[[quoteright:350:[[Videogame/BatmanArkhamAsylum http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Batman-Arkham-Asylum-Impressions-1.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Makes you long for the good old days of [[HollywoodExorcism exorcisms]], doesn't it?]]

->''"You must admit, it's hard to imagine this place being conducive to ''anyone's'' mental health."''
-->-- '''Franchise/{{Batman}}''', in ''ComicBook/ArkhamAsylumASeriousHouseOnSeriousEarth'', on the titular asylum.

Poor Alice. She's lost her grip on sanity. She's stark raving mad. Surely what she needs to get well is a sleek [[HospitalParadiso modern psychiatric facility]] with freshly-washed sheets, nice nurses, and friendly doctors, just like the one Music/BritneySpears keeps getting checked into.

Yes, that's just what she needs. But what she'll get is Bedlam House, a dark, dank insane asylum straight out of the mid-18th to 19th century, staffed by {{Mad Doctor}}s and {{Psycho Psychologist}}s. [[{{Lobotomy}} Lobotomies]] in aisle four, sadistic [[BattleaxeNurse Nurse Ratched figures]] please report for surgery, [[GoAmongMadPeople slow descent]] from minor quirks in {{Cloudcuckoolander}}s to sitting in the corner [[MadnessMantra mumbling cryptic phrases]] about ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s will begin after your four o'clock slop from the [[OrderliesAreCreeps creepy orderlies]].

Modern psychological techniques [[ThereAreNoTherapists do not exist]]. Electroshock therapy is handed out like lollipops at the doctor's office -- and we're not talking modern, painless electroshock, we're talking high voltage screaming shocks. Those padded walls haven't been scrubbed in weeks and even if they had been, the inmates would just keep [[RoomFullOfCrazy writing on them]]. And sure, there may be straitjackets in the wardrobe, but patients are just as likely to be chained to the wall. Abandon all hope, ye who enter Bedlam House!

After the nickname of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethlem_Royal_Hospital Bethlem Royal Hospital,]] the first psychiatric hospital in the world. First turned into a "madhouse" in 1403, by the 18th century it had basically [[TheFreakshow become another part of London's entertainment industry]]. [[ValuesDissonance For a penny (or free on the first Tuesday of the month), visitors could watch the inmates' antics, and bring long sticks to "poke and enrage" them.]] [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer Seriously.]]

Bethlem Royal is still active, albeit having undergone multiple relocations, and is now, according to Wiki/TheOtherWiki, [[TheAtoner "at the forefront of humane psychiatric treatment."]]

Probably a case of TruthInTelevision, as some "mental patients"' real problem is chronic failure to conform to the relatively lax social norms of the outside world. The stricter rules of an asylum naturally tend to accentuate that particular character trait, leading to a predictable escalation. Compare HellholePrison for the kind applied to regular criminals.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Batman}}'s Arkham Asylum. Whenever shown, it is a dark, dank, brick facility run by burly nurses and {{Mad Doctor}}s. Evidently, whoever's funding the place is more concerned with keeping the inmates ''in'' than making them ''sane''... [[CardboardPrison And they can't even do that, either]]. That said Not ALL the villains put there are actually considered insane. Arkham is just the only place in the area that is able to hold some of the more super-powered villains (such as Mr. Freeze and Killer Croc). Conversely, the ones that are dubiously sane but manageable in a normal setting (such as Catwoman and the Penguin) get sent to a normal jail. Even so, Blackgate Penitentiary isn't any more secure or safe.
** Ironically, the Joker has been stated to find the Asylum relaxing. Some depictions show him willingly get captured after a caper so he can get some needed R&R. Likewise, in ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', The Scarecrow notes that he views Arkham as his home and the only place he's really comfortable, and implies that most of the other rogues are the same.
** One issue tries to [[JustifiedTrope explain this]] by showing that it was secretly built by insane, nigh-[[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]] settlers to cultivate homicidal madness instead of curing it, which is rather appropriate considering the name is taken from Lovecraft's writings. Pre-Crisis, it was established canon that Arkham's own founder himself went crazy and was bound into his own institution, [[DrivenToSuicide until he died]]. Don't worry, he kept himself occupied in the meantime by etching gibberish into his cell's walls with his fingernails while humming "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." The current canon of this, and the items immediately below, isn't especially clear.
*** In one version, his parents were both killed by crazies, and he thought that he could cure the killer. When the killer seems cured but kills his secretary in front of his eyes and then pleads for pity, Arkham decides that only discipline works against the "filth", which is revealed to not help with the super-criminals either, so he starts murdering them. In another version, the killer thanks Arkham for his efforts by ''killing his entire family''. Arkham insists on continuing his treatment, and [[TranquilFury in a way does so -- by electro-shocking him to death.]]
** One {{Elseworld}}, ''ComicBook/TheBatmanOfArkham'', had Bruce Wayne as a psychiatrist in an Early 20th-Century Arkham... where, in a surprising subversion, he genuinely helps people. The story opens with a breakthrough therapy session with Killer Croc, who is nearly rehabilitated because Dr. Wayne simply treated him like a human being instead of chaining him like an animal. Later, Wayne says that before he came, Arkham was indeed "the old Bedlam, where unfortunates were whipped, chained, and starved." But under the later direction of Dr. Crane, it reverts to the old ways immediately. Things got better.
** Another mini, ''ComicBook/ArkhamAsylumLivingHell'', had it show that even when a ''sane'' person goes in, there's little hope that he will come ''out'' that way. This mini also showed us a side of Arkham rarely seen before, exploring the patients who were committed and never escaped but stayed as lunatic as can be, from ghastly cult leader Death Rattle to MadArtist Doodlebug.
*** Indeed, The Great White Shark was a perfectly sane CorruptCorporateExecutive who plead insanity to avoid prison. Well, [[GoneHorriblyRight it worked]] and [[DidntThinkThisThrough he wound up in Arkham]]. The abuse he suffered from his fellow inmates left him genuinely insane.
** It doesn't help that Dr Jeremiah Arkham, the asylum director and descendent of its insane founder, has a tenuous grip on sanity himself, and is often portrayed as more interested in ''exploring'' his charges' psychoses (ForScience!, naturally) than curing them.
** And currently, Arkham was redesigned as a house of ''punishment'' by the new, nefarious... building manager or somesuch, without Jeremiah's knowledge. The Raggedy Man is already dead and attempts have been made on the lives of Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and Killer Croc, as well. Following Jeremiah's final breakdown, the new director is a member of the Church of Crime...
** They actually managed to cure one patient. The Cluemaster entered a criminal mastermind who had the compulsive urge to leave clues at his crime scenes, and exited... a criminal mastermind who ''didn't'' leave clues. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Oops]].
* In ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'', [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Ravenscar]] was pretty rough on John Constantine. In flashbacks, he's been shown being beaten, screaming and weeping in dark rooms while huddling in the corner, standing in front of the conveniently placed nearby cliff while considering suicide after being released, and finding himself so unstable that he ends up back at the mental hospital off and on for a period of two years. It doesn't help that John does have real mental health issues, including often crippling depression that can even veer toward psychosis and suicidal thoughts.
** Turns out he wasn't technically even released. A Mafia don bribed the doctors to let him out because of John's alleged magical skills. Morals!
* Ravencroft in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse which somehow seems to feature mostly crazed [[Franchise/SpiderMan Spidey villains]]. It was originally staffed by Dr. Ashley Kafka with Colonel John Jameson (son of the ''Daily Bugle'' publisher) heading security, and they were somewhat competent folks who actually managed to cure a few patients, including Vermin. (A victim of Baron Zemo's gene-splicing technology, Vermin was a rat-like cannibal and originally deemed a hopeless case; Kafka managed to cure him completely.) Unfortunately, both were fired due to some rash decisions by Kafka (she trusted the Chameleon too much in her efforts to help him) and the place only went downhill from there.
* Dunwich Sanatorium, in ''ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} Weapon X''. The place used to be run by a crooked doctor who hired psychopaths out for untraceable mob hits, and was then taken over by Dr Rot, a MadDoctor / MadArtist who makes Jeremiah Arkham look like Frasier Crane. (Dunwich was ''also'' a Lovecraft town.)
* Marvel's eighth ''Comicbook/MoonKnight'' series opens with a CuckooNest plot in which Marc Spector is seemingly locked in Mercy Hospital for the Mentally Ill with sadistic guards gleefully giving him electroshock therapy, despite knowing perfectly well "hospitals like this don't even ''exist'' any more!"

[[folder: FanFic]]
* In {{FanFic/Bird}} we have Alchemilla Asylumn, a shoutout to ''Franchise/SilentHill'', but its depiction is largely that of an institution trying to do its best and running into the ever-present issues of staffing and funding, therapy groups and psychologists are present and well-meaning, and most of the inmates are decent people in a bad situation. On the other hand... the lower levels are used as a prison for various superpowered nightmares and creations.
* In the [[{{Lemon}} sexually explicit]] fanwork ''The Witch with No Name'', the plot of the ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Ben10}} Ben 10]]'' episode "A Change of Face" is [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]]. Not only is Gwen's continual insistence of being trapped in Charmcaster's body completely disbelieved by all the staff and residents of the juvenile penitentiary, but the head guard has utter contempt for Charmcaster due to her mother being severely injured by one of Charmcaster's previous attacks. Gwen is forced to undergo continuous physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at the hands of the other residents, and to top it all off is prescribed anti-psychotic drugs that will help to bury the "Gwen" in Charmcaster's head, effectively leaving her an EmptyShell.
* Subverted in ''FanFic/TheStalkingZukoSeries'' while the Fire Nation has Victorian Era level understanding of mental health the asylum Azula gets put in treat her the best they can and hope for her recovery.
%%* John Gage ends up in a borderline one of these in the ''{{Series/Emergency}}'' fanfic ''[[http://audreys-efanfic.freeservers.com/patient.html]]''. He checks himself in voluntarily and should have been allowed to leave, but they were afraid he'd blow the whistle. Before Roy uses his medical power-of-attorney to get John out, he ends up getting shock treatment while awake. He tried to escape after seeing that the place wasn't a good one, and was being combative, so they couldn't sedate him for it. When Roy arrives, John is lying naked in a locked room and still suffering after effects of the treatment.
* This is played with in Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX. This is subverted and alluded to in 20XXII, it's not really this but that is how Yukari and Kaguya tend to view where they are imprisoned, as the the purpose is to drive them insane as an a way of control and that they both fear lobotomies, which makes sense as apparently that warden had a small child injected with tranquilizers for screaming. It also makes sense in that it was described by Yukari as being something akin to a "draconian asylum" that people were terrified to go to for the above mentioned reason.
** The facilities where Yukari was sent to for readjustment, is another subversion, in that she did note that the staff are rather kind and did help her make progress in readusting, which seems to be good place to be. Given the setting in 20XXV, Amoridere stated that asylums, like hospitals, are duly feared, thus leaving no real alternatives to deal with Reimu's mental illness, aside from [[spoiler: making her a MadwomanInTheAttic]], as the alternative would be worse.
* Super Smash Bros fanfiction ''A Basket of Fruits'' features a rather cruel asylum where serial killer "The Masked Slasher" [[spoiler:also known as Marth]] was held [[spoiler:and later returned to]].

