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Century Manor Insane Asylum

Hamilton, Ontario

Location Owner gator1
Creation Date Mar 04 2010
Status Arson
Category Hospital
Location Hamilton, Ontario
Site number #1128

The Hamilton Asylum for the Insane was originally intended to be an asylum for inebriates (people with alcohol issues). The community was becoming concerned by people who appeared to be disoriented and wandering the streets. Society often thought people who had mental health issues were drunk, not understanding that the problems were not related to alcohol. By 1887 the number of drunken people was so few that the decision was made to house "lunatics". The Hamilton Asylum for the Insane opened in March of 1876. It was situated on 529 acres of land in Hamilton. The asylum was the sixth of it's kind in Ontario. The others being in Toronto, Kingston, Amherstburg, Orillia and London. The asylum, a High Victorian structure, was accessible from a dirt road away from the city. The building contained a three-storey square centre block and two-storey wings on each side. A rear kitchen wing was added in 1895. The site was self-sufficient like many similar institutions. An on-site farm raised cattle, chickens and pigs. A garden provided fruits and vegetables, a bakery provided bread, and the butcher's shop provided meat. Initial capacity was 202 patients who arrived from surrounding areas including Halton, Peel, Simcoe, Wellington, Waterloo, Norfolk, Lincoln and Hamilton. The building was known as the Barton Building. Dr. R. Bucke was the Medical Superintendent. Dr. Bucke also worked at the London Insane Asylum. The East House was built to serve as a "reception hospital" where people could walk in from the street without a doctor's referral. East House's purpose changed later on to house criminally insane. Other facilities included the tailor's shop, sewing room, upholstery shop, power house and fire hall. Recreational facilities consisted of a skating rink, curling rink, bowling green and tennis courts. By September 30th, 1887 there were 625 beds available. When "Orchard House" was complete that number rose to 890 beds. By 1890 the Hamilton Asylum for the Insane had 915 patients and 119 employees. And by 1909 it asylum had beds for 1,200 patients. Patients of the asylum were often seen as entertainment. Families would pack a picnic basket and drive up to the asylum to watch the patients. Sometimes families would even taunt the patients. [u]Deaths[/u] Century Manor certainly has had a dark history. Take for example the story of Bridget English. Ms. English was suicidal and was found to continually be creating ropes for the purpose of hanging herself. She had once been cut down just in time to save her life. On November 10th, 1887 while the two hallway attendants weren't watching, she used knitting cotton tied to steam pipes. Despite being cut down she couldn't be resuscitated. On August 1, 1911 a fire broke out at around 1 AM on the fourth floor of the Barton Building.It's reported that one of the patients fled back into the fire. HAMILTON, Ont., Aug. 1 "Eight lives were lost in a fire which partly destroyed one of the main buildings of the insane asylum on the side of the mountain southwest of this city early today. There were 800 sleeping patients in the building when the fire was discovered, and it was only a well-trained fire-fighting corps and coolness and bravery among the nurses and attendants under Dr. English that averted a more serious loss of life." "There are four buildings in the group within the asylum grounds. The main building, where the fire occurred, is a four-story brick structure with a basement, 200 feet in length and about 70 feet wide, with wings at either end. The women patients, numbering some 350, occupied quarters in the west wing. The rest of the building was taken up with men's wards, and contained some of the most desperate cases in the asylum." "The women were moved without serious difficulty and housed in the adjoining buildings. The situation among the men was more serious. The fire started on the fourth floor, in what is known as Section D, where the most violently insane are kept. The bulk of the men, guarded by attendants, moved down three flights of stairs out of the fire zone in orderly procession, but about a score, driven into a frenzy by the stifling smoke and the excitement of a midnight fire, fought off their rescuers with desperate fury. Three of them, after being carried down to the second floor, broke away, and fled back into the blazing corridors." "The fire in the meantime had spread down the hallway and was eating its way through the floor to the third story. The asylum brigade, although fighting bravely, was handicapped by the maniacs and was losing control." "The city brigade, which had been summoned, was then toiling up the almost precipitous roadway leading to the asylum grounds. It was nearly 2 o'clock before the first of their apparatus was brought into play. The firemen ran scaling ladders up to the third and fourth floor windows, where it was believed some of the unfortunates had fled. They found it difficult work to break down the iron grating on the windows, and the fire in the meantime was growing fiercer every minute. Crawling into the stifling smoke, the firemen groped their way about until they found a maniac. If he was unconscious from smoke the task was easy, but if he was still able to offer resistance, he was knocked senseless and dropped into the life nets below. Eights of the insane and one attendant who had lost consciousness in the work of rescue were saved in this way." "The combined fire forces had the situation well in hand by 3:30 A.M. The two upper floors and the roof of the east wing were burned and the lower floors were flooded with water. As the firemen worked their way into the burned section some bodies were found. Three were taken out of the hallway on the top floor. It was found that one helpless paralytic was burned to death in his cell. Four more were found huddled together in a small room, burned to a crisp." "The blazing roof of the asylum perched up on the mountainside attracted the attention of the entire city. The cry, "The asylum is on fire!" rang through the streets, and hundreds flocked up the hill. It was a weird sight that presented itself. The hysterical screams of the 200 inmates of the four building drowned every other sound. The firemen, fighting both the flames and the maniacs, were in constant peril, and frequently were seen perched on the window sills through which the smoke was pouring in dense columns trying to drag forth a struggling man. One maniac broke from the grasp of a fireman at a window and fled back into the flames, where he perished." "A searching investigation has been ordered. The fire is believed to have been caused by a short circuit on an electric wire in the storeroom on the top floor." The asylum was owned by the Government of Ontario until November of 2000 when ownership was transferred to St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton. Today they are known as the Centre for Mountain Health Sciences.

