Saturday, December 13, 2008

Return To Letchworth

December 7th 2008

We ventured back to Letchworth on Sunday, this time looking for the elusive morgue that I keep hearing about. Today’s historical significance was fresh on my mind all day, even as I worked at school for a few hours. 12/7/1941: Pearl Harbor Day. Sixty-seven years ago today, the Japanese navy bombed Pearl Harbor Hawaii and effectively thrust the United States into WWII.

This place was open, and filled past maximum capacity by this time. What was the reaction of those here? Did they read the paper, listen to the radio, possibly tune into the occasional TV and see President Roosevelt delivering his hastily written Day-Of-Infamy speech before Congress? Were they told what was going on?

I remember my generation’s own Day of Infamy: I was a seventh grader when 9/11 happened. I had trouble processing that this thing was going on less than twenty miles from my classroom in Northern NJ. Maybe I didn’t want to believe it. But I had to. I lost friends that day. We all did.

The principal, a Vietnam Vet and all around good guy, went on the loud speaker and gave us a bit on what had happened. I never heard his exact words, I was standing on line in the cafeteria when some bee-yatch started talking loudly behind me, garbling what I’m told were really meaningful words. I doubt the leaders at Letchworth would have done the same thing.

People think that mental patients are completely insane. Not true. They can –some more than others- process complex thoughts like love and hate, happiness, sadness, and even thoughts of tragedy and loss. The diseases they had were simply conditions, and in no way told who they were as people.

Thoughts like this went through my mind as we drove up to the place, and subsequently saw that the Village was –compared to most times we go- swarmed with all manner of walkers, joggers, and even a lone photographer with equipment far more sophisticated than mine.

I saw the cornerstone of one building, built in 1939. This building had to have been in brand-new condition during the onset of the war. It’s interesting to see how 69 years of use and then neglect have caused it to deteriorate. Every time we go, this place seems to fade more and more, falling in on itself and crumbling away.

I’m rather angry at the vandals who have torn this place apart. I’m sure at one point it was actually a nice place to explore, until local punks, probably all under the legal drinking age, trash the place at night. Setting fires, etc. At least two of the buildings have substantial fire damage, one so bad it’s got a chain link fence surrounding it. No warnings not to enter though and I walked right up to it once and noted that it still smelled like it had burnt down only yesterday. Kind of like a fireplace in the dead of winter.

The Old Hospital Building looms in the distance, heavily damaged by fire, no doubt started by people with more matches then sense. Its three impressive and foreboding stories tall, we focused on the basement and second floor, having already visited the third floor at one point during the summer.

Finding the morgue was easier than we had expected, basically, turn a corner and… there it is. A big clue that we were headed in the right direction was that one of the trays that the deceased would lay on while in the cooler was found down the hallway we were walking in, about a hundred feet from the morgue itself.

I found it interesting that there were no doors on the morgue itself, but reading threads online, I’m guessing some jackass took em off. Also, the area by the cooler had no doors whatsoever. Aren’t those areas supposed to be like, hidden? It was an easy find, which probably explains why it’s been torn apart.

The last photos in this set are shots of the morgue, with several orbs in them. Some believe that orbs are spirits who aren’t manifesting themselves as ‘ghosts’. Are they ghosts? You be the judge.

I’ll leave you guys with this quote, from Charles Little, Superintendent of Letchworth Village in 1912:

“As the law provides that we are to care for epileptic and feeble-minded persons, and as the training for both is along similar lines, it has been thought advisable to classify both feeble-minded and epileptics into groups, separating them only with distinct and suitable buildings.”

Ouija Board

Classic Shot of the Old Hospital Building

People tell me theres no such thing as ghosts.
They're in your head.
Your mind plays tricks on you.
We didn't go there on 12/7/2008 looking for ghosts.
We went looking for the morgue.
We found it.
And so much more.
They say I'm creative.
That I tell good stories.
And I'm entertaining.
I know something they don't.
I know they're there.
Down the roads to nowhere.
In the towers, nut houses, and fields around us.
I say this to the skeptics:
You can deny everything people tell you.
About what they see, hear and feel.
But when you go there yourself
And these things happen to you...
You believe.


mike said...

i was actually in that morgue today for the second time and upstairs, there's a vending machine in the middle of the hallway lol. But there's another hospital that's bigger and a lot more scarier. There's a morgue in the basement and the basement is completely dark and has about half an inch of water on the floor. Its in the back of Willow Grove Middle School. All of the buildings in Letchworth are filled with asbestos so i would recommend some type of breathing protection. If you want, go check it out, but watch out. There's a security guard on the road up there because it's trespassing if you go in there. You'll have to sneak around in the woods some way.

mike said...

Oh and bring flashlights.

AK The Jefe said...

I actually remember when those were standing upright, and as far as asbestos goes, it's not bad as long as you don't inhale it. I do take your respiration-protection idea seriously, and have used my bandanna a few times to keep from inhaling dust. Plus it makes me look like a cowboy so yeah that's the best part.

The upstairs part of that building is... odd.

I've had my shoulder grabbed there at night by something that when I whipped around... wasn't there. I've heard voices, and even had a rudimentary conversation with a spirit ("knock once for yes, twice for no"- kinda thing). The place is to be respected above all things, those who lived there and passed on in those grounds may not have left entirely yet.

The security personnel can believe what they like: the spirits rule that piece of land.

mike said...

Speaking of respect, that building next to the power plant was just set on fire.Probably some dumb kids again. But now I wont go back into those buildings for a while because there will definitely be more cops.

AK The Jefe said...

As dick as this sounds, then maybe the extra police mulling around isn't a bad thing. Keep the place from getting torn up any more than it already has.

mike said...

yeah,I would never like go around destroying the place.It's just fun to go in there with your friends and look around to see what you would find and watch them get scared lol.But you'd be surprised of you find.I found papers from the 80's all about medical records and names of the patients.Its pretty cool