Saturday, August 29, 2015


I went to the creepiest place on Long Island today. And took pictures.

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 they couldn't communicate.  Their misery was palpable. I was deeply disturbed by the visit.

The Psychiatric Center was closed in 1996 and the State didn't know what to do with the property so it just laid abandoned.  Three years ago, the State converted 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. There's no publicity about the park and barely any signs. Today, on a beautiful Summer day, I was THE ONLY PERSON THERE. That is super-spooky.

The park has a haunting, eerie atmosphere. I sought to capture it with my camera.

What do you sense from these pictures?













  1. I love spooky places, the vibes you feel as you walk around. I love the photos and it makes me want to watch American Horror Story. Thank you for sharing

  2. Totally reminds me of season 2 American Horror Story. Yikes.

    I'm surprised they haven't used this as a movie set yet. Walking Dead would work well here.


  3. I think to honour the people who were "lost" there they should fix it up ... the buildings are still beautiful.

  4. Powerful set of photos. There is a strong sense of desolation, isolation, and a deep desire to be understood but not knowing how to bridge the gap.

  5. It's like the scene of a creepy movie! It's sad that those psychiatric hospitals were so awful and probably did more damage than good. It would be great if they kept the buildings and maybe put in some commemorative plaques to remember the people who stayed there.

  6. Sad, haunting place. Our treatment of the mentally ill is better now, but with plenty of sadness still. xo

  7. It was clearly beautiful once, but looks eroded and abandoned now. Much like, i would think, the tragically ill who spent time between those plaster walls, and behind that rich brick facade..
    xx, Elle
    I hope you are unspooked by now and have seen something reassuring and life affirming.

  8. Lovely pictures. Back when livejournal was more active, I followed a community full of people who took pictures of abandoned places. It's spooky but beautiful

  9. Seriously cool! I am wild about abandoned buildings and homes. As we head into fall, and thus Halloween season, this seems like an especially fitting place for you to spend the day.

    ♥ Jessica

  10. I like how abandoned buildings look, specially those that are being swallowed by vines and bushes. Now, I am not sure how I'd feel being the only one there and knowing the creepy past.

  11. Ally this is where one of my friends, Christine, takes all of her very beautiful fashion photos for instagram! It was already in the books to do a shoot with her here. I am so excited! I want to visit sooo badly. This is just feeding me into it, lol. SOON.