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In Disney's ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', Gaston's last attempt to force Belle to marry him involves bribing the manager of an asylum to incarcerate her father there, even though Monsieur D'Arque himself comments that Maurice is just a harmless eccentric. The general setting of the movie seems to be in the late 1700s, so considering how cruelly asylums were run back then, it could have been a very effective threat.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* As in the comics, Arkham Asylum doesn't escape this in ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' films:
** While not seen much in ''Film/BatmanForever'', ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'' does show the asylum in its dark glory with darkened halls, and guards who'll taunt and mock inmates (like Freeze once he gets there) and be lecherous (as the guards watching Freeze try to hit on Poison Ivy). The novelization adds to this, revealing that Freeze had bribed the guards to get into Ivy's cells so he could kill her for almost killing his wife.
** ''Film/BatmanBegins'' shows that the Scarecrow runs the asylum and is using it as his personal lab and the inmates are often the test subjects for his fear toxin.
** It is shaping up to be this in the Franchise/DCExtendedUniverse. In the [[SpecialEdition Ultimate Edition]] of ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice'', [[spoiler: in the extended version of the scene where Bruce confronts Luthor, Luthor has a smug look on his face when he taunts Bruce with knowledge of his secret identity, and that he was declared insane and thus wouldn't stand trial for blowing up the Capitol Building and creating Doomsday (thus supposedly killing Superman)--which promptly vanishes the second Bruce reveals that he's arranged for Luthor to be transferred to Arkham.]] It appears briefly in ''Film/SuicideSquad2016'' as part of a montage dealing with Harley Quinn's past and true to form, it is a gothic mansion with darkened halls.
* The asylum in ''Film/ShockCorridor'' is depicted that way, witch electroshock treatment and straight jackets and murdering wardens.
* Used in Mel Brooks' ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' parody ''Film/DraculaDeadAndLovingIt'' where [[TheRenfield Renfield]] is kept in one of these and his insanity is treated by a combination of solitary confinement and lots of enemas.
* In another Mel Brooks film, ''Film/HighAnxiety'', the main character works at the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous, which is less interested in curing its rich clientele than in keeping them indefinitely and thus getting more of their money.
* The hospital in ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' is something of a Bedlam House, especially considering the menacing figure of Nurse Ratched.
* The Channard Institute in ''Film/HellboundHellraiserII'', where the most insane patients are kept ''in the steam tunnels'', and the head of the place is a psychopathic lunatic who feeds his patients alive to the hellish Cenobites.
* In ''Film/ReturnToOz'', the doctor is scarily eager to use the new-fashioned electroshock therapy on Dorothy, to "cure" her of her memories and dreams of Oz. During the very early 20th century, electricity was still seen as a magical force with properties that included curing the sick.
* ''Film/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'': Todd's daughter Johanna is sent to Fogg's Asylum, a notorious madhouse, by Judge Turpin, who is furious that she won't go along with his WifeHusbandry and plans to elope with Anthony. She's lucky she didn't have to spend too much time there.
** Indeed. Otherwise she would have ended up like [[spoiler: her mother Lucy Barker]], who was sent to the ''actual'' Bedlam House [[spoiler: following her rape by Judge Turpin and her attempted suicide by taking arsenic.]].
* The Creator/BorisKarloff film ''Film/{{Bedlam}}'' was a fictionalized account of the atrocities that occurred at the infamous Bethlehem Royal Hospital for the mentally ill.
* In the ''Film/HouseOnHauntedHill1999'' remake, the house was evil specifically because [[spoiler: the doctors were evil, the patients took over, raped and killed them, and then the house was set on fire.]]
* See the documentary ''Titicut Follies'' for a horrifying glimpse of this in the Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane at Bridgewater, MA, in the 1960s. The documentary was banned for many years, by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The overt reason was that the film invaded the privacy of the inmates, but the real reason was to keep the horrors from the public.
* The insane asylum in the opening of ''Film/{{Amadeus}}'' appears to be such a beast for the non-wealthy inmates. It is much friendlier and more comfortable for the aged composer Antonio Salieri. It doesn't hurt he's suffered SanitySlippage and resides in private quarters available to the rich.
* The madhouse to which the Marquis de Sade is committed in ''Film/{{Quills}}'' fits this trope, more or less -- although it is probably an enlightened institution by 18th-Century standards. At least the inmates are allowed enough freedom to stage their own plays.
* ''Film/ShutterIsland'': [[spoiler:Subverted in the TwistEnding, as the horrific experiments are all part of the protagonist's delusions.... Maybe. The story plays with the audience, as it is because of familiarity with the trope that one so readily accepts Daniels' version of reality as truth.]]
* Westin Hills from the ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'' series. The place was originally decrepit, with the most insane patients being kept together in a giant pit. The facility was closed for an unknown amount of time after the volunteering Sister Mary Helena (aka Amanda Krueger) became trapped in the aforementioned pit (where she was raped and tortured for days) due to staff incompetence.
** By ''Film/FreddyVsJason'' the place, while still housing the mentally ill, is used primarily as a quarantine for those with even the slightest bit of knowledge about Freddy Krueger. Patients are forced to take the dream suppressant Hypnocil, which has been known to put the taker into a (presumably permanent) coma.
* The mental institution in Rob Zombie's ''Film/{{Halloween 2007}}'' remake. Michael Myers is kept chained like a dog, the orderlies degrade and insult him on a daily basis, and he is beaten at night. The [[BattleaxeNurse nurses are heartless]], the [[GratuitousRape female patients are raped by the orderlies]] and [[ElectricTorture electroshock therapy]] seems to be a common treatment.
* ''Film/SuckerPunch'' takes place in an asylum de facto run by an especially crooked orderly, with the main characters plotting to escape the place before protagonist Baby Doll's lobotomist arrives. In a subversion, the head psychiatrist ''tried'' to treat Baby Doll, but she didn't have enough time before the surgery date while the lobotomist questions the effectiveness of lobotomies in general, viewing it as flawed and ineffectual, especially considering his latest patient wasn't in need of a lobotomy. When he points out [[spoiler:she ordered the surgery, she realises her signature was forged and uncovers the corruption.]]
* Railley in ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'' is a doctor and researcher into mental health and prophecy in a similar institution in Baltimore, where she meets Cole. Goines, the [[spoiler:suspected villain]], is incarcerated alongside Cole, and gives him the tour. Cole is shown restrained by some very fanciful instruments of torture, but in a way it is justified: to the staff, he's a lunatic who incoherently talks about time travel, plus he's incredibly strong and very resistant to drugs, so they ''had'' to restrain him in some way. The rest of the hospital appears a lot more humane than most fictional examples.
* In ''Film/TheWolfman2010'', Lawrence Talbot is sent to Lambert Asylum as the police believe he's a random but human nutcase rather than, well, the WolfMan. Their attempts to cure him of believing he is a werewolf includes forcefully dunking him, repeatedly, into ice water. [[spoiler: As you can imagine, once the next full moon comes around, he escapes quite easily, killing most of the doctors in the process]].
* In ''Film/{{Changeling}}'', which takes place in the 1920s and is inspired by actual events, Angelina Jolie's character is sent to the Psych Ward of the Los Angeles County General Hospital. (The aftermath of this case led to a new California law forbidding police in committing someone to a psychiatric facility without a warrant.)
* ''Film/GraveEncounters'' centers around a reality TV crew locked in an allegedly haunted insane asylum. It ends badly.
** Although oddly, despite the asylum's macabre history,it looks like a regular building from the outside, which adds to the surreal horror.
* Played with in John Carpenter's ''Film/TheWard'', where it's hard to tell if the titular ward is actually an example or just the result of the protagonist's insanity (she ''does'' do a few things that could warrant a certain amount of brutality). Also it's hard to say if the real horror is the staff or the ghost that's supposedly killing the patients one by one. In any case, the staff aren't wholly [[{{Demonization}} demonized]] and the psychologist at least seems an okay guy. [[spoiler: In fact he is- he's spent months trying to help a young girl overcome a split personality disorder]].
* The mental hospital in ''Film/TheJacket'' is full of sadists.
* The 1996 Hallmark version of ''Film/GulliversTravels'' is partially set at the very facility of Bethlem itself, with the requisite display of lunatic patients.
* ''Film/StonehearstAsylum'': Stonehearst used to be like this under Dr. Salt, with "treatments" that amounted to little more than torture. Lamb abolished these and has instituted kinder methods. The actual Bedlam, Bethlehem Hospital in London, also gets a mention.
* Averted in ''Film/AsylumBreakout'' where the facility is actually very clean and the inmates are treated like sick human beings.
* ''Film/StairwayToLight'' features an 18th-century insane asylum that is actually a prison, with mental patients chained to the walls of cells, sprayed with water hoses for discipline, left to rot for decades. Reformist director Phillipe Pinel seeks to help the inmates by letting them out of their chains.
* ''Film/{{Unsane}}'' features a more modern example of this trope, with the protagonist getting institutionalized at a crooked hospital that makes up excuses to keep patients there in order to make money off of their health insurance.

