Souls of the Asylum is a newly published book of 27 channeled stories from persons involved with the Athens Lunatic Asylum in Athens, Ohio. These persons include patients, attendants, doctors, nurses, and children, all deceased, who tell their stories from beyond the grave via a process called channeling. Channeling includes either automatic writing or clairaudient “hearing” and then writing what is heard.
The Athens Lunatic Asylum, now known as The Ridges, is a famous landmark in Athens. The hospital closed in 1993, and the buildings are now owned by Ohio University and used for classrooms, various offices, and a museum. Of the 2,000 graves in its cemeteries, over 1,700 are marked only with numbered stones.
Receiver Doug Lockhart, who is a full-time blacksmith, and his wife Berta first visited the asylum buildings while gathering information for a proposed art piece that he would submit to the City of Athens. This artwork was to be for decoration in the middle of the city’s new roundabout on Richland Ave. near Ohio University. His idea was to forge copies of the unique grills that cover the windows of the asylum and assemble them as a large art piece. His proposal came in second, and he did not receive the contract. What he did get, however, was way more than he ever bargained for.
The very next morning after their visit to the asylum, Doug was awakened at 3:00 a.m. by an image that flashed in his mind of a black sign with white letters reading, “Wake up! We are Ted’s Group.” From that point on, his life took a major turn. These voices from beyond were from deceased individuals connected with the Athens Lunatic Asylum who had followed them home. However, his main problem was that this spirit activity conflicted with everything he had been taught as a conservative Mennonite Christian. Yet, these voices compelled him to react to the plea for help that he kept hearing. He began to write what he heard, all the while discounting this as being the craziest thing he had ever gotten himself into.
After a couple of stories were independently verified by information in the asylum’s old records held in the archives of Ohio University’s Archive Collection, Doug was confident that he was hearing actual stories with details that could be verified. A total of 177 non-physical entities are in the group speaking to him, and they call themselves Ted’s Group after their spokesman. Not all have shared their stories yet, but the discovery of their information is ongoing. Two more books are planned to convey what is coming forth.
Doug has faithfully recorded story after story in many books of note paper written in longhand. At times, his hand is guided to write in beautiful cursive handwriting. Once, his hand was guided to sign a man’s signature at the end of his story. A picture of this signature is included in the book.
Some stories are disturbing, others are sad. But it appears that even the grave will not prevent the desires of the persons of the asylum from being heard to let the world know that they were just like everyone else, only with issues that they struggled to resolve.
Souls of the Asylum is published by Balboa Press in hardback, paperback, and ebook form and is available at online stores such as Amazon. It can also be ordered from local bookstores.
The Haunted Places Examiner was honored to write the Foreword to this book.