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Abandoned, Hospitals

Inside Creedmoor State Hospital’s Building 25

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The first glimpse of Building 25’s fourth floor from the central stairwell.  That’s not gravel.

In Queens Village, mere inches of brick and mortar separate the world we know from one of the strangest places in the city.  Creedmoor Psychiatric Center’s Building 25 has undergone something of a transformation over its 40 years of neglect, but it couldn’t have done it alone.  Once a haven for New York’s cast-out mentally ill, the long-abandoned ward is very much inhabited today…

Creedmoor was founded in 1912 as the Farm Colony of Brooklyn State Hospital, one of hundreds of similar psychiatric wards established at the turn of the century to house and rehabilitate those who were ill equipped to function on their own.  Rejected by mainstream society, hundreds of thousands of mentally disturbed individuals, many afflicted with psychosis and schizophrenia, were transferred from urban centers across the country to outlying pastoral areas where fresh air, closeness to nature, and the healing power of work was thought to be their best bet for rehabilitation.

Inside Creedmoor State Hospital's Building 25

A few articles of clothing were left behind.

As the 20th century progressed, asylums across the country became overrun with patients, and many institutions became desperately understaffed and dangerously underfunded.  Living conditions at some psychiatric wards grew dire—patient abuse and neglect was not uncommon.  Creedmoor State Hospital was habitually under scrutiny during this period, beginning in the 1940s with an outbreak of dysentery that resulted from unsanitary living conditions in the wards.

The hospital had spiraled completely out of control by 1974 when the state ordered an inquiry into an outbreak of crime on the Creedmoor campus.  Within 20 months, three rapes were reported, 22 assaults, 52 fires, 130 burglaries, six instances of suicide, a shooting, a riot, and an attempted murder, prompting an investigation into all downstate mental hospitals.  As late as 1984, the violent ward of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center was rocked with scandal following the death of a patient, who had been struck in the throat by a staff member while restrained in a straitjacket.

In the late 20th Century, the development of antipsychotic medications and new standards of treatment for the mentally ill accelerated a trend toward deinstitutionalization.  A series of dramatic budget cuts and dwindling patient populations led to the closing of farm colonies across the United States, and a marked decline at Creedmoor.  The campus continues to operate today, housing only a few hundred patients and providing outpatient services, leaving its turbulent past behind.  Many of the buildings have been sold off to new tenants.  Others, like Building 25, lie fallow.

The building was an active ward until some time in the 1970s, and retains many mementos from its days as a residence and treatment center for the mentally ill.  With peeling paint, dusty furniture, and dark corridors, the lower floors are typical of a long-abandoned hospital, but upstairs, the effect of time has taken a grotesque turn.

The smell alone is enough to drive anyone to the verge of madness, but the visual is even more appalling.  For 40 years, generations of pigeons have defecated on the fourth floor of Building 25, far removed from their dim-witted dealings with the human world, assembling a monument all their own.  Guano accumulates in grey mounds under popular roosts, with the tallest columns reaching several feet in height.  Like the myriad formations of a cavern, Buiding 25’s guano stalagmites are a work in progress—pigeons roost at every turn, and they’re awfully dubious of outsiders.  Violent outbursts of flight punctuate an otherworldly soundscape of low, rumbling coos.  The filth acts as an acoustic insulator, making every movement impossibly close.

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These dropping formations formed under the pipes of a sprinkler system the birds frequented.

Two levels down and a world away from the top floor, a kitchen is filled with years’ worth of garbage intersected by narrow pathways.  A living room, kept relatively tidy, features a sitting area with an array of chairs, including a homemade toilet.  Loosely organized objects litter every surface—toiletries, clothing, hundreds of dead D batteries.  Some of the belongings looked as if they hadn’t been touched for decades, but a newspaper dated to only a few weeks before confirmed my suspicion that someone was still living here.

I found him snoozing peacefully in a light-filled dayroom, surrounded by a series of patient murals.  Once painted over, images of faraway lands, country gardens, and the Holy Mother are coming to light again as time peels back the layers.  The image was surprising, unforgettably human, and imprudent to photograph.  Declining to introduce myself, I passed once more through the dark, decaying halls of Building 25, leaving its charms, horrors, and mysteries for the birds.  Back on solid ground, its impression wouldn’t fade for months—Building 25 has a way of recurring in dreams

-Will Ellis

Inside Creedmoor State Hospital's Building 25

Overgrowth covered most of the windows, casting green light over much of the interior.

