Saint Raphael Archangel Sanitarium
9772 Hawthorne Way

Constructed in 1884 under the supervision of noted physician and psychologist Dr. George Chapman, its first director, the St. Raphael Archangel Sanitarium is a huge, faintly terrifying brick and stone Gothic structure built according to the Kirkbride plan, featuring a central administrative building with a series of three huge, staggered wards extending out and back on either side, like the wings of a great bat. In Victorian America, this represented state-of-the-art architectural design; today, of course, it's simply imposing and faintly creepy to many of Shadowgard's citizens.

Like a lot of old asylums, Raphael Archangel wavered between humane psychiatric treatments that were years ahead of their time and bizarre, painful procedures rejected by mainstream psychiatry today. During the tenure of Dr. Chapman, from 1884 until his death in 1907, the sanitarium was famed for its gentle, sympathetic treatment of all its patients. In the decades that followed, however, many undeserving patients were confined, tormented and even killed by doctors (in the name of science) and even occasionally staff (in the name of base cruelty). Those who survived to tell the tale, and even a few who didn't, left chilling testimonials, and a vast array of unmarked, numbered graves behind the asylum speak volumes beyond those writings. In the 1960s and 1970s, reform came to Raphael Archangel, and the treatments grew humane once more, but by that time, the asylum was not long for the world. The patients grew further and farther between, and whole sections of the hospital fell into disuse and major disrepair. The funding began to dry up. And then, in 1987, Raphael Archangel discharged around half of its few remaining patients, transferred the rest to Salvation Point State Hospital in Silent Hill, and closed its doors for good.

Today, the old hulk of the building sits uselessly among its wild, neglected grounds. The sanitarium has long since been condemned and boarded up, and most of the locals learned long ago to stay well away -- those who enter the building for whatever reason never seem to come back entirely unaffected, and many of them never come back at all. The dusty, decaying corridors and rooms are filled with traps and pitfalls, and the few people who are said to live within the building are violently disturbed. Strange lights float in the asylum's windows at night; strange screams and howls that could be anything from the wind to wounded animals to tortured souls fly out through the chill night air. Countless corporations and organizations have tried through the years to renovate the structure, to tear it down and build something new, to restore it to its former glory, to do any number of other things, but there are so many different opinions as to what should be done with the place that the process has long since dissolved into a massive tug-of-war between a wide array of factions. So, for the moment, the building is left to rot quietly, growing darker and more disturbing in its very external structure by the year.