Abandoned Train Depot
Middletown, NY
The building used to be a train depot for the long defunct NY O&W (Ontario & Western) Railroad.

NY O&W went bankrupt in 1957. Since then, the building had been a private home and then a restaurant. It is now abandoned.

I went out early morning for sunrise pictures. Then I remembered this building. So I drove there. I intended to shoot only the exterior but while I was doing so walking around the building, I noticed the front door was wide open. So I went in.

Past the front door it was pitch black. I couldn’t tell if there was a wall in front of me, a passage, or homeless men sleeping on the floor. So I fired a test shot using my camera’s built-in flash.

What I saw on my camera’s LCD blew me away. The place looked downright creepy! Without a moment’s hesitation I ran back to my car, got my bigger flashgun, and went back in. All the interior shots I took were with flash, just within a few steps past the front door. Had it not been for the flash, I would not have found my way in the dark.

I guess the big question is, is it haunted? If it had just been a train depot and a restaurant and nothing more, then probably not. But it had once been a private home complete with a bedroom upstairs, so, who knows? The local paper thinks it might.

What do I think?

I have to admit I was spooked when I took my first shot. But my fear of the supernatural was instantly gone, too, when I realized I had a photographic gold mine in front of me. I was actually more concerned about making my steps in the dark and composing my shots without seeing. In short, there was no room in my brain for thinking about ghosts.

I was also concerned that a cop car might pass by, see my car in the parking lot, and stop to question me. There were no “no trespassing” signs or any other sign for that matter but surely someone must own the building.

So while I was taking my shots, my mind was also busy composing my defense. With a door wide open like that -- quite possibly to a whole other realm -- what true photographer in his or her right mind would not go in and take some shots?

Reasoning like that ought to make it an open and shut case...

Click on a picture to enlarge.
Abandoned NY O&W Train Depot and Rusty Nail Restaurant.
Just past the front door, this must be the antechamber where patrons waited to be seated. This was actually my “test shot” that drew me in.
Turning around, the door to the right leads to the antechamber.
This must have been the main dining hall.
Steps leading to the barroom.
Taking a step deeper into the barroom.
Many have gone before me and posted their pictures on the web. This one is an article from the local newspaper, Record Online: http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091031/BIZ/910299956/-1/LIFE03
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