Mystifying Abandoned Suitcases Of Insane Asylum Patients

When patients were committed to the Willard Asylum for the Insane in Upstate New York, they arrived with a suitcase packed with all of the possessions they thought they needed for their time inside.

Most never left. The mental hospital had an average stay of nearly 30 years. When patients died, they were buried in nameless graves across the street of the asylum. Their suitcases, with all their worldly possessions, were locked in an attic and forgotten.

In 1995, an employee of the mental hospital discovered the suitcases, 400 of them. They date from 1910 to 1960.

‘The overwhelming thing that I take from it is is it’s all personal. I can look at the objects in these cases and get a strong idea of what the people who owned them was like,’ Mr Crispin said.

Thus far, he has photographed 80 of the suitcases.

New York state law prohibits Mr Crispin from matching the hospital records with the suitcases to tell the more complete story of patients.
They could be committed for any number of reasons. Epilepsy – having seizures – was grounds for lifelong commitment. Young women who were promiscuous, gays and lesbians and mothers who couldn’t get over the grief of losing a child in three months or less could all be subject to commitment.
-Music: Kevin MacLeod ~ Air Prelude
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  1. Ashley Lynn on June 21, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Brian WASHED people its all I see and used them like rabbits today

  2. jannis joplin on June 21, 2018 at 12:25 am

    wish I had found this shit

  3. Pony on June 21, 2018 at 12:25 am

    This is interesting. But the ooky-spooky music and presentation ultimately make it seem voyeuristic and, counter to its pretensions, stigmatizing of the mentally ill.

  4. Tåkìå Jëhåń on June 21, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Did he try to get in contact with the families?

  5. CatherineZ on June 21, 2018 at 12:26 am

    This video would be much better if it was voiced, not subbed by orange and white, for god’s sake, COMIC SANS. It’s interesting in spite of that, thank you.

  6. CatherineZ on June 21, 2018 at 12:26 am

    There should be a museum made of these things, or a section in an existing museum.

  7. Zoes Dada on June 21, 2018 at 12:26 am

    What music is this? I really like it.

  8. Linda Sheets on June 21, 2018 at 12:28 am

    Very interesting, thank you for sharing

  9. Koua Vang on June 21, 2018 at 12:28 am

    No gold or money
    Just junk

  10. D.L. George on June 21, 2018 at 12:29 am

    Typo at 3:18, should be in this instead of is this.

  11. Shirley Harrison on June 21, 2018 at 12:30 am

    This was great..i love seeing things like this. Thanks for sharing this..

  12. reignman2112 on June 21, 2018 at 12:31 am

    that toy pistol found in Frank C.’s suitcase, is a Daisy no. 4, patented in 1917, and is actually the first water pistol ever patented. i have one just like it. pretty cool…

  13. stacey van adder on June 21, 2018 at 12:33 am

    It’s so sad these people weren’t even given the dignity of a tombstone with their name on it. They lived anonymously & died that way, too, I guess.

  14. Dayna Goodchild on June 21, 2018 at 12:35 am

    I think that an exception should be made for Mr. Crispin regarding the privacy of these patients. Too often, asylums were simply human warehouses and linking the suitcases with the owners could, at long last, give them a voice when their own had probably been silenced!
    Great video! Thanks for sharing this!

  15. Carmen Spievak on June 21, 2018 at 12:37 am

    I wonder if someone saw this video and recognized a person as a family member, could they sue for possession of the suitcase?

  16. Amalia Sabbat on June 21, 2018 at 12:39 am

    There were little discrepancies for me! Dont get me wrong I love vintage stuff I love to see what’s in someone bag or suitcase from 1849 and on! But the ziploc bags threw me off because ziploc bags were invented in the late 60’s and the suitcases I seen them in,
    where from maybe 1920 or a little before? But love the videos.

  17. harry lonsdale on June 21, 2018 at 12:40 am

    what are modern photo booth pictures doing amongst ration cards are you real?so much bulls hit in this world.

  18. Love Cats on June 21, 2018 at 12:41 am

    A very interesting and eye opening video. People with mental issues were treated like mad men and women! It’s a good thing we managed to move forward!!

  19. gardengalsu on June 21, 2018 at 12:43 am

    Couldn’t finish watching; the music made it too *depressing!*

  20. Angel Simone on June 21, 2018 at 12:44 am

    That must have been hell for the people in those asylums and what they endured and who is sane and who isn’t sane.
    Mental Illness has been misunderstood for so long and these people had no chance and what they endured was hell sheer hell and I would like to visit the hospitals and find some information if I found a suitcase of papers I would want to find out!
    The Victorian era was grim and dismal many sad stories that come with it! Willard Hospital still exists today and I wonder if its haunted like grave yards, old houses, churches, everything has a history!

  21. Mini Moon on June 21, 2018 at 12:44 am

    It’s really painful to watch.

  22. Ashley Lynn on June 21, 2018 at 12:44 am

    This is still going on today but with rabbits its sad

  23. Nikki Martin on June 21, 2018 at 12:45 am

    This is both fascinating and sad. What there clothes looked like back in that era. And sad what they had in there suitcases.

  24. DFM DFM on June 21, 2018 at 12:46 am

    I was half expecting a cat skeleton to be found in one of the suitcases.

  25. sleepyhollow mom5 on June 21, 2018 at 12:50 am

    What’s really sad is looking at the suitcases they don’t look mentally ill! The contents are neat show interests and that most were able to dress and groom Ok! Now I’m not a shrink! But if I didn’t know where these came from Ida guessed they were all normal people!

