Goodreads ratings
3.85 / 5

"Asylum" Summary

By Amy Cross

horror | 317 pages | Published in 2013

ISBN_13: 9780062220967

Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A young woman uncovers dark secrets within an abandoned asylum, leading to a terrifying and deadly confrontation.


In "Asylum" by Amy Cross, readers are taken on a thrilling journey into the dark and twisted world of an abandoned psychiatric hospital. This gripping psychological thriller explores the haunting secrets that lie within the crumbling walls of the asylum, as well as the terrifying events that unfold when a group of friends decide to explore its eerie depths. With its atmospheric setting, complex characters, and spine-chilling plot, "Asylum" is sure to captivate fans of psychological suspense.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in the fictional town of Blackwater, known for its dark history. The abandoned Blackwater Asylum, once a place of horror and suffering, becomes the focal point of the narrative. A group of friends, including the protagonist, Sarah, decides to venture into the asylum to uncover its secrets. As they explore the dilapidated building, they soon realize that they are not alone. Shadows lurk in the corners, and whispers echo through the halls, heightening the sense of danger and dread.

The plot takes a sinister turn when the group becomes trapped inside the asylum, leading to a race against time to escape its clutches. As they navigate the maze-like corridors, they encounter malevolent spirits and face their own inner demons. The asylum's dark history intertwines with the present, as the friends uncover the truth behind the hospital's closure and the atrocities committed within its walls.

Main Characters

Character NameDescription
SarahThe protagonist and a fearless investigator
MarkSarah's boyfriend, supportive and protective
EmmaSarah's best friend, the voice of reason
JakeA thrill-seeker and expert in urban exploration
Dr. Walter FreemanThe asylum's former head psychiatrist, a sinister figure

Summary of Story Points

Chapter 1: The Asylum Beckons

Sarah, Mark, Emma, and Jake are drawn to the abandoned Blackwater Asylum, intrigued by its dark history. They decide to explore the building, unaware of the horrors that await them within its walls.

Chapter 2: A Descent into Darkness

As the group ventures deeper into the asylum, strange occurrences and paranormal encounters unsettle them. They begin to question their decision to enter the asylum and wonder if they should turn back.

Chapter 3: Trapped Within

The friends find themselves trapped inside the asylum when a heavy metal door slams shut behind them. Panic sets in as they realize they are not alone and that escaping won't be easy.

Chapter 4: Confronting the Past

As Sarah and her friends search for a way out, they uncover disturbing secrets about the asylum's past. They learn about Dr. Walter Freeman, the former head psychiatrist, and his brutal treatment of patients.

Chapter 5: The Haunting Intensifies

The paranormal activity within the asylum escalates, with the spirits of former patients tormenting the group. They must confront their deepest fears and face the consequences of their past actions.

Chapter 6: A Race Against Time

With each passing moment, the asylum becomes more dangerous. Sarah and her friends must find a way to escape before they become permanent residents of the haunted asylum.

Main Events

  • The group's decision to explore the abandoned asylum
  • The discovery of the asylum's dark history and the role of Dr. Walter Freeman
  • Paranormal encounters and confrontations with malevolent spirits
  • The friends becoming trapped within the asylum
  • Unraveling the secrets of the asylum's past and the atrocities committed by Dr. Freeman
  • A race against time to find an exit before the asylum claims their lives

Themes and Insights

Theme 1: Madness and Sanity

"Asylum" delves into the blurred lines between madness and sanity, exploring the effects of confinement and psychological trauma. It raises questions about the nature of mental illness and the ethical boundaries of psychiatric treatment.

Theme 2: Consequences of Actions

The book explores the consequences of past actions and the weight of guilt. The characters are forced to confront their own demons and face the repercussions of their past decisions.

Theme 3: Fear and the Unknown

The theme of fear is central in "Asylum," as the characters grapple with their deepest fears within the confines of the haunted asylum. It explores the fear of the unknown and the power it holds over the human psyche.

Reader's Takeaway

"Asylum" is a gripping psychological thriller that will leave readers on the edge of their seats. The atmospheric setting, complex characters, and spine-chilling plot combine to create a truly immersive reading experience. Amy Cross masterfully weaves together elements of horror, suspense, and psychological exploration, delivering a satisfying and haunting tale that will linger in readers' minds long after the final page.


Amy Cross's "Asylum" is a must-read for fans of psychological suspense and horror. With its chilling atmosphere, complex characters, and exploration of dark themes, the book offers a thrilling and thought-provoking journey into the depths of the human psyche. Prepare to be captivated by the haunting secrets of the asylum and the terrifying events that unfold within its walls.

Asylum FAQ

  1. What is the genre of the book Asylum?

    Asylum is a horror novel.

  2. Who is the author of Asylum?

    Amy Cross is the author of Asylum.

  3. What is the main storyline of Asylum?

    Asylum follows a group of teenagers who explore an abandoned asylum, only to discover that it is haunted by vengeful spirits.

  4. Are there any sequels to Asylum?

    Yes, Asylum is part of a series called The Asylum Trilogy, which includes two more books: Asylum II: 13 Rooms and Asylum III: The Final Chapter.

  5. Is Asylum suitable for young readers?

    Asylum is intended for mature audiences due to its horror themes and graphic content. It may not be suitable for young readers.

  6. Where can I purchase a copy of Asylum?

    You can purchase a copy of Asylum from various online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the author's official website.

  7. Is Asylum available in ebook format?

    Yes, Asylum is available in ebook format for Kindle, Nook, and other popular e-readers.

  8. Are there any film adaptations of Asylum?

    As of now, there are no film adaptations of Asylum.

  9. What are some similar books to Asylum?

    Some similar books to Asylum include 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' by Ransom Riggs and 'House of Leaves' by Mark Z. Danielewski.

  10. Does Asylum have any supernatural elements?

    Yes, Asylum incorporates supernatural elements such as ghosts, paranormal activities, and hauntings.