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Norwich State Hospital for the Insane


Norwich State Hospital for the Insane 

Every so often one may find themselves in a place where it seems that the environment itself has been deeply effected by the history which it bore. Even the trees here did not seem right - As if they whispered among themselves at the edge of hearing.

The former Norwich State Hospital is not that unlike many other mental health facilities from its era, having seen its share or underfunding, neglect, and controversy before withering away from a reduced patient population due to national deinstitutionalization. Opening its doors in the autumn of 1904, Norwich's initial patient count was under 100. Again, not unlike numerous institutions of its day; the patient population at the hospital grew exponentially in the earlier years of operation. By 1930 Norwich had sprawled itself out from a single hospital, to a campus of over 20 buildings. As the years went on, the population of the campus eventually began to decrease due to modern psychiatric medications, and the growing taboo that the country was beginning to feel toward large state mental hospitals. During this time the facility began constructing new buildings on a plot of property next to where the old hospital center stood. Every time a new building was erected and opened, a building from the old campus would be closed down. By the 1970's only a handful of original buildings were in active use. When Norwich finally shuttered in 1996 only two of the original campus buildings were still in use, the remainders of the old campus already falling into disrepair.

Rotting metal bars frame a window overlooking the decayed grounds of a long abandoned asylum complex. This old campus is now little more than a gathering of sad and rotten buildings, but if one were to have peered out this very same window some seventy years earlier, they would have seen a massive city operating unto itself, with a populace in the thousands. The patients who once lived here have all since moved on, the buildings are now sealed shut, and the disused roadways have crack and crumble through the workings of nature and time. Nothing remains here save for darkness and silence - Two things which have come to call every corner and corridor of this place home. This unsettling property overlooking the Thames River is all that remains of Norwich State Hospital for the Insane. The history found here is undeniably intense. That fact, coupled with the eerie visuals of the hospital's physical appearance, veils the campus with a heavy and mournful air. These were sad buildings.


While most beds were just old frames, some still had a mattresses and linens.



Moss covered many of the perpetually-wet floors.

This couch was upset for some reason.

The floor here contained a very surprising amount of water, considering it was on the third story.

Fire escapes were removed from many of the buildings, resulting in a lot of doors to nowhere.

This is an older video of ours. When watching, you may notice that it has a different "feel" to it than our current-day films. This is because the style of our cinematography has progressed over time, and our equipment has changed and improved throughout the years. We have chosen to leave our older videos available for viewing online to illustrate the evolution of our work.