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KNOW YOUr ghosts:
Bright Falls Sanitarium

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Bright Falls Sanitarium


BRIGHT FALLS SANITARIUM (Various, 1882 - 1956) – A "snake pit" asylum in its heyday, during head psychiatrist Dr. Hammersmith's reign of terror, patients were subjected to all manner of psychological and physical torment. Known by the handle Dr. Death among patients and some staff, Hammersmith appeared to have taken a page from Mengele's handbook, though he claimed to have been inspired by the 1920 silent German film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Using a combination of psychic driving and prefrontal lobotomies, Hammersmith created zombified patients who would kill on command. It's been speculated that Hammersmith was on the CIA's payroll, but no evidence has been found linking them. Over the course of his tenure there, at least eighteen patients were murdered with dozens more tortured and abused. The remains of the dead were found among those who had died of tuberculosis.

DR. HAMMERSMITH (Possessor, 1950) – aka Dr. Death (see: Bright Falls Sanitarium). Hammersmith was put to death for his crimes. His ghost haunts the halls of Bright Falls, particularly the Operating Theater, where he committed the worst of his crimes.

Right: Bright Falls Sanitarium, 1940s.

Below: images from Bright Falls over the years. Click on photos to enlarge.

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EMMA LOU AMESBURY (Trickster, 1934) – aka "The Nun," aka "Sister Serpent," Emma Amesbury was a nun believed by her convent to have been possessed by Satan. After seducing the priest and found to be carousing with other nuns, she was excommunicated and committed to Bright Falls Sanitarium. While under his care, Dr. Hammersmith allowed her to wear a nun's habit, using role-playing to treat her delusions. She began seducing several members of the male staff—the last of whom she unmanned with her teeth. After her death of tuberculosis, staff claimed to have seen her ghost roaming the halls nude except for her habit. Only one thing seemed to deter her restless ghost: a Christmas snow globe belonging to her former psychiatrist.

Left: Emma Lou Amesbury, in her habit (1930).

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MORTON WELLES (Revenant, 1943) – Also known as the Bright Falls Zombie, Welles was a mild-mannered yet manic patient of Bright Falls Sanitarium made to murder hapless citizens in the surrounding area by his psychiatrist. Dr. Hammersmith—aka Dr. Death; see: Bright Falls Sanitarium—considered Welles his "finest work," a "somnambulist [sleepwalker] worthy of the great Dr. Caligari." As Welles's case files were missing, little is known about the former tax collector aside from the murders he committed at the behest of Hammersmith, though it is believed he was self-committed. He was shot by police at the scene of an attempted murder, and left no surviving family members.

Right: Manic patient undergoing "lateral cerebral diathermia," believed to be Morton Welles.

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Film strip of Bright Falls Sanitarium, 1953.

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