This location will be perfect for our first Meetup of the Rip Hunters Kansas City Paranormal Group. The activity here has been huge for many years and I am looking forward to investigating the basement where the morgue was and many spirits have been said to be stuck there. There have been many sittings of apparitions in the tunnels leading to the prison and the other hospital. Also many spirits on the 3rd floor roaming and yelling to get out. The last leg of our investigation will be at the cemetery at midnight so bring a folding chair, bottled water and a flashlight and any paranormal equipment you have. We have a members paranormal equipment store that will save you a lot on your investigating tools.
The Glore Psychiatric Museum chronicles the 130-year history of what was once known as the “State Lunatic Asylum No. 2.” The Museum uses full-sized replicas, interactive displays, audio-visuals, artifacts, and documents to illustrate the history of the treatment of mental illness. The museum is recognized as “one of the 50 most unusual Museums in the country.” It is also featured in the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die in the USA and Canada.”
The Glore Psychiatric Museum is named for its founder George Glore, who spent most of his 41-year career with the Missouri Department of Mental Health nurturing its collections into arguably the largest and best single exhibition explaining the evolution of mental health care in the United States. His ultimate goal was to reduce the stigma associated with psychiatric treatment for patients, their families, and their communities.
George Glore joined the Missouri Department of Farmington, Missouri, in 1956. In the early 1960s, he transferred to the St. Joseph State Hospital and joined the occupation therapy department, which was also responsible for community relations. In 1968, he worked with hospital carpenters and patients to construct a series of full-size replicas of 16th, 17th, and 18th century treatment devices for a Mental Health Awareness Week open house. They were so well received that he was encouraged by hospital officials to expand the exhibit, and the museum was begun on the campus of what had once been ‘State Lunatic Asylum No.2.’
‘State Lunatic Asylum No 2’ opened in November of 1874 with 25 patients on land located east of the City of St. Joseph. Dr. George C. Catlett, the hospital’s first Superintendent, explained that the hospital was dedicated “to the noble work of reviving hope in the human heart and dispelling the portentous clouds that penetrate the intellects of minds diseased.”
Demand cause rapid growth.The original 275 beds filled quickly. An additional 120 beds were added, and then another 350. Relatives who could no longer provide for their family members special needs admitted most patients. A devastating fire in 1879 only temporarily slowed that growth. When the hospital reopened in 1880, it became a sanctuary not only for the mentally ill, but also for tuberculosis patients, syphilitic patients, alcoholic patients, and patients with physical disabilities. By the early 1950s, the patient population had grown to nearly 3,000, which made the hospital one of the largest employers in St. Joseph. It was not until the 1970s that the hospital began to downsize in order to concentrate on treating the mentally ill. Patients who suffered from physical illnesses were transferred to other hospitals for specialized treatment.
Through the years, the name of the hospital has been changed several times. In 1903, the name was changed to the State Hospital No. 2. It was changed again in 1952, to the St. Joseph State Hospital. In 1994, ground was broken across the street for a new hospital campus, the Northwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center, which houses 108 intermediate and long-term care patients. The original campus was converted to the Western Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center. The Glore Psychiatric Museum was moved into a building on the original grounds that had once been used as the admitting ward and the clinic for hospital patients.
George Glore retired in 1996, but remained active with the Museum as an advisor and informational resource until his death in 2010*. To his credit, the museum he developed has been the subject of numerous nationally televised documentaries including productions by The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel, The Discovery Health Channel, PBS, Fox News, The Science Channel, and Superstation WTBS.