Although most ghost websites will refer to this place as Old Bryce Mental Hospital, this is not an accurate designation. There is a Bryce Mental Hospital in Alabama, but it has been located in Tuscaloosa since its inception in 1861 and the Jemison Center, as this place is accurately called, was not founded as a health care facility until the 1920′s. Therefore, it could hardly be considered the “Old Bryce Mental Hospital”. This is one of those places and cases where it is hard to separate fact from fiction. Most accounts written about Jemison tell of this place being a segregated facility where freed blacks who had trouble adjusting to life after slavery were sent, and who were virtually forced back into slavery due to the need for the asylum to be self-funded. The patients were therefore required to toil in the fields and produce crops that would be profitable, making the lives of these former slaves little different than their days on the plantations. However, anyone who can do simple math can see the slight problem with this. As Jemison was not opened up until approximately 60 years after the abolition of slavery, it does not seem likely that “recently freed blacks” who had trouble with adjustment would have been there. And it does not seem likely that former slaves between the ages of 70-80 would have been sent back into the fields to toil at Jemison if they had been transferred there in the 1920′s. So already, we have a case of fact interfering with a good story and more likely the histories of the actual Bryce Hospital (which no doubt did take in some freedmen) and Jemison center getting entangled. In any event, this place was an institutionalized setting and the people who lived here no doubt did experience all the numerous horrors that were associated with being a mentally ill patient in the early 20th century. The reports of haunting include a variety of events: people hearing voices, footsteps, the sounds of slamming doors, as well as more violent encounters with hair being pulled and the sensation of being hit or kicked. This place is a falling down ruin and if you are caught trespassing, you will be prosecuted so we advise you to err on the side of caution if you are considering visiting.
If you've had a paranormal experience here, or have any additional information about this location, please let us know!