Last weekend I finally got to explore an abandoned hospital! Like a lot of people I am terrified of hospitals, for not good reason at all. An abandoned hospital though? It has been on my list of places to get for so long. We actually had scoped out this place last year and didn’t see an entrance. I wasn’t super confident we’d be able to get inside this year but it was worth a shot.
We parked, got out, and started walking around the hospital in order to get some exterior shots, and possibly find a way in. Within a few minutes a car showed up, and headed right for us. The driver, an older woman, rolled down her window and asked “Are you guys urban explorers?” “Nope, just looking to take some photos of the outside.” She didn’t look convinced and now any chance of getting inside was shot. The last thing we needed was a concerned citizen thinking we looked suspicious… which we totally did. The three us dressed in dark clothes, all with backpacks and tripods. It’s beyond obvious what we’re up to. We continued to walk the perimeter of the building because technically there was nothing wrong with us doing that, right?
Jeff walked around the outermost perimeter while Jake and I stuck close to the building. When we rounded the corner there was Jeff chatting with the lady in the car. Jake and I walked over to join the conversation. Apparently she had a great interest in the hospital. She even revealed that a few years back she had been inside. It was at that moment we realized “okay, she’s not a threat!” She raved about how amazing it was and how much she enjoyed seeing it. She wasn’t looking for a way in this time, just to photograph a peregrine falcon who was known to hang out on the roof.
The grounds of the hospital were hopping which is both good and bad. Good because us being there raises less of a concern if people are there often just to get a look at this giant building, and bad because that means someone could see us entering the building. While talking to the woman from the car, Joyce, we noticed a group of six teenage boys walking around the building. To me, they looked suspicious but teenage boys always kind of do. Then all of a sudden they just start disappearing inside! Well, there was our way in! We were actually going to get inside of this incredible building. I was on cloud nine.
We weaved our way into the main stairwell and started to climb. We went all the way to the top, stopping off at a few floors to explore a
few rooms but honestly, there was just so much to see. It was insane. I couldn’t believe we actually made it inside. After all this time I was finally inside an abandoned hospital. I was beyond excited. I was like a squirrel, just darting back and forth, chattering about how cool this was or how neat something looked. I just wanted to see it all! There were so many little details I wish I could have photographed them all. Room numbers, murals painted to make the place seem more inviting, medical equipment labels, etc.
We didn’t get to spend too much time inside since it was getting dark. If I haven’t already made it clear how large this place was let me just say it again, the hospital is huge. I’ve watched enough horror movies to know that I don’t want to be lost inside an abandoned hospital in the dark. We all agreed it was time to leave. It was a bit stressful trying to get out, especially since the bottom two floors have the windows boarded and that means it was pitch black. Even with awesome flashlights, which we each had, this place was one dark, creepy maze.
Once we finally found the spot where we had entered the building Jeff peeked out first to make sure the
coast was clear. There was a car so he ducked back down. A few seconds
pass and we hear the car park, and the door open then close. We looked
at each other with wide eyes, we thought we were screwed. There wasn’t
time to hide and in my mind, it was most definitely the police. Jeff
said “we’ve just got to own it”…
It was Joyce, the woman from earlier. She came back to check on the bird and spotted Jeff’s tripod which he had tossed out first. She thought we had lost it and was coming to pick it up. She was SO excited to see that we had gotten inside. We chatted with her for at least fifteen minutes. We talked birds, and abandoned buildings. She showed us photos of the peregrine falcons from the area which she lovingly referred to as her babies. I had to take a deep breath and collect myself, this woman was amazing. I love nothing more than a person with a passion and she was clearly crazy about her hobbies. I truly regret not getting a group shot of the four of us together in front of the hospital.
It was an amazing day. I finally crossed an abandoned hospital off my list and we met Joyce, who definitely brightened my day. Seriously, what an amazing lady. I’m sure the chance of crossing paths with her again are slim but here’s to hoping!
You can find more posts featuring abandoned places here.