The Towers Abandoned Asylum in Leicester is a must for all ghost hunters who are passionate about having a paranormal experience. This Abandoned hospital for the insane is intense and nothing can prepare you for your overnight investigation here. Nothing we can say would ever compare with the feelings of dread and misery that you may get as you enter this terrifying building. Built in 1869 The Towers Lunatic Asylum is desperate to give up its many hidden secrets.
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Join the team as we spend the night in some of the most active areas of the Towers Asylum. This is an abandoned building and therefore ghost hunting here is extremely raw and basic. However, this only serves to heighten your sense of fear as you take part in some amazing ghost hunting activities such as table tipping, glass moving, watch and wait vigils, Ouija Boards as well as using some of the most up to date ghost hunting equipment
It is no wonder that the level of paranormal activity that has been encountered here has been of cries and anger. Small objects being thrown happen frequently, doors banging shut and loud bangs coming from nowhere. Shadows have been seen along with unexplained mists and light anomalies. There is a sense of fear in this building that cannot be easily explained but when you look at the history and the treatment of those that were housed here it then becomes understandable.
The Victorians made great attempts to accommodate and treat people suffering mentally and had the great idea of creating purpose built asylums to house those in need. Originally these buildings were designed for well-being and effective treatments. However, it soon became clear that this was an idealistic view and that there were more people suffering in these times than had originally been thought. This led to the Asylums becoming over-crowded and the depth of mental health issues that people were suffering could not be treated. Sedation techniques then became more vociferous with ECG options becoming commonplace and fear of the types of illnesses led to a more inhumane approach. Down in the basement of the Towers Asylum shackles were found that were clearly used on patients, binding them to the walls and keeping them out of sight.
The Towers Asylum opened as a Hospital for the insane at around 1869. This was a hospital for the insane and become a home to some very disturbed unfortunate patients. Signs of those times still exist with the isolation rooms and the ward layout. The Towers was renamed as a mental hospital in 1912 and went on to become The Towers Hospital early in 1947. Due to population growth and the refusal of the Commissioners in Lunacy to sanction an enlargement of the County Asylum, in 1865 the Leicester Corporation decided to build an asylum for the town's pauper lunatics. A 30 acre site in Humberstone was purchased for the new Leicester Borough Asylum by the Leicester Borough Council in 1864, for the sum of £8,000. The site was purchased from the executors of the Broadbent estate, having formerly been the home of Benjamin Broadbent (1813 to 1862). Benjamin Broadbent had formed the company of Broadbents Ltd in Leicester in 1840 and by 1861 had amassed sufficient funds to build a house known as Victoria House on a large estate in Humberstone. This was a substantial property and is described in the deeds as a mansion house with stables, coach house, vineries, orchard, houses, conservatories and outbuildings.
In order to progress the project, a Lunatic Asylum Committee was formed with its eleven members being drawn from existing Borough Councillors and Aldermen. Mr. Buck, the Medical Superintendent of the Leicestershire and Rutland County Lunatic Asylum also provided his professional input and expertise. The architect chosen was the Borough Surveyor, Edward Loney Stephens. The first meeting was held on 5th December. The original proposal was designed to accommodate a total of 100 pauper lunatics already known within the Borough, with a space for a further 100. The building was to be a two storey design, but the Commissioners in Lunacy insisted that it be increased to three storeys.
Designed in the neo gothic style, in March 1867 the total cost estimate, including the land and furniture, was £32,700. The work awarded to 8 subcontractors under the control of a Clerk of the Works, a Mr.S.Peebles of 9 Kate Street Leicester, who was paid the sum of £2/12s/6d per week. Starting in 1867 the scheme progressed well and was completed in just over two years, with the first ten inmates admitted on 2nd September 1869. In the first annual report the final project cost was reported as £50,000.
There were 11 single bedrooms on the male side of which 2 were padded and 13 on the female side, including 2 padded rooms. In addition there were 5 male and 6 female rooms classed as strong or cemented. Beds and pillows were made of horse hair and each bed was supplied with 4 woollen blankets plus a thick woollen cover. Day-rooms and dormitories had carpeted floors with linoleum in the corridors.
This East Midlands Asylum in 1871 it is recorded that there were a total of 283 patients, with 80 of these belonging to Derby. Given no additional building was undertaken to cater for the increase in bed numbers it is assumed additional beds were erected in the existing dormitories.