Posts Tagged ‘Abandoned Mental Hospital’

Angel of the Asylum – The Mystery of Saint Mary

Posted: September 1, 2016 by Abandoned Wonders and Hidden Wonders Photography in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Connecticut, abandoned home, Abandoned Hospital, Abandoned House, abandoned new england, Abandoned Sanatorium, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Wonders, Broken, Children's Hospital, Closed, commercial, Connecticut, darkness, Death, Destruction, empty, Exploration, exploring the abandoned, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, forgotten home, Ghosts, Graveyard, Haunting, Hiking, History, Information, left behind, lost, Mansfield, Mansfield Training School, Mystery, nature, new england, nightmares, overgrown, photography, research, Ruins, Safety First, Searching, Seaside Sanatorium, Stories, Storrs, time, UCONN, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex
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Angel of the Asylum

The Mystery of Saint Mary

Written by: Sean L.

Photographs by: Amanda H.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

I honestly never thought I would be quoting the Bible on this blog. I am not a religious person, and frankly this is not a religious piece. It is just a story about something weird we encountered in our travels. Over the years, we have seen and experienced many strange things exploring abandoned places. Things like whispers in the dark, unsettling feelings, and random waves of energy have all come to pass. But this was one of the more special cases. It happened on a late summer afternoon. It was your typical lazy Sunday, and a day that we had decided to visit our old friend Mansfield Training School. Since we visit Seaside Sanatorium every summer, we thought it might be nice to document this abandoned hospital annually as well. But what we found that day was a bit strange. It could all just be harmless fun, but it was just a little too weird for my taste.

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Now, we have already done one piece on the abandoned Mansfield Training School. You can find it here on our site if you want to know more. We will also be putting out an entirely separate piece on our return visit in the coming weeks. This piece stands on it’s own. Rather than talking about the history of the abandoned hospital once again, we shall be covering something different; Saint Mary. As the mother of Jesus Christ, Mary is one of the most prominent and well known saints of the entire Christian faith. It is believed that the Virgin Mary bore the son of God, who would go on to die for our sins on the cross. Statues, paintings, and stained glass windows bearing her image can be seen today all over the world. She has also claimed to have been seen and involved in many “miraculous” incidents throughout history, many of which still go unexplained today. And this case is no exception.

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On our first visit to the abandoned Mansfield Training School one year prior, we had discovered a ghostly statue of Saint Mary in the basement of one of the buildings on the far east side of the complex. On this day, we found the exact same statue standing at the gates to a different building on the far west side. She had been moved. Whereas once she stood guard below ground, she was now warding off any intruders from entering this new building. And we did double check old photos and the building we first found her in: it is indeed the same statue. Odds are, some college kids from the neighboring UCONN moved her as a prank. But still, maybe something else was at work here. The grounds are known as paranormal hot spots, and hauntings are said to be a regular occurrence here. Is this just some silly prank? Or is there something more supernatural at work here?

Perhaps it’s all just a coincidence. But then again, perhaps it isn’t.

Torn to Pieces – Remembering Undercliff Sanatorium

Posted: April 22, 2015 by Abandoned Wonders and Hidden Wonders Photography in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Connecticut, Abandoned Hospital, abandoned new england, Abandoned Sanatorium, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Wonders, Broken, Children, Children's Hospital, Closed, Connecticut, darkness, Death, Destruction, empty, Exploration, exploring the abandoned, fire, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, Ghosts, Graveyard, Haunting, Hiking, History, Homeless, Information, left behind, lost, Merden, Meriden CT, Movies, Mystery, nature, new england, overgrown, photography, Public Parks, research, Ruins, Safety First, Searching, Seaside Sanatorium, State Parks, Stories, time, Uncategorized, Undercliff Sanatorium, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex, writing
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Torn to Pieces

Remembering Undercliff Sanatorium

By: Sean and Amanda

The state of Connecticut is home to many well-known abandoned mental hospitals. In the shadow of the rolling hills of Southern Connecticut once stood one of our most feared and legendary facilities: Undercliff Sanatorium. Located in Meriden, CT, the grounds stood just a short walk off the beaten path of Hubbard State Park. Though several buildings on the grounds are still active state facilities, the main hospital had been abandoned since the seventies. Since its creation, it served several different purposes including a mental hospital and a storage facility. For many years after its demise, the facility sat empty and decaying. It was not until the spring of 2014 that the old hospital was finally demolished, torn to pieces over a few weeks. We were lucky enough to visit the abandoned Undercliff Sanatorium while it still stood in the early months of 2013.

hartford First opening in 1910, Undercliff Sanatorium is still an active state facility. It has recently been renamed by the state as Undercliff State Hospital, since it is no longer used for its original purpose. Covering over forty acres in the town of Meriden, the facility was originally built to treat children with tuberculosis and other diseases. As modern medicine developed and these diseases became less common, the facility slowly evolved into a treatment center for adults. In the 1950’s, all adolescent patients were transferred to Seaside Sanatorium. (see our write-up here) In the 1960’s, Undercliff evolved once again into a state mental health facility. The main hospital officially closed in 1976, and has essentially remained unused. Much like all abandoned hospitals in Connecticut, there were rumors of patient abuse and there have been many alleged hauntings on the property.

