All humans are driven by their curiosity. There is always a desire in our minds to explore the unknown, the mysterious, and get an adrenaline rush out of it. As for me, I get my adrenaline rush from urban exploration, which involves exploring structures that have been abandoned and left to rot, at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Urban exploration is pretty popular nowadays; thanks to the Internet. If you're an urban explorer with a YouTube account, there’s a good chance that your videos will become viral.
Exploration of abandoned places always has its dangers. These dangers include collapsed floors and ceilings, police, gang fights, toxic mold, and carcinogenic fibers from old insulation.
There are, of course, reports of paranormal activity in some of these places, which makes sense, as some of these places have a very dark and disturbing past.
I myself had a run-in with the paranormal a few months back.
At my university, I am currently enrolled in a Cinematography class to pursue my degree in Film Production.
For Halloween, my instructor, Mr. Anderson, had assigned a Halloween-themed project. Our project was to simply create a scary short film.
As a result of my hyperactive imagination, I came up with the idea of filming something that was terrifying in real life. I wanted to go ghost hunting at a haunted location, catch something scary on camera, and blow the other films from my fellow students out of the water.
All of the places I had explored up to that point had ZERO paranormal activity, but I figured my latest destination could change that.
At the edge of town, on a giant hill, stands a complex of buildings that was once a lunatic asylum. There is no modern feel to its appearance. When you gaze upon the massive stone towers, you feel like you’re right in the middle of a horror game.
I’ll present a little bit of history, but I’ll try not to bore you with numerous details. The asylum was constructed in the late 1800’s under the Kirkbride Plan created by Thomas Kirkbride. Kirkbride believed that the insane should be offered large rooms, fresh air, and sunshine to cure them of their illness.
The asylum was meant to be a safe, comfortable place for the mentally ill, but it eventually became Hell on Earth for its patients.
According to federal investigators, there were reports of patients breaking out of their rooms and going on murderous rampages; killing any staff member in their way.
Suicide was common there, as some people hung themselves from the ceiling with bed sheets; while others dipped their heads in pots of boiling water stolen from the kitchen.
The torture of innocent patients became the norm, as some were restrained for so long that their skin grew over the restraints. Some patients were forced to sit in baths of boiling hot or freezing cold water for hours on end.
Some patients underwent lobotomies. In a lobotomy procedure, an ice pick would be shoved through the patient’s eye socket, and the frontal lobe would be disconnected from the rest of the brain. Some patients would become crippled, while others would be reduced to non-responsive vegetables.
The place was eventually closed in the 1980’s due to abuse and neglect.
With the amount of security swarming the place, it’s almost impossible to break in, but the few teenagers who succeeded in doing so have told all kinds of crazy stories; like slamming doors, floating heads, glowing eyes, moving wheelchairs, and disembodied screams. One of the hallways in the building has been nicknamed the "Shadow Hallway,” because shadowy apparitions supposedly roam this hallway.
As much as I wanted to explore the place, I didn’t want to be an idiot and face charges for trespassing. Luckily, my best friend Dennis is the Sheriff's son, so I asked him to pull a few strings for me, and it worked. The razor-wire gate at the entrance was unlocked for both of us, and I had the Sheriff’s note of permission in my pocket; in case we were confronted by a security guard that didn’t get the memo.Dennis came with me because we partnered up for the project. Being a history buff like me, the chance of exploring an abandoned institution over 100 years old was too good of an opportunity to pass up. He researched the history just like I did, and printed a copy of the old campus map off the Internet; so we would know which building was which.
We decided to explore the main hospital building first since it was massive compared to the other buildings.
Once we were inside, we were absolutely blown away by the condition of the interior.
The inside was in near perfect condition, as if it was closed yesterday. Thanks to the efforts of the police, nobody had a chance to vandalize or spray graffiti on the walls. The ceiling hadn’t collapsed, which was a blessing because I didn’t want wet pieces of rust to fall on my neck. The only damage we could find was just some peeling wallpaper.
Everything inside was left behind when the hospital closed. Wheelchairs, beds, syringes, gurneys, medical equipment, and papers were scattered in almost every room.
After a half hour, we found the electroshock therapy room, where many patients met a painful demise; as they were often given high levels of electric current that their bodies could not handle.
Dennis pointed at the wall. “Dude, look.”
I looked at the wall. Attached to the wall were two thick electric cords.
