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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

Connecticut Valley Hospital — The Forgotten Asylum

Middletown is home to several buildings that have a darker history than meets the eye.

Connecticut Valley Hospital — formerly known as Connecticut General Hospital for the Insane — sits on 100 acres of land. Each of the buildings are historical pieces of art; the architecture is reminiscent of the Victorian era. However, the once-clean structures have become battered over the years, only leaving chipped paint and lingering memories behind.

The architecture work has been stripped of its color; the white pillars are bleeding black and the doors' paint is chipped. Some of the windows are either boarded up or broken, while others still remain intact - bars and all.

While walking up to one of the main buildings, I was put-off by a black figure in the window. It stood next to the front door, lingering in the left corner. (see picture above) While it could have easily been a shadow from one of the pillars outside, it still felt awfully eerie. Whispers surrounded me, though nothing coherent was audible.

The asylum was first opened in the late 1800s to accommodate mentally ill patients in the state. Each of the buildings sit somewhat on a hill, overlooking parts of the city. At its peak, the hospital housed 3,200 patients. Its most well-known patient was serial killer Amy Archer-Gilligan - known for murdering at least five people by poison, including her husband.

While the buildings are creepy enough on their own, the most unsettling part of CVH is the cemetery, which sits right on the hospital's acres. According to Local Connecticut, the cemetery is believed to be the only state medical facility with an associated cemetery on its grounds. Gravestones are marked solely with numbers - leaving no real connection to the patients who faced a dark end.

Similar to Fairfield Hills, CVH still operates today. While the whole campus is not active, some buildings are still in fact used as a psychiatric care facility - run by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Since the site is still in use, various cars were parked in the area, and some people were walking to and from work. This made the scene seem less-spooky, adding a sense of normalcy to the area. Luckily, the campus is open to the public, making it easy for onlookers to explore the grounds — just not inside any of the broken-down buildings.

CVH, similar to most abandoned asylums, offers a spine-tingling vibe. It's not necessarily a site that will make you jump from fear; instead, the idea of the forgotten asylum is something that'll leave your thoughts stirring late at night.

Scare factor: 👻 👻 (2/5 ghosts)

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