Sadly, an integral part of the Athens Lunatic Asylum has been reduced to rubble.
Built in 1924 atop a hill overlooking the Athens Asylum cemetery, the structure known simply as Building 26 was originally designed to house patients suffering from tuberculosis. Over the years, the building would serve several other uses, including being used as classrooms for the Beacon School in the 1970s. Once Ohio University took over the property in the 1980s, the facility as a whole was given the less-foreboding name of The Ridges and Building 26 was all but abandoned. It remained that way until early March of 2013, when it was leveled. Two of the three bricks (the two on the bottom of the “pyramid” in the picture above) were taken from the brick drive/path leading to the front door. The remaining brick is from near the enclosed porch on the back of the building.
It was during the time when it was abandoned that Building 26 began gaining a reputation for being haunted. Having been (legally) inside the building many years ago on several different occasions, I can honestly say that, while it certainly felt creepy, I didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary. To me, it was just a spooky old building. More than once, I tried to dig deeper into the ghost stories surrounding the building, hoping to find a single nugget of truth to them. But I was unable to find anything to substantiate any of the stories. As for the stories themselves, they never progressed past the vague urban legend-like tales of disembodied voices, shadowy figures, and the occasional scream coming from within the building.
The Athens Messenger has more information about the demolition of Building 26. Read all about it here.
To see all the other memorabilia related to other buildings that have met a fate similar to Building 26, visit the No Longer With Us wing of the Strange & Spooky Museum.