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Danvers State Hospital

Investigation Report


Images From The Former Danvers State Hospital


Saturday, we visited the Danvers State Hospital and were lucky enough to get up close and personal with what is left of this historic Massachusetts landmark.

Danvers State Hospital Impromptu Investigation Write-Up Investigation
Date: 02-17-07
Conditions: 19 degrees/Windy
Written by: Karen Mossey

            We had planned an investigation in Rhode Island at an 1800’s mill, but due to unforeseen circumstances with the mill’s availability, we were unable to conduct the investigation. Having already put aside the time for an investigation, the team decided to brainstorm and get together another plan for a place to investigate. We decided to head off to Salem, Ma. and on the way pass by the remnants of Danvers State Hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts.

            Things were about to take a turn as far as our set plan though and as we passed by Danvers Hospital we decided to take a turn in and see how close we could get to get a better view. As our luck would have it, we drove up and met a few people who actually were walking about the structure of the old Hospital building. This part of the building and the original tower are all that remains of this once massive complex noted for being the first facility to perform frontal lobotomies and excruciating mental treatment to its patients. All the rest of the Danvers State Hospital have since been demolished and condominiums have been put up in its place. We introduced ourselves to these nice folks and gave them our business cards. We asked them about the Hospital and whether they had reported any activity within their condo, now built over where part of the hospital once stood. They reported having heard knocks within their home and invited us in to do some EVP and photography to see if we could pick up on any paranormal activity. Within their home we picked up an EVP of a positive nature. It is our custom to say thank you after an investigation and in this EVP you will hear Mike say “ Thank You,” followed immediately by a Spirit EVP voice saying “ Thank You.” The owner then offered us his hospitality and took us on a tour of the Danvers State Hospital as it remains currently.

            This huge historic structure first constructed in the late 1800’s was being turned into luxury condominiums. The State required that the original hospital remain in its original state externally but allowed that the inside could be developed into luxury condominiums. The Danvers State Hospital is historically renowned and the horror Movie “ Session 9,” was filmed on location there. This amazing structure would be a sure shot for paranormal activity given it’s long history of housing, at one time, 2500 patients and the pain and suffering that happened within its walls. The building is impressive and intimidating and one can almost feel the emotion that remains there from its long and traumatic history. I can only imagine that some form of activity will continue even after the inside is made into residences. We took several amazing pictures and some with images within the windows that seem to be apparitions of those that once roamed there.

            When we left we thanked our host and were all so grateful for having been able to view this most incredible landmark. It’s legends and stories can be confirmed through our experiences during our investigation and we left with some incredible photographs, paranormal images and EVP. Not to mention, a fantastic experience which we will never forget. Once converted into condos it will never be the same and we were lucky to have had the opportunity to experience the original structure in all its awe as it was for so many years. I guess this change of plans from our original investigation at the Rhode Island Mill was meant to be and turned out to be a truly significant and memorable experience for our team. The Mill in Rhode Island will be there for another day but the Danvers State Hospital; in the glory as it stands now will not. We will forever be moved by this opportunity to view and have experienced the historic and remarkable Danvers State Hospital.

Sunday, April 1st 2007 - We returned to Danvers State Hospital to investigate the original cemetery.

Danvers II: The Cemetery
 Written by Karen Mossey

Date: April 1st, 2007
Conditions: Dry, Clear, 55 degrees

   We were graciously invited back to the Danvers State Hospital, now the site of luxury condos, by our two good friends who reside there. They had found the location of the original cemetery. There is a new walking path around the condos and the cemetery is down the hill from the path. Much work was done to restore the cemetery. The original octagon markers with only numbers on them have been removed and stacked neatly to the side. They have been replaced by small circular stones with the original numbers of the patient on them and those that could be identified with their respected numbers have a flat stone marker with their name and date of birth and death. Danvers Hospital was in great disarray when it finally closed and many records were lost or scattered making the effort to identify a name with a number a difficult task. Those that could not be matched have only their number: an identity and life lost for all time. Over 700 people are buried here, laid out, in row after row, by year of death. We were able to locate number one (1) and follow through to the last one. It was an incredible but somber experience.

   As we continued along the pathway we also were able to see the trellis and stairs leading away from the Hospital to the road. Although it is overgrown with vines, and the once beautiful lampposts are broken and fallen, the scene looks hauntingly familiar to the way it appeared in the Danvers movie “Session 9.” Walking down the stairs one can picture the once lush landscape where patients and staff once tread. The bench is still there although only two boards remain on the seat.

   We also were able to view the entrance ways to the tunnels that connected the different buildings on the entire Danvers campus to the main hospital. Danvers State Hospital was a town within itself, with everything it needed to be self sufficient contained within its confines.

   The history of Danvers began long before the Insane Asylum was built. The land upon which it was built was once called Hathorne Hills. It was named after judge Hathorne who was responsible for the condemnation and hanging of the so called “Salem witches.” They were put to death on the land the Danvers Hospital was built upon. Danvers at the time was part of Salem, Massachusetts. So this land has felt hundreds of years of tragedy and sorrow.

   We captured several EVP's and photographs during this visit to Danvers State Hospital. One interesting EVP was heard after we had asked if there was anything anyone wanted to tell us. A discarnate soul replied in a disembodied voice “I survived this.” We were also privileged to meet Thomas a good friend to our hosts who had worked in maintenance at Danvers during the 80’s and gave us the opportunity for a live interview. The face of the original Danvers State Hospital will remain the same; a memory to this historic landmark and the emotion that permeated its walls. The bars are gone from the windows. The people that were once patients there are also gone, or are they?



This EVP was recorded by Karen Mossey. Mike is heard saying "thank you" and an unseen entity replies back to him "thank you".
"I'm warning you"  Recorded by Karen Mossey
"I survived this"    Recorded by Karen Mossey

Images From The Former Danvers State Hospital

 This picture  was taken by our good friend Debbie Thornhill



Picture taken By  Debbie Thornhill



The original grave markers listed patients only by number.  They have since been replaced by grave markers listing the patient by name.

 Picture taken By  Debbie Thornhill



 Picture taken By Mike Sullivan



 Picture taken By  Debbie Thornhill



Copyright 2008. Karen Mossey/Mike Sullivan. All rights reserved.