* In ''Literature/DragonBones'' there is the king's asylum, allegedly a place where the patients are properly cared for, but Ward visited it once and didn't like what he saw. They don't seem to be very picky, either--Ward was just ObfuscatingStupidity, and his father intended to have him locked up there, which he would have done if the fees hadn't been so high.
** In the sequel, ''Dragon Blood'', Ward ''is'' taken to the asylum and falls into the hands of a wizardly MadScientist. Things don't go well from there.
* Subverted in Martin Day's ''Series/DoctorWho'' Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures novel ''The Sleep of Reason'', in which Mausolus House ''looks'' like Bedlam House, but is actually run by a very caring and progressive doctor (well, for 1904; he's specifically contrasted with the previous governor, who believed the House's purpose was simply to keep the inmates away from normal folk). In 2004, it's been rebuilt as the Retreat, a proper modern care home.
* Arkham Asylum was named after Creator/HPLovecraft's [[LovecraftCountry fictional Massachusetts town]], whose Arkham Sanitarium[[note]]based on [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danvers_State_Hospital this place]][[/note]] is a popular destination for his less-fortunate characters. It is itself a subversion of this trope, making its namesake look like a magical fairyland filled with tiny psychiatrists flitting about on butterfly wings.
** Actually, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkbride_Plan the guy]] who created the hospitals on which Arkham Sanitarium is based ''wanted'' them to be Hospitals of Love. The reason they're so gigantic is to afford each patient privacy and comfort, with lots of light and fresh air! Unfortunately, between [[WhyWeCantHaveNiceThings the expense of maintenance and the inevitable warehousing]], they soon became this trope.
* Subverted in the Creator/BenElton novel ''Dead Famous.'' One of the contestants on a RealityTV show tries to curry favor by talking about the time she spent in this kind of insane asylum when she was younger; one of the other contestants knows immediately that she's lying, because her mother is actually institutionalized.
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's ''The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether'' [[ValuesDissonance subverted this]] with a nice clean asylum which took proper care of its inmates, but had some very quirky doctors. Turns out, the slack treatment allowed the inmates to escape and take over the asylum. The real psychiatrists were locked in the cells, tarred, and feathered.
* Part of the Sarah Waters novel ''Literature/{{Fingersmith}}'' is set in a [[UsefulNotes/VictorianBritain Victorian]] women's insane asylum very much like this. The head doctor starts out making a honest attempt to cure his patients... until he actually succeeds with one young woman, and then quickly [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate realises the breakthrough has merely gotten him one less paying customer]]. After that he leaves the inmates to the [[BattleaxeNurse sadistic nurses]].
* The Funny Farm (St Hilda of Grantham's Home for Distressed Waifs and Strays) in Creator/CharlesStross's ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' short story "Down On The Farm", has elements of the trope, although the truth is far more bizarre, and possibly even more sinister.
* St Cerabellum's in the ''Literature/NurseryCrime'' novels. When it was built, it was the most forward-thinking and up-to-date psychiatric centre in Britain. Unfortunately, that was in 1831, and it hasn't changed since.
* Accidentally being locked in one of these for a while leads to Mayor Poynt's PetTheDog moment in ''Literature/WelkinWeasels''.
* In the ''Literature/GarrettPI'' series, Garrett is tossed into the Bledsoe charity hospital's mad ward by the villains in ''Deadly Quicksilver Lies'', and leads an uprising among its patients to escape. A warehouse for the mad, with the added presence of men whose minds were twisted by magic in the war.
* Bethlem Royal, the original Bedlam, features prominently in the Literature/MatthewHawkwood novel ''Resurrectionist'' in all its hellish glory. The place creeps Hawkwood out.
* ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' is set in one of these, which maintains an outward appearance of being a modern, progressive facility.
* As are the early chapters of ''Earthquake Weather'' by Creator/TimPowers.
* THE Bedlam is referenced in Dickens' ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' - as Scrooge observes his nephew and Cratchit's happiness over Christmas he grumbles "I'll retire to Bedlam."
* Clifford Beers wrote ''A Mind That Found Itself'', which related his own experiences in an early 20th century string of Connecticut asylums and kickstarted the Mental Hygiene movement. The author was suffering from genuine delusions and depression, was cured when he was convinced by a sensitive act on his brother's part, but was still driven to an opposite extreme by the revelation he had been wrong. It took him a year after his recovery from the delusions to be finally released.
* In ''Literature/ThePaleKing'', Meredith spends her 18th birthday in one after getting caught [[SelfHarm cutting.]]
* In ''Literature/DiaryOfAMadman'' the eponymous madman Poprishchin eventually winds up in one.
* The actual Bedlam asylum is a major part of the plot of ''[[Literature/GemmaDoyle Rebel Angels]]''. Although it's portrayed as [[FairForItsDay well-meaning, if not overly effective]]. Tom, who works as a doctor, is dedicated and gentle to his patients, honestly wanting to help them.
* ''Literature/TheAsylumForWaywardVictorianGirls'', by Music/EmilieAutumn, juxtaposes a fictional story of a group of young women trapped in a BedlamHouse with the story of the author's time in a modern psychiatric institution that, while at least survivable, seems to be making little effort to actually treat (rather than simply contain) its patients.
* ''Literature/ElementalMasters'' series:
** Defied and Invoked in ''Literature/TheGatesOfSleep''. Physician and Earth Master Andrew Pike tries to help the both the charity cases and the upper-class paying patients[[note]]mainly women burned out on social obligations, but he keeps a close eye out for worse issues[[/note]] he milks for operating funds to the best of his knowledge and [[PostModernMagik power]] at the sanitarium he set up, but when summoned to the bedside of half-trained Water Mage Marina Rosewood in a [[Literature/SleepingBeauty magical coma]] by her [[EvilUncle suspiciously unconcerned aunt]] he pretends he never met her[[note]]she had been helping him with a breakthrough in treating lead poisoning[[/note]] and plays a vaguely sociopathic experimenter stereotype to the hilt in order to get her out of there without arousing suspicion.
** Also invoked in ''Literature/PhoenixAndAshes''. [[WickedStepmother Allison]] intends to have her orphaned step-daughter [[Literature/{{Cinderella}} Eleanor]] locked up in an asylum like this in order to [[GoldDigger get control of her fortune]].
* St. Crellifer's from ''Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths''. The staff includes a rapist, a sadist, and a religious fanatic, you don't get adequate clothes or bedding, the "treatment" consists of being forced to scrub the floors by hand, and if you're really unlucky, a wizard will arrive to MindRape you.
* Apparently the poem, [[http://akaichounokoe.deviantart.com/art/Cure-411635018 Cure]], takes place in one of these, with the orderly set on "curing the sane", fitting a rather archetypal description of the trope.
* In ''Literature/AStudyInEmerald'', the madhouses-as-entertainment is taken even further by a visiting prince of royal blood, who apparently gets the same entertainment from MindRape as visiting London's brothels. Oh yes, "royalty" here means "related to the {{Eldritch Abomination}}s who rule the world".
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'' has an inversion with the Trickster's Shelter in Dnnac Ledo. It houses all the local elves who have gone insane due to immortality or traumatic experiences and it is run by a grandmotherly ApronMatron. She treats them as gently as porcelain and screens visitors to make sure their fragile states are not disturbed.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheMillenniumTrilogy'' - the children's psychiatric unit wasn't one of these as such... but Lisbeth Salander got special treatment. [[spoiler: It's implied that there was a conspiracy to turn her TroublingUnchildlikeBehaviour into serious mental disability, through psychological torture]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* An early two-parter on ''Series/{{Alias}}'', "Reckoning"/"Color Blind," sent Sydney to one such asylum in Romania [read: {{Ruritania}}]. It turned out to be run by an agent for recurring nemesis K-Directorate, and she ended up under interrogation with shock therapy as ElectricTorture.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** "The Shakespeare Code" featured the historical Bethlem Royal Hospital - or Bedlam.
** "The Asylum of the Daleks" took place on a planet containing automated systems to care for Daleks [[EvenEvilHasStandards so violent even other Daleks feared them]]. Thanks to one genius human[[spoiler:/Dalek]], the place was reduced to a miserable wreck.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'': The Bedlam House-esque psych home where the nurses don't speak English, people wander around without pants, and one woman died of heat stroke was a scam run by a man providing bare minimum care while padding his own pockets with rest of the government's funds.
* The ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' episode "Adrift" has one of these for [[spoiler:victims of [[MagneticPlotDevice the Rift]] which were brought back to Earth who can't be returned to their families,]] set up by Capt. Jack Harkness. Subverted in that although the buildings are grubby and run down, the staff are actually quite nice and [[spoiler:the patients need to be there for their own safety. One victim who was taken as a boy, came back 6 months later as an adult ''screams for 20 hours a day as his body remembers what it went through'']].
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** In one episode Daniel goes insane due to someone's anti-Goa'uld weapon; unaware of the real problem, General Hammond has him sent to an asylum where he is kept in a straitjacket and heavily medicated. Perhaps not terribly awful in the real world - Daniel ''has'' had at least one violent episode - but given the bizarre nature of several adventures the group has already had, Daniel's AppliedPhlebotinum explanations weren't that farfetched.
** A later episode reveals that Daniel's grandfather was institutionalised after he became obsessed with a CrystalSkull he had discovered whilst on an archaeological dig in South America, which had briefly transported him to an alien world. In retrospect, this makes the possibility that Daniel might be genetically predisposed towards developing a similar mental illness not all ''that'' far-fetched.
* An episode of ''Series/GhostWhisperer'' had a former insane asylum that was being turned into a school. Melinda was worried that one of a handful of insane ghosts was a negative influence on the young students, but the ghost was only trying to give them a SurvivalMantra ([[IronicNurseryRhyme "Frère Jacques"]]) against the influence of her psychotic doctor's ghost.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': In "The Martin Baker Fan Cub", paraplegic Vietnam veteran Roscoe Martin (from "King of the Fleas") has been placed in a secured psychiatric ward in a VA hospital, rather than in prison due to Harmís lawyering skills. Now heís charged with second degree murder for the death of a fellow patient who jumped out of a window. While the hospital isnít outright bad, itís understaffed. Roscoe, quite obviously, donít like being institutionalized there, is described by a doctor as the most disruptive patient, and he makes an escape with a few other patients.
* Averted in ''Series/{{House}}'', when House eventually checks into a mental hospital in the finale of season 5. It doesn't look very promising from the outside, but the staff are honestly trying to help him - the biggest issue is House ''accepting'' the help. The other patients prove to be interesting influences on House. The outside looked foreboding because it was an ex-bedlam house, called Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey. Greystone is still around, but has been extensively renovated (the actual building in the episode has since been demolished) and keeps up with modern treatment techniques.
* The eponymous house in ''Series/{{Bedlam}}'', although it's being turned into luxury apartments.
* ''Series/MacGyver1985'': In "A Prisoner of Conscience", Mac fakes insanity so he can infiltrate a Russian mental hospital to break out a political dissident.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'': While we don't see enough of it for it to count ''completely'', the "asylum" in Storybrooke is essentially a dark prison in the basement of the hospital behind a keycode-lock door that probably only two people actually have access to (Regina and the Nurse-Ratched-lookalike nurse who works the desk down there). For most of the first season, there's only one person in it- [[spoiler: Belle, who Regina was keeping locked up in case she needed to kill her at some point or use her as a trump card against Gold]]. Later [[spoiler: Sidney ends up there, again in case Regina finds a use for him in the future.]]
** In the Season 6 finale, [[GreaterScopeVillain the Black Fairy's]] new version of the Dark Curse sticks Emma in the asylum, with everyone (including Emma herself) given altered memories to think that she suffers from dangerous delusions.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': In the Season 5 episode "Sam Interrupted", Sam and Dean pose as patients at a mental institute in order to help an old hunter track down something that is killing the patients. however they start to find that maybe they should be there for other reasons.
* There's a reason why the second season of ''Series/AmericanHorrorStory'' is subtitled ''[[Series/AmericanHorrorStoryAsylum Asylum]]''. Briarcliff Manor meets all of the above criteria, and then some. Adding to the terror, the place is a CorruptChurch institution run by a NunTooHoly KnightTemplar. Also, [[spoiler:their attending physician is a Nazi war criminal and MadScientist, the court appointed psychiatrist is a SerialKiller [[PsychoPsychologist who skins women alive and wears their inside-out faces]], there's a horde of shambling mutants running around the grounds as part of a secret project, one of the nuns is possessed by [[TheDevil the actual, literal devil]], and the whole place is being monitored by aliens for some reason.]] Briarcliff is a fucked up place.
* ''Series/MissionImpossible'': In "Committed", Casey gets herself committed to a prison-like mental hospital in order to save the only witness in a murder trial against a Syndicate boss from being driven insane by the corrupt staff.
* The "incurable" wing of Toronto Asylum in the ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' episode "The Incurables", although by the end of the episode [[TheShrink Awesome Shrink]] Julia Ogden is determined to do something about this.
* Flashbacks in ''Series/{{Forever}}'' show that, after gaining ResurrectiveImmortality 200 years ago, Henry Morgan returned home and told his wife, who naturally didn't believe him. When he tried to prove it via suicide, he was prevented and sent to an asylum, implied to be Bedlam itself. The penny tours are seen once, with a guide commenting on Henry's sad situation as a once-respected member of society now fallen to madness. Henry eventually escaped by killing himself, which caused him to regenerate in a large body of water outside the grounds.
* ''Series/TheMethod'' has the protagonists visit one every once in a while - it mostly ''looks'' run-down, due to being underfunded, as the staff struggles to provide the best care possible with limited funding. The sad truth is that not only one of the leads a prime candidate for being put there permanently because of his violent tendencies and hallucinations, several of his former arrests ended in people having been put there, which he regards as MyGreatestFailure.
** The knife is twisted further when his apprentice goes undercover as a patient to wait out the return of an ambulatory patient they suspect. She manages to endure it only for two days.

