Arkham State Hospital, also known as Arkham Asylum, is a state-of-the-art mental health care facility that serves as a psychiatric hospital for Gotham City, housing patients who are criminally insane or mentally ill.
The Arkham State Hospital was a lunatic asylum founded by the Arkham family dedicated to treating people suffering from severe forms of mental illness. Established sometime in 1724, it was originally intended to help people from all walks of life, but gradually began to take on more and more dangerous cases to the point where it became better known as an asylum for the criminally insane, gaining an infamous reputation in the process.
In present day, Arkham has been remade into a psychiatric hospital using updated and modernized treatments to try and help patients recover, though it still possesses an unfavorable reputation by many with one patient notably having even gone so far as to refer to the conditions within Arkham as being like a Hell on Earth.
There was once a illegal street race that drove right past the Arkham State Hospital.
The facility is first mentioned when the Riddler publicly exposes details surrounding the history of the Wayne family, including Martha Wayne being a child of the Arkham Family, being a former patient at the hospital in addition to having a hidden history of mental illness that her husband Thomas Wayne attempted to cover up in order to avoid facing scrutiny during his mayoral campaign, eventually leading him to direct crime lord Carmine Falcone towards intimidating journalist Edward Elliot for threatening to publicly leak said information, with Falcone instead killing him directly.
Sometime during the Batman's first year as an active vigilante, patrolling the streets of Gotham City, he came in contact with a serial killer called the Joker, and imprisoned him in Arkham. A year later, Batman visited Joker in Arkham to profile the Riddler, a killer plaguing the city at the time.
Following his arrest for a series of serial murders related to Gotham City officials, Edward Nashton is incarcerated at Arkham just as he successfully enacts his plan to flood the city during mayor-elect Bella Reál's inauguration. In the aftermath of said events, he befriends another patient – the Joker.
Being the only location that visitors can access, this location is designed for friends and relatives to be able to safely visit patients under close surveillance by the asylum's security. The Visitor's Center includes a reception desk for visitors to sign in, as well as multiple booths behind glass in which the patients sit behind when they talk to their visitors.
It is here where Batman would go to speak with the Joker, and later, the Riddler.
Maximum Security Ward
The most secure area in Arkham, this is where the asylum's most hardcore and utterly deranged patients are kept. Here insanity, depression, severe isolation and loneliness are common themes amongst the residents.
- Arkham Family – Founders
- Edward Nashton/Riddler – A former forensic accountant turned serial killer and terrorist who targets Gotham's elite who leaves behind poetic clues and riddles for his opponents to interpret. He was incarcerated for killing Mayor Don Mitchell Jr., Commissioner Pete Savage, District Attorney Gil Colson, and Carmine Falcone.
- "Joker" – A mysterious and deranged serial killer with a congenital skin disease and sadistic sense of humor. He was incarcerated for serial murder and psychologically tormenting the citizens of Gotham City.
- Martha Arkham – A young socialite and philanthropist who spent years in and out of Arkham and Gotham Asylum due to an unidentified mental illness, most likely trauma from her mother killing her father, then herself. She was killed years later after being released.
- In the DC comics, Arkham Asylum is a mental institution for the criminally insane located in Gotham City, it is also a prison for Batman's legally insane foes.
Behind the Scenes
- "Arkham State Hospital" is also the name given to the facility in the 2019 movie Joker.
- In Before The Batman: An Original Movie Novel, the prison is referred to as Arkham Asylum.