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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:



 
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blamethewizard

August 2011

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