I spent the day in an Asylum... a real one (LAST PICS ADDED)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by entropic remnants, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    It's a challenge to enter, and a challenge to shoot. It is IMMENSE. These first 6 images are just a start. There should be at least that many more.

    I made a very early morning visit to what was once one of the largest mental hospitals in the United States -- or even the world.

    It's been shut down for decades but it still stands -- a monument to mental illness stretching back to the 19th century.

    To enter it you must travel long distances underground through abandoned steam tunnels which I did alone and that was a little scary -- but it was worth it. The next shot shows part of the tunnel and it's a 15 second exposure I "light painted" to illuminate it. It's about an 1/8 to 1/4 mile long...

    The Subway by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Bright and Cheerful Curtains by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Ward 10 by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Come and Play with Us! Forever, and ever, and ever... by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    All Must Die Alone... by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Kroeger by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
  2. Creepy. Glad you survived!

    The ball in #4 seems off. Gonna assume that was a lens issue.

    Writing on the fireplace adds cheer!
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    cool....can't wait to see more.
  4. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Fantastic shots or a pretty creepy place! Is it risky to enter buildings like these? Do you wear a hard hat when doing it?
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    a very real danger in doing urban exploration photography is running into drug addled desperate people who have nothing to lose who are "living" in places like this. If they are in the "right" frame of mind, they may see an intruder with a camera as a quick $20 score. There were a couple local guys shooting an old abandoned warehouse here in Milwaukee. One of them was approached by a twitchy dude with a broken beer bottle....just as the photographer's friend rounded the corner. Feeling outnumbered, the meth-head took off, but it could have easily gone horribly wrong. Be careful, John.
  6. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    lol! And the ball is a victim of corner distortion in ultrawide lenses. Makes it more surreal, lol. Thanks!

    Going to work on some now! Thanks!

    Sometimes. I wear one at the steel mill and sometimes at these places. Bareheaded today -- heavy boots, jeans, sweatshirt. I put myself in some pics actually so you'll see me in later sets. As Luke said there are risks and I'll post more under his quote.

    Especially in really urban places. But this may sound weird but I have a "presence" that somehow does not invite attack and I don't know what it is. I used to live in a terrible neighborhood, neither fought nor threatened anyone, and nobody messed with me. My car and home were unmolested. In my encounters with folks (so far, watch that will change now I said this) the general idea of "they're more scared of you than you are of them" seems to apply but again I don't know why. Must be my "aura", lol.

    I'm 5'10" and usually somewhat overweight (like now, whoa) so it can't be my size, lol. I think God just takes care of me and I'm grateful.
  7. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Okay, new batch -- I'm not going to comment these much now but I will later. I ran into several people within the walls and have some stories to tell but they must wait until later.

    Sitting by the Window on a Spring Day by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Imagination is the Poop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Hair Dryer by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Drying My Hair by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Self-Renewing "Green" Desktop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Life During Wartime by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    I will comment the next one. If you look carefully you can see a couple of things: the frame of this picture is painted on, and it's been painted over several times. Judging from the ukelele and the hair/clothing styles this was painted back in the 1940's. But later it was painted over and the peeling of the paint since abandonment has revealed a past "masterpiece".

    I wonder who painted it? An inmate? A staffer?

    Rediscovered by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Saved You a Seat in the Cafeteria by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Ol' Rockin' Chair's Got Me by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
  8. wrangler

    wrangler Regular

    Jan 11, 2013
    SW Minnesota
    Dennis Ulrich
    Wow! That's one bizarre place. I'd stick with industrial sites myself!
  9. Fantastic images John, thanks for sharing them. One of my lifetime goals is to be able to photograph an insitution such as this.
  10. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Most impressive John. Something I would have loved to have done but I am not as brave as you. I can't wait to see what you've brought back!
  11. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    luke, what did we tell u about carrying around beer bottles?! ;)
  12. ajramirez

    ajramirez Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
  13. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    zis is all verry interessting ... now, tell me about your childhood ...
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    We live nearby but hang out in VERY different places John! So every time you dig up one of these gems, I have to ask, WHERE???

