In Gdansk, a charming city in Northern Poland, there is a hill. Local residents still refer to it as “Devil’s Hill” due to an old legend. The legend states that this little hill, surrounded by a deep forest and swamps, was a favorite place for witch gatherings. During these gatherings, it is said that some nasty demons were summoned. Legend also says that a very large stone located on the top of the hill was brought there by the devil.
In 1886, the mansion was a home to a restaurant and between 1925 and 1933 it was the headquarters to the Gdansk Freemason’s lodge. After World War 2, the mansion was used as a local television station’s headquarters. All occupants believed the building was haunted and was continuously disturbed by “unknown” forces.
Today the building remains derelict and no one claims ownership. Many of its floors are highly unstable and the south wing of the mansion didn’t survive last winter as two floors collapsed. The only reason the entire building is still standing is due to a solid external wall.
Abandoned Building 25 at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center
Located in Queens Village, New York, Building 25 at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center has sat abandoned and rotting since 1974. While all of the other buildings of the facility were sold off or demolished, this building remains. For almost four decades, Building 25 still stands, ignored and decaying.
Originally, the open land was owned by the Creed family and was purchased by the New York State Legislature in 1870 to house the New York State National Guard. After four decades of complaints about random long range bullets flying into surrounding areas, the National Guard abandoned the buildings in 1912. At that time, Creedmoor State Hospital opened as a farm colony for then Brooklyn State Hospital, with patients working on the farmland for treatment and room and board. Creedmoor was a state-run hospital for the mentally ill.
From 1918 to 1974, the population grew from several hundred to over five thousand patients. Through the decades, a large number of violent criminals were sent there and allowed to wander the grounds freely, with some easily escaping. With reports of rape, assault, suicides, fires and burglaries, the institution was out of control. In addition, complaints of patient abuse by staff and unsanitary living conditions added to the already horrid and unsafe living conditions at the hospital.
By 1974, Creedmoor Psychiatric Center was closed with all of the grounds and buildings vacated and sold, all except Building 25. To this day, the building stands abandoned and ignored by the state. Why buildings like this are allowed to stand deserted and rotting for decades can only be answered by their owners.
Anyone who’s walked around an old, abandoned house knows the strange sensation you get while peering into the private space of the previous occupants. The feeling of unease is even stronger if the house is still filled with the furniture and personal possessions of others.
“The house was so full of personal effects that it had an eerie stillness without the owners being there. Nowhere was this more evident than in the large, first floor room which housed an untold number of pictures and objects”. This is how the photographer, Josephine Pugh, described the atmosphere of this derelict manor house in Berkshire, which was abandoned 26 years ago after its last inhabitant died at the age of 96.
The present house was built in 1848 on the site of an earlier manor that, according to records, was rented by the family of the famous poet John Milton from 1632 to 1638. Milton was the writer of Paradise Lost – a phrase that could well apply to this once magnificent dwelling. While it’s sad to see such a splendid home disintegrating, it does make for beautiful and interesting photographs.
North Brother Island, located in between Queens and the Bronx in New York, has a long and fascinating history. The entire island has now been abandoned for nearly 50 years.
In the 1880s, the island was used to build a hospital complex to quarantine and treat people suffering from smallpox and typhoid fever. This hospital was home to the infamous “Typhoid Mary”. She was forcibly isolated twice by public health authorities after infecting 51 people with typhoid, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She spent nearly three decades in isolation on North Brother Island until her own death.
The hospital was later turned into housing for World War II veterans attending school on the GI Bill. In the 1950s, the island was home to one of the first juvenile drug rehabilitation centers in history. It remained in operation until the island was abandoned in 1963.
They tried to sell the island to private investors in the 1970s but the cost of construction, transportation to the island, and the noise from Laguardia airport discouraged anyone from buying it.
In June, 2013, it was announced that two architecture students are planning to construct a learning school for autistic children on the 20-acre island. It is currently unknown if and when this project will come to fruition.