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Furniture stacked in a cafeteria on Building 25’s third floor.

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These chairs are popular with urban explorers, one went as far as covering the upholstery with fake blood.

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Metallic sheets are bolted to this bathroom wall in lieu of mirrors, which patients could use as a weapon.

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A tiny toy collection arranged on a windowsill.

Inside Creedmoor State Hospital's Building 25

Even in the 70s, this equipment was outdated, and left behind.

Inside Creedmoor State Hospital's Building 25

Did this mural prophesy the current condition of the top floor?

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An uninviting hallway on Creedmoor’s fourth floor.

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Satan’s sandbox.

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This bathroom held the largest volume of fecal matter.

Inside Creedmoor State Hospital's Building 25

And I thought gas station toilets were filthy.

Inside Creedmoor State Hospital's Building 25

The guano gives some rooms the look of an indoor desert.

Inside Creedmoor State Hospital's Building 25

Anyone for musical chairs?

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An incongruous Virgin emerges from an infested day room.

Inside Creedmoor State Hospital's Building 25

A glimpse at the Creedmoor squat.

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Discussion

129 thoughts on “Inside Creedmoor State Hospital’s Building 25

  1. Incredible photos, but I hope the photographer wore a respirator or at least a dust mask while inside this joint. Histplasmosis is…er…nothing to sneeze at! The squatter is most likely dead man walking!

    Posted by Robert | 5-31-12., 9:00 pm
    • Thanks for mentioning the histoplasmosis. I had never heard of it before and looked it up! The 4th Fl pictures are beyond what I could have imagined.

      Posted by David Abbey | 10-2-12., 12:56 am
    • I AGREE HOPE RESPIRATOR WHERE WORN

      Posted by ANGIE | 6-24-13., 7:49 pm
    • If you look carefully at the bathroom with the mirrors, the mirror closest to you has a very pronounced face in it. Could this be a patient ?

      Posted by Mary | 6-25-13., 3:26 pm
      • Since ghosts don’t exist… no.

        Posted by dandy@aol.com | 7-2-13., 9:44 pm
      • I don’t see any face. What are you talking about? Very pronounced should be mean obvious not nonexistent.

        Posted by Jesus Christ. | 12-27-13., 10:31 am
      • Is the face reminiscent of the statues on Easter Island? I can just make out such an image.

        Posted by frank | 1-7-14., 10:55 am
      • Really Dandy? You must be an expert on what exists and what doesn’t! You are in denial!! Try spending a few hours in some of these places that are haunted..You tell me then..You would be running! And yes im an investigator who was a skeptic until I had an experience of my own!

        Posted by Raven | 7-2-14., 7:53 am
      • Mary you are correct there is a face in the mirror, looks like someone put it there

        Posted by Debbie | 8-6-14., 9:13 pm
    • What I truly find utterly disgusting is how an ALLEGED Western society could treat sick people so cruelly. What kind of animals and sadists do that?. It’s beyond me.

      Posted by Glenn Reiner (@GlennReiner1) | 3-23-14., 10:27 pm
  2. Eeerie film set, you should do alternative tours to nyc…

    Posted by Celia Peterson | 8-31-12., 2:10 am
    • i bet this place is is haunted!!! i looove those old type-writers & the old cash register!!! antique road-show anyone??

      Posted by Amy Mahoney | 6-25-13., 9:14 am
      • I agree, I saw many objects, furniture etc. that could be recycled and returned to use in one way or the other. In these times of budget cutbacks and shortfalls you would htink that ever state would be scraping every cent out of abandoned properties like this. Even if it was done on a contract basis it would still generate much needed funding and not waste all the money spent building and equipping these facilities.

        Posted by Don Greene | 6-25-13., 1:32 pm
  3. Gorgeous photographs. Thanks for venturing into this eerie place so the rest of us can peer through your lens and avoid the bird droppings…

    Posted by Butler | 9-7-12., 2:58 pm
  4. Very insightful. Thank you for sharing.

    Posted by Beloved1! | 9-18-12., 10:52 am
  5. Very insightful. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by homeandhearthmagazine | 9-18-12., 10:53 am
  6. My mother used to work here, and has told me very scary stories about when it was in business, even scarier now…

    Posted by MaggieP | 10-8-12., 9:10 pm
    • I had two uncles who spent approximately 15 years each there. They were deaf and could not speak, but nothing else about them would have caused they to die one week or each other except an unfortunate incident of beating, etc. The were only I there 40’s. They were there from 1946 to approximately 1960.