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Reaching Undercliff Sanatorium was no easy task. Due to large amounts of vandalism and trespassing, the official road signs for the facility had been removed to discourage visitors. We had read reports about some people being able to simply drive down the road and up to the facility itself. We found these hard to believe, especially considering a Connecticut State Trooper is housed on the grounds. Since it is still an active state facility, Undercliff was said to have a heavy police presence. We decided to park at the nearby Hubbard State Park. We made the climb up the mountain to Castle Craig, which gave us an excellent aerial view of the entire Undercliff campus and the surrounding towns. We then moved down the mountain to find a better way to get to the abandoned facility.

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After climbing down the mountain, we came upon a road leading off into the distance. Across the road from us, we found an old path into the woods and decided to follow it. It led us deep into the forest, and eventually we came upon an open field leading up to Undercliff Sanatorium. It was massive, looming ominously in the distance as we slowly got closer. Despite all the rumors, we did not encounter a single trespassing warning. There were no fences, no signs, and we didn’t see a single police officer or security guard. The entire grounds seemed empty. It was weird. We cautiously moved closer and closer to the facility, unsure if it was illegal or not. But oddly enough, the closer we moved onto the grounds, the quieter things became. There was not a single sign of life. We continued moving up cautiously and quietly until we finally reached the hospital.

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 The abandoned hospital was huge. After successfully crossing the open field, we entered the parking lot of the main hospital. There were two buildings adjacent to each other.  One was a simple rectangular building while the main hospital was blockier with each floor going up a little smaller than the one below it. Both were made entirely of brick. Every single window on the ground floor had been smashed and sub sequentially boarded up. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much graffiti on the hospitals exterior. A rickety chain link fence surrounded the main hospital, but there were so many holes cut into it that it was pretty much useless. The doors were all heavily boarded up, except the main door ironically, which had been busted open at the bottom. People were able to crawl inside easily through this hole, which looked relatively new. But there were asbestos warning signs posted everywhere.

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We encountered several other explorers, who helped us get inside via the opening at the main door. Inside, Undercliff Sanatorium was a maze of darkness. There are almost no pictures of the interior because we foolishly forgot our flashlights. The main hospital was at least seven floors, including a basement which was mysteriously flooded when the facility was abandoned. Rumor has it that the facility’s crematorium and morgue were located down there, and it was flooded to keep people away from them. Each hallway was a little creepier than the last. Each staircase was in ruin. Around each corner lay more shadows and more destruction. Vandalism was rampant everywhere. Oddly a lot of supplies seemed to have been left behind, and summarily destroyed by vandals. The main attraction of the abandoned facility was the theater. On the north side of the main hospital, which could be seen from the outside, was a large and ghostly theater featuring hundreds of empty chairs staring at a rotting stage. There was definitely a dark vibe about this place. It could be felt throughout the entire facility.

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Though it has since been demolished, the darkness of Undercliff Sanatorium can still be felt. When you visit a place like this, it never really leaves you. Just looking at the facility from the outside, we could feel presence that lay within its walls. It is unclear at this time what the state plans to do with the now demolished site. Since the grounds are still an active facility, it will more than likely continue to serve that purpose. One fun rumor we heard about this place is that the Travel Channel show “Ghost Adventures” wanted to do a paranormal investigation here and even offered the State of Connecticut a good sum of money to allow them to do so. But all offers were mysteriously turned down. Unfortunately, whatever dark secrets and evil deeds this facility once held are no more. But the ghost of Undercliff will always be there.

Hiding in Plain Sight – The Wonders of Seaside Sanatorium

Posted: November 8, 2014 by Abandoned Wonders and Hidden Wonders Photography in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Cabin, Abandoned Connecticut, abandoned home, Abandoned Hospital, abandoned new england, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Wonders, Beaches, Bird Watching, Birds, Broken, Cabin, Children, Children's Hospital, Closed, commercial, Connecticut, darkness, Death, Destruction, empty, Exploration, exploring the abandoned, fire, for sale, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, forgotten home, Ghosts, Graveyard, Haunting, Hiking, History, Homeless, House, Information, left behind, Movies, Mystery, nature, new england, nightmares, Ocean, Ocean View, overgrown, photography, Public Parks, research, Ruins, Safety First, Searching, seaside, Seaside Sanatorium, State Parks, Stories, time, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex, Waterford, writing
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Hiding in Plain Sight

