Where: Topeka, Kansas
Years Of Operation: 1872 to 1997
The Topeka State Hospital is a real-life American horror story of unsettling proportions. The patients at the hospital were regularly subject to cruelties meant to "cure them" of their illness. Patients were reported to have been abused and raped, and, according to one report, "confined in leather straps so long, the skin was growing around the straps."
But the asylum's true claim to fame was for castrating many of its patients. In 1931, Kansas law gave the thumbs up to castration for "habitual criminals, idiots, epileptics, imbeciles, and insane." As a result, 54 castrations took place at the Topeka State Hospital. This was particularly troubling considering the hospital was later found to have many patients whose identities and illnesses were unknown, and lacked the proper paperwork to be committed. So, maybe castration as a cure-all wasn't the best idea.