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[personal profile] blamethewizard
So, the other day I went over my friend's house to visit her birds and cut her hair - she wanted a mohawk. for an upcoming photo shoot - and since it was nice out and we both wanted something to do we decided to scout out a location we'd been talking about visiting for a while now. It is an abandoned building the grounds of an active psychiatric facility campus (unlike Medfield State Hospital). Entry to the building and photography of any kind are not really allowed, so STEALTH is the name of the game. We decided to head over to the place (it's a beautiful grounds anyway and walking around is permitted) and scout it out a little...estimate the security detail, look for points of entry, etc. We saw that it had been boarded up quite a bit recently and getting in was going to be tough....we hopped some fences and noticed that a narrow window leading into the basement was open. Hmmmm.

This window (probably about 2' long, 1' high) opened up into a 7-foot or so drop to the basement floor. There was a handy pipe on the ceiling and a few things around that looked like OK footholds, so my friend decided to see if she could make it in. She evaluated the situation from the floor and figured we could probably get out the same way, so I followed her in (went through the window reverse-style on my belly, easy drop to the floor).

The basement room itself had a lot of natural light, but we wanted to get up to the next few floors. However, entering the hallway from the basement highlighted a fact that most everything else HAD been boarded up and there was NO light. Three steps in and I only knew my friend was in front of me was because I was holding on to her sweatshirt. In order to safely (well...safe as this stuff goes) navigate around we would need a flashlight. We hadn't brought anything with us because we had initially only planned on scouting....but I thought I might have one in my car. Deciding to go for it we got back through the window acrobat-style and and hurried (stealthily) to my vehicle where it turned out I DID have a small flashlight and, as luck would have it, a camera (albeit my low-quality digital one, but a camera nonetheless).

So, we headed back equipped, dropped back into the basement and spent over an hour exploring the place. I wish we could have had more time, but the sun was setting and we decided it was better to get out before dark. The pictures I got were few in number (the photo card was full and I didn't have time to mess with it on the fly) and pretty bad quality, but I'm glad I got some.


 This is one of the (beautifully-carved!) wood staircase enclosures. I was really frustrated that I didn't get a better picture of it but it does give you an idea!

I should probably say that I'm a reckless individual and DON'T DO THIS, PEOPLE because it is unsafe and against the rules. And if anyone asks, I was never there :P


It was...really really dark in some places :)



Some of the staircases had wonderful wood enclosures that were amazingly well-preserved. Much nicer looking than the standard metal or cage-like staircase linings that are stereotypical of psych facilities.



We kept finding these smaller mirrors that were completely whole, in contrast to the smashed glass that was scattered around pretty much everywhere. Some anonymous squatter or scouter took the time to set them up nicely!




The whole building had been an adolescent and child ward; there were lots of kid-oriented murals on the walls and some of the old bulletin boards, like this one, were set up to highlight their schoolwork or artistic creations. The lettering on the top right once said "Our Best Work", referring, I think, to scholastic endeavors.



A random staircase



This came out pretty badly, but I wanted to share the little buddha that someone had probably made as part of their art therapy.



There were tons of rooms...it would have been a very busy place when operational. All of the furniture has been removed since its closure, so there wasn't much to see in each individual one. People have squatted in this building and used it for their own more nefarious purposes (my friend and I came upon more than one tourniquet, bits of foil and makeshift pipe) and it has therefore been cleaned out and boarded up to prevent further abuse.


So...that was our most recent expedition. We might have to go back with better cameras because there were some very haunting places that my crappy one really couldn't capture :( . When it comes down to it, though, it is more for the experience anyway. I have to say I was very proud of the way I managed to get back out of the basement. The protruding old electric case my friend had used as a foothold broke out of the wall on her way up; I boosted her butt so she could scramble out :P. I had to improvise by jumping up to grab hold of the ceiling pipe, used the wall in front of me as a brace to walk my feet up to the window, and swung my legs out the window. I had to propel myself a little to make it out far enough that gravity wouldn't cause me to fall back out and land on my back seven feet or so down; that would have hurt! Safety Officers: I did have my friend hold my legs while I worked them out the window in case I lost my grip.

Last but not least, I will share a photo I took (again, badly and quickly) during the recent Rainpocalypse we had here. We initially had about 6 inches of water in our basement but here it is down to just enough that I could float a little boat on top:



 

Date: 2010-04-04 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hermette.livejournal.com
oh, wow. &hearts __ &hearts

Date: 2010-04-04 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
I'm glad you like!

I've only just started to take pictures while on random explorations so the quality is dubious....so I'm glad they're interesting at least :)

Date: 2010-04-04 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] josshouse.livejournal.com
Badass. I broke into a building like this once on the Texas Tech campus.. an old medical building of some sort. Lots of weird broken shit, just like this. Fun times for sure xD though terrifying at night.

Date: 2010-04-04 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
Medical buildings are interesting when they start to decay too. It's interesting to see what happens when buildings and stuff get left behind!

These places are pretty scary at night, although this building was so dark in some places it probably wouldn't have made much difference!

