Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Insane Asylum: Is it Real?

 Briarcliff Manor Insane Asylum

Briarcliff Manor Insane Asylum.  Is it real?  We will be exploring which characters are taken from real life on American Horror Story!

Main characters at Briarcliff Manor Insane Asylum

    Sister Jude Martin (played by Jessica Lange): A stern nun with a dark past, who oversees the doctors and patients at Briarcliff Institute.

    Dr. Oliver Thredson (played byZachary Quinto): A psychiatrist at Briarcliff Institute whose approach to treatment creates conflict with that of Sister Jude's. Episode 5 reveals him to be the serial killer, "Bloody Face."

    Monsignor Timothy Howard (played byJoseph Fiennes): Sister Jude’s superior and the object of her affections.

    Lana Winters (played by Sarah Paulson): Journalist committed to the asylum for her homosexuality after she attempts to expose Briarcliff’s darkest secrets. In Episode 5, Dr. Threadson breaks Lana out of Briarcliffe and holds her captive after revealing himself to be "Bloody Face."

    Kit Walker (played by Evan Peters): A new inmate at Briarcliff Institute, who is believed to be the serial killer, "Bloody Face", accused of killing several women, including his wife, but he insists that she has been abducted by aliens. In Episode 5 he is tricked by Dr. Thredson into a taped confession of the murders after which it is revealed he isn't the serial killer.

    Sister Mary Eunice (played by Lily Rabe): A young nun who works at Briarcliff Institute under Sister Jude who has favored her, believing her naivety to be an indication of her "purity". However, Sister Mary Eunice is later possessed by a sinister spirit and her behavior quickly changes.

    Grace (played by Lizzie Brocheré): An inmate at Briarcliff Institute who is believed to have murdered her family with an axe after being raped by her father. She becomes an ally and later a lover of Kit Walker.

    Dr. Arthur Arden (played by James Cromwell): A doctor at Briarcliff Institute and a former Nazi, whose sadistic experiments have produced "Raspers", mutated former patients, who lurk in the woods surrounding the institution. He appears to have a history of violence towards women.

Supporting characters at Briacliff Manor Institute

    Shelley (played by Chloë Sevigny): Inmate at Briarcliff, who has been diagnosed as a nymphomaniac.
    Spivey (played by Mark Consuelos): Inmate at Briarcliff, who is considered to have aggression issues. He beats Kit Walker on his first day there.
    Leo (played by Adam Levine): Lover in current time whose arm is ripped off by an unknown creature in the season premiere.
    Teresa (played by Jenna Dewan Tatum): Lover who runs through an underground tunnel, only to run into Bloody Face. She escapes but is shot and killed by two teenagers dressed as Bloody Face.
    Pepper (played by Naomi Grossman): Inmate at Briarcliff, who is alleged to have drowned her sister's baby.
    Alma Walker (played by Britne Oldford): Kit Walker's wife.
    Wendy (played by Clea Duvall): Lana Winter's girlfriend and a 3rd grade school teacher. Sister Jude threatens to expose their relationship and blackmails Wendy into signing Lana into her custody. Bloody Face later abducts and murders Wendy.
    Sam Goodwin (played by Mark Margolis)   
    Future Briarcliff Inmate? (played by Frances Conroy)
    Future Briarcliff Inmate? (played by Dylan McDermott)
    Future Briarcliff Inmate? (played by Ian McShane)
    Future Briarcliff Inmate? (played by Eric Stonestreet)


  1. I've been assuming that Briarcliff was modeled after Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

  2. I think it's the Worcester asylum. that place is crazy even for disturbing wormtown!

  3. There was also an asylum located in Northampton Mass which may have inspired the show, especially since it is mentioned as located in Western Mass.

  4. It looks like Northampton State Hospital to me. Although I guess most hospitals built around that time same time look similar.

  5. I heard it was based on waverlyhills

  6. I was able to visit the Northampton State Hospital (once the Northampton Lunatic Asylum) in 2006/2007 before it was torn down. Though several of the buildings had already been destroyed, there was an ongoing effort to "save the Main," the largest of the buildings located on "Hospital Hill." Still standing as well was the intake building and, across the street, several of the "newer" dorms and what appeared to have once been a kitchen. It is true that the show references Western Mass and surely, the Northampton State Hospital was the most prolific asylum of that area. Some of the structures on the show are similar to the layout of the hospital but most asylums of that era were similar in design.

  7. I read that it was not modeled after one specific hospital. Instead they took pieces of several of them. For example the tunnels came from Danvers State. Danvers State was very famous for its underground tunnels.