Oct 242013

Everyone has a different exploring style, ranging from spending all their time taking precise, long exposure shots, to just dickin’ around taking dumb photos of their friends trying to look hella tough while wearing unnecessary gas masks. (Those photos are one of the main reasons I hate explaining to people what urban exploring is, because later when they google it, those photos pop up and I die a million deaths by vicarious embarrassment.) My style is to shoot a few perfunctory room/building shots and then start rootin’ through garbage and piles of rubble to find treasures to photograph.

I’ve found many overlooked things in over-explored sites, from lobotomy tools and patient files/photos, to horse bones and denture molds. I mostly exclude these findings from my posts for the sake of brevity (at which I mostly fail) and also I know most people would rather look at panoptic photos rather than close ups of a bunch of old medical viles that I unearthed from under a pile of dried bird turds. So I just upload them, untagged, to instagram, but I figured I should start a ‘found’ section here, for those of you not on instragram. (Or facebook, tumblr, twitter or flickr, to which I export all my instagram photos. It’s the lazy man’s social media dream tool, when you don’t give any fucks about social media.)

Please note that almost all of these are instagram photos, which explains the crappy quality. Enjoy!


One of many patient records in a stack of files dated between 1883 and 1930, from the basement file room of a psychiatric hospital. Death files are all inclusive, containing the patient’s official records of admission (meaning paperwork that declared them certifiably insane) to medical reports and observations of their illness during their stay, to “date of discharge,” meaning death, obviously.


CHEESE STORAGE. Looks like I found some mouse house blueprints.


Malted Milk, “for infants, invalids, the aged and travelers.” Ya know, the subcultures no one wants to deal with but we all have been in, are in or will be in, someday. Created in the 1800’s, a scoop of malted milk added flavor and nutritional value to otherwise disgusting, garbage dairy products for picky, bratty kids. You can also use it to make delicious things, like malted milkshakes, or to aid with sea/car sickness, hence the “travelers” reference.


A 1905 issue of The Southern Fancier. THE SOUTHERN FANCIER. Never in my life have I heard a more appropriate name for vintage porn. Except it’s all about chickens. Found in the attic of an old farmhouse.


Certificaiton sticker from the late 1800’s, on patient paperwork at a New Jersey asylum. Once patients got their “certificate of insanity” from the Essex County court, their diagnosis and records were verified by two doctors before being officially stamped or watermarked. The fortuitous placement of the crease in this sticker is kinda funny.


Ball bearings on the floor of a ball bearing factory in Poughkeepsie. I am an adult, so I only had minor difficulty keeping a straight face while exploring a place that specialized in balls, nuts and screws. I wish I was adult enough to not have to point that out though.


I assume these are recording of patient interviews, based on where they were located. These dictation ‘diamond disks’ were used from 1912-1929 and play at 16rpm, so I haven’t been able to find anyone with a record player that can play them at that speed. They’re thin, and I’ve been told I can probably only get one or two plays out of them before they’re ruined, so I can’t muck around trying to play them at a different speed on a normal record player.


I’ve had more dental work done than I’ve been able to keep track of, so seeing dental office detritus triggers my orthodontic PTSD. In the weeks following this exploring trip, I had dreams where my teeth were falling out and/or I had braces again. Everyone’s always like, “teeth dreams mean you’re sexually frustrated,” and I’m like, “or it means I had an obscene amount of dental work done in my youth and also I saw some mouth molds in an abandoned asylum the other day, so while I may indeed be sexually frustrated, that is not why I’m dreaming that all mah teefs fell out.”


Almost walked right into this lil’ guy with my face. I don’t think either of us were too happy about it.


They just don’t make saws like they used to, back when they used to make them in wood shops in asylum basements.


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 10/24/2013  ALL POSTS, found things

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