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Mental asylums: A new wave in residential housing

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Danvers State Hospital in 2004 before the beginning of extensive renovations. (Photo by Jenn Marcelais)

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Former Danvers State Hospital after renovations. Much of the main building is displayed in the center, along with new apartments on the far left. (Photo courtesy of John Gray at

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A view of the restored Octagon Tower in New York City (center), with new apartment wings connected on each side. (Photo by John Dorman)

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People who seek housing in former mental hospitals appreciate the grand decor and allure of history, but they are left wondering whether ghosts and spirits may be among them.