Abandoned Psychiatric Center
Middletown, NY - April, 2010
I've heard of the place and wanted to visit it but not on a bright and sunny day. I wanted it overcast. Fortunately, it rained. So the whole family went there with the clouds gray and the rain drizzling.

I would have been content with exterior shots only (although sadly wanting...) which was why I wanted gloomy weather. We parked just outside the building and started shooting when we saw four people leisurely walk out of the abandoned building.

There were no “no trespassing” signs. We took our time taking some more exterior shots before we, too, decided to go in. (Not sure if that’s smart, though…)

Inside it‛s just like a church, that is, if you‛re into photography. It‛s “made for HDR”. (“High dynamic range” roughly means a mix of extremely dark and bright spots in one scene.) There were plenty of photographic detail and dramatic lighting. And the coffin, the swiveling chair (which my daughter said had straps to keep the occupant seated), couch, sagging floor, etc. are close to one another by the entrance so we didn’t have to go wandering far inside.

I wish the building would be turned into some kind of a guided walking tour. They do stuff like that (and comes with a fee) for mountain hikes in our area why not abandoned buildings? I would pay admission to get inside a place like that -- as we did at Roberson Mansion in Binghamton last year and plan to at other known haunted museums in our area specifically the Gomez Mill House in Newburgh -- and not some phony haunted house at a theme park.

I have to say when I first saw the coffin in the building I paused instinctively. I guess I was in disbelief trying to comprehend what my eyes were seeing. I don‛t think I was spooked. I was more curious than anything.

But later at night when I was post-processing one of the coffin pictures by myself at home, staring at it for long periods at a time trying to decide which combination of color, contrast, saturation, and whatnot looked best, I have to admit that when the phone beside me rang -- just like in the movies -- I jumped out of my chair and almost had a heart attack.

Click on a picture to enlarge.
Abandoned psychiatric center -- or in everyday terms, an abandoned asylum.
We took exterior shots outside the building. Vi took this picture.
Cody and Cinder. We parked right beside the psych center. Via took this picture.
Radioactive sign. It said “Fallout Shelter”. According to wikipedia.org, “A fallout shelter is an enclosed space specially designed to protect occupants from radioactive debris or fallout resulting from a nuclear explosion. Many such shelters were constructed as civil defense measures during the Cold War.” I see many buildings in New York City mostly old brick or stone buildings with that sign.
A fellow photography enthusiast says,
“When I was growing up in the late 50's these were the types of precautions we were made aware of and advised to adhere to. Every kid in school knew where the nearest shelter was (usually in the school basement) in the event of an
Back of psych center. Vi took this picture.
Side door and path. Vi took this picture.
Via taking pictures.
After a while, we went in. Cinder, our kitten, was getting restless. She wanted to get down. So Cody went back inside the car and just stayed there. Via took this picture.
Watch your step when looking out the window. You could fall. Not out the window but in through the floor. Via took this picture.
Chair. Via said it had straps to keep the occupant seated.
Door to courtyard.
Window. Vi took this picture.
Graffiti. We actually saw some pizza boxes (not in this pic -- but beside the coffin) and plastic water bottles so some people must have snacked inside. Via took this picture.
The floor has detached itself from the wall due to the weight of the chair so we had to walk very carefully.
Hallway with rooms on either side.
I was wondering what was in the rooms so I took this shot.
Hardly a glass wasn't broken. Via took this picture.
Tables, chairs, and whatnot piled up.
Another view to show it's unused.
There are other abandoned buildings in the area... Vi took this picture.
...boarded up houses...
...another building that looks residential or another center...
...and yet another building. Vi took this picture.
There were buildings in the area that were in use, too.
It's really a nice park to walk around in. Vi took this picture.
There's even a children's playground beside the abandoned asylum as if to say,
I can't get enough of the coffin so I took another shot.When a fellow photography enthusiast saw the pictures, he said they reminded him of the video game,
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