A promotional image for WOUB's "Who Lies Beneath: The Asylum" podcast. The image is of an aged headstone in a grassy graveyard with the podcast's title superimposed over it.

Season 2 Premiere of ‘WHO Lies Beneath – The Asylum’

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As we begin season 2 of the WHO Lies Beneath podcast, Cheri and Doug look at the history of the Athens Asylum and what was originally intended for the patients who were housed there versus the reality of what happened. Experts talk about other similar cemeteries in Ohio and how the stigma and labeling of those with mental illness led to unmarked burials in Ohio and across the nation. We also preview the individual stories of people buried in asylum cemeteries that you’ll hear during season 2.

On episode two, we tell the story of Amanda and Levi. Amanda Smith and Levi Mercer are connected by more than just the fact that they both are buried in cemetery 1 of the Old Athens Lunatic Asylum. They are also connected by blood, as the two were father and daughter. Amanda and Levi were both institutionalized at different times. Levi was admitted to the Asylum seven years after his daughter, Amanda, died there. We don’t know if he knew that his daughter was buried on the grounds under a number or if he had any idea he’d likely join her there. But one of his present day descendants has been conducting research trying to put all the pieces together to tell both of their stories.

To learn more about WHO Lies Beneath, visit or find it whenever you get your podcasts.