The abandoned asylum, soaked in tragically crazy ghosts, is a staple of the horror genre. And for good reason. These real-life decaying asylums will give you the shivers.

Cane Hill Asylum, Croydon, London, 1883-1990

(via Forlorn Britain, Tom Wheeler and Paul/howzey)

Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Trenton and Ewing, New Jersey (founded in 1848)

The director of this psychiatric hospital between 1907 and 1930 named Dr. Henry Cotton had a very progressive attitude toward care for his patients. He developed a dangerous theory about mental illness, one that turned his hospital into a house of horrors.

As Lauren Davis wrote previously on io9:

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After it was confirmed in 1913 that the spirochaete that causes syphilis can cause the disease's psychiatric symptoms, Cotton began to suspect that all mental illness was caused by bodily infections, and that the only way to cure the patient was to remove the offending infection. In 1917, he began removing his patients' teeth, even in cases where X-Rays showed no evidence of infection. He soon moved on to other body parts: gall bladder, stomachs, ovaries, testicles, tracts of colon, uteruses. Cotton claimed a cure rate of 85%, but in reality, his surgeries had an unconscionably high mortality rate.

(via Dave Scaglione)

The Essex County Hospital Center or the Overbrook Asylum (1896-1975)

(via Jeff/jeffs4653 and Angela Henderson)

The Poveglia Island Asylum or the Island of Madness, Venice, Italy (between 1922 and 1968)

(via ntenny, Mattia Battistin and U1D2X)

Whittingham Asylum, near Preston, England (1869-1995)

(via Nick Cummins)

Armand Auclerc Weston State Hospital, formerly the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, West Virginia (1864-1994)

(via Tim Kiser and Harry Pherson)

Topeka State Hospital, Topeka, Kansas (1872-1997)

(via Topeka Library)

Philadelphia Hospital for Mental Diseases or Byberry State Hospital, Byberry, Pennsylvania (1907-1987)

(via Owl's Flight, Matt Derrick, Rana X and GoDDoG215)

Hartwood Mental Hospital, Hartwood, Scotland (1890-1998)

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Kings Park Psychiatric Center, Kings Park, New York (1885-1996)

(via Doug Kerr, Jonathan Haeber and Tim Burke)

H. H. Richardson Complex (formerly the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane), Buffalo, New York (1881-1975)

(via Kingston Lounge)

State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers, Danvers, Massachusetts (1878-1992, now demolished)

(via Glass Eyes and Opacity)