an American journalist known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days and an exposé on a mental institution, in which he worked undercover. In 1887, she took an undercover assignment for the New York World for which she agreed to fake insanity in order to investigate reports of brutality and neglect at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum. After some obstacles while trying to get into the asylum, she spent 10 days there before being released at The World ’s behest, and her exposé not only brought her fame but also led to the institution implementing reforms. Nellie Bly died of pneumonia in 1922 at the age of 57.
6 Dr. Arden – Josef Mengele
Oliver Thredson wasn’t the only monster in American Horror Story: Asylum , as there was also Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell) , the physician and administrator at Briarcliff. Arden was a Nazi war criminal who experimented on various patients at Briarcliff, and was the one responsible for the altered humans in the surrounding forest. Arden had feelings for Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe), who was possessed and thus convinced him of torturing Sister Jude and other patients, though that doesn’t excuse all the experiments, deaths, and torture he was responsible for.
Dr. Arden was based on Josef Mengele, an SS officer and physician during World War II known for the deadly experiments he performed on prisoners at the Auschwitz II concentration camp, earning the nickname “Angel of Death”. His best-known experiments were those on identical twins, with Mengele wanting to prove the superiority of the Aryan race through them. Mengele fled to Argentina after the war, and he eluded capture despite many international efforts to bring him to trial.
Next: AHS: NYC Repeated Asylum's Most Disturbing Theme
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America’s Most Haunted Asylums & Hospitals
Whilst there are all sorts of haunted houses, hotels, schools, and castles throughout America, none are quite as terrifying as haunted insane asylums and hospitals.
With horrifying histories packed full of abuse, torture, sickness, and death, it’s no wonder that these ten haunted asylums are some of the scariest locations in the world.
If you want to witness a ghost hunt at some of the nations’ most haunted locations then we have started offering overnight ghost hunts !
10. Old Tooele Hospital, Utah
In 1897, Old Tooele Hospital started out as a family house. In 1913 it was transformed into what was known as the Country Poor House, where the elderly and those who had special needs were taken care of. By 1953, the building had changed once again into the Old Tooele Hospital which featured improved accommodation for patients, the added benefit of individual bathrooms and a dedicated morgue. Before it was closed down in 2001, the hospital made its name by being the filming spot for Stephen King’s The Stand.
Over the years, Old Tooele Hospital has been the site of a multitude of hauntings and various reports of paranormal activity. An Alzheimer patient known as Wes is said to haunt the hospital, with his favorite site being the room he was admitted to when he was alive. Many other ghostly characters have been sighted in the hospital, including a young child and Samuel F. Lee himself – the man who originally built the house for him and his family in 1897.
One of the most chilling reports at Old Tooele Hospital is the sound of a child’s voice uttering the words “Daddy, shot, sorry”. This is creepy enough on its own but gets even more alarming when you find out that the Utah Ghost Organisation claims these words come from the ghost of a child who was accidentally shot by his father!
9. Alton Mental Health Hospital, Illinois
Alton Mental Health Hospital is the only facility in this list which remains a functioning hospital to this day. Built in the early 1900s, this hospital is known for the harsh mistreatment of its patients, many of whom were subject to electrode shock therapy, lobotomies, and cold water treatments – all of which were standard everyday practice at this hospital.
Many people today – including staff, patients, and visitors – have reported hearing unusual noises, from doors randomly slamming shut to undecipherable whisperings. One of the creepiest reports comes from a nurse who was on duty and heard someone ask, “Who’s that?” She turned around to respond and discovered that there was no one there and no one had been in the building at the time. Later that day the exact same thing happened in the same place to a second nurse.
Since this facility is still a hospital today, tours are strictly forbidden, but people who have taken photos on site whilst visiting patients have reportedly caught images of orbs with the pained face of a human male on the front.
8. Danvers State Lunatic Asylum, Massachusetts
Often referred to today as “the Witches’ Castle on the Hill”, Danvers State Lunatic Asylum was built in 1878 on a site which was originally in Salem Village – the first actual location of the Salem Witch Trials in 1962. When it started out, Danvers was renowned for its modern treatments and superb patient care, but it wasn’t long before the asylum fell victim to lack of funding, overstaffing and over-population which caused it to deteriorate into something more akin to a concentration camp.
