Sunday, August 31, 2008

Latest Trip to Letchworth

The funny thing about Letchworth Village is that its sooooooo freakin huge... and creepy at the same time. I had never been there before during the day, just nighttime expeditions praying to whoevers up there that the cops dont show up. You can imagine why.

I've been there with groups of people and by myself, and been freaked out every single time.
However, a few Sundays ago, me and my girlfriend ventured up to Haverstraw NY and had a great time poking around the decrepit buildings and hearing far off voices of a pair of teenage wanna-be hookers walking through the compound.

I had only visited half of the place, and going to this other side was amazing, much cooler buildings and things to explore. This is also the less-visited side of the campus: you can tell based on the lack of offensive grafitti, probably because its a walk through the woods to get there.

It was honestly better than going at night. First off: no need to sneak around like Sam Fisher or Snake or -wow anybody else get that those video game references?- to avoid the local cops, who by the way... alright, i know those guys "are just doing their jobs..." Okay! I get it! You were teased in high school to the point of insanity and now you're taking it out on US! You were a looser and not invited to go on crazy little trips to haunted houses and shit like that so you're taking it out on those who CAN go. Or better yet, were invited, but were too scared to go. So now you've got a Crown Vic with red and blue lights on it, a radio, bunch of flashlights, a PR24 baton and a loaded 9mm on your hip- oh yeah, real tough and ready to face any ghost in the joint. I aint fraid of no ghost! Oooooh yeah, those are the guys I want responding to an emergency call at 3:45 in the morning when some broke moron is trying to slide a clipped coat hanger in my car's window to get at the change in my cupholder.

And try to get me to confess to some shit I didnt do. Okay, yeah. Just as soon as I lean in, get all serious, and admit that I was the lone gunman on the grassy knoll.

Seriously, I've never been pulled over, or harassed, or told to turn the damn music down cuz you're creatin' a nuisance... by a nice cop. The good ones I see at Dunkin Dohnuts -i'm serious, no joke but they do love that place- , where i work, or at some random-ass pizza parlor I bump into that chill guy with a badge who taught DARE in middle school. NEVER have those guys asked me, "Son, do you know how fast you were going?"

Alright, yes, I do know how fast I was going: when my radar detector lit up like a freakin Christmas tree and I stood on the brakes and watched my speedometer fall in slow-mo from like ninety down to fifty-five like a toasted bagel I just knocked off the kitchen counter about to land cream-cheese side down, hoping against hope that my detector picked that sonofabitch up before he could get an accurate reading because speeding tickets are a motherfucker and I burned up my current PBA card in June... But! I'm not about to say that!

Annnny way, Letchworth. If you have the oppertunity to go...go! During the day tho. At night, its just not worth getting a ride into town from the cops. My advice for night trips tho, dont bring a car. How you choose to get there is entirely up to you but dont park ANYWHERE near that place. Granted, some people may think that cops are dumb... some think they're smart. However, we all can agree that you dont have to be serive-manager at Jiffy Lube to realize, "hmmm, thats a car that wasnt parked there when the place closed... now its there... hmmm, I wonder how it got there? And whats with the flashlight beams coming from that building over there with NO TRESSPASSING signs plastered to it?" Go during the day, don't go with more than four people, that kinda looks suspicious because the grounds are frequented by joggers, bike riders, ladies with strollers, and the occasional pair of lovebirds holding hands and taking pictures. You can guess what category me and my girlfriend fall into.


First-floor room from the above building.
Didn't really go in, just stuck my camera in through
an open window.

This is the basement of the building shown below, which was creepy as hell on the inside.

This place was a good find, and not that badly
tagged by punks with spray cans.

Can you say 'Enron'?

Oh yeah, this shit was fun to step on in the dark.


Looking for... anything at this point.

Photo Credit goes solely to my sweetheart Nicky because my damn camera broke.

Treasure Hunter

What is treasure?
Gold? Silver? I think -in addition to those, lets not get stupid- that 'real' treasure is simply the places at I go to themselves, and the memories of the people you go there with. Abandoned sanitariums, factories, towers, haunted houses, and ghost towns are all little wonders in themselves. Its like living I Am Legend every time I go into a someplace that society left for dead decades ago. I'm reminded of the scene where Will Smith is buggin out looking for his dog in the subways of NYC knowing full well that he might bump into a group of those zombie-like people who werent killed off by that virus.

The only thing is, I'm not worried about that kind of thing. Bums, teenyboppers with spray cans and bats, property owners, and of course, cops, are all on my mind as I creep down hallways and through the fields, woods, and rooms of places that I ought not be in.

I can hear my heart beating so loud that I'm surprised the windows don't rattle as I pass them. Sweat forms on the sides of my head and front of my hands and I surpass the urge to take a hand off my pistol-grip flashlight to wipe the moisture away.
Is it fear? Perhaps. It's knowledge that frightens me. I laugh because as I'm creeping and carefully picking my way through a building, my girlfriend is cracking up by how much I'm visibly nervous.

Before exploring, I do my fair share of research on a location. Some places, like the hospitals and asylums I visit were scenes of great sadness and despair... I'm quite certain that the spirits of some of those who used to spend time there haven't "left".

I've seen things that most will call 'ghosts', I can't define them as simply as that. I've seen shadows that wont go away even in the light, finally fading after a few seconds under the brilliance of my million-candle flashlight much like a dissipating patch of smoke. I've had my shoulder touched, heard voices, a sneeze, footsteps, I've seen shadows move when I was standing still and in some places you can just feel the spirits around you like a blanket.
Treasure? I've found a lot of it. Not the kind you can bring home and sell on Ebay or put on a shelf: all my treasure is right where I left it: letting mother nature reclaim what was once hers.