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Spring Grove State Hospital (Catonsville, Md.)



  • Existence: 1797-

Historical Information

The Spring Grove State Hospital is a psychiatric facility outside of Baltimore, Maryland, where a psychedelic research program carried out controlled studies on the therapeutic potential of LSD from 1963 until 1976. Investigations included the treatment of chronic alcoholism, narcotic addiction, neuroses, and anxiety and depression associated with terminal cancer. This highly regarded program was founded by Albert Kurland and Sanford Unger.Its research team initially included William Richards, Charles Savage, Oliver Lee McCabe, and Francesco Di Leo. Later, Walter Pahnke, Stanislav Grof, and Richard Yensen joined the group. Their research was conducted primarily in a modest building on the hospital grounds known as “Cottage 13.” By the mid-1960s, the program had developed into the largest such program in the country. The work of this unit was showcased in a 1965 CBS Reports feature titled “LSD: The Spring Grove Experiment,” which highlighted the sustained, systematic, and scientific approach of this careful group of researchers. Shortly after it aired, the research team expanded and evolved into the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary facility for research on the causes and treatment of mental illness.


Oram, Matthew. (2018) The Trials of Psychedelic Therapy, LSD Psychotherapy in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.


Yensen, Richard and Donna Dryer. (1992) Thirty Years of Psychedelic Research, Based on an address to the European College of Consciousness (ECBS) International Congress, Worlds of Consciousness in Göttingen, Germany.


Maryland Department of Health, "Spring Grove History" webpage