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October 25, 2014

Glore Psychiatric Museum

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Written by: Die-Anne Mondeaux ™

The shrinks and staff of the American nuthouse were not sadists tormenting the tormented, but rather a product of their time, bound by limitations of science and technology, with the sole intention to heal. (Then again, there’s a brutal Nurse Hatchet lurking at every hospital…)

glore3Located near the grounds of the original State Lunatic Asylum No. 2, which opened in 1874, the Glore Psychiatric Museum is an archive of the history of this mental institution. The museum also houses large-scale replicas of mental health treatments dating back to the 16th century. These replicas were constructed in 1968 by former employee George Glore who devoted his life to diminish the stigmatization of the mentally ill. Along with two other and unrelated museums, the Glore is now part of the St. Joseph Museums.  

Glore Psychiatric Museum, St. JosephComplete with costumed mannequins to fully demonstrate the chronology of mental health treatment, the Glore’s reproductions are alarming, to say the least. Experimental trials and treatments in fever cabinets, confinement boxes, a dunking bath are only highlighted by horrifying “remedies” such as lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and, for one poor soul, being force-fed 453 nails. After enduring such brutality, patients were lucky to succumb to the morgue, which is also replicated in the museum’s basement. But, the most intriguing displays are the artwork from the patients, where the fine line between madness and creative genius can be discerned.

Their archaic treatments may have been barbaric, but, then again, many of today’s mentally infirm are entirely neglected, bouncing between the streets, the county jails, and prison. Still, aside from serial killers, I would not wish a lobotomy on anyone. So, the next time I’m afflicted with a small bout of The Vapors, I’ll be grateful for George Glore’s contributions to mental health advancement.



St. Joseph Museums                                                          
(Glore Psychiatric Museum)
3406 Frederick Avenue
St. Joseph, Missouri 64506

Hours of Operation

Monday – Saturday ∞ 10 am – 5pm
Sunday ∞ 1 pm – 5 pm
New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve ∞ Closed

Cost of Admission

Adults ∞ $6.00
Adults 62 years and older ∞ $5.00
Students ∞ $4.00
Children 6 years and under ∞ Free!
Museum Members ∞ Free! 

About the Author

Die-Anne Mondeaux ™
Die-Anne Mondeaux ™
Founder Die-Anne Mondeaux is currently working on her PhD in horror. You can send her a message at or send a message through the contact form.

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