Baltimore State Hospital

Baltimore State Hospital For The Criminally Insane, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is a state facility housing the criminally insane and those whose sanity is being evaluated for the criminal justice system. The general administrator of the hospital was Dr. Frederick Chilton. One notable patient was Abel Gideon, who murdered a nurse in cold blood. Abel also “operated” on his keeper on a local anesthetic. Will Graham was also held here during his trial until he was acquitted. Later, after Chilton survived his injuires, the hospital operated again. It is unknown what happened after Chilton was again severely injured.

Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane is actually the Western Center near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The exterior of Western Center’s administration building was used as the setting for Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where Hannibal Lecter was incarcerated, in the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs. The circumstances surrounding the founding of the Hospital in Baltimore, the first medical institution in Maryland to specialize in the treatment of mental illness, remain obscure.

During his time in the hospital, Lecter corresponded with many people from the psychiatric world, writing and publishing excellent essays and theories, as long as they were not related to his case.

Hannibal Lecter was convicted of multiple homicides and remanded to Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane without eligibility for parole. Hospital staff quickly found out Lecter was unlike any of the other psychopaths housed in their facility. He was a master of self-control, able to manipulate his body and vital functions with such precision as to fool machines. He also actively cultivated his “Memory Palace,” detailed rooms in his mind filled with art, books, and places he hoped to see again in person. One day, he pretended to have a seizure and proceeded to kill a nurse, just because he could. This forced hospital administrator Fredrick Chilton to create entirely new protocols on how to handle Lecter, which included absolutely no physical contact.