Guess what underground radar discovered beneath the surface of the University of Mississippi Medical Center? Not much, just an estimated 7,000 bodies of former patients.
And some folks still wonder why we call the wide, wide world of medicine the Twilight Zone.
Because some things that go on behind closed doors are downright creepy, that’s why.
It has now been learned that the thousands of corpses are former patients of Mississippi’s first mental institution, the construction of which started in 1853 – well before the Civil War. In those days – as you may well know – they were called “insane asylums”, and this one is – or was supposed to be – the final resting place for wooden coffins aligned across a stunning 20 acres of the medical school campus.
Well, they think all the bodies were patients. No one knows for sure, do they?
The appalling discovery occurred when the university started construction on a parking structure in 2013. Underground radar revealed a jaw-dropping 1,000 wooden coffins and at least 2,000 coffins total. This created numerous pickles for authorities, not the least of which is the $3,000 cost to remove and relocate each and every corpse, which could cost more than $20,000,000.
Mississippi’s first mental hospital happened when Dorothea Dix of Boston leveraged support among Mississippi politicians to fund the project. It opened in 1855.
While the asylum provided a home for patients, life was not nice. Of the nearly 1,400 patients admitted over 2 decades – 20% died there, experts say.
The facility expanded to house 300 patients after the Civil War, and the area became known as Asylum Hill, a neighborhood of homes, a school and a Baptist Church, for former slaves.
At its busiest, authorities say about 5,800 patients lived there, so the facility was a major employer for area. During the Great Depression, the state moved all patients to the present location of the State Hospital at Whitfield.
And it was in 2013 when university contractors discovered the first 5 dozen coffins, as they started carving a road on the college campus.
If the following statement by authorities is true . . .
“Of the nearly 1,400 patients admitted over 2 decades – 20% died there . . . .”
And if 20% of 1,400 is 280 . . . .
WHO are the other 6,720 poor souls?
Well, if anyplace on this earth has a right to be haunted . . . .