Some old psychiatric hospitals have a breathtaking, although haunting, beauty. It's unfortunate that many of these hospitals (beautiful on the outside) were once warehouses for people with serious mental illness, where many were neglected and abused. These temples to antiquated psychiatric care stand on hallowed ground, as some people spent most of their lives in these institutions andmany even died and were buried there. Some facilities are now places for modern care, but others have been abandoned as states have moved services to other buildings.
One such institution is the former Weston Hospital in West Virginia, now in private hands. I join advocates in their outrage over the new owners'
plans, which include "Psyco Path" dirt bike races, "Hospital of Horrors" haunting tours in October, and a "Nightmare Before Christmas" tour on December 23. This cheap commercialization of the facility, once known as Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, promotes and encourages the stigma associated with mental illnesses and disrespects the memories of so many.