The Metropolitan State Hospital on the Waltham/Lexington line is one of several buildings designed and built by the late Dr. Thomas Kirkbride. Originally opened as a state-run mental asylum in 1930, the massive 490 acres of property has served many purposes since then: a haunted house for charity, a farm, and a school for juvenile offenders. Although the hospital is now closed and the land is being developed into a golf course, the torments that the residents endured have permanently left their mark on the area.
Like many asylums in Massachusetts, Met State has gained a steady reputation as a severely haunted location. In addition to the torments suffered inside the walls of the hospital, the spirits might be restless for other reasons. More than 350 former residents were placed in pauper’s graves on the grounds of the hospital.
Originally, none had proper headstones or even names attached to them. They were buried with only a stone to mark their number and their religion. In recent years, people have made an effort to give the souls a proper burial, but this does not seem to have slowed the hauntings.
Workers had reported hauntings in the buildings well before the hospital closed. Some dealt nightly with shadowy figures moving in and out of rooms and locked doors opening and slamming closed. For a while, electroshock treatment was used at the hospital. Years later, workers reported still hearing screams and seeing flashing lights from those areas. Activity was also reported in a series of tunnels underneath the grounds used by the workers to travel to different parts of the campus. Their passages were lit by single lightbulbs yards apart, and it was common for the workers to feel unseen hands grab at their feet or touch their faces or backs as they walked into the darkened areas.
Today the asylum is closed and is falling into disrepair. Its physical appearance and the legends surrounding the hauntings are enough to scare most people away, but the people who continue to walk the beautiful, scenic grounds say the emotions from the building are much more tangible. Most people feel like they are being watched and get uneasy, as if they are not wanted. Others feel physically sick and then return to normal as soon as they step off the grounds. A few local people have even had the overwhelming feeling of experiencing the actual emotions felt by the patients, and they could talk about procedures and practices of the hospital although they had never actually witnessed them.
Written by — Christopher Balzano Founder, Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads
METROPOLITAN STATE HOSPITAL
475 TRAPELO ROAD
WALTHAM, MASSACHUSETTS 02154
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