Just east of the Berkshires sits an abandoned house in Belchertown, Massachusetts that served as a mental institution. It's been closed since 1992, but if only the walls could talk, they would utter such spine tingling happenings to those who were forcibly admitted into this facility in it's 7 decades of existence.

The Belcher Institute for the Feeble Minded first opened back in 1922 as The Bay State was forced to manage those individuals that suffered a vast amount of mental illness and disability. The property encompassed 845 acres and housed a total of 57 buildings (if only people knew what was going on behind those walls, which represented a series of cottages) as psychologists called these actions "criminal and ridiculous" in nature.

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Reports indicated those with some sort of mental and physical deformity were given this one way pass with "no way out" and that also included infants and toddlers who were given this unheard of sentence of condemnation before they had a chance to experience life on their own accord. To paraphrase in one word: "Shameful".

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash
Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash
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Residents were subjected to horrors that individuals can't imagine and shame on those who purported the act of even going through this deplorable step of abandoning some of their fellow human beings who were not worthy of this type of behavior, especially if they were a family member (in this instance, blood is NOT thicker than water). it is believed, this facility was overcrowded as the influx of patients was too much to handle, but medical personnel should have paid more attention to these horrid conditions instead of making the scenario worse than expected.

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Several lawsuits were filed against the establishment due to a massive number of human rights violations. let's hope we do NOT revisit these atrocities as those who were responsible should have faced criminal charges (If I were the judge, I'd lock them up and throw away the key). Regrettably, these crimes NEVER received the much needed attention, but maybe now they should be investigated even further. This house is a part of Belchertown that received it's share of infamy, but the truth shall one day be told and we will find out even more details regarding this matter.

Final thought: I'll stop writing as this is a heartbreaking article, but it needs to be told as awareness must be implemented on a horrific situation that occurred in our backyard.

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