Sunday, October 08, 2006

The one where I can't think of a title.

It's strange, the things you find when you're wandering round an abandoned mental hospital.

Equipment? That's all there. Like the bath lift in this picture. You sort of expect to see things like that - a lot of things were cleared out when the place shut down, some random bits and pieces were left. Among the things we found today were, variously, a postcard from 1974 (by that I mean it was dated 1974, not that someone sent it in 1974 saying how depressing everything was and when did we think they might be getting satellite tv?), a box of christmas decorations, a gramophone record and a copy of "Penthouse Variations".

Of all these things, the last one is the one that really troubles me.

All sorts of people visit abandoned buildings for all sorts of reasons. We were there to poke around and take photographs. The pikeys we saw* were there to strip copper wiring and steal fluorescent light tubes. From the state of the place, it's apparent that a lot of people go there to drink beer and smash windows. The NHS don't seem too bothered - access is fairly easy (it took us half an hour to figure out a way onto the site this morning but once in all the doors are wide open..) and the on-site security is laughably absent. Whatever.

But really, what sort of person goes to an abandoned mental hospital to have a wank? That's pretty specialist, wouldn't you say? I wonder which part really heightens the experience? The peeling paint? The smell, which is a combination of damp, antiseptic and tramp poo? The gloomy, echoing corridors?

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

* For "saw" read "scared the living daylights out of us". Al was photographing a corridor, so we were all standing behind him to stay out of shot. That's funny, I remarked to GBF, it looks like someone is standing at the other end of that corridor. About five seconds later it became apparent that somebody was standing at the end of that corridor. We all froze, and the only sound was thundering heartbeats as we waited to see whether it was security, explorers or a mad axeman of the sort that engender stories on the evening news where the newsreaders can only allude to the details owing to people not wanting to hear about how you had your leg cut off and were battered to death with it while they're eating their tea. Anyway. Whoever-it-was did that comedy tiptoeing away thing, and after a very tense fifteen minutes of hearing people moving about the place but not knowing where they were, we spotted them from an upstairs window and watched with relief as they struggled off, laden down with other people's property. Fuckers. I hate being scared.


Blogger Annie Rhiannon chimed in with...


Why are places like this just abandoned and not cleared away properly? Lack of funds?

What a great place for ghosts (if only I believed in them).

08 October, 2006 16:49  
Blogger JonnyB chimed in with...

Presumably people with no internet access?

08 October, 2006 20:14  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

that scared me just reading it.

people find the damndest out of the way places to slap the's bizzarre. it cant be the getting caught thing...must be the sleaze factor.(shudders)

08 October, 2006 20:54  
Anonymous Reevo chimed in with...

I'm half sad but equally glad I didn't make it for the trip after reading this!!!

08 October, 2006 21:18  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

reevo - it was ace, all things considered. the scary parts were scary tho!! (but that might just be me being a girl...)

08 October, 2006 22:36  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

funny how even though you (um, also I) hate being scared, we do it anyway.


09 October, 2006 15:23  
Anonymous Stu Savory chimed in with...

I always thought lads went to the disco to meet the beat ;-)

09 October, 2006 20:38  

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