Manteno Insane Asylum

Manteno Insane Asylum

Limited Edition Framed Photos: 8×10: $125, 11×14: $150

Built in the 1920s, Manteno Mental Institution’s grounds covered one square mile, making it Illinois’ largest mental hospital. Sixty-nine buildings stood at the height of its existence. Over 8000 patients were housed at Manteno with a medical staff of only 200. For over sixty years, Cook County’s criminally insane found a home at Manteno. There were abundant reports of abuse towards patients. Recovered records indicate that 398 people died in 1939 alone. That same year, 453 people came down with typhoid fever, resulting in 60 deaths. It was the worst fever outbreak in The United States since 1925. Over the years, Manteno continued to use outdated treatments on patients, such as shock treatment, hydrotherapy and lobotomies. In 1970, the hospital was closed alleging improper practices. Today, most of the buildings have been demolished. Only one building remains standing, but in virtual state of collapse. Time appears frozen in time when walking through the halls Manteno’s 3-level structure. This historic institution has many tales to tell.

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