The Topeka State Hospital, often referred to as the Topeka Insane Asylum, opened its doors in 1872 to the medically and criminally insane. For over 100 years, reports of abuse and murder came out of the hospital, and it eventually closed its doors in 1997 due to the abuse and overcrowding.
During its operation, the state hospital was infamous for its forced sterilization program, the use of hydrotherapy, and castration to treat “imbeciles.” Numerous reports detailed patient neglect, rape, and beatings. The most unbelievable thing was that no one was able to do anything about the atrocities within the hospital because the workers and doctors were protected by the Kansas state government.
Nothing remains of the original hospital, and while many people felt that the building was haunted, it was torn down and removed in 2010. The crew even went as far as to remove the concrete slabs so that the spot where the hospital once stood would be completely devoid of any sign that there was once a building there.
10. Topeka State Hospital Room 18
Newspapers from the late 1800s were filled with reports on the abuses happening inside the insane asylum at Topeka State Hospital. In one particular case, a witness came forward with information about an inmate named Dodd.
The witness claimed that he had seen an attendant kick Dodd on numerous occasions. Dodd was often knocked to the ground, and the attendant would jump up and down on the inmate’s chest. Sometimes, Dodd would be strangled.
On his final beating, Dodd was knocked down, and the witness stated that Dodd was dragged into room 18. The door was shut, and the witness heard noises that sounded like a struggle. Finally, he heard a groan from within the room, and Dodd was eventually carried out, dead from whatever had happened inside the room.
A county attorney tried to take action against the attendant, but the governor of Kansas refused to launch an investigation into the death, and the matter was dropped.
9. Killing Off Old Soldiers
In 1896, reports came out that “old soldiers” were being killed off in Kansas state asylums. It should have been a scandal, but instead of being investigated, the whole thing was covered up.
According to one newspaper report, Gust Mauer, an inmate at the Topeka State Hospital, “was sent home [ . . . ] with two black eyes, a broken nose and a broken neck, his body being accompanied by a certificate from the Superintendent that he had died of apoplexy, yet no effort was ever made to right the wrong, and the Superintendent is still in office.”