In a recent radio interview with Ron Clark at Chat and Spin Radio, a station based in Washington Tyne & Wear England, I was asked what influenced me to write my short story Nightmare Asylum.
As I have mentioned in previous interviews, I experienced a recurring dream in my twenties, which really frightened me. I do believe the nightmare was associated with visiting a relative in a couple of scary-looking mental hospitals when I was young.
I based the design of the building in my story on the Winterton Psychiatric Hospital just outside of Sedgefield, County Durhan (see photos). I remember it was such a chilling place to visit as a child. The building initially opened as the Durham County Lunatic Asylum in 1858. It had a dark, foreboding atmosphere, and many former patients were afraid of being admitted there, including a member of my family, who was terrified of not coming back out. This was in the seventies when electric shock therapy was used for many psychiatric conditions including, paranoia, agoraphobia and even postnatal depression.
It remained a place for treating mental illness until it was closed in 1996 when something very chilling was discovered. During the demolition of the building, contractors broke through into a series of underground basements tunnels and discovered hidden rooms which contained, “various preserved specimens” which had been removed from unfortunate inmates…
Interview at Chat and Spin Radio
I have been a guest on the show since last July and on again last evening. Glad you found it a great experience. Enjoyed yours and the post, thanks Jane x
It was a good experience, Jane! If you have the recording of your interview I would love to hear it? Sonia x
Yes it is, I have so many recordings over the last 8 months from the show and also from theauthrosshow.com which I am on twice per month – if you look on my menu you will see theauthorsshow.com and you an listen in there. I am on again with Undercover: Crime Shorts on 2nd June channel 4 and on the 3rd with Only One Woman on channel 6. My Chat and Spin interviews are on my side menu. The Brian (Hammer) Jackson interview is there as well.