Date: 2010-04-04 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chaosmaka.livejournal.com
OMG!
I want to go there too and take lots of pictures. It looks awesome & scary at the same time.

Date: 2010-04-04 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
:) I wish I'd had a better camera and more time. My friend is more the photographer than I usually am (unlike me she has camera and photo training) but it was fun to pinch-hit.

I think the scariest part is getting in/out because we weren't totally sure we could get out the way we came in so it was a leap of faith! The total blackness is quite the experience though :O

Date: 2010-04-04 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sheswatching.livejournal.com
omg. must. do. urban. exploration.

these are amazing!

Date: 2010-04-04 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
Thank you! Urban exploration can be very interesting indeed .....most people think we're a little crazy, but that's probably half the fun :)

Date: 2010-04-04 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] norwegianblue47.livejournal.com
That's pretty amazing. I'd be wigged out too much, worrying if I was going to get caught, so I'm glad I get to live vicariously through you.

Date: 2010-04-04 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
Thanks! Getting caught is always a risk, although in addition to learning to keep eyes & ears peeled I have a friend who is somehow naturally gifted at stealth, so that helps.

Date: 2010-04-04 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] giselleslash.livejournal.com
You're like Indiana Jones! LOL ;)

I used to live just down the street from a mental hospital...one of those great old ones that have multiple old brick buildings, but unfortunately all the buildings were still in use so no sneaking in for me.

Love seeing the pics that you post...

Date: 2010-04-04 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
LOL I always wanted to go on Indiana Jones-like adventures as a kid :)

Thank you and I am glad you like the photos! Mental hospitals, at least the ones I have seen, are often in beautiful old buildings, at least around here. As mental health science has progressed I think this has led to less people being kept inside them and therefore many have been abandoned and sadly not re-purposed. They make for great exploring though although some people use them for less than wholesome activities.

Date: 2010-04-04 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rayslady.livejournal.com
Goodness, that's kind of stunning and spooky in equal measure. Up the hill in the woods near my university, there's another old abandoned college and we go wandering around there sometimes when security's not around - in some ways it seems quite similar, although I think you have the creepy edge, somehow :-)
xoxoxoxoxoxox

Date: 2010-04-05 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
Oooh an abandoned school...sounds like a good place, although I bet security is tight because it's close to another college and (although this isn't true for everyone) an abandoned building + college kids= troublemaking. Not that I ever break any rules myself :P

I think this place had a creepy double-whammy because it had been occupied by not just children or the ill but children who were ill.

Date: 2010-04-04 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nuclearsugars.livejournal.com
Damn girl, I'm impressed. I don't think I would've had the guts to break into a closed ward like that. Especially as all those pics look like the set of a Supernatural episode. I would bring some rock salt with me just in case. ;)

And it's raining cats and dogs over here as well. *curses rain*

Date: 2010-04-05 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
We had 2 huge rainstorms in about 2 weeks so flooding was inevitable. It's stopped, finally....I hope it goes away where you are too.

I dunno if our expeditions are gutsy or foolhardy...probably a bit of both although we do try to be somewhat sane in our craziness :P

As far as warding off spirits goes, I've heard mint is useful in that context and I recall that I definitely had a pack of spearmint gum on me at the time.

Date: 2010-04-05 08:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aramis-chan.livejournal.com
Wow, that's awesome! I'm kind of jealous, I don't think I would have dared doing this, and exploring like this seems really interesting.

The boat made me grin even though that's not really funny. Sorry.

Date: 2010-04-06 12:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
Urban exploration is fun although definitely risky...I wanted to do it for a long time before I actually went and did it :)

I'm glad my little boat made you smile. I was trying to make our basement flooding a little bit funny...humor makes it easier to deal with annoying situations like that!

Date: 2010-04-06 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 1bacchanalian.livejournal.com
WOAH these are so creepy. I'm impressed by your daring! Abandoned places are fascinating, aren't they?

Date: 2010-04-09 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
Thanks! It was quite a creepy place...very, very cold inside even though we were actually having a nice spring day on the outside!

I love abandoned places and am always looking for the "next one" to visit. It's been getting tougher around here as lot of the interesting old building have been demolished, but we keep on the lookout for more :)

As far as daring goes, my friend who always comes with me on these things..well, the two of us have been daredevils since we were kids and we also know how to get out of sticky situations, so that takes some of the unknown factor out of it. There seems to be some interest here so more of our random exploits ought to end up on this LJ in addition to fic...hey..porn & photo posts...what do you think?

Sorry if that was tl;dr for a reply! Hope to see you at the rewactch part tomorrow today@

Date: 2010-08-11 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ninja-orange.livejournal.com
oh man, so cool! I have some friends into UE. I'm on a mailing list and I keep thinking I should join a trip but haven't yet.

Date: 2010-08-11 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blameitonmerlin.livejournal.com
All I can say at this point (and from too much experience) is be very, very careful. Make sure you know how the local police deal with stuff like this. They can get quite angry about it in these parts, others are much more relaxed.

However, if you're on a UE site going with one or two people who know a site well, you're in good hands. It's amazing!
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