Between 1940 and 1950, the facility housed more than 2,000 patients in a building which was designed to house 600. Patients became haggard and ghostly, often left in complete isolation for days on end. Things were so bad that dead patients would go unnoticed for days, if not weeks. In 1992, Danvers State Lunatic Asylum was closed down, demolished and renovated into the set of apartments it is today.
Despite this haunted insane asylum being torn down and reconstructed as a different property, bizarre activity, and paranormal sightings still abound. Residents and visitors have recorded full body apparitions, flickering lights, the sound of unexplained footsteps and doors opening and closing on their own.
7. ByBerry Mental Hospital, Pennsylvania
No.7 on our list of haunted mental asylums is ByBerry Mental Hospital. ByBerry Mental Hospital first opened its doors to the public in 1907, when it started off as a working farm for the mentally ill before it became a fully-fledged mental hospital in the 1920s. As more and more people were admitted to the hospital, ByBerry’s population significantly expanded which led to severe patient neglect and unbelievable levels of abuse.
Lack of funds left the hospital in a state of disrepair, with patients being forced to survive with no clothing, insufficient food and sewage-filled hallways for bedrooms. Padded cells, solitary confinement, regular beatings, electric shock treatments, restraining devices, and lobotomies were the norm. In 1990, state authorities closed down ByBerry Mental Hospital after a thorough investigation revealed inhumane living conditions, yet its dark past continues on to this day.
A myriad of horror stories surrounds this facility. After it closed, ByBerry Mental Hospital became inundated with vagrants, gangs, thieves, satanic cults and former visitors seeking shelter. One mentally-deranged and the brutally violent patient is said to reside in the miles of catacombs beneath the building, where he lies in wait with a large knife, eager to slit the throats of curious explorers unlucky enough to cross his path.
As well as this chilling legend, the hospital has also been the spot of several paranormal sounds and sightings, including human-like growling and physical scratches appearing on visitors bodies.
6. Rolling Hills Asylum, New York
No.6 on our whirlwind tour of haunted mental institutions is Rolling Hills. Rolling Hills Asylum began life as the Genesee County Poor Farm in 1827 – a dumping ground for the outcasts of society. Here orphans and widows lived alongside the severely mentally handicapped and criminals – all of whom were known as inmates. There are more than 1,700 documented deaths, with hundreds more unclaimed bodies believed to be buried on site. In the 1950s, the poor farm was developed into the Old Country Home & Infirmary before it was transformed into a set of shops and later an antique mall.
What are the reports in this real haunted asylum? One of the strangest occurrences took place in 2007 when the Rolling Hills Case Manager, Suzie Yencer, was working on a public ghost hunt. The group was sat in a circle in the basement and as Suzie began to speak, a glow stick – the only form of light in the room – began to sway back-and-forth, a rocking horse started to move to-and-fro and several people saw a hand suddenly appear and reach for a ball.
The second-floor corridor on the east wing is commonly referred to as Shadow Hallway, due to the staggeringly high number of shadow figure sightings which walk through walls and crawl across the floor. A seven-foot-tall patient with gigantism is also commonly spotted in his room, where he spent most of his life alone.
5. Athens Lunatic Asylum, Ohio
Coming in at no.5 on our journey through the top old haunted insane asylums is The Athens Lunatic Asylum in Ohio. The Asylum opened at the beginning of 1874, specializing in the treatment of mentally and criminally insane patients who were admitted by the court or their own families. The facility originally started out as a calm and pleasant place where patients could relax and get better, but before long it became an overcrowded institution which relied on the cruel practices of electroshock therapies, ice water baths, and ice pick lobotomies.
The story of Margaret Schilling takes place in December 1978 and is just as chilling then as it is today. On this winter day, Margaret – a patient at Athens Lunatic Asylum – was playing hide and seek with the nurses who got distracted and forgot about her. In January 1979, her body was discovered by a maintenance worker. Today an imprint of her body, clothes, and hair are still clearly visible on the floor, even after decades of cleaning.
Patients who died without any family have buried anonymously at the asylum’s burial site which is reported to be haunted today. Instead of names, these gravestones display numbers, a practice which has resulted in a mass of unknown and unrecorded graves. Those who have been brave enough to explore the cemetery have reported a huge number of ghost sightings and unexplained screaming in the dead of night.