    Great shots, BTW, but that's not news...

  15. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Very kind, Ray, thanks! I will talk to you off line. This is one of those destinations that we seldom declare the actual location.

    Doctor, you don't want to know...

    That photo is one of my favorites -- if not THE favorite -- from the day, thanks!
  16. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    I have a couple of stories to share about weird things that happened while I was there.

    The Sound of Music

    I was in a room doing a shot -- which turned out to be rubbish -- when suddenly the intense quiet was filled with what seemed like unbelievable loud music! Totally startled I stood there for moment dumbfounded before realizing somebody must be in there with me hiding and their phone had started to ring with a very loud musical ringtone. So I advance cautiously in the direction of the music to see where they might be.

    I took about 4 steps towards it when suddenly I realized it was BEHIND me. Turning and looking down I saw a very nice, large HTC Android phone lying in the debris of the room.

    So I answered it of course, lol. It said "Jason" as the caller so I picked it up and said, "Hello, Jason!". The caller paused, then very hesitantly said, "Ummm. I guess you found the phone." -- He sounded very young to me (and was I found out later). I told him, "Yes. I'm in the [location censored] and I found it in the room with thousands of cup lids on the floor on the first floor. He asked how long I'd be there and I told him it would be hours. He said he could be there in a couple of hours.

    Later it rang again and we said we'd try to find each other but the day before had been his first time there and I said I was on my first time there and we couldn't determine a place we both knew so the plan was for me to be on the first floor of the main building and we'd try to find each other.

    This guy has to be the luckiest son of a gun alive. First, I happen to be there when he calls the phone, and second, he ended up coming in at the door where I was standing. I thought I heard him in "stereo" and said to him, "Say something really loud." He did and I told him he was right outside the door of the room I was in. Unbelievable.

    His name was Mike and the phone was his brother's actually but for some reason he was coming to retrieve it. He shook my hand offered profuse thanks and left. Weird event, lol.

    An Ominous Rumbling

    As I was making my way back to the tunnels, I stopped to take the shot posted of the weird modern rocking chair and the pipes with the valves I called "Old Rockin' Chair's Got Me". Suddenly I heard a faint rumble like somebody had say flushed a toilet upstairs or something and the drains were gurgling which made no sense as this place was totally turned off in every way.

    It got louder and louder and I began to be alarmed. Again, in the eerie silence of these places everything seems louder. It has a deep staccato rumble I just couldn't identify. I crouched by my camera and tripod and watched out the door.

    Finally, it was near and I saw flickering light in the dark basement corridor. All at once two guys with dust masks on, gloves, lights on their heads, and huge shopping cart full of papers RAN by me. One turned and saw me there and said, "Hey!" and they stopped.

    In north Jersey accents they said, "Yo! Whatta you doin'? Lookin' for ghosts?" I said, "No, just taking pictures. You guys WORK here or something?" They laughed and said that no, they were amateur historians who come to get old documents and we introduced ourselves. They had a shopping cart full of them and it was very heavy. It was that cart that made the strange sound coming down the hallway.

    We chatted for a bit and they told me the sherriff and fire departments were conducting drills on the other end of the property so stay out of sight and I told them I was leaving but thanks for the heads up.

    You never know who you'll run into on an explore, lol.
  17. Lili

    Lili Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Creepy and Awesome!
  18. Gary

    Gary All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Wonderful images and good stories. I need to move to PA (as long as you got an ocean I'll be fine) and cover your six on your excursions.

  19. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Gary I hope your travels at least bring you out here and we could do just that. I'd love to go shoot with you!


    Oh, the ocean is about an hour and a half or so away.
  20. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Thanks for all your comments so far!

    I did want to put this up. It's a quote by a female explorer friend (and yes there are more than a few) about why we don't always reveal a site unless it's already common knowledge about it. I used the quote tags but she is not a member here.

    Edit: Kelly's work can be seen on her facebook artists page: http://www.facebook.com/DivineDecayPhotography