      I don’t think they were in building 25, but one of those buildings. My mother and I visited them once a month via a train from New Jersey….. Very sad…….

      Posted by Monica Burry | 6-24-13., 7:11 pm
      • Monica, I am so sorry for your family’s loss. There is no excuse for their mistreatments. You should look into starting a case action lawsuit, if you can find a few more people to join your cause.

        Posted by dixie | 6-25-13., 2:17 am
      • I am so sorry for your uncles. I had a grandmother who lived there but I do not know the number of her building. I was a very small child when my Dad used to get her every other weekend. I remember seeing her with burn marks on either side of her head. Mom said it was from the shock treatment. She was a wonderful woman and I wish the family was more aware of how things were in there. Her mental illness made it impossible to live with us. I remember her screaming and crying and then the ambulance coming to take her away. Mom would take us for a walk until the ambulance was gone.

        Posted by Donna T. Tomchik | 2-2-14., 5:58 pm
      • Places like Creedmoor absolutely captivate me; the thought of how much emotion was expended within the walls of places like this. I can’t help but feel old mental institutions, sanitariums, hospitals, whatever they were called, as well as prisons, vibrate with the deep emotions, the sorrows and fears and terrors, the passions of wounded people caught up by society and locked deep in their walls, away from sunlight and positive emotion, how these old places retain something of what passed before within their corridors and rooms. A kind of negative energy, even a haunting of sorts if you will. I can spend hours just walking the halls, pausing in the small closed claustrophobic places, wondering what happened a century before, right where I now stood…I hate the thought of them being torn down, with nothing left but an empty lot littered with pieces of brick, mortar and plaster the only indication something once stood on that site. But reading of someone’s relatives, of real people with real names, with someone who can testify right here on the internet that this was a REAL place that caused real pain among their blood relations; reading that makes me feel an outsider with no right to wish them held onto.

        Posted by Daniel Piper | 2-2-14., 11:25 pm
    • I was the secretary in Building M in 1964 for Dr. Pike and two other psychiatrists. It was my first job after graduating from high school in Pennsy. I only stayed there a year; just to get the experience I needed to get another job. Eventually, I left NY to return to Pennsy. I sometimes think about some of the patients. I remember they asked me to teach a class to some young people who weren’t mentally ill. They got in trouble in one way or another and were put in with the psychotic patients. How sad.

      Posted by rosalie | 6-24-13., 7:26 pm
      • Rosalie,
        I hope you can write a book about your experiences there. The truth should come out finally. You need to be heard! Your voice needs to be heard about that place after all
        these years.

        Posted by dixie | 6-25-13., 2:32 am
      • My Grandmother Violet Tomchik was there as a patient for many, many years. Sometimes she would stay with us on weekends. Grandma said that some of the staff should have been the patients. It was a very sad part of her life.

        Posted by Donna T. Tomchik | 2-2-14., 5:30 pm
    • I JUST HOPE THE PT’S WHERE WELL CARED FOR

      Posted by ANGIE | 6-24-13., 7:50 pm
      • the patients were not cared for in the manner in which they should. I do not live in NYC, but I do live in Michigan and the stories of the state homes are all the same. Abuse and neglect more than you can imagine. People put in a room for hours on end defecating and urinating on themselves. They had to fight for food, because patients would steal. They really were the worst of conditions imaginable. It is sad to think that those humans were being treated as animals essentially.

        Posted by Jo-Lee | 6-24-13., 11:44 pm
    • my grandmother used to work there and i also have some stories she told she was head nurse 5th floor.

      Posted by patrick | 6-24-13., 8:40 pm
      • Hi Patrick,
        I am interested in your grandmother’s stories. Is there anyway to share them, please? My name is Liz, I am also a psychiatric nurse and love history.
        Thanks so much for your consideration.
        Liz

        Posted by Liz Wood | 6-24-13., 11:50 pm
      • Patrick,
        I hope you will help your GrandMom write her memories down or at least record them on a recorder before the memories are lost. These things need to be documented & written about. I hope you will write a book about this place one day.

        Posted by dixie | 6-25-13., 2:35 am
      • Patrick: I worked in Building M. I’m curious about Building 25. I don’t remember hearing about it when i worked there. Building M had a head nurse who ran a tight ship. It was a little scary; after all, I was only 18 years old but it wasn’t horrible or I wouldn’t have lasted even one year. I was glad to find a normal job though.

