Bridgestone Mansion FFfAW 03-17-2015

The old mansion was said to be haunted since 1927, after the tragedy of the Bridgestone famly, especially of young beautiful Eleanor.

Dr. Bridgestone, an Alienist, was a very stern man who practiced medicine, particularly medicine of the mind. Although it wasn’t unheard of him prescribing various “snake oil” potions to some of his patients suffering with medical illnesses as well. Dr. Bridgestone didn’t think of himself as merely a mortal doctor or Alienist, as they were called back then. As far as he was concerned, he was a god, and those god powers allowed him to be one of the earliest practitioners of those brutal shock treatments of the mentally ill.

Eleanor was a child prone to periods of depression and delusions. Dr. Bridgestone made the abominable decision to use these treatments on Eleanor. Poor Eleanor, her brain was fried.

Mrs. Bridgestone threw herself down the stairs and Dr. Bridgestone lost his mind, resulting in him being permanently institutionalized.

As they say, “The rooster always goes home to crow.”


(171 words)

This story is being submitted for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, Week starting March 17, 2015. We are given a photo prompt and challenged to write a story, based on the photo, of 100-150 words or less (give or take 25 words). If you would like to participate in this writing challenge, we would love to have you, please click on this link:

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers



76 thoughts on “Bridgestone Mansion FFfAW 03-17-2015

  1. Very spooky story, reminds me of Halloween time. What an awful doctor to cause so much trouble, poor Eleanor. Great piece and I love your quote, “the rooster always goes home to crow.” ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Fantastic Joy. Creative and ghastly at the same time. My Baba had ECT done on her when she was young. I think it’s horrible that they did it to her given that they didn’t really know what she had. It’s even worse doing it to a little girl, especially with the methods used back in the day. I have heard of it working for some but not many. How ironic that the doctor should become the patient, and maybe just.

    • I got this comment, but I didn’t get the comments related to your story. Hmmm, wonder why? I haven’t heard of anyone that electric shock treatment has worked on. I only know one person that had it done and I was a tiny little girl when she had that done. I just remember her looking so very sad. Thank you for reading Mandi, and for commenting on my story. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Joy I was just able to link the story now from your own story. But I could not see the little picture in the initial email for some reason. I’m wondering if this all has to do with my email. Suddenly, a bunch of things from my inbox are now going to my junk mail. I am trying to undo the mess on my Outlook account, As for her being pushed down the stairs I will look at that and see if I can make that clearer,

  4. Wow! What an awful life poor Eleanor had to live. The Dr. got what he deserved…no, actually he deserved something more horrible! Your story fitted the prompt real well. The rooster gives it a good punch.

  5. Horrible old dr, doing it to your own daughter. In early 80ties I made friends with ladies to whom the shock therapy was applied. It totally drained them.
    Interesting piece of writing

  6. A sanatorium where the incarcerated were abominally treated in the name of medicine. That is a fitting destination for the cruel Dr Bridgestone ~ The sad break up of a once happy family ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • Yes, I agree with you John. He deserves to be there after what he did to Eleanor, but he also had a very arrogant, “could do no wrong” attitude. He was cut down to size, a mere mental patient like the ones he treated, looked down on, and electro-shocked. (He thought he was a god).

  7. Oh how I laughed at that horrid Doc being given a taste of his own medicine! I couldn’t help wonder what happened to poor little Eleanor after her brain was fried by ECT. I have seen people after this treatment and they walk around like zombies for a good few days, if not weeks. The treatment is still used in the Uk, but very seldom in comparison to years gone by

    • I didn’t realize that the practice of Electric Shock Treatment was still being used. I don’t hear of it being used here in the states. I personally think it is barbaric. Yes, the doctor got what he deserved. Eleanor died in my story. That’s why her mother threw herself down the stairs and killed herself.

      • Awe, so tragic. They offered me ECT 10 years ago. I might be depressed, but I’m not crazy! They might have stopped it since, but I’m sure it is also used in severe cases of epilepsy. It drains the life and personality, but I think patients make a recovery after a couple of days, or so

        • It sounds absolutely dreadful to me! I based my story on the first psychiatrist I ever saw. He use to do ECT EST?? But didn’t do it anymore – not with electric shock anyway. I didn’t like him at all.

    • Thank you Francesca. I don’t think it is used any more (or isn’t used very much) here in the US. When I was a little tiny girl my aunt’s sister had a nervous breakdown and went through shock treatments. I remember hearing the adults talking about it when she was at our house one day. I remember looking at this woman and desperately wanting to know what made her so sad. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t read her thoughts so I could get the answer to this question. Which makes me think that has infants and toddlers we may have this ability but lose it about the time we start remembering things.

      • I totally get gothic mansion, too. But I think there’s no way of getting it wrong with these photos โ€“ we all see something different in them. That’s why picture prompts are great, in my opinion; it’s so interesting to discover what others see in them ๐Ÿ™‚

        • I agree with you. That’s what makes them so much fun. Everyone sees something different (why I question what I see. lol) and there are so many different wonderful stories.

  8. It’s terrifying to think that treatments such as these were commonplace years ago. People with any kind of mental ilness, even depression, were subjected to such painful and often extremely damaging treatment. As Eleanor, some even died. You’ve shown this well in your story PJ. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • This story is entirely fictional, but I could imagine that it could have happened. Of course, I used it for the drama affect. Yes, I think it is horrible they used (and now I know, STILL use ECT). It sounds barbaric to me. But in the early years of using it they had to have some pretty bad results. I read on the internet that they experimented on animals. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

    • Oh, and I wanted to say, that as a very tiny little girl (probably about early 3 years old) I remember an aunt and her sister visiting us and the adults were talking about my aunt’s sister having a nervous breakdown and she had “shock treatments.” I remember looking at her and wanting so badly to know what she was thinking because I wanted to know why she was so sad. I remember being VERY frustrated that I couldn’t know her thoughts. Which makes me wonder, do you suppose as little children we DO have that ability, at least until the age that we are able to remember? (That would make a good book).

      • It would make an excellent book – so there you are, PJ. Your first novel! It’s time to start getting down to the research. It sounds like something people would be interested in. I know it sounds as though I’m joking, but writers have to start somewhere.

  9. I think it was a great story. Very creepy but as a retired nurse, I learned that many doctors experimented on their own families. ECT was no different. It was used as early and the 1700’s but with meds that caused the convulsions. Then the lightbulb came along and somebody made a machine to shock patients. It is still used quite often today but not talked about much. You did a good job on this subject. It was and still is barbaric.

    • Thank you Susan. At first I started to use the year 1839 but found out it didn’t actually start (publically) until the 1920’s. Thank you for reading and for the positive comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

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