Monday, April 16, 2012

A Spooky Place

After World War I, the State of New York built a psychiatric center for veterans returning with mental problems.  It was built in Kings Park, only ten minutes from where I live.


Over time, the Kings Park Psychiatric Center grew and started to house very troubled individuals.  Early in my career, 25 years ago, I visited the Center to represent a man committed there.  He had  killed his mother in a psychotic rage.  I was shocked at what I saw at the Center.  Not only were the living conditions horrible but the patients were irretrievably lost.  They were so far beyond what we call normal that you couldn't even communicate with them.  It was a very disturbing experience.


The Psychiatric Center was closed in 1996 and the State didn't know what to do with the property so it just laid abandoned.  Recently, the State decided to turn the place into a "park" -- but without doing anything to the Center.  The old buildings are still there; the bars on the windows are still there.


I visited the new "park" Saturday.  It has a haunting, eerie atmosphere.  Here are some pictures.












18 comments:

  1. Yikes !
    How very spooky.
    If those walls could speak...

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  2. What a shame they've left the buildings in such a state of repair!
    Happy Monday Hun xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

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  3. Honestly, I love spooky old buildings! I think it is beautiful. Though it is sad that it was such a terrible environment for those people. Maybe someday it will be re-purposed as something wonderful.

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  4. Great pics. I'm like obsessed with abandoned buildings, I would love to poke around in there.

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  5. Thanks for sharing these pictures. I love old buildings. The story is extremely sad, but the history behind the buildings is incredible. It reminds me of one of my favorite creepy places - Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

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  6. That looks and sounds so interessting! I love spooky buildings.

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  7. We have a similar place here in Louisville it's called 'Waverly Hills'. It's this huge, creepy, beautiful old building that used to be tuberculosis hospital, then a sanatorium, then was a 'old folks home' until the state had to shut it down in the 80s. It's supposed to be SUPER haunted.

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  8. These photos really capture the spooky eerie nature of this place. Your story scared the shit out of me.

    xo,
    Tracy

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  9. Creepy... Over in my neck of the woods a lot of psychiatric facilities are being shut down through out the years and these buildings are just left abandoned too.... They are super creepy. During one shut down of a facility an hour away from me, I had to go a few times to do assessments and the old building which was only a 1/4 occupied was beyond creepy to go through. I'm happy its officially shut down and I wont have to go again lol

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  10. There is a similar place in my parents' city. It was known as the mental hospital, or,as my sister called it, "the castle on the hill", and like many others, the treatment of the people inside varied by social beliefs about mental illness. When it closed (due to the popularity of group homes, and the understanding that mental illness and mental disability are not one and the same), it sat empty, then slowly became a museum about its own history. When volunteers died away, it became storage for other museums in the area. I was once in there on my own picking up some materials for a different museum, and it was creepy wandering around in there alone, but never feeling that you really were, hearing sounds, screams and footsteps. I wasn't alone in my supernatural experiences. Finally, it was purchased by the local community college. They are slowly, building by building, bringing it back to its former architectural glory. Unfortunately, they are very aware of the public's interest in their building, and frequently arrest people for "trespassing" on evenings and weekends. Despite having a renowned culinary arts program and a gorgeous dining hall, they won't allow external organizations to hold events there. It's really too bad - they are failing to balance their budget, and allowing weddings - or even just wedding photos - would be an amazing source of revenue in a city where the other options include the local hockey rink, or two hotels with dated ballrooms. While the park may seem creepy, at least it is public!

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  11. There is an old state asylum about 8 miles south of where I live that is in very similar condition. However, the newer buildings are still in operation. From time to time, we will take a Sunday drive there. In one spot, there is a graveyard where the graves are simply numbered. No names...

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  12. When you walk through the grounds on the water side, it seems like such an unlikely spot to turn in to a park doesn't it? It like some post-apocalyptic town that remains standing.

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  13. A firm believer in ghosts, I wouldn't have been able to remain in the vicinity long enough to take pics! :o Given the horrors of psychiatric treatment during that period (and sometimes even now), I can only imagine the suffering that went on behind those walls. *deep shudder*

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  14. That place looks incredibly creepy. They should have ghost tours or something...

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  15. Oh, man. Those pictures creep me out. Nice quality, but scary pics!

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  16. Spookily gorgeous photos. That place definitely needs to be the scene of 1) an episode of "Paranormal State" and 2) a ghosty horror movie. I can see the teenagers now - camping out inside at night and trying to scare each other, then splitting up in pairs to light joints and have sex before they're all slaughtered.

    If things don't work out in law OR comedic writing, you have a career in photography!! Or perhaps you can find a way to weave all three together? :)

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