Asylums on Inwood Hill: The Darkside of the Park’s Past | My Inwood

By Cole Thompson

House of Mercy, New York Herald, January 26, 1890.

House of Mercy, New York Herald, January 26, 1890.

A century ago asylums and institutions lined the ridge of Inwood Hill. Inside these fortress-like structures, all demolished by Robert Moses in the 1930′s, tortured, long-dead souls were kept under lock and key. Some were criminals, some were inebriates and drug addicts, others had the mere misfortune of suffering from tuberculosis. All were outcasts, banished to the northernmost reach of Manhattan, decades before Inwood Hill would be named a park.

More than 100 years later some say the shrieks and wails of these wretched and forgotten souls still reverberate through the park.

While nary a remnant of these asylums exists today, their legacy of suffering is legendary.

So take a trip, if you dare, to another time, another Inwood, where bad things go bump in the night.

Read more: Asylums on Inwood Hill: The Darkside of the Park’s Past.

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