Category: abandoned school

High School Blues – 2014

High School Blues – 2014

A science classroom inside the former Alderwood Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada.

Alderwood Collegiate Institute closed it’s doors as a high school in 1983, although I believe it was still in use for a different purpose until the doors closed permanently in 2006.  It sat vacant for about 5 years until the TDSB (Toronto District School Board) sold part of the land to Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC). TLC then sold the property to Urbanoorp in 2012, the building continued to sit vacant falling victim to vandals and copper thieves and deteriorating rather quickly over a two year time period, until it was finally demolished in late 2014.  After the demolition Urbancorp had plans to develop the 8.5 acre site into into a mixed residential subdivision under the name Val Homes.  I had thought that the project had already been finished but seeing the property on street view from August of last year, it is still just a fenced off construction site.  Only time will tell what eventually happens to the land where this former high school once stood.

Abandoned old school with floating wall.

Abandoned old school with floating wall.

Bug ReportInsect specimens inside an abandoned school in…

Bug Report

Insect specimens inside an abandoned school in Ontario, Canada.

Jam – 2014Dramatic light inside the gymnasium of a formerly…

Jam – 2014

Dramatic light inside the gymnasium of a formerly abandoned High School in Ontario, Canada.

Abandoned old school.

Abandoned old school.

Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital (Glenn Dale, Maryland) ADDRESS:…

Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital (Glenn Dale, Maryland) 

ADDRESS: 5201 Glenn Dale Rd, Glenn Dale, MD 20769

COORDINATES: 38.962553, -76.809914

Glenn Dale Hospital was a tuberculosis sanatorium and isolation hospital built in 1934. The hospital consists of 23 buildings and sits on 216 acres of land. Glenn Dale Hospital’s 23 buildings include the children’s nurse’s homes, the children’s hospital, residences D through F, adults’ nurse’s homes, adults hospital, and much more. (Despite urban legend, the hospital’s incinerator was not used for the burning of human remains, rather it was used to burn human wastes.)Both the children’s and adults’ buildings are connected by a series of underground tunnels, like many sanitariums. These walkways join the basements of both buildings together, however in some places the walkways are flooded with almost three feet of water. Each hospital basement has its own morgue. The hospital closed in 1981 due to the large amounts of asbestos as well as the development of vaccines. 

And now, of course, on to the urban legends of the hospital. Glenn Dale had a history of maltreatment of patients, this includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, extreme isolation, and torture of both adult and child patients. Urban legends claim that the victims of these abuses still haunt the halls today. There are many reported sightings of ghostly patients, smoke coming from the crematorium, and even a large pack of ghostly hounds running along the property. People have also complained of noises such as banging and yelling coming from the hospital walls hear screams and sometimes laughter. Inside there is sometimes a strong odor of burning flesh and smoke coming from where they used to burn the bodies. In one particular room, there is said to be sightings of a man in a straightjacket who went insane after watching his family being murdered by an intruder to his home while he hid in a closet. 

Mark Twain said it best, “The truth is stranger than fiction.” In this case, that’s definitely true. A local who lived across the street from the hospital heard gunshots coming from the building. He called the police, and they actually found one of their own officers at the building, unable to speak and staring straight ahead. He had shot off all of his rounds at something that was never found.

**I’d like to recommend not exploring this building. Maryland’s police patrol the hospital grounds regularly, there are massive amounts of asbestos and lead paint, and parts of the underground walkways are flooded with nearly three feet of thirty-year-old water. In addition to all of that, the buildings are infested with rats and bats.**

Fort Carroll (Sparrows Point, Maryland) ADDRESS: Sparrows Point,…

Fort Carroll (Sparrows Point, Maryland) 

ADDRESS: Sparrows Point, Maryland 21219

CORRDINATES: 39.214593, -76.519078

In 1847, the State of Maryland gave permission to the United States War Department to construct a fort in the shallow water of Soller’s Point Flats to protect the city of Baltimore. This fort was named Fort Carroll and was important for the defense of Baltimore. In 1853 a lighthouse was built on the ramparts to aid navigation into Baltimore Harbor and in 1898 a new lighthouse was built. The Fort was there for the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I. 

After World War I broke out, the Army removed the guns from the fort and by 1920 all guns were gone. In March 1921 the Army officially abandoned Fort Carroll and moved whatever military equipment was left to nearby Fort Howard. The War Department declared the island excess property in 1923 but took no immediate steps to sell the land. In World War II the Army used the fort as a firing range. It also served as a checkpoint for vessels.

In May 1958, Baltimore attorney Benjamin Eisenberg purchased the island for $10,000, intending to put a casino on the island, but development plans never materialized. The fort is now abandoned has is the home of thousands of native birds. 

