The 911-Asylum


By: Meredith Ray


I’ve always been partial to psychological horror. From horror classics that make me question the entirety of the world around me, to researching the days of lobotomy and other means of dealing with patients of mental illness, I have always been fascinated by this genre.

For the most part, my experiences with such topics have been from a third person perspective: watching documentaries, reading books, and researching on the Internet.
However, during my freshman year of high school, I saw something up close and personal, making me take my curiosity a step further.

I’m from Rochester Hills, Michigan (a little over an hour Northeast of Ann Arbor). It was October, maybe a week before Halloween, and Tony, my sister’s boyfriend, said that he was going to take my sister, my friend and me to a couple of haunted places in Clarkston.

It was excessively dark as we wound through the dirt roads. I had no idea where he was taking us. All I could see were the brown leaves of fall in the headlights directly in front of us before Tony would make another sharp turn.

We swiftly turned onto a dirt drive that seemed to pop out of nowhere. The only way it could be found was by the address number posted on a sign in front of the drive. It’s street number was “911”. The driveway was long, when suddenly a monstrous brown brick structure came into view.

This building was an abandoned insane asylum. They used to perform lobotomies there, along with shock therapy and other numerous treatments that today have been ruled “inhumane”. When insane asylums went out of vogue in terms of mental health therapy, this building was not turned into a hospital or another facility. It was simply deserted.

As we pulled up to the building, Tony turned the headlights of the car off. There was a heavy feeling that I felt in the core of my torso. Everyone in the car was silent. But in a moment I noticed a red light in a ground-level window on the left. I couldn’t look away from this red light. This building had been abandoned around 40 years ago. There was no way a light had been on for over 40 years. I was so transfixed by the red light that I almost didn’t see the light on the second floor turn on. That was it. I had no way to rationalize the lights.

Was this an instance of faulty wiring in a building abandoned decades ago? Or is this a case of spirits, still trapped by where they were forced to live out the remainder of their days?

When Tony dropped my friend and I back at my house, we sat on my kitchen floor in silence. We both had the “heavy” feeling still in our cores, and there was nothing else that we really wanted to do in that moment. We just sat, and contemplated what we had just seen.


7 thoughts on “The 911-Asylum

  1. Wow, this is really interesting! I’m from Clarkston, MI and I never knew this haunted insane asylum existed. Could you give me more details on it? I’d love to check it out next October, especially considering I find haunted/abandoned insane asylums particularly terrifying.

  2. For me as well psychological horror is especially scary because it can be so difficult to determine what is actually real. In your case whether it be faulty wiring or spirits I feel like it’s the uncertainty and unknown that makes this story scary. Not having the answers or even the slightest clue about something is bothersome and when you mix that with horror, it’s terrifying.

  3. I see this a unique cross of psychological horror mixed with superstition. I believe that the “heavy feelings” you had are a direct result of this psychological horror playing upon our minds, which does not mean that there is any less credibility to your account. However, it is truly spooky that the lights on the second floor came on. This was really thrilling!

  4. It’s very interesting that the address of an insane asylum is “911” because it is associated with the police, and danger in general. I would be very creeped out by the lights because there is no way anyone lives in an abandoned building like that. It especially creeps me out that the government in Clarkston didn’t knock it down or build it into something else. It makes me think there are ghosts or other supernatural occurrences going on. But as Tamara said, it really is the unknown that makes this story unsettling.

  5. I think what scared you the most about the insane asylum was that your imagination was given a setting to work off of. The second you saw the asylum, your mind went to all the things that could have happened to the people that lived there. I too am very interested in psychological horror, and having more knowledge on the topic can actually cause us to think the worst of the worst. Furthermore, I am also a believer in ghosts; so the thought that spirits could presently exist there is also a very terrifying thought.

  6. I am also very interested in psychological horror, and I tend to find psychological thrillers more interesting than any other type of horror movie. I love learning about the history of things and how it ties in to today, so this story really spoke to me. I think, even if it doesn’t manifest in some supernatural form, that histories of things give them character. They instantly become more intriguing and have added depth. I would love to learn more about the place, so if you have any information about it, please let me know!

  7. This is the kind of horror that affects me most as well, the kind that is based on other people’s real life pain and torture. It is true that one can feel this strongly when they enter the location of past horror and pain. Whether or not it is because of spirits or just our own imaginations traveling back to the time when the events took place, I can connect with the feeling of being heavy with an inexplicable feeling of fear and discomfrot. I had a similar experience when i traveled to Cambodia and visited the site of a Khmer Rouge torture/execution center which was once an old school. The feeling i had that day, i will never forget.

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