Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Haven of Unhappy Souls Revisited

I took Friday as a vacation day so I could have a long weekend, and met up with an urbexing buddy to revisit an old favorite of mine in Maryland, an abandoned childrens' asylum.
I haven't been here for a while and was astounded at how overgrown it had become. The main building was nearly invisible, its brickwork being slowly taken over by creepers and what had once been tiny saplings were now large bushes and trees hiding it from view. Once it had been easy to look across the campus at the other buildings but now roads and buildings alike were obscured as nature slowly reclaimed the land. but this turned to our advantage as it seemed the security had been stepped up a notch. We found the large bushes and tall grass worked to our advantage as we needed to quickly hide from a golf cart that was almost silently patrolling the grounds. After that first sighting we picked our way carefully as we negotiated between the buildings. Years ago, we had been able to stroll around the grounds without any concerns.
The buildings were pleasantly cool inside and unfortunately there was still plenty of paperwork lying around. I spotted a large container marked for recycling but obviously the job was never finished. It's disgusting to think these once private records now lie around for anyone to pick up. Admittedly most are now covered by asbestos and plaster dust.
I love the old windows in abandoned buildings, especially those with tatters of curtains hanging.
The old wheelchairs were still in some of the buildings and it was like greeting old friends as I walked up to them with pleasure, glad that they hadn't deteriorated too much. They'd obviously been wheeled around to play the perfect role in peoples' photos and we were no exception, moving them around to get the best light.
The old church had suffered. more graffiti had been added to the walls and more of the vibrant glass windows had been knocked out. I took photos of the remaining panes wondering if I'd be able to get whole panes of glass in one image in future trips.
The most famous chair of our urbexing locations looked as wonderfully tatty as ever but I was pleased to notice that it actually hadn't decayed further. It will be a sad day when this chair collapses. I had wanted my photo taken sitting in it but just couldn't bring myself to sit in it, I had visions of falling straight through to the floor.
We quietly walked through the buildings before realizing that hours had passed so we decided to finish the day at the main building. We walked along the overgrown roads listening for that noiseless golf cart and feeling uneasy at not being able to see over the hedges and bushes.
The dental office looked pretty much the same as at my last visit apart from some of the plastic cups having been placed for the purposes of photos. The lab had fared worst. There was barely anything left and I was sad to immediately spot the absence of the old typewriter, the keys of which are the header of this blog. All the bottles had been removed from the work surfaces which now only had piles of plaster, dust and decayed paper, with perished rubber glass droppers smashed inside sodden boxes, rusty pieces of metal and barely anything distinguishable.
Instead of the usual shot looking down the stairs which everyone takes, I looked up. It really looks the same as looking down except there's no piles of plaster dust on the steps.
We were at the top of the building when we heard another vehicle and looking out spotted an unmarked police car which was followed about a minute later by a van. Time to leave. We'd been extremely fortunate with our trip and we didn't want to outstay our welcome. But I know I'll be back for another scout around, I just can't seem to stay away...

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