4. Essex Mountain Sanatorium, Essex County
And the next location on our tour of America’s haunted abandoned mental hospitals is the Essex Mountain Sanatorium. The sanatorium began as the Newark City Home in 1873, a facility which was designed to serve as an orphanage, as well as to reform the local badly behaved children. After a devastating fire, the reconstruction of two new buildings and the decline in the number of girls sent to the facility, the dedicated female building was transformed into Essex Mountain Sanatorium in 1906 to care for tuberculosis patients.
Over the years, the hospital grew considerably to cater for the ever-increasing number of patients, until it was no longer in use by the 1970s. The vacant wards were used to take care of the overflow of mental patients from the nearby asylum before the sanatorium finally closed its doors in 1977.
Since it closed, many people have chosen to step foot on the grounds and explore the sanatorium for themselves. Some of the most common experiences include hearing footsteps running along the halls, seeing wheelchairs moving on their own, witnessing ghost-like faces appear at the windows, feeling a presence following you and – possibly the most terrifying of them all – hearing eerie voices shouting, “Get out!”
3. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia
Constructed between 1858 and 1881, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is up there with the scariest asylums in the world. It’s also the second largest in the world, originally designed to house up to 250 patients before it reached its peak in the 1950s when more than 2,400 people were crammed into the facility.
As the result of bizarre experimental treatments and severe neglect, thousands of people died here over the years. The physical deterioration of the building coupled with changes in the treatment of mental illness resulted in the closure of the asylum in 1994.
The reasons for being committed to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum were almost never-ending and included trivial things, such as falling from a horse or laziness to ridiculous matters, such as “imaginary female trouble” or desertion by husband up to serious cases, including murders and PSTD. This broad spectrum resulted in all sorts of mismatched patients being cooped up together, all with disastrous consequences.
Two decades since the asylum closed, the staff who work there claim that ghosts continue to roam the halls. The manager states that she once saw 40 doors suddenly slam shut simultaneously, whilst other visitors have witnessed a ghost boy stood in the corner of a room.
As well as sightings, whispers of forgotten patients have also been reported, on top of unusual smells, the sound of squeaking gurneys and screams coming from the electroshock room.
Without a doubt it’s one of the most haunted places in West Virginia .
2. Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Kentucky
Waverly Hills Sanatorium comes in at no.2. It started out as Waverly School in the late 1800s and evolved into a hospital in 1908, designed to safely accommodate between 40 and 50 tuberculosis patients. As the disease developed into an epidemic, the hospital was expanded to support at least 400 patients and was considered to be one of the best facilities at the time. In 1961, the hospital was closed down, following the discovery of a tuberculosis-curing antibiotic.
Today, Waverly Hills Sanatorium is known by many as “the most spiritually active place in the world”, with paranormal reports every single day. The terrifying reports surround the story of a nurse who hanged herself by a light bulb wire when she discovered she had become pregnant out of wedlock by the owner of the sanatorium. Many unusual sightings have also been spotted in the area known as the Death Tunnel, where dead bodies were disposed of away from the eyes of the living.
Various paranormal TV shows have spent time recording at Waverly Hills Sanatorium, including the cast of Most Haunted – one of whom had scratches inflicted upon their body during their visit.
1. Pennhurst Asylum, Pennsylvania
And lastly, the most haunted asylum on our list, Pennhurst Asylum in Pennsylvania. With a history riddled with strong accusations of neglect, abuse and torture combined with tales of mental patients being chained to the walls, children kept for years in cribs and even murders, it’s not surprising that Pennhurst Asylum is one of the scariest places in existence. The building was opened in 1908 as a state school for the physically and mentally disabled and covered 120 acres, housing more than 10,000 patients at any given time.
The facility was often accused of dehumanization and was reported to provide no help for the mentally challenged before finally being shut down in 1986, following several allegations of abuse by residents. When Pennhurst was closed, the buildings were abandoned as they were with patients’ belongings strewn about and medical equipment left to rot.
There are plenty haunted asylum stories emanating from this foreboding building. Several reputable ghost hunter groups have visited Pennhurst Asylum, where they documented spooky audio recordings, sudden changes in temperature and the unexplained movement of objects throughout the grounds. Spine-chilling recordings of voices exclaiming: “Go away!”, “I’ll kill you!” and “Why won’t you leave?” seem tame when compared to other reports which include various objects being hurled across the room, visitors being physically pushed and multiple EVPs.
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