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Most Wanted Reading List: How to Get Admitted to a Victorian Asylum

Sun stroke? Jealousy? Dog bites? Discover the surprising reasons why patients from the 1800s ended up in a West Virginia insane asylum.


From the many surprising reasons why patients ended up in a Victorian-era insane asylum to a St. Louis house-hunter whose new home had a very grisly past, we’ve rounded up a list of everything you should be reading this weekend.


125 Reasons to Go to a Victorian-Era Insane Asylum

Soon after the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane started treating patients in the late 1800s, it kept a log of all the reasons people were admitted to their institution. The complaints ranged from “Dog Bite” to “Sunstroke” and “Jealousy.” See the full list on Appalachian History.

Or, if you live in the area, go take a tour of the history-rich hospital. Ghost Hunters deemed it a very spirit-filled place.

When Murder Runs in the Family

In 1978, an auto-parts store owner, Franklin Bradshaw, was shot in the back of the head inside his own warehouse. Police chased down many leads and finally came to this shocking conclusion: Bradshaw’s daughter orchestrated the murder … and her son – Bradshaw’s grandson – was the one who pulled the trigger. Read about how it all played out.

What Happened to Crime Photography?

When Chicago Tribune editors peered into their photography archives, they discovered a treasure trove of gritty crime scene images from the early 20th century. Now editors have combined these vintage shots with modern-day crime photos into one stunning exhibition.

The “Notorious Dead Criminals” File

During World War II – before the invention of computers – the FBI filed their extensive criminal fingerprint records in the Washington, D.C. Armory. The building has since been used as an entertainment complex for concerts and sports game – even American Idol tryouts. But photos of hundreds of worker drones scurrying around thousands of filing cabinets still remain. View them on Retronaut.

This Woman’s House was a Serial Killer’s Torture Chamber

Catrina McGhaw rented her St. Louis home under the assumption that it would be a nice, new-to-her place to live. She soon found out that it had also been the home of Maury Travis, a serial killer, who tortured his 17 victims in the house’s basement. When McGhaw tried to get out of the lease, she ran into a big problem: Her landlord was Travis’s mother. Read the scary-but-true news story here.