* The Music/{{Metallica}} song "Sanitarium (Welcome Home)," which is about life in one of these asylums:
-->Welcome to where time stands still\\
No one leaves and no one will\\
Moon is full, never seems to change\\
Just labeled mentally deranged\\
Dream the same dream every night\\
I see our freedom in my sight\\
Sleep, my friend, and you will see\\
This dream is my reality\\
They keep me locked up in this cage\\
Can't you see it's why my brain says RAGE?
* ''Music/NapoleonXIV'''s novelty hit "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha!":
-->[''chorus'']: They're coming to take me away, ha haaa,\\
They're coming to take me away, [[LaughingMad ha ha, hee hee, ho ho,]]\\
To the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time,\\
[[SanitySlippage And I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats]]\\
And they're coming to take me away...\\
To the happy home with trees and flowers and chirping birds\\
[[SanitySlippage And basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes]]\\
And they're coming to take me away, ha haaa...! [''fade out'']
* Music/EmilieAutumn:
** Lots of her music centers around one of these kinds of places, referred to as "The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls" this is most notable in her concerts where she and The Bloody Crumpets are inmates.
** "Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches" is a song in the style of "Miss Suzy Had A Steamboat" about one of these sorts of places.
** She wrote "4 o'clock" which is about the girls in these places.
* There is an very old folk song about Bedlam Hospital. It is variously known as 'Tom O'Bedlam', 'Mad Tom' and 'Bedlam Boys' or 'Bedlam Girls'.
* German metal band Stormwitch had a song called 'Welcome to Bedlam'.
* Music/KingDiamond has written more than a few songs from the point of view of a tormented asylum inmate, including a concept album about one escaping and going on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the people [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness he thinks]] were responsible for putting him away.
* The Music/KaizersOrchestra song "Dieter Meyers Inst.", is about someone committing himself to a Bedlam House because he ''thinks'' he's crazy, and then actually goes crazy ''after'' he's there. And the end of the song is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin just as crazy]]. The lyrics (and the translation) can be found [[http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858553943/ here]], and the recording [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BaqQrFgFQk here]].
** The follow-up songs "Auksjon (i Dieter Meyers hall)" ("Auction (in Dieter Meyer's Hall)") and "Medisin & Psykiatri" ("Medicine & Psychiatry") involves the same man either hallucinating (or performing) the murder of his psychiatrist and escaping with intent of revenge on the people who convinced him to check in the first place.
* Music/{{Disturbed}}'s song "Asylum", though only the music video. The actual song is about a metaphorical asylum, using the dual-meaning behind the word for both "mad house" and "safe haven". In other words, the dark places in the mind become a place of both chaos and security.
* ''Away In A Madhouse'' by the Creator/HPLovecraft Historical Society is sung from the point of view of an inmate of such an establishment, and he is disturbingly grateful for the pills, electroshock therapy, pre-frontal lobotomy, and rubber room, because "[[{{irony}} outside it's hell]]". The track is interspersed with [[LaughingMad demented giggling]] and heavy breathing.
* The song ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA_MS3OJ1sE Bedlam Sticks]]'' by Music/DiabloSwingOrchestra ''sounds'' like it could be about this...hard to tell with the WordSaladLyrics, however... then again, that might be the point:
-->In a place where long lost souls are led astray\\
A penny is a cheap price to pay\\
[[WordSaladLyrics We play those poke'em in the nostril games all day]]
* The song ''Twisted Mind'' by Music/{{Avantasia}}. Notable because it's one of the few songs to feature [[Music/{{Kamelot}} Roy Khan]] as a guest vocalist.
* The grandaddy of all Bedlam House-themed songs would have to be the traditional British folk song [[http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_O%27Bedlam Tom O'Bedlam]]. The folk-rock band Music/SteeleyeSpan adapted this song as "Boys of Bedlam."

* The AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho audio ''Minuet in Hell'' has the Doctor locked in an apparently modern facility (the Brigham Elijah Dashwood Laboratory for Alternative Mentalities) whose [[FunWithAcronyms acronym is no coincidence]].

[[folder:Role Playing Games]]
* The island of Dominia in the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' setting. The centre of the Domain is Dr Heinfroth's Asylum for the Mentally Disturbed, run by the island's Darklord, who is a cerebral vampire. The ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' article "Dr Heinfroth's Manual of Methods" suggests the Asylum also exists in [[TabletopGame/MasqueOfTheRedDeath Gothic Earth]]'s Massachusetts ... presumably, near Arkham.
** Dr. Illhousen, narrator of in-character material from the ''Nightmare Lands'' boxed set, tries hard to subvert this trope by introducing some actual theraputic care [[spoiler: and defenses against the nightmare-inducing entities that plague its patients]] to a Bedlam House.
* As in Lovecraft's original source material, some pretty dodgy stuff is liable to go on in ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'''s insane asylums.
* In the horror RPG ''TabletopGame/{{KULT}}'', most asylums are torture chambers where people only grow more insane. This includes the doctors. [[spoiler:In fact, such asylums tend to work as holes in the [[WeirdnessCensor illusion]] that humanity inhabits; portals to Inferno and other nasty parts of the dark Reality surrounding us.]]
* ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' sourcebook ''Asylum'' describes one of these in detail. The sample asylum has many, ''many'' reasons to be weird by nature (ranging from its proximity to ancient mounds to the religious cult that sprung up on the grounds to the occasional patient riot), and each patient profiled for plot hooks has a MultipleChoicePast with options ranging from "just plain normal mental illness" to "some really weird shit."
* Ironically this is averted in the ''TabletopGame/ArkhamHorror'' board game. A visit to Arkham Asylum is a good idea if you want any hope of keeping your sanity meter high
* Napoleon XIV Mental Institution in Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG is heavily implied to be a case of this, although fortunately in this world it may be the exception rather than the rule. We also only got to see two patients in the Institute - Wallace Bishop ([[spoiler:the ''real'' one, as opposed to the other guy who was impersonating him]]) and Athena Fabello - and they weren't exactly very well off. On top of that, the institution has a number of security problems, and to avoid bad press, administrator Mr. Bonaparte wrote a formal letter claiming that Fabello passed away when she actually escaped. Mr. Bonaparte also reportedly did not take responsibility when a third patient, [[spoiler:Carl Lutsky]], was DrivenToSuicide.
* ''TabletopGame/FengShui'''s fan supplement ''Out For Blood'' features an adventure in one of these. The Asylum of the Damned is a feng shui site staffed by demons bent on breaking the spirits of Secret Warriors sent there, by [[GoAmongMadPeople convincing them that their pasts and abilities are delusions that must be "cured"]]. Because of the corrupted chi of the site, supernatural and chi-based abilities do not work within the grounds, and the demons have plenty of drugs on hand to pacify their "patients". Needless to say, getting out is not going to be easy...
* ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' has the Gatehouse Asylum in Sigil. It's run by the Bleak Cabal, a faction composed of depressed nihilists who often have serious mental problems of their own. The conditions may be unpleasant, in reflection of the actual early history of psychiatric care, but the Bleakers are the only ones actually ''trying'' to help people with serious mental illnesses and hope to move on to better methods and standards once they figure out what works (and actually find the money to improve the Gatehouse).
** Harbinger House from the eponymous adventure is also a special asylum run by the Believers of the Source (Godsmen) faction, fostering people driven mad by strange powers or conditions - what the Godsmen suspect to be sparks of divinity trying to manifest and causing problems for the merely mortal hosts.