  26. Meg Cloud on June 21, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Beautiful photography!

  27. Isis Blackfeather on June 21, 2018 at 12:53 am

    What is that thing in Flora T’s suitcase with the spokes?

  28. RED_DAWN_SOON R U READY ! on June 21, 2018 at 12:53 am

    More Suitcase videos please ..Thank you .

  29. harry lonsdale on June 21, 2018 at 12:58 am

    a prison would be a better description of this dump.

  30. little miss Michele on June 21, 2018 at 12:59 am

    Extremely sad as my great grandad was put in a place like this because he had epilepsy. I would love to see the rest of the suitcases. I wonder if they have any living relatives who would appreciate these things.

  31. Shirley Harrison on June 21, 2018 at 12:59 am

    Wish there was more,I could of watched for hours !

  32. Colour Sound on June 21, 2018 at 12:59 am

    It’s the details that are most interesting. You can tell Peter L. was a smoker. You can see burn marks from him laying his cigarette on his shaving shop box.

  33. Mini Moon on June 21, 2018 at 1:01 am

    At least they dint throw it away once the person died. The way I have seen family, friends and acquaintances do, by throwing away anything which belong to a dead, as they think it would bring bad luck, health, etcetera. Damn. Homosapiens are the cruelest of all the beings.

  34. John Stanley on June 21, 2018 at 1:02 am

    Psychiatry is a fraud science, while psychology is not.

  35. Courtney Earnhart on June 21, 2018 at 1:05 am

    This hurts my a repeat offender to psych wards, I could tell you that most of these people likely wouldn’t qualify to be admitted today. That means the challenges then, are normal today. They likely weren’t sick, (maybe some ptsd and depression, but you know what I mean) let alone _insane!_ Those who were admitted for things such as epilepsy, now that is a whole new level of WRONG.
    These are real people. Real people with lives who had them taken away when someone found something about them they didn’t like- whether they controlled it or not. 💔

  36. Elizabeth Shaw on June 21, 2018 at 1:06 am

    I can only draw one conclusion and that is that these people did not know where they were going!

  37. Michael james burns Android on June 21, 2018 at 1:07 am

    I am livid at the amount of money that a 30year stay would cost and then they don’t even have the decency to put their name to a headstone

  38. Jens Bowman on June 21, 2018 at 1:07 am

    So many people robbed their lives for things that are completely treatable today.

  39. Thorbjørn youtube on June 21, 2018 at 1:11 am

    3:52 i have that guide to brooklyn too its laying right next to me as i type this😮 wtf

  40. Kamrin The Kapricorn AsMr on June 21, 2018 at 1:16 am

    This was just so cool and completely fascinating!! Throughly enjoyed this thank you!! 💜💼

  41. Rimbo Rimday on June 21, 2018 at 1:18 am

    this is terribly sad

  42. Andrew Garratt on June 21, 2018 at 1:18 am

    There would have to be a map or some record of who was buried where…and with modern tools one man could name most of the stones albeit very crudely in a day or two if he was a real go getter. Even just initials with a side grinder…anything’s better than nothing.

  43. BellRain Chan on June 21, 2018 at 1:20 am

    I learn so much from these videos! Thanks, keep posting more.

  44. Elizabeth Shaw on June 21, 2018 at 1:20 am

    You simply cannot draw the conclusions that you are from a simple suitcase.

  45. Elizabeth Shaw on June 21, 2018 at 1:20 am

    These people never got to see let alone use what few belongings they had in the world when they arrived there.

  46. Gena mercer on June 21, 2018 at 1:21 am

    This is one of the most interesting channels I’ve come across on YouTube ❤

  47. FlyingMonkies325 on June 21, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Those poor people… their suitcases only showed resourceful, organized, thoughtful individuals they were… then they went in and all that changed… Mostly people that get driven to insainity or threw in a mental asylum are people born different, who could truely change things for the better if their natural gifts were nutured, i know i’m one of those people and all people seek to do is undermine me and even try to make me convince myself there’s something wrong with me that i’m insane just for not "fitting in" but one of my natural gifts being psycology well… it’s not going to work and angering me isn’t a sign of insanity it’s a sign of a healthy acknolodgement of what i feel and i know that what may happen to them when i get angry when they keep on pushing is on them but even today there is a culture of blaming the victim of any sort of bullying as if they did something to deserve it, even standing up for yourself is punished these days and it’s not right for anyone… people deserve what they get because they didn’t care what the people they bullied, demeaned and alienated felt like because they had no conciounce, having no conciounce IS a sign of insanity not the other way around…

    If i was insane i wouldn’t look to people like Jean Luc Picard, i wouldn’t follow his advice to always keep learning because the dogmatic, corrupt and hypocrytical society we live in wouldn’t do anything to help me learn a thing… it’s something we all have to do for ourselves in our free time, a person who had true mental problems wouldn’t be able to recognize what that truely meant… all these people who got thrown in a loony bin obviously never had good families who were jealous of them because their daughters and sons would have done SO much good in the world and done SO much better than them if they nutired their true abilities, i don’t know what people think of any of us who we were born knowing who they really were to have that something that allowed them to have perfect clarity about their natural skills while most do not or need more help to recognize it but it shouldn’t be something to be jealous about because heck… such people could earn a lot more money and stuff, i guess that’s the jealousy but i guess people ruin things for themselves all the time because they don’t know what they had… It’s insanity hurting people the world could truely benefit from.

  48. Heru- deshet on June 21, 2018 at 1:23 am

    Sadly fascinating.

  49. Becca L.M. on June 21, 2018 at 1:23 am

    Creepy ass music.

  50. dangboof on June 21, 2018 at 1:24 am

    very interesting thank you for sharing.