History of an Abandoned Trenton Psychiatric Hospital

Before 1971, the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital was known as the New Jersey State Hospital. As patient numbers declined, more and more of the complex’s structures were demolished.

Originally opened in 1876, this place stands all alone and vacant. It was really creepy.

Many state mental facilities in New Jersey have closed their doors throughout the years, each with a harrowing history. Horrible atrocities happened in these institutions, as well as others in New Jersey, but they are no longer in operation. Just a few asylums survive, and one of the most dreadful is still in operation. Trenton Psychiatric Hospital is a state-run mental health facility in Trenton, New Jersey. It is not completely abandoned because it still contains a 400-bed mental hospital that serves a specific New Jersey community.

On May 15, 1848, the New Jersey Lunatic Asylum (later called the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital) was established. Its completion marked the establishment of the state’s first mental hospital and the very first asylum built in accordance with the Kirkbride concept. Unfortunately, the initial building rapidly became overcrowded, and numerous further expansions were built. In addition, the facility’s name was changed to “New Jersey State Hospital” in 1893.

Dorothea Dix, an activist and champion for the mentally sick, created the hospital. While the intention was to provide care for and rehabilitate mental patients, the institution took a dark turn once Dr. Henry Cotton took over in 1907. Cotton was a staunch belief that infections within a person’s body caused the beginning and maintenance of mental disease. The doctor and his colleagues removed the patients’ teeth in order to preserve and repair the damaged brains of the patients under his care.

Cotton believed that the teeth were the most likely site for infection in a patient’s body. If symptoms continued following tooth removal, more body parts were removed in a methodical manner. If tooth extractions failed, the tonsils and sinuses were the next most usual organs to be removed. The patient might then lose a variety of internal organs, including the colon, cervix, ovaries, gallbladder, stomach, spleen, and testicles. Cotton openly stated a fantastic success rate for his patients based only on his own study and testing.

Despite the fact that Dr. Cotton died in 1933, numerous of his immoral and brutal procedures persisted at the hospital into the 1960s. Trenton Psychiatric Hospital had 4,237 patients by 1954, but with the increased use of medicine for mental illness, that number began to decline and wards were decommissioned. In 1971, the exquisite Kirkbride-style administration building was dismantled and replaced with a more typical hospital construction, and the name was changed once more to Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.

As patient numbers declined, more and more of the complex’s buildings were closed down and abandoned. The state of New Jersey still runs a 400-bed mental hospital on the site, although many of the older buildings are vacant and abandoned. Because the abandoned areas of the institution are not exposed to the public, these photographs will take you on a tour of the asylum.

Originally opened in 1876, this place stands all alone and vacant. It was really creepy.

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