The Wonders of Seaside Sanatorium

By: Sean and Amanda

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Overlooking the waters of Long Island Sound stands the hauntingly beautiful Seaside Sanatorium. One of Connecticut’s many abandoned former mental health facilities, Seaside holds a dark past. With the waves of the ocean crashing against the shores a few yards from the facility, Seaside is as captivating as it is depressing. As one of the only major abandoned locations that is legal to visit, we have checked out Seaside Sanatorium on multiple occasions. During the winter, it is an empty and sad shadow of its former self. But during the summer, the grounds become an active place for swimming and recreation. Located in the town of Waterford, CT, Seaside sits seaside to the Atlantic Ocean. It is located along Shore Road in Waterford. While it faces the ocean, the grounds are nestled within a rather active neighborhood.

While the state of Connecticut is home to many abandoned medical facilities, Seaside Sanatorium is one of the more picturesque locations. The building itself was designed by the famous architect Cass Gilbert, the same man responsible for the famous US Supreme Court building in Washington DC and New Haven’s Union Station. The facility was opened during the early 1930’s, seeing a long and colorful history that lasted until 1996. Over the years it has served as a children’s hospital, a treatment center for the elderly, and a facility for the mentally handicapped. Sadly, the facility was home to several incidents of violent treatment of patients in the early 1990’s which would ultimately cause the demise of Seaside. It now sits abandoned, though it can be legally walked as a recreation area.

Our trip to Seaside was very easy to plan. There is a ton of information online about the facility including its history, location, where to walk, and where to park. It is in the middle of a residential neighborhood on Shore Road. Located right next to the abandoned grounds is an active state facility, so do not get mixed up. When you first arrive at the location, it will look like you do not belong. But trust us; it’s okay to be there. Online we found the official address to be Seaside Drive, Waterford, CT. Our GPS took us down Shore Road, located in close proximity to Harkness State Park. The facility is on the left, along the shore of Long Island Sound. Seaside Drive is NOT where you park. There is a steel gate blocking traffic into the facility. That is not where you belong. To the right of the gate is the active state facility. To the left of the gate is a parking lot, where it is legal to park. It is then a very quick walk onto the grounds.

There are several smaller buildings that are empty towards the parking lot. There is also what appears to be a security office and a Port-O-John. The first large building that we came across is the Nurse’s Quarters. Though it is slightly smaller than the actual hospital, it is just as picturesque. This building is effectively impossible to get into without vandalizing it. The windows are all boarded up from the inside. There are locks on the entrances. And the steps on all of the fire escapes have been removed. We would not advise you to try anything stupid. Besides, a family of very large sea birds called Osprey nest in the upstairs of the nurse’s quarters. You do not want to mess with them. Through not as good looking as some large birds, the Osprey family is just as strangely mesmerizing as Seaside itself.

Moving on past the Nurse’s Quarters, we came upon the hospital itself. Directly overlooking the ocean, it is a good sized building. There are four floors to the hospital. The main entrance is sealed up very well with boards, locks, and nails. Most of its windows are broken, and the inside walls are coated with graffiti. Large flocks of much smaller birds nest in different areas of the building. Facing the ocean lays the facility’s abandoned recreational area. A derelict chess board still stands with its two seats still intact. A broken down merry-go-round lies in ruin. What remains of the playground is overgrown with vines and vegetation. A child’s slide is still there, its yellow paint job slowly chipping away. Atop the building is a rusting weathervane, shaped like an old school whaling ship. Behind the building is what remains of Seaside’s parking lot.

The facility is very easy to get inside. There are many places that would be an easy jump or climb to get inside the facility. We do NOT recommend or condone this though. The facility is very unstable on the inside. And though the grounds of Seaside are legal to walk, it is ILLEGAL to go inside the facility itself. On most days, during the summer especially, there is a security guard on duty who is authorized to detain any trespassers. On one of our visits, one of these security guards saw us taking pictures of the buildings and came over to tell us all about the facility. He explained to us the history of the buildings and what plans the town of Waterford hopes to have for the grounds for the near future. He also gave us fair warning not to go inside the facility. He was very respectful and informative. We ask that you respect the guards and their job to keep people out of the facility.

Even though you cannot legally go inside Seaside Sanatorium, it is still well worth a visit. The grounds are very popular for dog walkers and beachgoers during the summer. But no matter what season you go, the buildings are just hauntingly breathtaking. They are something that you will never forget. There have been many rumors throughout the years of the grounds being demolished for either a condominium complex or a strip mall. But none of these rumors have come true yet. Until they do, Seaside Sanatorium continues to sit hiding from the world that left it behind in plain sight. Waiting.