The Mayor of Danvers

The Mayor of Danvers

A Poem by Damien Thibodeaux

Dr. Seuss, down on the farm...heh, heh, heh


The Mayor of Danvers

Welcome to the place, that drains lost souls

Where curing the sickness is our main goal

Behind these whitewashed and mortared walls

Sanitized screams echo through these great halls

But nothing’s sanitized about these odors

Come inside; I’m your host; I’ll give you the tour

This is the commons, where we spend our days

The residents listen to music, garden and play

There’s the marvelous, artistic Mrs. Philbin,

finger painting the walls with her feces again

Over there in the wheelchair is crazy Bill

Don’t mind him; he’s harmless, after his pills

He wheels around asking the nurses for dates

As he sits in his chair and just masturbates

Cover your ears, for Sarah’s shrill screams

will burst your eardrums and haunt your dreams

They strap on her jacket to take out some fight

and take her for treatment - watch your hand, she bites

That line over there?  That’s where we get our meds

Now let me show you where we keep the beds

This way now, stay close; you’ll get lost if you stray

I think there are lunatics down that way

Unacceptable is their social behavior

They are bad, bad, bad; they could be a danger

Take a peek, if you like, though watch where you’re steppin’

Oh, you will get used to the smell of urine

If you follow me now, I’ll take you to see

where we perform pre-frontal lobotomy

We have to be quiet as we descend down there

We don’t want to get caught, we shouldn’t be here

I suspect your interests, I think you’ll agree

is seeing some patients get shock therapy

When I come down here, I always am wary

It gives me the creeps; this place is scary

Here’s the mortuary, last stop for some flakes

And the crematory where we hide the mistakes

These people don’t matter, alone and defeated

They’re used to the way they’re abused and mistreated

We’ll end our tour here, where I’ll leave you alone

It’s our mass graveyard where we bury their bones

I’ll leave you with some concluding remarks

While you’re still thinking we’ll let you depart

We’ve been open for business since ‘74

1874 that is, shall I tell you some more?

There’s much history on these grounds where we stand

For once they hung witches not far from this land

I’ll pause for some questions before I must go

Is there anything more that you’d like to know?

What?  Why am I here is what you dare ask?

Never mind that; I’ll take you to task

The real question is why are you here?

This place has been closed the last 25 years

© 2015 Damien Thibodeaux

Author's Note

Damien Thibodeaux
The Danvers State Lunatic Hospital & Insane Asylum was constructed in 1874 and was closed by the State of Massachusetts in 1992. It was built on property which was originally the home of John Hawthorne, the Salem Witch Trials judge. It housed psychiatric patients, substance abuse patients, the mentally retarded and the criminally insane from 1878 until 1989. Known for the science of straightjacket restraint, the practice of shock therapy and as the birthplace of the lobotomy, what started as a residential hospital with a philosophy of humane treatment for psychiatric patients, evolved into a house of horrors. Crumbling and in disrepair, the abandoned buildings were under protected status by the National Register of Historic Places for 13 years, until purchased and demolished by the Avalon Bay Development Company in 2005. Danvers State Asylum has been featured in several horror movies and stories and has been the subject of several paranormal investigations.

My Review

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Before I begin, the twist is what caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting it! And I have to admit that some of the patients are creepy, and you did a great job in portraying that!
I do have one question though, what does the title of the poem have to do with the poem itself? If there is a connection, would you please let me know?
Overall, an enjoying read and definitely a favorite! Dark and scary are what I am all for. Keep it up!

Posted 3 Years Ago

Sebastian Falzarano

3 Years Ago

Interesting... I like the idea. It was brillant!
Damien Thibodeaux

3 Years Ago

Thank you!
Sebastian Falzarano

3 Years Ago

Your welcome.
Wow this is a brilliant piece my friend

Posted 4 Years Ago

Damien Thibodeaux

4 Years Ago

Thank you so much, Patrick!
This comment has been deleted by the poster.
This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Wow, it creeps me out that places like this used to exist. That's some sick history to take in. Great poem, nice rhythm, no bullshit, just straightforward and to the point.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Damien Thibodeaux

4 Years Ago

Thanks Anna! I wish I could have explored this place before they tore it down. There were many oth.. read more
Ha! Love this .. love the rhyme and rhythm. I like to read 'stories' within poems, old skool like me. Lots of imagery, you can just picture being taken through this place.Especially like the ending and thank you to Frieda for recommending x x

Posted 4 Years Ago

Damien Thibodeaux

4 Years Ago

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks to Frieda for recomme.. read more
Great, if horrifically scary.. did you know they have brought back electro-shock therapy...they use it on teens at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. You know Damien, in many ways Danvers is alive and well in many parts of the "enlightened" u. s of a.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Damien Thibodeaux

4 Years Ago

Wow, no kidding? I'm horrified that shock therapy is being used on kids today. We're not such an ".. read more
I can see why the place holds such fascination, and why it was used for horror movies -- an entertaining and informative write.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Damien Thibodeaux

4 Years Ago

As you can tell, I was certainly fascinated with the place and it's history. I love the thought of .. read more
OOOOH freaky good, evil Dr Seuss are you!! It's kind of lengthy but well worth the read, those places always freak me out, there's one in joisey too, I swear it's haunted, kids drink there, I think they're nutz too! If only those walls could talk, oh man...............if I have bad dreams tonight, it'll be your soul Damien heh heh you're twisted dahlin........

100 nightmares!

Posted 4 Years Ago

Damien Thibodeaux

4 Years Ago

Ha, ha! Thanks for the awesome review Frieda!
Frieda P

4 Years Ago

Don't be thanking me yet, we'll see if I sleep tonight haha!
A guided tour..........haunting in so many ways.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Damien Thibodeaux

4 Years Ago

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading.
This is or was a true place of horrors...a place I would not dare nor care to visit...

you did a fantastic job detailing this gruesome tale/ tour...a dark adventure for us readers..

Posted 4 Years Ago

Damien Thibodeaux

4 Years Ago

Thank you for your kind words, Fran. I used to love to explore old abandoned buildings when I was a.. read more
The real horror here is that this is true and happened in many places. I think you did an outstanding job on this poem, especially the ending. Time to turn and run if you can but I'm afraid it's too late.Some cn never escape these unending nightmares.
Impressive and creative.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Damien Thibodeaux

4 Years Ago

Thanks Tina. I'm glad you liked it. It was fun to write. I do have a place in my heart for those .. read more

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12 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on June 7, 2014
Last Updated on September 18, 2015


Damien Thibodeaux
Damien Thibodeaux

Atlanta, GA

Just a poet and lyricist with a dark side. Left-Handed and Right-Minded ADD and OCD Inspired to write by Edgar Allan Poe. Hoping to rock you with a little deviance and southern gothic charm. .. more..


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