        Posted by rosalie | 6-25-13., 11:50 am
      • so you believe that in basically UNSUPERVIZED group homes the menally ill,autistics etc are better off ?
        THINK AGAIN.
        they’re in a smaller setting and that’s about ALL.
        sure there are great groups managing their homes and there’s waiting lists YEARS long and if one has a chroniclly ill
        unstable family member that winds up via THE COURTS into a hospital 1st THEN transferred to whatever is available.you’d understand immediately that having them in a psych facility ,where a nursing supervisor walked those halls with that clipboard at a minimum of three times a day–you’d have more confidence THERE.
        Slamming the doors shut on these facilities did not alleviate anything and has led to the FACTS on less treatment,less availability of “beds” for those needing IMMEDIATE intensive treatment and observations and more set backs for the ill.

        as for crimes on that campus ?
        crime continues in secluded areas and within group homes the same.

        Posted by surita | 12-2-13., 8:10 am
    • Maggie, You should help your mom write a book about these things. At least get a recorder and have her talk about these things as part of your family history.

      Posted by dixie | 6-25-13., 2:19 am
    • Maggie,
      I hope you can help your Mom write a book about these things, at least get a recorder and have her talk about it. You will have it as part of your family history & maybe you could write about it yourself one day. It might help better the world we live in.

      Posted by dixie | 6-25-13., 2:26 am
  7. This is right by my house. it makes me even more curious to go inside.

    Posted by laura | 11-6-12., 1:16 pm
    • I would not venture into this building if I were you. Many of the abandoned buildings are not structurally sound on the inside. The large amount of bird droppings cannot be too healthy.

      Posted by Jerry | 12-30-12., 9:52 am
  8. Interesting. How did you obtain access?

    Posted by LaNell | 1-16-13., 12:13 pm
  9. Sick set Will.

    Posted by asf73 | 2-12-13., 9:13 pm
  10. I’d like to blog this on Boing Boing (boingboing.net). May I reproduce one or two of the photos, please? Thanks.

    Posted by Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) | 3-11-13., 10:57 pm
  11. Where is this located? Cross street?

    Posted by Zoë Lkjsdhf | 5-5-13., 11:18 am
  12. I spent my adolescent years inside of this institution. This brought tears and memories. Nice photos!

    Posted by Maryann | 6-8-13., 2:27 pm
    • Thank God you got out of there alive. I had two uncles (deaf) that spent most of their lives at Creedmore.
      Not sure what building. We would visit them once a month until we were notified that they died. They were healthy except for being deaf and not able to speak – they lived there from approximately 1946 to their death around 1960. I truly believe they met an unfortunate incident – they died one week from each other.

      I tried to get some information regarding a death certificate or where they could be buried. My mother never shared any of this with me.

      Posted by Monica Burry | 6-24-13., 7:08 pm
      • why didn’t anyone advocate for the release of a relative ?

        Posted by surita | 12-2-13., 8:12 am
      • Surita, you don’t seem to understand that that was a VERY different time. There was no such thing as “advocating”. In most cases, once someone entered a psychiatric facility, they remained there until they died.

        Posted by Sara | 1-6-14., 12:12 am
    • Hi Mary Ann,
      I’m so sorry you had to spend time in a hospital. I am a psychiatric nurse, mental health client, and historian. If you would be willing to share, I am interested in learning about your experience in this hospital. I know this is a strange request and apologize if this is uncomfortable or upsetting.
      Thank you for your consideration,
      Liz Wood, RN

      Posted by Liz Wood | 6-24-13., 11:56 pm
      • I will talk to you about my experiences as a teen. How can I contact you?

        Posted by E G | 6-25-13., 5:19 am
      • i do not want my name use i live in manhattan i was there 1960 to 1964 horror is the name for that place call me robert middle name call me at 13474303496 and take no pictures of me i am sure you understand

        Posted by norman steinberg | 3-19-14., 10:41 am
    • Maryann, My prayers go up for you now. You should look into getting a lawyer to represent you, this is not acceptable treatment for any of you there.

      Posted by dixie | 6-25-13., 2:21 am
  13. Beautiful. I absolutely love these haunting photos. Amazing work.

    Posted by Ashley Wardlow Colburn | 6-20-13., 10:39 am
  14. The fourth picture reminds me the set from The Exorcist, where Father Karras encounters his hospitalized mother.
    Maybe it was shot here?

