Mental institutions or insane asylums have a very long history of being some of the most corrupt and creepy places in the world. Almost every time an insane asylum is brought up, a creepy story comes along with it and the horrific details of what the patients went through is always included. Sadly, psychiatric institutions are known for taking in way more than just those who have loose screws. They became a dumping ground for those that were mentally challenged or physically handicapped, as well as impoverished and unwanted children in many places around the world. Conditions for these kids were unfortunately horrible and would be illegal by today’s standards. But back in the day, it was fine… As long as the public didn’t lay their eyes on it.

Insane asylums of yester-year focused containing and restraining patients in some very nerve-wrecking and questionable ways, while new age hospitals focus more on medical treatments through therapy. You were pretty much screwed if you wound up in a mental psych ward 75 years ago. Here are 15 haunting photos of children that live or lived their entire lives in a mental asylum. We probably don’t have to tell you, it wasn’t much of a life.

1. No Escape

This kid has literally been stuffed in a basket! He’s arriving at The Slipshod Home For Feeble Minded Children, hence he doesn’t appear to be too upset over having to ride around in this thing. This was actually somewhat of a common way of toting your kids around so they wouldn’t die of asphyxiation, but also could not move an inch. For the insane asylum staffs, the basket was one way to make sure the children weren’t going to run in the other direction the moment they turned their heads, they were also able to let the kids get a breathe of fresh air as well. What a win-win! It wouldn’t be unusual to see a couple of these woven baskets with children in them at an insane asylum. We bet this is where the term “basket case” came from.


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