Dennis glanced at me and grinned. “All of the money in the world wouldn’t convince me to plug my arms into those.”
"No kidding," I replied.
We left the therapy room and started walking down yet another dark hallway. The building was literally like a giant maze.
We both saw it at the same time; a giant dark shadow rose out of the floor. Its glowing green eyes flashed like headlights as it stared at us.
My hands were shaking with excitement as I pointed my camcorder straight at the thing. It eventually turned its head away from us and sank back into the floor.
“Did you get that on camera!? Please tell me you got that one camera!” Dennis exclaimed.
I smiled. “Sure did.”
Dennis high-fived me. “We’re going to ace this project now. Our film will be the best in the class.”
Right at the moment, my camcorder shut off. I clicked the on/off switch multiple times with no response. “I can’t believe this.”
“The battery died. This doesn’t make any sense. I just charged it right before we left.”
Dennis shrugged. “Could be ghosts. Plenty of paranormal investigators have reported the same thing happening to their electronics. Plus, we got that ghost on camera, so we’re still going to beat the other projects by a landslide.”
“That’s a possibility; and we still have the whole complex to explore for the night. A dead battery can’t stop us.”
We eventually found ourselves in Ward D, where the most violent female patients were kept. On each side of the hallway, the patient rooms had thick wooden doors with giant brass locks on them.
That’s when it happened.
Without warning, every single door simultaneously slammed shut with a series of loud BANGS. We froze.
She...It...appeared. There wasn’t a flash of light, no misty fog, no stuff like that that you see in cheesy horror movies. She just appeared out of nowhere.
She was wearing a simple, white hospital gown. Her skin was as white as a skeleton. Her eyes had no pupils, no irises, and no veins. They were just empty, white circles. A few wisps of blonde hair stuck out of her head at random angles, like strands of hay on a broom.
She spoke: "You……...Why are you two here? You’re here to watch me suffer, aren’t you?” Despite her terrifying appearance, her voice was smooth and sweet, dripping with honey as she spoke.
We stood still, frozen with shock. She continued: “Doctors, both of you told me that you wanted to cure me, so that I could return to society, but you were lying. I knew you were lying.”
“Every time you locked me in a empty room, and every time you shocked me and burned my flesh, I saw that wicked look of glee in both of your eyes. You didn’t want to cure me; I was just an experiment to you; a guinea pig for you to toy around with.”
“Eventually, you two got bored with me, so you wanted to have one last experiment. While I was fully conscious, you strapped me to an operating table. You wanted to slice my brain to pieces and watch me scream in the process. You wanted to kill me the most painful way possible, and enjoy my attempts to break free from the straps. You succeeded.”
My eyes wandered to her hands, and I saw the object she was clutching in her right hand.
It was an ice pick.
She noticed me looking at the pick and smiled. As she smiled, her face stretched itself apart like bubble gum.
She spoke one more time: “You see Doctors, all I want……..is a little revenge……..is that too much to ask?”
Her mouth then opened into a large, gaping hole as she unleashed the loudest, most bloodcurdling scream I have ever heard in my life, and I hope to never hear it again.
It wasn’t just your ordinary scream. Her scream entered my head, and it occupied all of my thoughts. It stirred up all of my fears and amplified them to the point that it was causing waves of pain to travel throughout my body. I don't know how else to describe it. It was like she was an embodiment of fear itself.
“RUN!” Dennis yelled as loud he could.
She rushed at us with lightning speed, and we ran down the staircases like the building was on fire. When we reached the ground floor, we took a leap of faith and jumped out of a window frame with no glass present. Once we were outside, she didn't follow us.
“Is she gone?” Dennis’s face was white with fear.
I took some deep breaths. “It looks like it.”
Dennis pointed a trembling finger at the hospital. “I’ll tell you one thing, man. I’m never going in there again. Whatever those doctors did, it made her evil.”
At this point, we were soaked with sweat as we walked home, looking behind us every few seconds.
And yes, we had nightmares. Who wouldn’t, after experiencing what we experienced?
I'm not going to end this story by warning you not to explore abandoned asylums, as most people are just gonna ignore me and continue to do so anyway. I am simply warning you to be cautious. Sometimes, pursuing our hobbies can have some unexpected results.
By the way, if it was any compensation, we did end up getting an A+ on our film project.