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A Look Into The Mind

A Look Into The Mind Of Someone Who Lost Theirs
by Hank Markins

Press Syndicate (National)
June, 6, 2001

When patients were committed to the Morganfokker Asylum for the Mentally Unstable in Upstate New York they arrived with little belongings; a rucksack, or backpack, or even a suitcase jammed packed with their only possessions they ever had with them. It's sad to say that most of those who entered Morganfokker Asylum never left.

The mental hospital had an average stay between 20 - 25 years. So, when patients passed on they were buried in graves in a cemetery adjoining the institution. Their possessions were then locked away and forgotten over time.

In May of 1994 Morganfokker Asylum was closed due to a fire that broke out in ward three. The fire spread quickly and gutted out the wing.

It wasn't until 2000 when the now-closed institute was bought and is now being renovated in condominiums. It's when the workers discovered several items; rucksacks, suitcases, notebooks and other trinkets stored away in a locked basement file-room.

In all a total of 333 boxes were found that were left behind. Unclaimed and lost in time.

Allison Ellen is cataloging each box and it's opening a window into the lives - and the minds - of the people deemed too unwell to be allowed in society. Ellen is a local historian and her job is putting the pieces of the past together.

"It's interesting indeed," Ms. Ellen said. "Unlocking history and discovering the lives of those who were admitted into this asylum. Abandoned by their loved ones and left to waste away in this place."

Ellen finds a box marked; Khoob, Maxmilliam H. The contents inside are: a small Mickey Mouse alarm clock, a Commander Cody Signet Ring, a deck of playing cards - with weird sigils drawn on the face cards as if some sign of Tarot, three small tumblers each with a scratch at varied levels and the words 'Ok Now' etched beside them, a picture torn from a King James Illustrated Bible showing an angel hovering over the sky with her arms outstretched and written below her Magriel, a key ring with 33 keys on it - each a different colour and several with various shades of them, a medic alert bracelet, three passports and several newspaper clippings of various recipes from different newspapers.

Ellen goes on to say that there is no record of this Maximillian H. Khoob and it's not sure if he had left on his own accord or in a pine box.

Ellen admits that the records could of been destroyed in the fire that gutted out a ward.