The basement under the wards of Worcester State Hospital, an 1870s asylum in Massachusetts, was about the creepiest place I’ve ever poked my flashlight into. Pitch-black, with heavy boards covering all the windows, the first thing one would see when shining a torch into the building after sliding down a collapsed staircase was a mummified dog. There were strange, experimental hydrotherapy devices and a scale in a climate-controlled room to weigh patients while doctors performed obscure procedures on them. But imagine my surprise when, in 2006, I rounded a bend to a stairwell and found these mannequin legs standing upright against the rusticated stone wall. I nearly leapt out of my boots. Every trip in there was accompanied by a strange feeling of dread, until the wards were torn down entirely in 2008.
It is truly a strange thing when a steam pipe bursts under an abandoned building in the dead of winter, but that’s exactly what happened under the Clinic Building at Greystone Park State Hospital in 2007, a month before the building was unceremoniously knocked down. The steam congregated near the ceiling of the abandoned asylum infirmary, condensing on the pipes and dripping down in regular patterns - and creating these ice stalagmites. An hour after taking this photograph, demolition workers came into the building and chased us through the tunnels; we had to hide in an attic in 0 degree weather for hours while cops searched for us. The next time I drove out there, there was no trace that a building had ever stood in this spot.