It was yet another freezing cold day on Sunday as Jeff and I arrived at Forest Haven. I haven't been here for a while, it was years ago that Jeff and I had explored it together, yet it's a dear old haunt that draws me back every so often, as though I have to be aware of every new piece of decay that will finally lead it to its eventual demise. We were prepared with spare batteries and hand warmers already piping hot in our pockets. Once again I decided to leave the tripod in the car, not wanting to constantly fiddle with icy knobs and metal legs.
As we approached the admin building, still grand and majestic and seemingly defiant in its advancing ruin, I admired the white blossoms and fresh pale green leaves that were popping out on branches. Sadness immediately followed as I thought of the impending snow storm, due to dump 13" on Monday night and cause the destruction of Mother Nature's fresh start to her new year. It seemed impossible that this event was only hours away as we stood in the warm sun and listened to a solitary mocking bird whistling us a greeting.
Jeff and I took head shots of each other through a still upright door then finished the last and third floor of the main building.
The next building we entered had always been a little scary to me. Cold and dark with corridors of cells closed off by heavy doors incorporating a small thick pane of glass, it had seemed creepy, unfriendly and almost not completely unoccupied, as though lost souls still roamed in circles around the white tiled hallways. But today it felt like a building that had given up. Once again the doors were nearly all open, everything smashed inside, including a wonderful old piano which had provided many atmospheric photos on previous visits.
We moved onto the screen print shop. Again I was dismayed with the wreckage within. It was now almost impossible to walk about the room. Screens and anything not nailed down had been thrown about. The press had suffered further damage and was barely recognizable.
We stopped at one last building before leaving, more modern, but which had fallen prey to the elements a lot faster than the older better built structures.
We wandered slowly to the exit, snatching a few more photos, lingering by an old basketball, taking in the monolithic old ruins, and then walked back up the path, littered with discarded empty cans of paint, and dozens of face masks left hanging on the bare branches.
An excellent article on forest Haven is here.,incorporating a wealth of information on the asylum.