The Ridges

David Parisi

David Parisi, Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 9 April 2012 – The Ridges is one of my favorite places in Athens. With the gorgeous weather we’ve been having I recently took a walk around the old mental health center to see if I could catch any ghosts. Unfortunately I didn’t see any, but I did get to walk some of the paths through the woods and fields behind the building itself. Any time I have enough free time I head to the Ridges to explore.

The main building (seen below) is a massive structure that is breathtaking to look at.
There are many smaller buildings around it that are used as offices now. There is also an old abandoned tuberculosis ward that lies just above the cemetery. This as well as the main building are the ones that are “haunted.” I have never seen a ghost but I still venture there at night hoping to see one for myself.

The Ridges is currently used by the Ohio University College of Fine Arts, but from 1874-1993 it housed mentally ill patients. At its peak there were nearly 2000 patients being housed at one time. Some of the more gruesome treatments like lobotomies and shock therapy were performed here until drugs became the main treatment for mental illness. The Ridges also has 3 cemeteries where 1900 patients were buried in the over 100 years of operation.

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