East Tennessee Hospital for the Insane was completed and opened in 1886. It would later become known as the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, and now, many simply refer to it as the Lakeshore Asylum. Regardless of the chosen moniker, this location is one of the more famous haunts in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Most of the original buildings have already been demolished, but a couple, including the Administration building, still remain. In fact, the Administration building has been renovated for use by the city parks department.
During the peak of operations in the 1960’s, Lakeshore Asylum housed roughly 2,800 patients. And there were many positive outcomes from these facilities: many pictures show residents smiling, singing, and dancing, neatly dressed and living a comfortable life.
However, dark times also wracked the reputation of the institute. In the 1980’s, newspapers depicted overcrowding, dirty conditions, and lack of attention and activities for many residents. Funding and operations scaled back gradually from this point on until eventually shutting down in 2012.
Rumors of mistreatment and abuse plagued the Asylum for years. Claims of paranormal activity most certainly stem from these rumors. Many visitors have claimed to have seen shadow figures and light anomalies, and even more have heard disembodied voices and screams.
We visited the park in 2014 and took some pictures, but we did not investigate inside the buildings, though we would have loved to. Now, many of those buildings are gone, but the history (and administrative building) remains. Hopefully one day we can return and set up a proper investigation.
For more information on this location, here are a few good places to start: