Photographer Discovered A Centuries-Old Closet In A Mental Hospital — Guess What It Was Filled With [NSFW]

When photographer Adam Voorhes was given access to a centuries-old University of Texas Mental Hospital, he discovered a barricaded room deep within the hospital’s premises. After he managed to get it open, Adam was horrified and mesmerized to see it was choc-a-bloc with neatly preserved human brains.

Mental Hospitals in the old days were a depressing and sometimes downright horrifying sight. They were often dark, damp and filled with blood-curdling shrieks of mentally disturbed patients. The rudimentary and often barbaric medical practices seldom helped the patients and perhaps were designed to help the doctors ‘experiment.’ Though medical science, especially involving the super-complex human brain, has improved by leaps and bounds, nothing still piques the interest of doctors and scientists than a jar of neatly preserved human brain. Imagine what a room of 100 jars would do!

The Collection Is Extremely Rare And Each Specimen Is Completely Unique

Having stumbled upon this macabre, but hugely interesting, section of the hospital was surely an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Adams and as a photographer he was determined to make the most of it. Unfortunately, being engaged with other commitments, Adams decided to return to this visual as well as scientific treasure. So after two years, Adams returned to the long-forgotten derelict corner of the mental hospital to chronicle the astonishing find.

Though Some Of The Specimens Have Deteriorated, Others Are Quite Well Preserved

Having decided to catalog each specimen, Adams began the painstaking procedure of documenting the intricacies of each specimen, but he soon found himself immersed in the mystery and wanted to find exactly how a set of 100 jars of neatly preserved human brains ended up in a corner of the Texas Mental Hospital’s basement.

The Brains Will Now Help Modern-Day Researchers

Taking the help of experienced British investigative journalist Alex Hannaford, Adams started to sift through the strange history of the formaldehyde-preserved human remains. He soon realized that each specimen was completely unique in its own way, owing to the deformations or abnormalities. Needless to say, these well-preserved and extremely rare specimens are of immense value to medical science as their study could reveal many secrets of the brain and how deformities could be one of the primary causes for a person to become a mental patient.

However, apart from the scientific perspective, Adams was equally interested to find out how such a large collection ended up in the basement. He got his answer after another round of meticulously going through yellowing centuries-worth of documents and records. Adams found that the collection was once in the midst of an intense battle of ownership with multiple institutions, including Harvard.

One Of The Rarest Find: A Brain With No Folds Forms Due To A Rare Condition Called Lissencephaly

As for the specimens themselves, the brains were taken from patients who had died in the care of Austin State Hospital. Unfortunately, Adam couldn’t identify the patients since all such records were lost.

Fortunately, what’s not lost is the knowledge that these brains would offer present and future generations of doctors and researchers, owing to a single, most important attribute. These brains can be scanned using modern-day MRI machines repeatedly, for hours at a time — an ordeal that a living brain wouldn’t be able to cope with.

[Image Credit: Adam Voorhes]