January, 2014 EVEN AS LATE AS WHEN SEVERALLS HOSPITAL SHUT IT's DOORS FOR THE FINAL TIME IN 1997, FOR SOME WHO HAD BEEN A PATIENT THERE, THE "STIGMA" WHICH SADLY IS OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH MENTAL ILLNESS WAS HARD TO SHAKE-OFF, LIKE SOME UN-SEEN SHADOW. ASK PEOPLE WHO LIVE LOCALLY ABOUT SEVERALLS, AND FOR SOME, IT STILL HOLDS AN AIR OF MYSTERY. INDEED, THERE WAS A TIME NOT TOO LONG AGO, WHEN THE "THREAT" OF BEING SENT TO SEVERALLS WAS USED BY PARENTS TO KEEP NAUGHTY CHILDREN IN-LINE!!! THIS VERY MIS-GUIDED VIEW HAD THE POTENTIAL FOR A PATIENT AT SEVERALLS FOREVER BEING LABELLED AND TREATED, BY SOME, WITH SUSPICION; AS IF BEING MENTALLY ILL AUTOMATICALLY MEANT BEING LESS TRUSTWORTHY, OR MORE INCLINED TOWARDS CRIME. APART FROM THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE HOSPITAL ALONG BOXTED ROAD, AND THE OCCASIONAL VIEW OF THE WATER TOWER AND OUTLYING BUILDINGS, VERY LITTLE REMAINS ON THE PERIPHERY TO INDICATE THE EXISTANCE OF SEVERALLS. UNTIL MARCH, 2012, A SOLITARY ROAD SIGN STOOD ABOUT ONE MILE TO THE NORTH, DEFYING TIME AND IGNORING THE FACT THAT SEVERALLS HAS BEEN CLOSED FOR OVER A DECADE; AS IF STILL DIRECTING GHOSTS OF THE PAST TOWARDS THE OLD ASYLUM.

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