A Side Trip – Medfield State Hospital

One of my favorite factoids that I like to share about my junior high and high school experience is that our campus was walking distance away from a mental health facility.  I’m not talking just any sort of psychiatric program, I am referring to Medfield State Hospital, a location that housed up to 2,000 patients during its peak.  Self sufficient and covering about 900 acres of land, Medfield State also had the unfortunate reputation of housing patients who were so ill that they had to be in a lock-down facility. In other words, they weren’t safe to have mixing among the rest of the population.

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The reason I am writing about all this today is because after its closing in 2003, the grounds of Medfield State Hospital are open to the public daily from 6am-6pm.  Why this is the case, I am not sure, but it sure does make for an interesting side trip.  Recently, scenes from Shutter Island were filmed there and rumor has it that there are still some set pieces left behind in the hospital’s chapel.  Sadly, all the buildings have been condemned, so you really just get to walk around outside.  Also, with hurricane/tropical storm Irene, there seems to be a bit more damage than can be seen in some earlier pics posted by some of those “urban adventurer” sites out there.  If you ask me, it’s still a pretty creepy place and there are a lot worse ways to spend an afternoon.  I highly suggest stopping by, taking some pics, maybe peeking into a few windows.  With renewal plans being discussed by the town of Medfield, who knows how much longer you’ll get a chance to see something like this.

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