This Suitcase Is One Of 400 Found At An Abandoned Asylum. What’s Inside Is Truly Incredible!


Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane, located in New York, was built in 1869. When patients arrived at this asylum, they were armed with suitcases filled with their personal possessions that they thought they would need during their stay. On an average the patients stayed for 30 years, but most of them never left the asylum, and after their death they were buried in nameless graves, their property was left in the attic only to be forgotten and lost in the recesses of time. Recently a spine-tingling discovery was made in the attic where over 400 suitcases, each packed with the belongings of people who lived and died decades ago were found. Want to know what lies in store in all the antique troves, go through these pictures and what the Photographer Jon Crispin has to say about them.

  1. “I find everything about them interesting, even the sounds of the locks on the suitcases whenever I open them are completely compelling.”

  1. “I approach the whole thing with a respect for the objects and patients.”

  1. “More than half the cases are basically empty,”
  1. “It’s such compelling stuff. These people were essentially prisoners inside. Their families largely abandoned them. They gave them a suitcase and had them committed. Looking at these suitcases, you just get the idea that that these people really had lives outside before they went to Willard.”

  1. “I approach the whole thing with a respect for the objects and patients.”

  1. “There are amazing old books, many people came with newspaper clippings.”

  1. “I think people had no idea what they were in for [when they came to Willard]. That’s an element of the project I find so interesting.”

  1. “I come across personal items like letters written from family members. Those are always very emotional.”

  1. “You’ll see something silly and think, ‘why would someone bring this or that to an asylum?”

10. “Some of the objects are so cool. Some patients came with entire sets of cutlery.”

In an exhibition, titled “Changing the Face of What is Normal: Mental Health”, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, all the photographs and 14 suitcases were displayed. Share this post with your friends and spread awareness about the lives of these unfortunate people.

Credit: Jon Crispin


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