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Photographer goes behind scenes at Ireland’s creepiest abandoned asylum

Photographer goes behind scenes at Ireland’s creepiest abandoned asylum

Going into an asylum is, in general, not a good thing. Going into an asylum years after it has closed its doors, however, can be really cool: provided that it's been shut down for years and you've brought your camera with you to record the experience. For one urban explorer, the results have been spectacular.

Adam X, the mysteriously named photographer, has posted of his wanderings inside St Brigid's Asylum in Ballinasloe, County Galway and they are amazing. Everything you'd expect: peeling paint off the walls, old gear just left lying around, creepy beds and even surprisingly photogenic toilets.

The hospital itself is, to put it lightly, extremely scary. It was a working asylum from 1833 until the 1980s, when Ireland decided that asylums weren't necessarily the best way to treat mental health problems.

According to History Ireland, St Brigid's was "intended for the care of 'curable lunatics' and opened in a spirit of optimism and a progressive approach to public health. However, the reality was often much darker - as with nearly all (if not all) Irish asylums it was continually underfunded and overcrowded, with stories of mistreatment and abuse of patients throughout its history."


Turns out that locking mentally ill people up in a glorified prison wasn't great for their mental health. Who could possibly have guessed? In typical Irish government fashion, they invested just shy of €3 million in a renovation in 2013 before deciding that they might as well just close the gaff down. It has been sat there since then gathering dust and accumulating creepiness.

The building is still in decent nick, and has an elaborate X-shaped design that Adam X has skillfully captured with his drone camera. The place in general has held up well, which resulted in some mad photos: old laundry rooms that look exactly as they did when someone left their washing on and forgot about it seven years ago, old hospital beds lying around waiting for a lunatic that never arrived and even a kitchen that, to be honest, makes mine look quite clean.

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Topics: Ireland

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Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at