* In ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', Fogg's Asylum is one of these. Among other things, insane asylums like this back in the day let wigmakers come in and clip the hair of its inmates for their wigs. [[spoiler:Sweeney and Anthony use this as a way for Anthony to get into the madhouse to rescue Johanna.]]
* The setting of ''Theatre/MaratSade'', Charenton.
* In the play ''The Insanity of Mary Girard,'' Mary Girard, a sane woman, has been confined to one of these by her husband because she is pregnant by another man's child, and this infidelity is treated as a disease. There's even a device called the Chair, where they strap unruly inmates down, hands and feet, and put a black box over their heads so they can't even see. In the end, [[spoiler: she decides that it's better to live away from her husband and the world outside, even if she does have to be trapped, because if she is obedient she will be treated reasonably well. However, when the tourists come and pay to gawk at the inmates, she will flaunt once and for all that she is [[MadnessMantra insane... insane... insane...]].]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Arkham serves as Level 1 on the console versions of ''VideoGame/BatmanForever''. The background textures were taken from a scene detailing Two-Face's escape in the film, which was deleted from the theatrical release. However, since the most we see of the film's Arkham Asylum is a cell and a small stretch of hallway, the game's version more resembles a medieval dungeon than a thriving, modern hospital.
* Arkham Asylum acts as Bedlam House in ''Videogame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'', but the marketing (as evidenced in the tie-in Arkham Care website and some of the in-game PA announcements) ''desperately'' tries to make it seem like a pleasant, modern psychiatric institution. To utterly hilarious degrees; it's really something to stand in a dank, creepy and falling-apart Arkham corridor listening to a pleasant voice on a commercial witter on about how Arkham is 'the state's premier psychiatric therapeutic facility', how the famous supervillains who get locked up there 'are only half the story' and other such nonsense.
* ''Videogame/BatmanArkhamCity '': The sequel features an ''even worse'' solution: Arkham City, a ''walled off'' slum section of Gotham where former Arkham patients and Blackgate convicts alike are thrown in and left to their own devices. [[spoiler:Then hired mercs kill everyone in the place.]] How therapeutic.
* ''Videogame/BaldursGateII'' features Spellhold: A combined dumping ground for dissidents, "magical deviants" and madmen. That's how it STARTS. Then the BigBad takes over.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline'' features a quest called "The Sane Asylum," where the orderlies want to eat your brains, and the place is run by "[[BattleaxeNurse Nurse Ratchet]]" in a blatant ShoutOut to ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''. JustifiedTrope, as the place has been taken over by Xoriat, the plane of Madness.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'', the town of Bullworth has one of these, called "Happy Volts Asylum".
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 5'', the second Nazi Zombie mode map Verruckt is an [[AbandonedHospital abandoned asylum]] with all the usual stigmata of this trope: blood stained rooms, electric barriers, power outage, [[RoomFullOfCrazy crazy writing on walls]] and rather dangerous looking medical equipment.
** Considering the fact that ThoseWackyNazis generally exterminated Mental patients outright and handed the remainders to [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate the same group of people who produced Dr. Mengele]] for cruel and terrifying experiments which were obscenely deadly ForScience!- and this is before we get into the habit of shipping dissidents to said mental asylums when they ran out of the original patients- this is probably justifiable.
** The last third of the campaign level "Ring of Steel" forces you to travel through a bombed out insane asylum that's pretty damn normal compared to other examples on this list. However, no small amount of tension is derived from the fact that there are no Germans to fight until you reach the second floor. As Sergeant Reznov says: "This place reeks of nightmares and madness, but only the insane would stand against us!"
* The rendered cinematics of ''VideoGame/DiabloII'' (but not ''[[ExpansionPack Lord of Destruction]]'') take place in a Bedlam House style of sanitarium, where the inmates are whipped and tend to scream a lot. The Archangel Tyrael "visits" to interrogate a man named Marius about how he'd gotten caught up in the events of the story. [[spoiler:The twist is that it's not Tyrael, but Baal. [[UnflinchingWalk He burns the asylum down behind him as he leaves]].]]
* The Parsons State Insane Asylum in the Cabot questline of ''VideoGame/Fallout4''. Depicted as a large gothic mansion, the purpose of the asylum - at least in part - is to hold [[spoiler:Lorenzo Cabot, Jack Cabot's father who has been driven insane by an artifact he retrieved from somewhere in the Middle East in 1894]]. The grounds of the asylum feature wheelchairs and the skeletons of those who died when the bombs dropped, implying that the asylum may have been more kind to its residents than most depicted in fiction. However, the basement of the asylum features the cells of many of the residents of the asylum (some still containing the skeletons or ghoulified residents), as well as intentionally creepy scenes set up in various cells. The asylum itself is based off of the real-life Danvers State Insane Asylum, and is a reference to [[Creator/HPLovecraft H.P. Lovecraft]] (in whose works Danvers appears, as well as the Arkham Sanitorium) as well as an homage to Arkham Asylum (a terminal makes references to [[Characters/BatmanTheCharacter Nightman]], [[ComicBook/{{Catwoman}} a lady dressed all in black leather]], and [[ComicBook/TheJoker a 10 year old murderer who won't stop laughing]].
* In his QuestForIdentity, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'', Mr. 47, traces his creator back to a sanitarium in Romania. The place is in extreme disrepair and operates mainly as a front; the good doctor is exploiting the patients for his research in a secret lab below. As such, the sanitarium is pitch-black, crammed with urine-stained mattresses, and the so-called Operating Theatre has a corpse just lying unattended on a gurney. Yuck.
** ''VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney'' has another mental asylum. It has slowly turned into a mad cult-house because of a loophole for success. You can't leave until you are well because they won't allow the sick to transfer out. The basement is a brutal jail.
* In ''Address Unknown'', a ShowWithinAShow in ''VideoGame/MaxPayne 2'', the protagonist is sent to an insane asylum that seems to fit this trope. We see TheThemeParkVersion when Max visits an abandoned fun-house based on the show. Abandoned presumably because a TV series about insanity (whose plot more-or-less parallels Max's own battle with his inner demons throughout the game) doesn't make for a wholesome day out for the family.
* One level of ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'' is the reflection of one of these in Purgatory. It's the most disturbing level in the game. Examples? Electroshock therapy victims who wander the hallways, [[ElectricTorture still being zapped every now and again]], unable to communicate except by painful moans. Giant hallways full of rotting padded walls. And quadruple amputees who attack by vomiting at you and lunging. Many of them are found walking around on the ceiling. And they have no eyes or teeth.
* Thorney Towers Home for the Disturbed, the [[AbandonedHospital Abandoned Asylum]] in ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}''. The inmates only stay because they haven't been told they can leave. It gets worse as soon as you get to the upper floors, when [[AlienGeometries it starts going all]] Creator/MCEscher on you and throwing around those ''[[DemonicSpiders rats]]''...
* In ''VideoGame/{{Sanitarium}}'', the various acts shift back and forth between a rather creepy and disturbing sanitarium, and various strange locales (a village populated by mutilated children, a stranded circus, an alien colony...) until you're not certain which is real and which isn't. [[spoiler: None of it is.]]
* ''VideoGame/SecondSight'' eventually leads the protagonist to Penfold Asylum, a crumbling Gothic mental hospital where Jayne Wilde is being held. Interestingly enough, the in-game files [[LampshadeHanging acknowledge the fact that the Asylum is woefully outdated for its time]], and suggest that this is the very reason why Jayne was sent here in the first place.
** The asylum in which the ''protagonist'' was held, however, was a much more modern looking facility.
* One of the dungeons in the first ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'' game is the very creepy Calios Mental Hospital.
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'''s Brookhaven Hospital. Cedar Grove might qualify as well. The fact that the town has two mental hospitals might say something about the relative sanity of its inhabitants.
* Part of ''VideoGame/TheSuffering'' takes place in an AbandonedHospital version. The recent supernatural happenings have awakened its twisted doctor as a ghost, manifesting in the form of an image from a movie projector.
* ''Videogame/ThiefDeadlyShadows'' gives us the awesomely terrifying Shalebridge Cradle. A Bedlam House-cum-Orphanage. And it's a [[AbandonedHospital burned-out ruin]]. And you go snooping around. At night. HilarityEnsues. And by hilarity, we mean "Blood-curdling terror".
** To be fair, the Cradle itself is merely [[NothingIsScarier terrifying in atmosphere]], while the actual danger comes from the... [[spoiler: ''[[OurZombiesAreDifferent puppets]]'' ]]
** The [[VideoGame/Thief2014 2014]] ContinuityReboot has another one in Moira Asylum. It might not be the Cradle but it certainly has...atmosphere.
* Blackfield Asylum in ''VideoGame/TwistedMetalBlack''. [[spoiler: But then, the whole game is a nightmare, so why not?]]
* The mansion of Alastair Grout in ''Videogame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines''. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by Grout being a vampire, a pre-Freudian psychologist (with nothing but scorn for Freud's wishy-washy 'talking to people' treatments), and a Malkavian, which takes the other elements into account and makes him utterly insane (even by vampire standards) on top of it.
* ''VideoGame/ZorkNemesis'' has an [[AbandonedHospital abandoned asylum]] as one of its "islands" (to use a ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' parallel). As anticipated, there's plenty of muffled screaming and distant clanging metal in the [[PsychoStrings ambient soundtrack]], blood-stained items and relics implying [[ColdBloodedTorture highly experimental]] procedures on patients. Just to pile on the horror, there is also an AxCrazy [[MadScientist electroconvulsive therapy technician]] ([[spoiler:who gives you a [[ElectricTorture mains-current strength shock]], so that you can ''open a door'']]), and a morgue, where you must [[spoiler:find a [[PeekABooCorpse naked corpse]] in a metal drawer, [[LosingYourHead decapitate it]], place the [[BrainInAJar head]] onto a machine to reanimate it and [[GuideDangIt make it say the combination to the lock a safe]]]]. Similarly, [[spoiler:gruesomely retrieving an [[BrainInAJar amputated arm and hand]] mounted on a spike in a display case]] is necessary to open an electrified keypad lock. Needless to say, all of this contrasts rather starkly to the jovial tone in previous games in the Zork series.
* In ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'', [[spoiler: Maximillian Roivas gets carted off to one of these at the end of his chapter]].
* ''VideoGame/EvilDeadRegeneration'', a story that takes place on an alternate timeline from the films where Ash, instead of getting sucked into the past, is found in the cabin with a lot of hacked up corpses. The game starts at an asylum for the criminally insane, and his doctor now has the copy of the Necronomicon and intends to use it. Long before the demons invade, though, patients are hideously mistreated. The walls are filthy, neglect is rampant and the guards beat patients. It's almost a relief when the monsters invade.
* ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' has a section set inside Wonderland's interpretation of a Victorian asylum. It says something that the person in charge is the Mad Hatter, who views the inmates as little more than spare parts. [[spoiler: It's revealed at the end of the game that Alice has been in a catatonic state in a real-life asylum throughout, and Wonderland was a subconscious mechanism for her to deal with the deaths of her family in a fire. The title screen and intro sequence make this place look like the archetypal Bedlam, but in line with the entire game being Alice's perception of reality the ending shows it to be a much more pleasant place.]]
** The sequel, ''VideoGame/AliceMadnessReturns'', has Alice being subjected to having holes ''drilled into her skull'', electrotherapy, leeches, tonics and head shaving in one of these places in a cutscene. And the guy actually running the place [[spoiler:is more interested in pimping out his young female patients once he's gotten them to forget everything than actually curing them, and was the bastard responsible for the above-mentioned fire in the first place]].
* The [[CityWithNoName town's]] insane asylum/prison in ''VideoGame/{{Pathologic}}'' carries the [[{{Foreshadowing}} darkly humorous]] name of "[[MeaningfulName The Apiary]]".
* In the ''VideoGame/CasebookTrilogy'' the apartments from the second case used to be one until it was changed into a apartment building. Burton comments that the mental stability of the residents haven't changed and he's right. Espically since [[spoiler: The BigBad of a serial killer is living there.]]
* It is not a good thing to be sent to Danvers Asylum in [[LovecraftCountry the titular]] [[TownWithADarkSecret town of]] ''Videogame/{{Anchorhead}}''. [[spoiler:But you get there all the same...]]
* ''VideoGame/PennyArcadeAdventures'' has the ''Cloying Odor Sanitarium''. Decrepit victorian architecture? Check. Creepy fog and withered trees? Check. Deranged roaming crazies? Check. Corrupt owner who keeps otherwise sane people prisoner to bill their families so he can finance his own personal pursuits? Yes that's a check. Electroshocks and pills given out like Pez? That's a ''playable level.''
* Lampshaded in episode one of Telltale Game's ''Videogame/BackToTheFuture'':
-->'''Doc Brown''' "They'd ship us both off to the loony bin! And trust me, you don't want to see the inside of a 1930's insane asylum!"
* ''VideoGame/MediEvil'' has The Asylum, which is filled with cackling madmen in strait-jackets who want to headbutt you to death.
* The award-winning InteractiveFiction game ''Slouching Towards Bedlam'' is all about the TropeNamer, in a steampunk-Victorian setting. Depending on the ending you choose, the ''entire world'' may wind up infected with a mental illness carried by one unusual patient.
* ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles: Escape From Ravenhearst'' features a reconstruction of the asylum Charles Dalimar was locked up in, including an electroshock therapy room.
** ''Ravenhearst Unlocked'', one of the following games in the series, features the asylum that once housed Charles's father, Alister. [[spoiler:The Master Detective wakes from a near-drowning to find herself trapped there, specifically ''Alister's cell'' and at the mercy of his psychotic granddaughter, Gwendolyn.]]
* Both games in the ''VideoGame/{{Manhunt}}'' series have a level devoted to these. Heck, asylums are the source of many of the characters you encounter.
** The original has the Darkwoods Penitentiary, [[AbandonedHospital which has been vacated of any correctional personal]], and is in control of the former inmates, a gang known as the "Smileys". [[FluffyTheTerrible Sound like nice guys, right?]] Problem is, [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} they have absolutely no grip on reality]], [[InsaneEqualsViolent and they're all out to kill the player]]. It's telling, that in a game featuring [[ThoseWackyNazis neo-Nazis]], [[RightWingMilitiaFanatic Rambo imposters]], and AxCrazy, AlwaysChaoticEvil, [[HollywoodSatanism Satan Worshiping]] [[TheCartel Latino gangsters]], the Smileys [[spoiler: [[HeroKiller are the gang]] [[BigBad Lionel Starkweather]] [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness chooses for Cash's final]] [[SnuffFilm "scene"]]]]
** The second has one at the start: Dixmor Asylum. Daniel had been cooped up in it so long that [[AmnesiacHero he can't remember his past]], but a convenient [[LightningCanDoAnything lightning-induced power malfunction]] lets most of the inmates loose, allowing Danny to escape [[LetsYouAndHimFight while the Asylum Orderlies and Dixmor Inmates beat each other up]].
* A popular SelfImposedChallenge for ''VideoGame/TheSims 2'' is the Asylum Challenge, in which the player creates a mental hospital... that isn't equipped for seven uncontrollable "inmates" and the one playable sim forced to GoAmongMadPeople. Unsurprisingly, most players go the BedlamHouse route for their asylums.
* ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' sends you through one of these near the end of the game, Comstock House. The inmates are near-catatonic and dressed in drab jumpsuits and creepy masks of the Founding Fathers, and security involves the "Boys of Silence", who wear horrible iron masks with noise-amplifying trumpets sticking out of the sides, and if they spot you they'll let out a dreadful scream that drives nearby inmates berserk. Then you meet the person running the place: [[spoiler: a BadFuture version of Elizabeth. She gave up hope of being saved by Booker and became the DarkMessiah her father wanted, and you find her [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone watching with regret]] as Columbia lays siege to New York City in TheEighties.]]
* Although the suicide ward that Susan gets checked into at the beginning of ''VideoGame/TheCatLady'' stops short of actual patient abuse, the [[BattleaxeNurse nurses]] there can be a bit too trigger-happy with the sedative injections at times.
* ''VideoGame/{{Outlast}}'' takes place in the Mount Massive Asylum for the Criminally Insane. There is little detail about what the staff was like when it originally opened in the 1950s, but you find a lot of old equipment which resembles torture devices walking around the older parts of the asylum. The asylum was abandoned, but reopened in modern times by Murkoff Corporation, who used the new patients as guinea pigs for experiments not necessarily related to improving mental health, since they figured no one would care about the rights of mental patients.
* Implied in ''VideoGame/{{Daylight}}'', as the hospital's heyday was in the late 19th century to early 20th century. However, the notes portray the overall running of the hospital as generally orderly with the staff trying to do the best they could, despite a level of monetary-driven corruption by the management and recurring disturbing paranormal events. The management of the attached prison next door, on the other hand, was an entirely different matter, with prisoners being tortured to obtained confessions, in order to justify keeping them there.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/SilenceOfTheSleep''. The staff at the mental facility take great care to help their patients and the building has a great many amenities to help with the healing process. Of course this is a horror game, so the place has some dark secrets, the most important of which is that [[spoiler: it isn't real. It is located in a DreamLand or a sort of purgatory or limbo.]]
* In ''VideoGame/StandstillGirl'', there's mental hospital in the Shadeling Town. It's immediately clear something is not right, as when you walk into it, you'll hear ominous music combined with periodic heavy thudding, even though the Shadeling doctors assure you everything is fine. Then, once you manage to best the Red Shadelings in combat in every area, you can come back to help the staff deal with their only two patients. One is a woman losing her mind due to being pregnant with a demonic foetus, and doctors are planning to carry out an abortion against her will to cure her. The other one is a former soldier now consumed by depression and melancholy, and the dialogue between him and the doctor implies that the hospital is considering euthanasia against his will. In both cases, their refusal sparks a difficult boss fight that ends with them alive and their fate uncertain (they're subdued, but doctors also appear to back down on their extreme plans in favour of other measures.)
* In ''VideoGame/SlenderFortress'', one of the many maps include a large, barren asylum haunted by the [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos Slender Man]].
* Averted in the strangest of ways in ''Videogame/FallenLondon'': The Royal Bethlehem hotel is actually a 5-star hotel with fees only the wealthiest can ever hope to afford. But the owner's got quite an interest in TheMentallyDisturbed, and so he waives their fees, allowing them to stay in unparalleled luxury. Many of them come back to (relative) sanity from their wonderful stay. [[spoiler:It does have certain elements of creepiness in the fact the owner will patiently wait ''at the side of your bed in the night'' if you're having horrific nightmares that risk driving you insane, until he can finally deem you to be worthy of his hotel (AKA you've gone off the deep end), at which point he kidnaps your screaming, gibbering self and gives you your new room until you're out of your "state of some confusion"]].
* The aptly-named "Insanity" segment of ''VideoGame/NeverendingNightmares'' takes place in a decrepit insane asylum. Blood cakes the walls (including ''piles of severed limbs lying about''), pharmaceuticals such as "purified lead tablets" and "cocaine extract in alcohol" have been left lying around, and the place is generally in a state of abysmal disrepair. The only other inmates are bound in straitjackets, have ''[[EyeScream had their eyes sew shut]]'', and have apparently been abused to the point that they will rip Thomas's throat out if he gets too close or they hear him walking around.
* Blackwood Pines from ''VideoGame/UntilDawn'' has been shuttered and left to decay since the early 50's, when [[spoiler: a group of miners, slowly turning into {{wendigo}}s, were experimented on by the doctors there, only to escape and slaughter them all]]. The present day protagonists spend much of the game learning of this and dealing with the lingering effects of it.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto2'': The asylum in Sunnyside has literally been taken over by the inmates.
* One of the punishments for Prideful souls in ''Videogame/{{Afterlife}}'' is to be locked up in The Looney Bin, a decrepit insane asylum "combining the savage prison politics of San Quentin Scareantino with the humiliating patronizing of St. Elscare".
* The video game ''Countdown'' opens with your character waking up in a Turkish mental hospital with total amnesia. You shortly realize you've been accused of murdering your boss and have been scheduled for a lobotomy in the morning.
* The blasted plains of [[FireAndBrimstoneHell Stygia]] in ''VideoGame/NexusClash'' are littered with Dark Sanitariums that are either this trope played straight or just an empty hollow shell that eats hope. Fortunately, by the time the player characters arrive on the scene they're ''usually'' abandoned save for hints of what once happened there. Stygia's angelic rivals also had an unhealthy understanding of mental illness but used a [[LotusEaterMachine different]] strategy.
* The Sanitarium in ''Videogame/DarkestDungeon'' certainly ''looks'' like one of these, and evokes an appropriate reaction from any hero sent there, but it's an InvertedTrope: it turns out that the Sanitarium an extremely effective and efficient method of curing various mental afflictions and negative quirks (or reinforcing positive ones) and wiping out diseases in your heroes, provided you're willing to shell out the coin needed to pay for their powerful experimental techniques. With the ''Crimson Court'' DLC installed, they can eventually even ''cure vampirism!''