    Posted by mario | 6-20-13., 10:17 pm
  15. Guano is the excrement of seabirds or bats only. What you have here is simply bird poop.

    Posted by Wuffle Spring | 6-24-13., 5:39 pm
    • Hey, lets not get technical. Poop is poop. This must have been a horrible place to be confined in. I can not imagine how one human being can treat another human being in this manner. I hope those that suffered are in a better place. God will take care of the rest. May they all rest in peace. There were are probably are still places like this in my state, further south.

      Posted by Jane DeBord | 6-24-13., 10:51 pm
      • Stay “technical” WUFFLE SPRING!
        Using language carefully and with clarity is good. Generally getting the idea across isn’t so bad, just not as good.

        Posted by Poop (NOT Poop) | 6-25-13., 3:37 pm
      • I tend to agree, but decided to stretch the meaning of the word in this case. Couldn’t bring myself to use the word “poop.” Hope you’ll forgive me!

        Posted by abandonednyc | 6-25-13., 8:54 pm
    • I thought I saw some seagull droppings in one of the photos…

      Posted by D J | 12-30-13., 2:54 pm
  16. This place must be haunted. A good place for brave ghost hunters!

    Posted by Gary Hatter | 6-24-13., 7:02 pm
  17. This eerily reminds me of the Emerson Rose Asylum!

    Posted by tcnalley | 6-24-13., 7:07 pm
  18. This eerily reminds me of the Emerson Rose Asylum I wrote of in LETTERS FROM THE LOONEY BIN. Its surreal to see these images that were in my mind are actual photos!

    Posted by tcnalley | 6-24-13., 7:09 pm
  19. I made this video over a yr. ago depicting abandoned asylums…turn up the volume when you watch because the music just makes the video! Creepy

    Posted by Kim | 6-24-13., 7:09 pm
  20. HOLY CRAP DEMOLISH THIS BUILDING!!! WTH …disease spreads fast with stuff like that..wouldn’t want to live near that one

    Posted by Cindy | 6-24-13., 7:26 pm
  21. Quite impressive. The Virgin Mary is a mural of when she appeared in Fátima (Portugal) to 3 shepperds over a Holm oak. The date was the 13th May 1917. If you are interested can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_F%C3%A1tima

    Posted by Marta M. | 6-24-13., 7:35 pm
  22. Looks like Joanie Mitchell was wrong. THERE IS a good time to pave paradise and put up a parking lot!

    Posted by Don Bodell | 6-24-13., 7:53 pm
  23. The irony is that life continued (the birds) where many would find only desolation and abandonment. Mama Nature seems to continue even where were leave both memory and history behind. And it is in this abandonment that the photography captures the art even in decay. Composition melds with decomposition.

    Posted by Me | 6-24-13., 8:10 pm
  24. simply amazing is it for sale??

    Posted by nate | 6-24-13., 8:26 pm
  25. God rest the souls that were lost there.

    Posted by me2 | 6-24-13., 9:15 pm
  26. Looking at these pictures makes me wonder why these buildings are still standing? I suppose they are not only full of bird poo, but lead paint and asbestos too. Clean-up costs would be out of this world. I sure in the hell wouldn’t want to live anywhere near any of these buildings. Erie photo’s for sure. I almost expected to see McMurphy and the Chief come running out of one of the rooms chased by Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the CooCoo’s Nest).

    Posted by Dave N. | 6-24-13., 9:27 pm
  27. Great photographs. Thank you for sharing this experience.

    Posted by Nikole | 6-24-13., 9:29 pm
  28. Awesome!

    Posted by AM | 6-24-13., 9:35 pm
  29. Weird ny magazine would this

    Posted by Fred Storms | 6-24-13., 10:57 pm
  30. I would like to know if people on the outside can go in to take pictures or invesyigate any hauntings here?? Charlene Chase

    Posted by Charlene Chase | 6-25-13., 12:32 am
  31. It’s a shame that mental people had to go through all of that. I think people are still going through bad experiences in some mental wards in todays world. This is really sad!!!!.

    Posted by suzzanna | 6-25-13., 2:30 am
  32. This is nothing but Disrespect for all of the patients involved. How could you Will Ellis? There is absolutely no need to put mental illness in the same sentence as pigeon excrement. No relative sense. It is only an abandoned building that was neglected so a whole lot of pigeons flew in and lived there. Pigeons shit. Pigeons shit in abandoned buildings a lot. Will Ellis, what is your reason for using pigeon shit as a means for, “shock value” as to catch peoples eye so they look at your photos. Pigeon shit occurs in abandon buildings. Why do you feel the need, or at least, why have you taken pictures of a center, that is now an abandoned building and wish to bank off of the fact that it was once an institution for the ill? Pigeons shit Will, why wouldn’t they?

