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Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital In Italy Is The Most Chilling Thing You’ll See Today

Haunting photos offer an insight into the brutal and uncaring ways we used to treat the mentally ill.

1. Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra, a former psychiatric hospital in Tuscany, Italy, was once home to more than 6,000 mental patients.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

2. It was shut down in 1978 after its practices were deemed cruel.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

3. It was infamous for its use of electroshock therapy.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

4. There are reports that patients were tied to their beds in straightjackets, and letters from family were concealed.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

5. Many patients who were sent there never came out again, leading the hospital to be dubbed the “place of no return.”

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

6. The walls of the hospital courtyard are still covered in the carvings of a patient who was locked inside for more than a decade.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

7. Photographer and urban explorer Eleonora Castagnozzi, 39, ventured inside the sinister asylum.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

8. She said: “When I first entered I felt incredibly sad. I could empathise with the people who were locked inside this place - they must have felt so isolated.”

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

9. “I could see iron bars on all the windows and spy holes at the doors which shows they must have been supervised night and day.”

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

10. “When I walked through the decaying corridors I felt a sense of desolation and distress.”

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

11. A mysterious series of runes, symbols and letters are scratched into the 180-metre-long courtyard walls. The frieze is the work of former patient Oreste Ferdinand Nannetti.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

12. Mr Nanneti was a patient at the hospital for 14 years from 1958. The hand-carved graffiti is made up of geometric shapes, words and drawings of churches and soldiers.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

13. Miss Castagnozzi said: “During his incarceration Mr Nannetti made a series of carved murals using his belt buckle. They are considered by some to be an artistic masterpiece.”

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

14. The marks in the stone wall have mystified photographers, historians and psychiatrists for years.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

15. Many interpret his work as a manual on how to cope with hallucinations, some say they are ramblings about high-tech weaponry, spaceships and alchemy.

Eleonora Castagnozzi/Medavia.co.uk

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Alan White is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
 
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