Originally the Fernald school was called the Experimental for Teaching and Training Idiotic children. The school had 72 buildings on 196 acres and held 2,500 children. These institutions were from the Eugenics movement, where gentecially inferior people would be seperated to prevent them from have children. One of it's third superintendents Walter Fernald passed away in 1924 and they renamed it after him. The school partnered with Harvard and MIT where they tested nuclear medicine on children, but none of the children had given consent to the study. Years later it had come out in a lawsuit that they were receiving radio active cereal in a special club called the "science club" and they would get special treats like the radio active cereal. Students from the school claimed that they were never taught anything and they took the same class and read the same books every year. Instead of learning they were forced to work everyday to maintain the school like farming for their own food, sewing their own clothes and shoes and worked at the powerhouse they had on site. 36 children would sleep in one room and all the beds would be crammed together. There was also allegations of abuse and sexual abuse, like staff would call up kids and patients would pull down their pants and smack their ass with a branch, and if kids tried to run away they would be stripped and be put in a barred room. One former patient even recounts having to cut up the brains of "retarded people" who had died at Fernald so that scientists could study them. It was still opened into the 2000 an was only for mentally disabled adults, in 2001 Fernald had 320 adults from 17 to 96 years old. Governor Mitt Romney announced that the facility would be shut down in 2004. In June 2013 there were still 13 residents on the grounds, but by 2014 they discharged the last patient.
Very easily accessible, but when I was there we saw a car roaming around which might be security. I spent about an hour at Walter Fernald and didn't get caught, but ran into some fellow urban explorers.