Asylums Undercover

Headline and highlights of Nellie Bly's article "Behind Asylum Bars," written for The New York World in 1887.

"A Month Among the Mad" - By a Chaplain's Substitute - The Quiver


"A strange holiday, this!" some may be ready to exclaim. And in truth, such it seemed to me after the idea of offering myself had suggested itself. But the locality was attractive, and the novelty of the work had a sort of fascination. So Iwent; and being much interested in what I saw and heard, I have thought others might be interested too in my experience.

I - "Behind Asylum Bars" - Nellie Bly - New York World

The Mystery of the Unknown Insane Girl; Remarkable Story of the Successful Impersonation of Insanity; How Nellie Brown Deceived Judges, Reporters and Medical Experts; She Tells Her Story of How She Passed at Bellevue Hospital; Studying the Role of Insanity Before Her Mirror and Practicing It at the Temporary Home for Women; Arrested and Brought Before Judge Duffy; He Declares She is Some Mother's Darling and Resembles His Sister; Committed to the Care of the Physicians for the Insane at Bellevue; Experts Declare Her Demented; Harsh Treatment of the Insane at Bellevue; "Charity Patients Should Not Complain"; Vivid Pictures of Hospital Life; How Our Esteemed Contemporaries Have Followed a False Trail; Some Needed LIght Afforded Them; Chapters of Absorbing Interest in the Experience of a Feminine "Amateur Casual."


"On the 22nd of September I was asked by THE WORLD if I could have myself committed to one of the Asylums for the Insane in New York, with a view to writing a plain and unvarnished narrative of the treatment of the patients therein and the methods of management &c. . . . "