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (Washington D.C., United…

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (Washington D.C., United States) 

ADDRESS: 1100 Alabama Ave SE, Washington, DC 20032

COORDINATES: 38.844131, -76.991636

The hospital was created in August 1852 when the United States Congress appropriated $100,000 for the construction of a mental hospital in Washington, D.C.; to provide care for the indigent, mentally ill residents of the District of Columbia, as well as for the insane of the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. Soon after the hospital opened to patients in January 1855, it became known officially as the Government Hospital for the Insane. 

During the Civil War, the West Lodge was used as a general hospital by the U.S. Navy. The unfinished east wing of the main building was used by the U.S. Army as a general hospital for sick and wounded soldiers. The Army hospital officially took the name of “St. Elizabeths Army Medical Hospital” to differentiate it from the mental hospital in the west wing of the same building. In the late 19th century, the hospital temporarily housed animals which were brought back from expeditions for the Smithsonian Institution, because of lack of housing for the animals at the yet to be built National Zoo.

At its peak, the St. Elizabeths campus housed 8,000 patients and employed 4,000 people. Beginning in the 1950s, however, large institutions such as St. Elizabeths were being criticized for hindering the treatment of patients. The patient population of St. Elizabeths steadily declined due to changing laws and psychological treatment. 

More than 15,000 known autopsies were performed at St. Elizabeths between 1884 and 1982, and a collection of over 1,400 brains preserved in formaldehyde, 5,000 photographs of brains, and 100,000 slides of brain tissue was maintained by the hospital. Some of these items still remain in the hospital today. 

The Mamie S. Barrett, Abandoned Towboat (Vidalia,…

The Mamie S. Barrett, Abandoned Towboat (Vidalia, Louisiana) 

ADDRESS: 163-, 253 S Prong Rd, Vidalia, LA 71373

COORDINATES: 31.404967, -91.581438

The Mamie S. Barrett was a towboat built in 1921 by the Howard Shipyard of Jeffersonville, IN, for the Barrett Line (Oscar F. Barrett) of Cincinnati. The boat is 146 feet long and 30 feet wide.

The boat was sold to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in October 1923 and sent to Florence, AL. It appeared in the Rock Island District inventory in 1926 and was renamed “Penniman” in 1935. The boat retired from the U.S. Army in 1947 and was sold to the Vollmer Brothers Construction Co., and sold again in 1949 to Spencer Merrills. Merrills converted the boat into a clubhouse and restaurant called “Piasa”. In 1981 the boat was sold to Dick and Kathy Oberle who moved it to Eddyville, KY. The boat was given back her original name, underwent an extensive restoration and served as a restaurant at the marina on the Cumberland River. In 1987 the boat was purchased by John and Mary Houseman and was brought to Vicksburg. Around 1990 the boat was purchased as casino boat but never used. 

After about 1993, the boat was subject to a flood and was later moved to Vidalia, Louisiana. Many people have offered to purchase the boat, however, none came through. 

Kuhn State Memorial Hospital (Vicksburg,…

Kuhn State Memorial Hospital (Vicksburg, Mississippi) 

ADDRESS: 1422 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Vicksburg, MS 39183

COORDINATES: 32.355215, -90.870295

Kuhn State Hospital started life as Vicksburg’s City Hospital back in 1832, in response to a smallpox outbreak. Run by Dr. George K. Birchett, and later his son, grandson, and great-grandson, the hospital served wounded during the Civil War and suffered the deaths of 16 doctors and 6 Catholic Sisters of Mercy during the Yellow Fever of 1878. The state took over the operation of the hospital in 1871, and the institution was re-named the State Charity Hospital at Vicksburg. The Kuhn State Memorial Hospital closed in 1989, a victim of state politics and funding issues.

Needless to say, this hospital is creepy. People claim it’s extremely haunted due to the many deaths on the premises. Many people claim to have heard a little girl saying, “Do you want to come play with me?” and a disembodied voice saying, “Oh my God.” Others claim to hear voices, footsteps, and even screaming coming from the halls. 

The legends and stories definitely will make you uneasy, but I’m going to have to quote Mark Twain and say, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” In 2015, a group of paranormal investigators snuck into the hospital to investigate the strange occurrences reported there. Upon leaving the area, they stumbled upon the dead body of an elderly woman right up against the building. What had happened was that two young men, Akeem McCloud, 20, and Rafael McCloud, 33, had broken into the woman’s home and had kidnapped her. They brought her to the abandoned hospital, sexually assaulted her, and then shot and killed her. According to one of the investigators, “You could tell where they had dragged someone down from the second floor in the middle of the building, to a grassy area on the left side of the hospital,“ he said. “On the steps, that’s where most of the blood was, and it looked like they dragged her all the way to the grassy area.” (Read the news report here.)