August 25, 2020

Cursed Movie Filmed in Abandoned Insane Asylum

A new X-Men movie is being released this week. The New Mutants comes out on the 28th, and is notable for two reasons. First, it's actually being released in theaters, so if you dare to to the movies you can see it on the big screen. Second, it was filmed in Massachusetts in 2017, but its release was delayed for several years. The director has hinted that the movie is "cursed."

The New Mutants tells the tale of five young folks who are imprisoned in a spooky hospital because their mutant powers are considered dangerous. Much of the movie was shot at Medfield State Hospital, an abandoned 100-year old insane asylum in Medfield. It sounds like an appropriately spooky setting.

Medfield State Hospital. Photo by Ghostfacesouthshore on Wikipedia.

The movie was originally supposed to be released in 2018, but was delayed due to studio mergers and conflicting opinion's over the final tone of the film. The director, Josh Boone, has suggested the movie is cursed and that perhaps filming at Medfield State caused it.

It was during the press push for the first trailer that Boone first spoke of “weird” things happening to crew members at Medfield State Hospital during filming. 
“Literally every single person on my crew — all my grips — all those people had weird things happen to them while they were there,” Boone told IGN of the abandoned state hospital, which also served as a filming location for “Shutter Island” in 2009. “I even told the behind-the-scenes crew to go interview everyone who had weird stuff happen to them for an extra on the Blu-ray.” (from, "The story of ‘The New Mutants,’ the ‘cursed’ Marvel movie filmed in Mass.")

I was of course intrigued by the idea of a haunted insane asylum nearby, so I did a little research. Here's what I found. Medfield State Hospital opened in 1896 and was composed of dozens of buildings spread out over 900 acres of land. The hospital was designed on a "cottage plan," with many small buildings intended to create a homey atmosphere. It closed in 2003, and is now open to the public as a park. You can walk on the grounds (it looks like a college campus) but can't enter any of the buildings for safety reasons.

Here's what I didn't find: any stories about ghosts, hauntings, or a curse. I was a little surprised, given it's an abandoned insane asylum, but most visitors say Medfield State is very peaceful.
The citizens of Medfield really seem to enjoy the park-like atmosphere, and several articles I've read online have recommended visiting. 

The cast of The New Mutants

There are probably a few reasons why no spooky stories are attached to Medfield State. It's hard to think of a place as scary when people are walking dogs, playing frisbee, and having picnics there. By opening it up to the public the town has effectively made it wholesome and inherently unspooky. Fencing it off and putting up "No Trespassing" signs would have done the opposite.

Also, the hospital only closed in 2003, which isn't that long ago. It's probably not long enough for any really good local legends to arise or gain traction. Maybe they'll show up in a few years.

It's quite possible The New Mutants will kick off some new legends. Maybe locals will say, "Oooh! Medfield State is so creepy. I heard they filmed a movie there and it was cursed!" It certainly sounds like the start of a good urban legend, doesn't it? The only problem is that you have to buy the Blu-ray to learn about the creepy stuff. Hopefully someone at Marvel will release those interviews on YouTube or another format so the legend can spread. 

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