While the Indiana legislature had authorized the establishment of a "hospital for the insane" as early as 1827, the doors of the Indiana Hospital for the Insane (later re-named Central State Hospital) did not open until November, 1848. At this time, the hospital (called the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane after 1889 and then called Central State Hospital after 1926) opened with five patients and a single building, and by 1928, physicians cared for nearly 3,000 patients. At that time, the hospital consisted of one brick building situated on a large parcel of land, numbering over 100 acres, in the outskirts of Indianapolis (on Washington Street, west of downtown). While the State Park officials had long denied it, people who worked there in the past and the present have witnessed manifestations. Paranormal Investigators from IPI took photos of orbs in the Power House and many people who are familiar with the location agree that the building is haunted.
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HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
In the early years of the hospital, 1848-1894, the treatment of mental illness was in its infancy. Many of the drugs used today to help patients control their symptoms weren't invented yet. So it isn't surprising that the use of restraint was heavily relied on for patients prone to violence. However, the conditions where the most difficult patients, like the violent, criminally insane, were held in basements of buildings or dark rooms off the vast tunnels which connect various buildings with chains and shackles on the walls. The patients were in dark, inhuman conditions, and "retraining practices" were deemed to be barbaric. The worst inmates who never stopped screaming and /or attacked staff or other patients were warehoused there in the early years of the Hospital.
After public awareness of these horrid abuses, sweeping reforms were made in 1894, which started the long history of improving care which involved actually treating patients instead of warehousing them. The use of restraints was curtailed. Vocational rehabilitation and social activities were planned. The Hospital made an effort to be on the cutting edge of treatment until the place closed.
1) The Old Power House Basement - Maintenance workers have to go down to the basement and shovel out the ashes twice a night.
a) A screaming of a woman was heard coming from a corner of the basement.
b) Shadows of entities were seen moving from cement post to post.
c) An employee on a break took a nap in a room in the basement, near the pumping station. He awoke as he was being choked by unseen hands by a menacing presence. He broke the grasp and ran to the light switch and no one was there. There were deep red marks around his neck where he was choked.
d) The coal conveyor belt which brought coal to the Boiler, turned itself on and off.
2) In the Pathology Building - bodies of deceased patients were examined closely to learn more about mental illness.
a) Noises coming from the basement have been heard by the living when no one was there.
3) Administration Building - Some entity is going about his or her business in running the hospital.
a) Foot steps were heard coming across the lobby to the window in front of the main desk and went back again.
4) Tunnels or catacombs which connect the buildings.
a) A patient, Al who lived on a non-secure wing, went missing. Neither the police or hospital workers found him anywhere on or off grounds. It was assumed that he had made a successful break. Imagine the surprise of a nurse when she figured out that a female patient was going down the steps to the tunnel to talk to an entity named Al, whose body was found soon after realizing what had happened.
b) Another hospital worker heard moans coming from a dirt-floor room off a tunnel, which had chains and hand restraints in the walls.
a) Maintenance workers have heard the cries and screams coming from the dorms, similar to what was heard here when patients stayed here. Mental illness is painful and scary to the people living with it.
b) On the second floor of a woman's dorm an entity dressed in a bathrobe has been seen running down the hall, from the outside and the inside.
6) A few patients managed to slip away from their caretakers sometimes harming another or themselves.
a) Under a grove of trees, a violent patient killed another patient. The living can hear the cries and groans of this victim coming from this area.
b) Entities dressed in robes have been seen running across the grass in their bid to escape.
While the State Park officials had long denied it, people who worked there in the past and the present have witnessed manifestations. Paranormal Investigators from IPI took photos of orbs in the Power House.
2800 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46222