Latlng: (43.242423, -79.887252)


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avatar of Motleykiwi
Motleykiwi All the buildings are now secured and new official 'No Trespassing' signs as well.
Oct 26 2015
avatar of rashomon
rashomon Front door wide open with several POE on sides and back. Nothing much to see to be honest.
Jun 15 2015
avatar of Motleykiwi
Mar 15 2015
avatar of teeko
teeko stray bullets hitting the walls. Walking the halls, you can't help but think about what horrors took place in here from lobottamies to sexual assaults, no doubt.
Dec 20 2013
avatar of teeko
teeko I had the pleasure of getting in here while I was working on the property. There were contractors going in and out so we slipped in. The place is definitely creepy and the basement is a literal maze of weird rooms with no doors, low ceilings and brick floors. Very dungeon lilke. They have filmed movies in here, as well, and there is still evidence of the pyrotechnics that was supposed to be st
Dec 20 2013
avatar of DARKMAN
DARKMAN They are demoing the old Mental Heath Hospital next door. They have built a new Hospital that could easily house the whole world.
Oct 08 2013
avatar of timekeeper
timekeeper Darko - that explains things!! Bummer
Oct 08 2013
avatar of DARKMAN
DARKMAN Definitely alarmed.
Oct 08 2013
avatar of vivalarevolution
vivalarevolution They are running power into the building out front through a boarded up window so probally alarmed
May 19 2013
avatar of oldmann66
oldmann66 the answers to your questions yes this place is haunted. And yes people have seen apparitions here in the windows and they are normally on the second floor of the building. Going to try getting there this weekend . Friend of mind did a photo shoot here on Halloween night and it even creeped him out being there at night.
Mar 05 2013
avatar of rashomon
rashomon Was here today ... absolutely no way in ...
Mar 04 2013
avatar of D Explore
D Explore Thanks for the interior shots Paranormal. Would be an awesome explore.
Dec 27 2012
avatar of paranormalhaunting
paranormalhaunting thespectralreview has stolen my photos of this place and has made his movie clip on youtube so please take a look at this guys on youtube and if you have posted on this site a photo he has made a clip of them ........ban this guy from this site please
Oct 28 2012
avatar of Golson Moldon
Golson Moldon Obviously someone doesn't understand the concept of moving new galleries into already existing locations. Bye, bye!
Oct 09 2012
avatar of thespectralreview
thespectralreview I'm leaving this site...I can't even see my own pics. This is BS.
Oct 09 2012