Nestled amongst the spidery pine trees is building, once majestic but now sad and forlorn. Built in the grounds of Ravenheart House, the asylum was built in 1840, initially as a small hospital to cater for the local village community, it was ravaged by fire just fifteen years later.
When it was re-opened in 1860 it was converted into a home for the criminally insane and morally deviant of nature; disturbingly, it was also home to a maternity ward on its upper floors.
Eventually, after local authorities became alerted to strange 'progressive' practices taking place, the hospital was closed in 1961 under a terrible cloud.
During the 1970's it became an event grade free school, run by (in the locals' terms) 'a bunch of hippies with weird ideas'. The school didn't last long and the Rookeries was finally closed and left to the ravages of nature in 1978.
Now it stands a sad and lonely place, and for many in the local area, it is a place to be avoided. Reputed to be riddled with the ghosts of the insane and abused, it is also rumoured to hold an even darker past.
Several teams of paranormal investigation teams have attempted to conduct an investigation over night in The Rookeries, and each time, the investigation has failed. Equipment has faltered, and members of the team have had to leave with reports of sickness, dizziness and an overbearing sense of foreboding. It is reports of these investigations which have linked The Rookeries and the practices that took place there to a Satanic Cult, who used their positions of authority and trust at The Rookeries to manipulate and abuse patients.
In 1982 the body of a young woman was found in the abandoned hospital, and although there was a media blackout on the case, rumours leaked that she had been discovered in the manner of a ritual sacrifice, furthering the belief that something dark and devilish lurks in the confines of it's festering walls - or at least that there are those who truly believe there is.
SO what now of The Rookeries? Borded up, and surrounded by a fence offering warnings of a more earthly punishment, The Rookeries has become something of an off-limits playground to the local teenage population. There was talk a couple of years ago about a hotel company buying the old building and converting it into a luxury country house hotel, but they pulled out; probably realising that few brides to be would relish getting married within the walls of a place so full of miserable history.
I know for one thing, I'll be awaiting the reports of the investigation with bated breath.
GIVEAWAY ALERT: TRICK OR TREAT
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