Foxborough State Hospital

Foxborough, Massachusetts
The abandoned Foxborough State Hospital stands as a haunting relic of a bygone era in care. Over the years, most of it has been redeveloped.
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Nestled in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts, the abandoned Foxborough State Hospital stands as a haunting yet fascinating relic of a bygone era in psychiatric care. Established in 1889 as the Massachusetts Hospital for Dipsomaniacs and Inebriates, it was an innovative response to the treatment of alcoholism, a pioneering move in mental health care. However, as the needs and understanding of mental health evolved, so did the hospital’s purpose, transitioning into a standard psychiatric facility by 1910.

This sprawling complex, once a beacon of progressive treatment, now presents a mixture of redevelopment and forgotten structures. While parts of the hospital have found new life as housing and commercial spaces, remnants of its original purpose linger, particularly in the old auditorium. This solitary structure, cloaked in ivy, sits in stark contrast to the modern developments around it, offering a tangible link to the past.

The hospital’s history is not without controversy. Joel Freedman’s book “On Both Sides of the Gate” sheds light on the darker aspects of Foxborough State Hospital, revealing stories of patient abuse and institutional neglect. These harrowing tales add a layer of solemnity to the site, suggesting why many believe the hospital is haunted by the troubled souls of its past.

Today, visitors can explore the remnants of this historic site, though caution is advised due to the state of decay and the mixed-use nature of the area. The Foxborough State Hospital Cemetery, a short distance away, serves as a poignant reminder of the lives touched by the facility. The nameless graves marked only by numbers evoke a deep sense of reflection about the forgotten individuals who once walked the halls of the hospital.

Foxborough State Hospital, in its current state, offers more than just a glimpse into the history of mental health care; it stands as a somber testament to the ever-changing attitudes and approaches to treating mental illness. For those intrigued by history, architecture, and the stories of the past, a visit to this site is a journey through time and a contemplation of the evolving understanding of human psychology.


Address: Chestnut Street, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.076194, -71.255028
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.076194, -71.255028
Parking Notes: Since some of Foxborough State Hospital is now being used, it is best to park away from the campus and walk to it. It is recommended to park at the Payson Road Recreation Area located just about 200 yards north of the campus along Payson Road.

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