There’s Something Truly Terrifying About This Abandoned Insane Asylum
New York is full of abandoned places, but few have as imposing of a presence as one particular sprawling estate in Ovid. Even fewer have as much history. This grand Victorian structure may look like the remains of a once-beautiful mansion, but the massive complex was actually the site of the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane. Thousands of mentally ill individuals lived and died in this now-abandoned hospital. Sadly, Willard Asylum is just one of several abandoned asylums in New York state. What it looks like today is absolutely chilling, as are the heartbreaking Willard Asylum patient stories.
In recent years, annual walking tours of the Willard Asylum in New York have been held by the Five Points Correctional Facility, although the state is more and more hesitant to allow tourists on the property due to the crumbling infrastructure. At this time, the future of this historic building is uncertain. Still, it stands as a reminder of the past as we strive to do better by our residents in the future.
Please keep in mind that this is private property that is still being utilized by the state and is regularly patrolled.
If you’re curious to see more pieces of New York history, here are several more abandoned places in New York.
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Willard Asylum & Related Info
What are some of the coolest abandoned places in New York?
Safely (and ethically) exploring abandoned places is a challenge. However, there are a few abandoned places in New York that are open to the public or offer unique, guided history tours.
- Blockhouse at Central Park
- Brooklyn Naval Yard
- Ellis Island Hospital Complex
- Floyd Bennett Airfield
- Fort Totten and Fort Tilden in Queens
- Fort Wadsworth Park
- Governors Island
- Old City Hall NYC Subway
- Old Croton Aqueduct Weir
- Roosevelt Island’s historic smallpox hospital
Are there any historic mansions in New York?
Both living and abandoned, the Empire State is full of unique, historic mansions and fortress-style "castles." The best historic sites are open for public tours. Some extravagant and beautifully ornate historic mansions to check out in New York are:
- Bartow-Pell Mansion, The Bronx
- Clermont, Germantown
- Frick, New York City
- George Eastman Mansion, Rochester
- Governor Reuben Fenton Mansion, Jamestown
- Gracie Mansion, Manhattan
- Hyde Hall, Cooperstown
- Kykuit, Tarrytown
- Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie
- Merchant’s House Museum, New York City
- McClurg Mansion, Westfield
- Mills Mansion, Staatsburg
- Mount Vernon Hotel Museum And Garden, New York City
- Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York City
- Olana, Hudson
- Phelps Mansion, Binghamton
- Rose Hill Mansion, Geneva
- Schuyler Mansion, Albany
- Seward House Mansion, Auburn
- Skene Manor, Whitehall
- Springwood, Hyde Park
- Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park
- Wilderstein, Rhinebeck
- Yaddo, Saratoga Springs