Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra in Volterra, Italy
Looking like something straight out of a horror movie, Italy’s Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra is the crumbling husk of a mental institution that was closed due to cruel treatment of its patients. One of whom left a mysterious code etched into the plaster.
Originally built in 1887, the now derelict institution operated for over 70 years of questionable treatment before being shut down in 1978 after a law was passed that forced such establishments to treat their charges more humanely. The institution actually began as a fairly humane treatment center with an early warden instituting a "no restraint" policy, hoping to turn the center into an autonomous village of sorts where inmates could partake in occupational therapy and not feel quite so confined. However by the early 1960’s this dream had curdled into the sort of horrific mistreatment of prisoners that is mainly seen in movies. Just prior to the passing of the law that would close the center down, the institution was known colloquially as "the place of no return," as patients who were interred at the asylum were not allowed to leave and routinely kept captive long beyond their initial treatment, often by force.
After the government shut the facility down, the patients were shifted out to smaller homes where they could live semi-autonomously, and the original asylum was left to rot. Today the buildings still stand, slowly disintegrating under the ravages of time, although some signs of the former inmates’ lives still remain. Most notably are the etchings scraped into the walls by a man named Oreste Ferdinand Nannetti. The markings seem to be some sort of indecipherable runic language that some say either describe his hallucinations or are half crazed descriptions of science fiction. Unfortunately the plaster in which the symbols are dug is slowly falling away meaning the creepy code may be lost forever.