    Posted by Suzanne Marie O'Donnell | 6-25-13., 2:51 am
    • Suzanne Marie O’Donnell, HERE IS YOUR SIGN YOU JUST DON’T GET IT DO YOU.. Go back and read the comments about, there is life after death. There was a movie, broadway play, etc. about this PHENOMENON! IT IS CALLED THE CIRCLE OF LIFE. And it is pigeon poop, not sh%@. Clean up your language, children may be reading this.
      Are you afraid of the truth?? Did you work there??? Were you confined there for some reason?????
      Wake up and smell the roses lady. It happened and should not be ignored. If we don’t deal with the past and try and make a change, history will repeat itself. Look what happened in the concentration camps!!!
      Think you for maybe listening to reason.

      Posted by Jane DeBord | 6-25-13., 11:29 am
  33. The mural is Our Lady of Fatima. Just FYI.

    Posted by Paul | 6-25-13., 10:27 am
  34. 40.733438,-73.728885 is the location of this building, or I believe it is at least, looks sad from outside…

    Posted by christina | 6-25-13., 10:51 am
  35. There is a woman ghost in the chair photo. If you save the chair photo to on your computer, then open up Microsoft Office, click on Edit picture tab, Choose color (slide to red and play around with the saturation and amount), then go to back to Edit picture tab and select Brightness and play around with that, you will see on the right of the right chair, a woman sideways, the front woman is very defined and has her hair up in a bun and right hand on the chair arm. I am not sure if there is another woman behind her and there might be someone in the right chair but it could just be the way fabric and stuff falls, I think that is called natural matrixing. I will not post the pic because it might be copyrighted and I only do this for fun and for my own “ghost hunting” through pics.

    Posted by V | 6-25-13., 11:34 am
  36. These photos are what the whitehouse looks like now, after 4-1/2 years of boons living in it.

    Posted by Thomas Thomas | 6-25-13., 11:40 am
  37. A real life “Night of the Living Dead” photo-encounter. . . why has this hellhole being left to simply stagnate, rust and decay? Disgusting, get rid of it why don’t ya! Obviously this building holds nothing but horrifying memories of society’s untouchables and events from its past. . . these photos have (no doubt) captured within them images of that terrible fact. Nearly too disturbing for words!!!!

    Posted by fran | 6-25-13., 12:32 pm
  38. Thanks for sharing. As for closing the institutions, yes there was abuse and neglect. But now the would be patients are still abused an neglected, but now we all call them homeless and walk by them with disregard and disdain. But that is OK because they are on the street and not in an institution?

    Posted by Marlene | 6-25-13., 1:12 pm
  39. If I had been born 40 years prior to my birth in 1986 I would have probably ended up at a place like this. I am mildly Autistic and have Bipolar Disorder with psychotic features. I also suffer from PTSD due to an abusive first marriage. Today with the medications we have I am able to live a normal life. I work as a school bus driver and volunteer with the local fire company. In 3 months I am going to marry a man who is career Air Force. I have a pretty normal life. I am actually going to school this winter to become an EMT.

    This history needs to be documented because this should NEVER happen again.

    Posted by Megan Kosciuszko | 6-25-13., 2:05 pm
    • Thanks for sharing, Megan, sounds like you’re in a really good place. We can all let out a sigh of relief knowing that these days are behind us.

      Posted by abandonednyc | 6-25-13., 9:05 pm
      • Tragically, those days are not entirely behind us. Mental illness still has such a strong hold over so many and the mentally ill homeless are in as bad, or worse, situation than the institutionalized mentally ill were in. Still many stigmas to break and research to be done.

        Posted by Laurie | 10-27-13., 11:57 pm
  40. Wow, I have never come across an abandoned building with that much poo! Kudos to you for walking through, I hope wearing a ventilator!

    Posted by Pattie Crider | 6-25-13., 4:00 pm
  41. The place looks incredible! It is a place I will like to visit in the morning with a space suit! I hope that the photographer was careful when taking the pictures; I cannot imagine how many disease are there!

    Posted by Jenifer | 6-25-13., 5:18 pm
  42. Fabulous work! Thank you!