[[folder:Web Comics]]
* From the little we've managed to gather, Jonas of ''Webcomic/ThePhoenixRequiem'' has spent far, far more time than he would have liked to in a house such as this one.
* ''Webcomic/TheContinentals'': In the steampunk murder/mystery/adventure "The Continentals", the criminal asylum Timbre Dark Manor is a manmade monument to madness built like a dark castle on the sins of man. [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Continentals here]].
* ''Webcomic/TheWaterPhoenixKing'' has had one show up on several occasions, as Prince Thrale of Nammathar, the local ruler, likes to meet with his agents there over dinner, among the screams and chains. He seems to believe that it's a good way of foiling spies -- but he's also himself well on the wrong side of sane, carving blood sacrifices in his own skin to their world's version of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishtar Ishtar]] in hopes that she will grant him total war as a boon. It's pretty twisted.
* The Mercia Sanitarium and Straitjacket Emporium of ''Webcomic/ALoonaticsTale'' is sort of half-this. It's kind of foreboding on the outside, the inside is either stark white or dim and grimy depending on which part of the asylum you're in, and the patients seem semi-neglected because the only staff it appears to have is the staff that's appeared onscreen, so it's more like a detention center for people diagnosed as insane, with occasional bouts of genuinely attempting to cure patients who may or may not be too intimidated by the staff to accept the help. The staff has their own share of psychological issues: The directors used to be a crack therapeutic team (aside from being slightly trigger-happy with lobotomies) but have retired from active practice, and the actual therapists are a tiny idealist with a fragile ego; his old college classmate who is a hateful shrew with misandrist tendencies, a mechanical claw for a left hand, and no bedside manner to speak of; and an equally hateful, slightly pathetic middle-aged man who is ''theoretically'' smart enough and skilled enough to be a decent therapist, but is too apathetic to do anything but cram medication down the patient's throat. The best therapist on staff is the 25-year-old intern, who spends more time running around catching escaped inmates with an oversized butterfly net. And that's ''part of his job description''.
* Islington Asylum for the Criminally Insane in ''Webcomics/AutumnBay'' is "a place of palpable madness that many people don't even know exists".

