Blackford has long been known as a ghost town- literally. The once thriving community fell into neglect not long after the decline of its greatest joy, the Blackford Asylum.
In 1832 Dr. Haloran, backed by a small group of investors, set out to form a luxurious mental asylum, which catered to the wealthy. In 1836, the Applewood Asylum was founded in the town of Apple Grove. The small, isolated community was an ideal setting for the peace and quiet Dr. Haloran's patients needed. As time went on, the town prospered, growing around the hospital. In January of 1844, the Asylum recruited the young Jonathan Blackford, a bright and ambitious graduate, to further improve its image. Blackford excelled at the hospital, making many advances in the treatment of mental illness. By the time of Dr. Haloran's death in August 1845, the asylum was one of the most prestigious and well known hospitals in the country. Dr. Blackford was quickly named head of the asylum. Not long after, the hospital was renamed Blackford Asylum; Apple Grove became the town of Blackford in his honor.
Sadly, the doctor's good fortune was not long-lived. The investors became greedy. Hiding behind Dr. Blackford, they cut costs, relieved staff of their duties, and used more "unorthodox" treatments. Patients were admitted in droves, pushing the hospital past it's capacity. Dr. Blackford protested greatly, but to no avail. He warned of the potential dangers.
The situation steadily worsened. Patients, crowded and often unattended, began to rebel. Several riots broke out. Many patients were withdrawn by their families. The Asylum attempted to quell public fear in November, offering guided tours of the facility. In October of 1846 two inmates escaped and murdered a local woman. The citizens of Blackford were outraged. Tours were abruptly cancelled. Not long after, authorities shut down the now decaying hospital.
Dr. Blackford and his family quietly slipped into obscurity, seldom leaving the manor he had built in happier times. When he died in February of 1853, his wife Sarah and daughter Lillian continued on in the house, which was now a shadow of its former glory. After her mother's death in 1860, Lillian inherited the manor which was now rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of her parents as well as a few of the more colorful patients who had stayed in the asylum over the years. Blackford Manor was condemned shortly after Lillian's death in 1893.
The town of Blackford continued on a steady decline until around 1920 when it was suddenly abandoned. There has been much speculation as to the cause, but no certain answer has been found. The town lay unused for decades until 1962, when a team of six paranormal experts stayed the night in Blackford Manor to record the psychic phenomenon said to occur there. Only one man returned, so badly traumatized by the experience that he was unable to speak. Local police investigated, finding no trace of the man's former colleagues. The event was quickly hushed and soon forgotten; a full-time caretaker was employed to watch over the grounds.
In May of 1985 the Tangina Psychic Research Team purchased rights to exclusively investigate Blackford, as well as the Asylum and its grounds, which include the Manor. We believe that psychic phenomenon should be experienced by all people, not just those who study it. In October of 2004 and 2005, we hosted tours through Blackford Manor and Blackford Asylum respectively. This Halloween, we are departing from our usual format and offering tours of nearby Blackford Mortuary. The mortuary has shown an unusual spike in paranormal activity these past few months and we feel it should make for an interesting night. The building is quite old, so tours will be limited to no more than 3 persons at a time. We feel this will keep panic to a minimum should any entities make themselves known. Any feedback on experiences would be greatly appreciated; our aim is to collect data from the average visitor.