• Alyssa Parker

The Topeka State Hospital

Updated: Feb 20

The Topeka State Hospital, or the Topeka Insane Asylum, has been said to be one of the most infamous hospitals in U.S. history. It opened in 1872 and quickly became overcrowded. Around the 1900’s rumors had been sprouted that the hospital’s staff had been neglecting and abusing their patients. In 1913, use if compulsory sterilization was legalized which then led to the hospital legally being able to sterilize their patients. They used this method up until 1961. In 1967 the hospital was closed down due to overcrowding and multiple reporting of abuse to patients. In 2010 most of the hospital wings were town down, but there are still a few buildings that are open to tourism along with a cemetery that holds the victims of the Topeka Insane Asylum.

There have been mysterious tales that have escaped the hospitals, some may be true and some may be for show, but nonetheless they are quite terrifying. For example, the story named Room 18. One of the residents of the hospital had reported sightings of a resident being beaten. His name was Dodd, and he had been seen with an employee jumping up and down on his chest and strangling him. His last beating was held in Room 18, where he supposedly was strangled to death; all we know is that he came out dead.

Dodd’s story may be disgustingly inhuman, but John Crabb was never meant to be put in the hospital. John Crabb was a Danish immigrant who worked as a dishwasher in Topeka, Kansas. He was known for having a hot temper. One night at the diner John witnessed one of his coworkers hit one of the waitresses, who just so happened to be John’s girlfriend. John made multiple verbal threats which landed him a spot in jail. He was then taken to the Topeka state Hospital where he was labeled “incurable.” He tried for approximately 20 years to convince the staff that he was sane, but his attempts were futile. John Crabb could have possibly died in the hospital if it weren’t for a group of insurance men that discovered his case and sent him back to trial. John eventually became labeled sane and was released from the hospital, but what would have happened to him if he stayed?

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