Home for the Epileptic and Feeble-Minded
I want to share with you my visit to a very picturesque abandoned institution. I’m not going to name this location because I do not want to blow it up and hear bitching and moaning from annoying explorers. The only thing I will say is that it is located in the northeast of the United States, which will just have to suffice.
Epileptic & Feeble-Minded
The state institution was built in 1908 to house the epileptic and feeble-minded. It opened in 1911 and was made up of 130 buildings. All the buildings were constructed with field stone in a neoclassic style. The location is very beautiful, with dense woods and rolling hills. The institution was to be the better alternative to the nightmarish asylums.
Background on the Institution
Located on the 2,000 acre campus was a working farm run by able bodied patients. The farm was able to support the people that lived at the facility. One thing about this institution was that it housed many children. To many that visited they could not help but notice how malnourished the children were. Overcrowding was also becoming a problem with the facility. Photos were made view able to the public and they showed cramped conditions and neglected children.
As years progressed the facility continued to go downhill until it eventually closed in 1996. Now, all that is left are crumbling and decayed buildings that still hold a certain amount of beauty. Many of the field stone buildings are covered in ivy and boards with “No Trespassing” spray painted on them cover the windows.
Hurricane Sandy is coming to Visit
Of course the weekend that we were visiting this very picturesque institution was the weekend Hurricane Sandy was coming in for an angry visit. The fact that we were at a creepy location that had been featured on a stupid ghost show (can you tell I don’t believe in ghosts?), a big storm was rolling in and Halloween was right around the corner made for a very atmospheric kind of day. The skies were dark and brooding. The winds were swiftly blowing the fall leaves in every direction. There was a charge to the air that made it almost euphoric. Unfortunately little did we know how much damage Sandy would do to the area the next day.
We (my friend, my daughter and I) drove around the campus taking in all the sites and snapping shots all while avoiding security. At certain spots we would stop and watch my daughter skateboard on the sidewalks surrounding the old abandoned buildings. This has become a favorite hobby of hers. If I’m going to an abandonment that is skate able she has to accompany us.
A Visit to the Morgue
The only building we really had time to enter before it got too dark was the one that housed the morgue. Half of the building was burned, graffiti covered the crumbling walls and debris littered the soaking wet floors. The morgue was on the lower level and had four drawers. My child, being the adventurous wackadoo that she is, had to crawl in one and have her picture taken.
Overall this was an interesting place to visit and explore. The history of the place is fascinating, but just like everything else with a past it is quickly disappearing. Soon everything with history will be replaced with strip malls, Walmarts and gas stations. So, get out there and explore! Check out what is around you because it may be gone the next day!