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Retreat Cemetery and Retreat Tower

Retreat Cemetery and Retreat Tower

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  • Date Posted: May 6, 2014
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  • Location
  • Address: Linden Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

Brattleboro, Vermont

Brattleboro, originally spelled “Brattleborough” is located in Windham County, Vermont in the southeastern corner of the state near the New Hampshire/Vermont state line. Brattleboro is home to approximately 12,000 residents.

Brattleboro is the oldest town in Vermont.

Brattleboro Retreat Information:

The Brattleboro Retreat is 1000-acre a Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Facility in Brattleboro, Vermont. The facility consists of 58 buildings and sites, 38 of which are historic structures that date from 1838 to 1938. The core of the institution is a group of nine buildings, located on the east side of Route 30 (Linden Street, previously “Asylum Street”), overlooking the Retreat Meadows Lake and the West River to the North.

The Brattleboro Retreat was founded in 1834 by Anna Hunt Marsh through money donated from her will. It was the first mental health care facility in Vermont and one of the first ten private psychiatric hospitals in the United States. The Brattleboro Retreat based its philosophies on the humane treatment of mentally ill patients. Treating the mentally ill humanely (moral treatment) was a Quaker concept introduced by William Tuke in the 1700’s.

Patients at the Brattleboro Retreat were treated with dignity and respect in a caring, family-like environment. They were given meaningful work and good food and daily exercise.

Anna Hunt Marsh was the daughter of Jonathon Hunt. Jonathon Hunt was one of the first settlers in an area made up of Northfield, Massachusetts, Hinsdale, New Hampshire, and Vernon, Vermont.

The Brattleboro Retreat Tower is to the west of Brattleboro Retreat. It is a 65 foot high cylindrical gothic tower made of granite that overlooks the Retreat and the town of Brattleboro, Vermont. The Brattleboro Retreat Tower was built between 1887-1892 by patients and staff. A number of the patients, after completing the Retreat Tower, climbed to the top and leapt off, to their death.

Many of the tombstones at the Brattleboro Retreat Cemetery are in poor conditions, particularly those dating back to the 1800’s. Some of the tombstones include dates and numbers only.

Ghosts and the Paranormal at the Retreat Cemetery and Retreat Tower | Vermont Asylum for the Insane in Brattleboro, Vermont:

Visitors to the Retreat Cemetery and Retreat Tower report strong feelings of uneasiness. Some have reported seeing fleeting shadow figures or images out of the corners of their eyes.


No Author (n.d.). Brattleboro Retreat (Vermont Asylum for the Insane). Retrieved May 21, 2011 from

Brattleboro Retreat (2010). Brattleboro Retreat: Mental Health & Addiction Treatment. Retreived May 20, 2011 from

Wikipedia (2011). Brattleboro, Vermont. Retrieved May 20, 2011 from,_Vermont

Shadowlord (1998). Haunted Places Index. Retrieved April 23, 2011 from

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