    Posted by lsstuhler | 9-4-13., 9:50 pm
  43. Can you go into these buildings to take pictures still? If yes, how? I am a amateur photographer and would love to go here and take some photographs!

    Posted by aria | 9-14-13., 3:04 pm
  44. Dear Sir/Madam

    I am writing to you to thank you for this revealing article, but to also let you know that I was there. I experienced and witnessed the horrors of this place first hand, being that I was at the time considered a Ward Of The State, simply by continueing to
    run away from an abusive foster home, I was placed in this hell hole. I remember the incidences, the people who ran the ward , who by the way were the crazy ones. If you are interested in hearing some of the truths regarding this place of torture, get in contact with me…..the saddest part about the history of this place,,,,,,,no one was ever convicted for thier abuses. I was there in 1974/1975 and the memories have the occasional tendancy to haunt my dreams. Sincerely, jlopez

    Posted by j lopez | 9-21-13., 2:58 pm
  45. The beatings,,,,I remember the beatings. I also remember the names of my abusers. The very first evening that I. arrived there, I refused to remove my clothes in front of all the girls peeking into the room at the new arrival. Mrs. White was her name…she was in charge of the night shift…..When I refused to remove my clothes, she immediately jumped on top of my chest and proceeded to strangle me. I have never felt that kind of pressure around my neck before, she nearly killed me, yet she released her hands from me, and I chokenly gasped for air……this was night one, of my hellish stay. Along with that strangulation came whippings from key chain larriottes, cold buckets of water to get us out of bed in the morning, our matresses flipped while still in them, being kicked, stomped, slapped, raped,verbally abused, locked up for days, drugged, quarter tied……and yes,,,,,I witnessed a possible death of my friend Caroline….we had windows that were sectioned into smaller window panes. After being picked on for so long, kicked and stomped on earlier by the attendant going by the name “Moochie” , and then more abuse later on that day, Caroline bashed her hands through about six of those window panes……I suddenly heard what sounded like a punctured tire , and then the blood flew out of her arm like a fountain into the air.I grabbed her arm , in order to apply pressure….. as she continued to scream out how she couldnt take it anymore. I as well screamed out for help , but the attendant, I think was Mrs White, ignored me. She was watching tv in the day room with us,. She eventually strolled over, as I cried out to hurry up, she cut her main vein. They eventually took Caroline into the main office, I just cried, as I am weeping now…..for it is my
    first time sharing these details. THEY KEPT CAROLINE IN THAT OFFICE FOR TOO LONG!!!! I always wondered what happened to my friend Caroline,,,,, I heard the next day that she had lost nearly all her blood. People dont realize, that were not all mental,,, we were just kids placed in a facility that did
    not match our needs. We were thrown from the boiler into the fryer. I for one am a survivor, well, and living a good and wholesome life….God is good, Sincerely, Jlopez

    Posted by j lopez | 9-21-13., 4:02 pm
    • I’m so sorry, Ms. Lopez.

      Posted by Laurie | 10-27-13., 11:54 pm
    • J Lopez – I am very sorry for all that you have gone through. I am a psychotherapist in California and understand that what you have experienced as a patent there must have left a serious lifelong mark. Also by seeing these photos it may have brought many of your experiences back, just as the ones you mentioned in your writings above. I hope you have had the opportunity to work through any issues you have with a therapist and if not I want you to feel free to get in contact with me. I would also be happy to help you find a therapist local to you that may offer to see you at no cost. Please let me know how I can offer you assistance. This should have never happened. This is just an offer. If you don’t find the need I understand. I can be reached at LizMooreBirch@ msn.com.

      Posted by Liz Birch, Licensed Psychotherapist | 10-30-13., 3:24 am
  46. It is easy to let our minds be carried away into imagination, but really these photographs tell a terribly sad story of a piece of life on this earth. My great-aunt was institutionalized at Creedmoor from about 1919 until the mid-1950’s – so most of her adult life. My mother and sisters described my great-aunt, Bertha Goldman, as a gentle, kindly woman who just seemed very sad. The only “scary” thing about Creedmoor back then was how mistreated most patients were…the horrible stigma of mental illness must end.