[[folder:Web Original]]
* All of the scenarios in ''Literature/TheHoldersSeries'' take place in one of these.
* The Chamoix most definitely qualifies.
* In the sixth episode of ''WebVideo/MortalKombatLegacy'', Raiden arrives to Earthrealm into a mental hospital. Conveniently, his white outfit makes him look like a patient, so he is restrained and kept there (apparently, the fact that there's no record of the man being checked in doesn't faze the staff in the least). After several failed methods, including psychotherapy (talking) and psychopharmacology (drugs), the doctor chooses to lobotomize "Lord Raiden" to calm him down. Luckily for Raiden, he's a PhysicalGod, so it likely doesn't do any permanent damage to him. Not that it justifies the quack who thinks it's a great idea to remove parts of a patient's brain to keep him quiet. He probably has a jar of leeches in his office in case the lobotomy fails.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime''. The mental hospital in the show is obviously a very nice place, and the patients are, for the most part, content with their surroundings and treated well. The hospital is run by Doctor Princess, one of the most respected doctors in the kingdom. A character who attempted suicide was taken here, to show the audience that he has hope of recovering and being happy.
** Some fans theorize that Castle Lemongrab originally started out as a BedlamHouse constructed by Princess Bubblegum as a means of "curing" Lemongrab using electroshock therapy. Made puzzling by the fact that the castle contains an electrocution chamber...
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''
** In general, Arkham Asylum is less a case of Bedlam House in than in the source comic. The architecture is still oppressive, and the better-known inmates seem to enjoy making life hell for each other, but it is shown to have some good doctors, who have some [[StatusQuoIsGod sadly temporary]] success with Harvey Dent, Harley Quinn and Edward Nygma.
** Harely Quinn was also a therapist at Arkham that fell in love with the Joker. It shows the place isn't that great for its staff either.
** Ironically, one episode of the series where the staff seems competent at both treating and restraining inmates is in "Dreams in Darkness" where Batman is accidentally committed, and seems to have more trouble escaping (or convincing the doctors he is sane) than most of the inmates do.
** The episode "Lock-Up", however, features Arkham guard Lyle Bolton, who gets fired after it's revealed he's on a serious power trip that has made him violently abusive to inmates including Harley and Jonathon Crane.
** In [[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague the Justice Lords alternate world]], Arkham Asylum looks incredibly pleasant both inside and out. Everything's clean, bright and modern... but all the inmates have been lobotomized and lost their humanity.
* Arkham's been brought back in all its Bedlam House glory in ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'', where it's portrayed as an extremely tall gothic building complete with prison cell-like rooms and padded walls (for some reason, though, The Penguin constantly gets checked in, despite him generally being one of the sanest of Batman's enemies). Oh, and the guards have the authority to carry around tasers and dress in robes that make them look like they're prepared to do a lobotomy on a second's notice.
* ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sent Calvin of ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' fame to one of these after his murderous rampage. "Mars is amazing...!"
* In the ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' episode "Insane in the Mainframe", Fry is accidentally sent to an insane asylum for ''robots'' (mainly because the judge presiding over the trial forgot he filled up the human asylums [[KillThePoor when he declared poverty a mental illness]]). Although the treatments seem appropriate for curing insane robots, they drive the all-too-human Fry to madness, leading him to think he's a robot... and thus is considered "cured".
** Which is even more hilarious given that all the robots act like humans, and Fry was acting like a stereotypical sci-fi robot, complete with NoIndoorVoice.
* Though not depicted as evil, ''TheSimpsons'' does have a recurring mental institute known as the "New Bedlam Rest Home for the Emotionally Interesting". The horror factor here seems to be the ease with which a resident of Springfield can be committed to it. Homer ends up in it for carelessly letting Bart fill out a self-report mental exam at work. (Several elements of the story lampoon ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'') And when Ned Flanders checks himself in after a simple [[RantInducingSlight emotional breakdown]], the disinterested admitting nurse only asks if he wants to be camly shown his room or dragged off kicking and screaming. Ned cheerfully chooses the kicking and screaming. (Ironically, the doctor in charge there seems rather competent.)
* In the ''{{Transformers}}'' season three episode ''Webworld'', Cyclonus takes Galvatron to the planet Torkulon in the hopes that his madness can be cured. Galvatron doesn't take to the therapy very well, and the Torkulons eventually try to give him a lobotomy-equivalent by jacking his mind into the planet itself while Cyclonus helplessly looks on in horror. Fortunately, Galvatron's willpower is so strong that he drives ''his'' mind into the planet and figures out how to destroy it. A RoaringRampageOfRevenge soon follows... and once he's done, Galvatron actually seems quite calm. For a little while, anyway.
** It was less a case of Galvatron's willpower than the fact that he was so insane that ''the planet itself was driven nuts'' just looking at his processor.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'', Bedlam Houses seem rather specialized, seeing as Freaky Fred is committed to Home for Freaky Barbers. Clearly, the treatment at the place (if there is any) doesn't take, and security there is a little lax, as he escapes shortly before the start of the episode.
* Wanda/Scarlet Witch in ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'' was abandoned at one of these by her father, Magneto when she was just a child. As a result, all she can think of after being broken out is getting revenge on him only to have her memories altered by the end.
* The Crazy House for Boys in ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' definitely fits this trope, complete with [[ParanoiaFuel men in white coats rushing into a school, grabbing an 11-year-old kid and throwing him into the back of a padded truck]].
** And the worst part? Teachers get two free passes a month to have kids sent over there at their own discretion.
* "The Ranch" featured in the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode "The Last Resort" turned out to be a Bedlam House for teenagers designed to break (and I do mean ''break'') their spirits[[note]]They would stand for long hours listening to the owner demean them and say he is their only hope for being better. And if people act out, they get sent to "Iso" which is isolation to the extreme. No light. No sound. Alone in the dark. Most end up breaking in it after a short time. Bruce claims the treatment is the sort used in cults and on prisoners of war.[[/note]] Fortunately Terry gets involved when one of his friends is sent there by her father. At the end of the episode when Terry exposes The Ranch's horrors and frees the teens, said friend understandably refuses to forgive her father for sending her there.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': Parodied when Peter and his friends look for a recycled mattress in a 1950's bedlam house. The doctor goes out of his way to be as fascist as possible by declaring three of them insane with InsaneTrollLogic and gladly accepting a bribe to let the pervert rape some of the female inmates.
--> '''1950's Doctor''': May I help you?
--> '''Peter''': Yes, 1950's doctor. Me and my friends are looking for-
--> '''1950's Doctor''': You're friends with a ''negro'' and a ''cripple''?! This man is insane! ''Take him away!''
--> *Peter is laced into a straightjacket and sent to the nuthouse*
--> '''Cleveland''': Now wait a second, you can't do that to hi-
--> '''1950's Doctor''': A ''negro'' speaking up to a white person?! This man is insane!
--> *Cleaveland is laced and locked in*
--> '''Joe''': Now look, I don't think-
--> '''1950's Doctor''': ''All cripples are insane!'' Euthanize this man!
--> *Joe doesn't get a straightjacket, they just run in and grab the wheelchair handles*
--> '''1950's Doctor''': Something I can help ''you'' with?
--> '''Quagmire''': Yeah, you got any brain-dead women in there you let people have sex with for a few bucks?
--> '''1950's Doctor''': Sure, come on back.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Regrettably, this sort of environment isn't as extinct even in modern times as we'd like to believe. If you're ready to have your heart broken, check out [[http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/30/torture-school-subje.html the Judge Rotenberg Center.]] Electric shocks for offenses such as swearing, ceasing an assigned task for more than ten seconds, or "nagging," is only the tip of [[http://boston.com/news/daily/15/school_report.pdf the iceberg.]] Unfortunately, the JRC is not a [[http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org/?p=97 one-of-a-kind anomaly.]]
** The place, by the way, is named after the judge who allowed them to keep running after "casually" receiving a generous payment from them.
*** Moreover, their "treatment" methods have been condemned as ''torture'' by the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on torture, and about 9 months '''after''' that condemnation was issued, America's largest autism "charity", Autism Speaks, ''endorsed'' the place for providing "a drug-free autism cure offered nowhere else in the nation". Want to know what's really terrible? There ''is'' no cure for Autism, and the Autistic community is actively against the idea of one. Places like the JRC go out of their way to ''punish'' their "patients" for natural differences in neurological wiring that harm absolutely no one.
*** At least six "patients" at the JRC have ''died'' in the facility's "care", All six were ruled to have died '''because''' of the "treatments" the JRC had administered.
* Conversely, [[ChurchOfHappyology Scientologists]] believe that ''every'' mental hospital on the planet, without exception, is like this. Their front group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, is dedicated to "educating" the public about this fact. (And the fact that psychiatrists caused 9/11 and the Holocaust.) Their solution to this is to close them all down and [[AssimilationPlot replace the entire mental health industry]] with the wonders of Creator/LRonHubbard's "tech".
%% There was... quite a FunnyAneurysmMoment here before.
* Many psychiatric hospitals in Soviet Union were these. Especially ones where they kept dissidents. Some still are. The Soviet government considered everyone who disagreed with Communism (i.e. them) to be mentally ill (After all, Communism is the wave of the future, right?). These 'hospitals' were deliberate brainwashing facilities where they would send priests and other people they didn't like in an attempt to break them with torture and turn them into [[ValuesDissonance atheists who worshiped the Soviet system]] - they were the real life {{Room 101}}.
** Joseph Brodsky's poem ''Gorbunov and Gorchakov'' is about two patients in one of these institutions. But are they madmen or dissidents? Or both?
** There is a sharp distinction between ''neurosis clinics'' and ''psychiatric clinics'' in modern Russia. The former is a modern humane institution, where the potentially curable patients with minor diagnoses end up. The latter is the old Soviet bedlam where everyone else gets shoved into.
* Many "Teen Treatment" facilities are [[http://www.heal-online.org/cedu.htm systematically]] [[http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/rough-love-6336423 abusive]]. The most infamous of them was Tranquility Bay. They finally closed it down after multiple lawsuits in 2009.
** It should be noted that many of said "Teen Treatment" facilities and places like them are deliberately built in areas outside of government jurisdiction so they can blatantly commit their abuse without fear of retribution. States that don't provide adequate oversight and regulations for the treatment of minors are also prime targets for these programs.
* Poveglia Island, located in the bay of Venice, housed a Bedlam House which was directed by a lobotomy-enthusiastic doctor. Before that, it was used for dumping thousands of terminally sick people (most of them suffering from the Black Plague) there to die. Unsurprisingly, it is rumored to be one of the most haunted places in Europe.
* China has "Video Game Addiction Clinics". The treatment is, pardon the sick irony, like Arkham Asylum. Electroshock? Check. Beatings? You're in China, what do you think? Murder? Yes. Murder for TOUCHING THE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR? Yep.
* Due to improperly trained and supervised personnel and WhatMeasureIsANonHuman applying to the patients in the minds of many, abuse is quite rampant at ''many'' mental institutions, and serious injury and death are not uncommon - regardless of the patient's age, the patient's illness, what they ''thought'' the patient's illness was, or what led the personnel to, er, [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown use the more severe restraining techniques]]. There's a "psychiatric survivors" community of people who barely survived their brush with institutionalization, often with PTSD, brain damage from medications they didn't need, or both. A positive experience ''is'' more likely than it was 100 years ago... but that doesn't mean that ''anything'' you've read above is by any means rare, or only limited to countries that are not yours or are considered AcceptableTargets.
** Lack of funding, and cutting out numerous programs, contributes to much of this. Too few staff taking care of too many patients (or whatever the euphemism of the year is) means that bad things will happen, no matter how enlightened and sympathetic the staff. There's sometimes confusion about whether or not patients can be physically restrained, and fear of punishment keeps staff second-guessing their responses to events. The causes are many, and solutions are complicated.
*** Most of the medications that are older than roughly 25 years are, well, entirely random guesses used because it ''looked'' like they worked. Doctors will still prescribe medications that haven't been yanked from the market purely because the ''only'' known treatment for their side effects is to ''keep'' taking them. In case this isn't horrible enough to you, try keeping up with the implications of current research -- particularly the ones that indicate that not only are some forms of insanity [[BodyHorror you getting to feel the effects of your brain dying]] or something equally pleasant, but that any cure (not counting prevention) will be horror of a [[GoneHorriblyWrong different flavor]]...
** If you're disabled and mentally ill, the behavior of the doctors can be worse.
* Interestingly, while Bethlehem Royal is the UrExample, it was also one of the first subversions. In the 19th century, the director and surgeon were hauled up before a medical board and summarily dismissed. The new regime focused on occupational therapy and integrating the patients into society -- although this was admittedly made easier by the fact that the "incurables" were now being sent to Broadmoor Criminal Asylum, which was the old Bedlam but more so.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nellie_Bly Nellie Bly]] the reporter got herself sent to one of these in order to do an honest expose on the conditions. She took a false identity, convinced people she was insane and was sent to the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Woman's Lunatic Asylum]] on Blackwell's island. It turned out to be a cruel place where the inmates were often freezing, due to too little clothing, were abused and teased by the nurses, and were fed incredibly poor food. Nellie also found that there were many other women there who were just as sane as she was, who had been sent there because they were sick, poor or had lost their temper, and now couldn't leave as no one would listen to them (notably, one woman was admitted because they could not be bothered to get a German interpreter). When she finally was able to leave, after 10 days, [[http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/bly/madhouse/madhouse.html Nellie published the account of her time in the asylum]], causing a major overhaul of the system.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crescent_Hotel Crescent Hotel]] in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, used to be one of these. It used to be a treatment center for incurable diseases during the early part of the 1900s, but it was actually run by a con man who purposefully sought out rich families with ailing elders. He would trick the families into checking their sick family members into the hospital, where they would never come out, periodically forcing them to write to their family to ask for more money. Some of them would die and the deaths would go unreported, and letters would still be sent to the family asking for money as if they had never died. Needless to say, the hotel is reportedly very haunted.
* ''Down Below'' by [[{{Surrealism}} Leonora Carrington]], who was given experimental seizure-inducing drugs when she was interned after a nervous breakdown.
* The Beatrice State Developmental Center in Beatrice, Nebraska was ''supposed'' to be a caring facility for the state's mentally disabled. They carried out forced sterilizations as recently as 1966, didn't bother with anesthesia if the patients needed dental treatment because "these people don't feel pain", allowed male staffers to have intimate contact with female patients, and ignored injuries to the patients. In one year during the late 2000s, there were over 100 proven cases of abuse and neglect. They were averaging one medication error ''per day'', and federal experts said they were giving the highest doses of psychotropic drugs they'd ever seen (double the recommended level in some cases) and overusing restraints. The center lost its Medicaid certification in 2009, which finally got some reforms in place.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willowbrook_State_School Willowbrook State School]] in [[UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity Staten Island]] was an institution for children with intellectual disabilities that was open from 1947 until 1987, when it was shut down by the state for ''very'' good reason. By 1965, it was 50% over capacity, holding 6,000 people instead of the 4,000 it was built for. Senator Robert F. Kennedy called it a "snake pit" and compared the living conditions, unfavorably, to those of a zoo. Geraldo Rivera, then just a reporter for a local news station, did an exposé on the place titled ''Willowbrook: The Last Disgrace'' that won him a Peabody in 1972. The horrors of Willowbrook inspired the passage of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act in 1980.
* Sadly, the existence of places like this tends to overshadow the existence of mental hospitals that are actually effective and compassionate towards its patients. This is one of the reasons that mental hospitals are so stigmatized: because of outdated stereotypes that are less common than the ''good'' mental hospitals which are typically ignored by the media. The legacy of this trope, in fact, is a major reason why the US has such a mental health crisis: when many such hospitals were shut down in TheEighties, newer, more humane ones weren't established to replace them, causing many mentally ill patients to be dumped out in the street and often winding up homeless or in prison. It's been [[https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/americas-largest-mental-hospital-is-a-jail/395012/ said]] that the ''de facto'' largest mental health facility in the US is the Cook County Jail in UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}, where a third of the inmates suffer from psychiatric conditions and new staff members are trained to deal with them accordingly.
* The set for the movie ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' was actually a real asylum. Years after the filming it was discovered cremated remains had been simply abandoned in the facility. Real life horror, not movie horror.
%% * The Trans-Allegheney Lunatic Asylum, Weston, West Virginia: http://trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com/ - please elaborate
* [[http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2365-i-was-psych-nurse-who-abused-patients-with-chokeholds.html This]] Cracked Article describes a nurse in a Psych Ward named [[VillainProtagonist Clyde]] and how he [[WhatYouAreInTheDark came to hate his patients]], [[KickTheDog how he looked the other way while they were being abused, and how he regularly abused him themselves]].