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Talk about creepy! There AT LEAST 7,000 bodies of people from a mental institution believed to be buried on grounds of University of Mississippi Medical Center. The bodies were patients at the state’s first mental institute. The coffins span across the 20 acres of campus where the school would like to continue development, according to The Clarion-Ledger reported Saturday.

There’s just one problem…..money! They have estimated that it would cost almost $21 million dollars, at $3,000 a body to be exhumed and reburied. This is a great price to pay when it is to simply relocate bones into different graves,

However, there are other options:

The school is looking for cheaper alternatives in handling the exhumations possibly bringing down the yearly cost to $400,000 over the next eight years. The school is also looking at possibly creating a memorial for the bodies and opening a visitors center and a lab to study the remains, the paper reported.

“It would be a unique resource for Mississippi,” Molly Zuckerman, an associate anthropology professor at the school, told The Clarion-Ledger. “It would make Mississippi a national center on historical records relating to health in the pre-modern period, particularly those being institutionalized.”

The Insane Asylum was completed in 1855 to move the mentally ill from chains in jails to better living conditions, though life in the institution remained harsh. The newspaper reported that of the 1,376 patients who were admitted between 1855 and 1877, more than one in five patients died.

The facility eventually moved in 1935 to its present location of the State Hospital at Whitfield. School officials discovered 66 coffins in 2013 while starting constructing a road on the campus.

By 2014, 1,000 more coffins were found when the school was constructing a parking garage. School officials now believe there are Around 7,000 coffins in the area.

It sounds like they have the potential to create an immaculate, state of the art facility for students to come study. Perhaps this will lead into medical breakthroughs for mental patients!

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