    Posted by Laurie | 10-27-13., 11:53 pm
  47. anyone remember hanging out in the parking lot ? rows of cars,music blasting,making-out getting high, looking up at that hospital and wondering what was going on in their? the lot was in the woods a little below the place, people came from all over….shh[drugs everywhere] oh such good times their hanging out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in a passed lifetime of experiences!!!!!!! love the sight,,from new jersery

    Posted by elaine | 11-24-13., 2:18 am
  48. There is a huge complex of abandoned buildings on hundreds of acres that made up the state mental hospital in the heart of Columbia, SC. This place was originally opened, as I understand it, in the 19th century. Last I heard the land these buildings sit on was under contract to be purchased for urban housing, apartments or condos or whatever. Some of the buildings are to be left intact as they are historical. I am absolutely itching to go there and explore this campus but I don’t know what to expect. I hear the area is off limits and is supposedly patrolled by the police although I doubt they worry to much about urban explorers as long as they don’t make themselves too obvious. Anyone out there know anything about this place from experience?

    Posted by Daniel Piper | 12-27-13., 7:13 am
  49. I would like to visit it someday……

    Posted by peter X | 12-31-13., 4:19 pm
  50. I guess I’m in the minority, but I hate to see buildings such as these torn down. They are a part of history, be that history good or bad. Too many people want to ignore the bad and pretend the world is made up of sunshine and butterflies.

    Posted by Sara | 1-6-14., 12:22 am
    • Well if you are then I’m right there with you. I absolutely hate it when these places get bulldozed. I guess I can understand it sometimes; land can be valuable and life goes on but with some of these places, the ones with historical value that are able to tell a story we should do all we can to preserve them for the future. We in America are especially great about destroying places of great value. I think of some of the buildings in Virginia that are related to great Civil War battles that are an island of history in the middle of traffic lights, gas stations, Wal Marts and assorted tacky, dirty businesses. We are too quick to destroy our roots and our heritage in this country.

      Posted by Daniel Piper | 1-6-14., 1:06 am
  51. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without
    a doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for
    bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will share
    this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

    Posted by league of legends nidalee | 1-20-14., 6:16 am
  52. You say the last big scandle in the building was in 1984? Then you say 40 years of bird shit? Which one is it? Doubt they let birds take over a whole floor for ten years before it was shut down? Ive broken in the building myself. And also north brother island. Didnt know I could of asked permission

    Posted by Cliff Charpentier | 2-7-14., 1:32 pm
  53. Mixing Invisibles

    The scene opens
    Down a long hall
    Dark green walls
    Under a bare bulb
    Dead men shuffle
    On the left, a shaky table
    Lucky Strikes, a portable radio
    The attendant bends
    Drops his head
    Between her legs
    She crosses over

    In this asylum
    Light falls on the father
    Bone sorrow
    Mixing invisibles
    Mumbling metaphysicals
    She waits, as if back stage
    While he lectures
    To an empty room

    The attendant shouts, “pop
    Say hello to your daughter”

    Agony clocks in
    Between the bringing and
    Taking him back
    To the den
    With the other dead men
    And all those details
    Pea soup nails
    The jingle
    The way a steel door locks
    The way the scene opens
    Down a long hall
    Dark green walls
    Under a bare bulb
    Dead men shuffle

    breindel lieba kasher

    Posted by breindie | 3-20-14., 1:01 am
  54. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways,
    just wanted to say wonderful blog!

    Posted by test3 | 5-17-14., 1:26 pm
  55. We deplore what happened in the asylums but now that places like this are closed and the patients are on medications instead. Many of them end up on the streets now instead of in hospitals. There must be some state of care in between the depravity of the hospital depicted here and the state of denial and lack of real care. What that in-between state might be I have no idea. But surely someone can work out a better system.

    Posted by Sally Scheer | 6-1-14., 8:57 pm
    • Yes, you are correct. This problem has been going on for the past 30 years and the politicians continue to ignore the issue, even though, tragedies caused by untreated mentally ill people are on the increase today.
      .

      Posted by TJ | 6-17-14., 11:01 pm
  56. A very bad place. It all started with the Germans who durring WWII killed hundreds of thousands of mentally sick people as a part of their politics of cleaning the new world out of the sick, the weak etc. We have such an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Owinska in Poland with a dramatic history. There were 1100 patients there in 1939 that were killed on the premises including mentally disturbed children that were killed on 11 Nov 1939 with the use of gas in the hospital;basements and burried in surronding woods. If you want to see whats left of it today http://www.urb-ex.pl/galeria-2007_11_10_Owinska. Best regards from Poland.for all of you and Will of course for wonderfull ( and usually sad) job.

    Posted by Łukasz Wilewski | 7-25-14., 4:21 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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