"Your biting sarcasm wounds me, Madam..."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Urban Exploring? I had no idea there was a name for this.

I would like to thank Surly Girl for putting up this post on Tuesday. And also posting this link with it. This link is hard to leave alone, it is hard to not look at EVERYTHING. I am losing productivity.

Her post awakened an old obsession of mine - kind of like when you accidentally scratch a mosquito bite that kind of went to sleep and now that you've scratched it is all angry and itchy again. I hate that.

A bunch of years ago, my brother and I found that the old, local Psych hospital grounds were open to the public. All of the buildings of Kings Park Psychiatric Center are closed, but two, and the state has sanctioned it as park lands in order to preserve and protect the property. My friends and I used to drive past and scare the crap out of each other (usually at night) just seeing the buildings in the distance (fun to be a teenager, eh?). Because um, this can be really f-ing scary:

Cha, yes it can. You don't know. This is just a picture. Try driving past this fucker in the middle of the night. Scary.*

My brother and I were curious and we began to investigate the grounds and around all of the buildings - there's a whole lot of them - and peeking in windows and such. Of course I was never alone* so it was ok. I brought my camera there a whole bunch of times (picture above is from site, Opacity, not me) and got some really interesting shots. I always thought that I was so interested in this place because i'm a sucker for architecture**, but I started to get really interested about the history of the hospital and did a lot of research to learn as much as I can. As well as visiting the grounds of the other two psych hospitals on Long Island, Pilgrim State and Central Islip and collecting information on them and taking more pictures.

But I never went inside. NEVER, EVER went inside. I just couldn't*. The thought of it gives me the willies and I just couldn't ever do it. It's not the fact that it could be dangerous due to decay and rotting floorboards or the fact that it's illegal and I would have to somehow break-in. I just couldn't ever bring myself to enter one of these places because it is just so damn creepy. Looking through windows at all the peely lead paint is one thing. That is "cool". Crawling through a broken window underneath a plywood board? That is "scary".

But this guy on the site, goes into the buildings. He goes into ALL of the abandoned buildings all over the place and takes pictures for the sake of art and preservation, I suppose. And he is what I like to call "brave". And also, "a good photographer". But mostly "brave". I couldn't imagine doing that.

My high school neighbored the town of Kings Park, so there were always fun rumors and stories about some of the escaped patients roaming through the woods around the hospital grounds or living in the abandoned buildings and underground tunnels. And it is true that the hospitals let patients go out into the world who were not ready to live on their own and were homeless.

I've never been interested in meeting the insane. I would not like to meet them in a decrepit building that is full of asbestos and lead paint chips. I would not like that.

I've really gotten sucked into this guy's website and its taking a lot of time away from these past two days. I really want to go back to KP (as its lovingly called) live and in person, but I am certainly not going alone. Not after looking at the pictures on his site because they have me thoroughly freaked out. And if you know me, you would know that I can't even watch scary movies because they live with me for weeks after I see them.

Um, because of*.

*Would like to point out that I am chicken-shit.
** Because I am a geek.


  • I find this all fascinating. I love weird hobbies; people who practice them are WAY more interesting at cocktail parties.

    By Anonymous Whinger, at 5/11/2006 4:05 PM  

  • I will so totally go with you! I like scary places that are real. Weirdly enough, I am more frightened of a carnival haunted house than I would be of that asylum. Perhaps because I work in one every day?

    By Blogger Jessica, at 5/11/2006 5:48 PM  

  • whinger - i'm not sure that telling people i wander around on abandoned asylum grounds would make me new friends. people tend to think its kind of morbid. But i don't care, dammit.

    jessica - ha ha! i think working where you do might help you, i don't know, build up a tolerence for stuff like this. Next time you're in town, i'll show you around. :)

    By Blogger claire, at 5/12/2006 7:45 AM  

  • Babe I am one of the ones you'd consider brave. Me...who watches Psycho before I go to sleep. I used to cut through Pilgrim State to get to my past job (located in the Heartland Business District) in Brentwood. I used to be scared shitless cutting through. There is deffentely 'something' there. And not to sound too X-Files-ish...it can be spirits or it can be just over active imaginations... but something is there and I have to agree with you. I'd never go in to one of the ficilities on my own or dared!

    By Blogger Orelinde_03, at 5/12/2006 3:35 PM  

  • Adam and wandered around that asylum in Danvers (it's right near where we used to live before here), and we got lost on the grounds once. It was actually totally cool until we ended up surrounded by a herd of angry wild turkeys who wouldn't let us leave.

    I wish I was kidding. Top 10 creepiest things ever. Who knew turkeys could be scary?

    By Anonymous jonniker, at 5/13/2006 11:19 AM  

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