Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Seaview Hospital

     The long defunct Seaview Hospital complex out in Staten Island was one that I believed had was being repurposed into a different building.  This was not the case as the many buildings of Seaview stood scattered across the complex, abandoned, and the main attraction, the Children's Ward, stood tall (at least, as tall as an abandoned building could). Like Creedmoor, the abandoned buildings of Seaview Hospital rest on an active campus, but a hike through the woods revealed our target.

The first building we encountered was similar in design to the Staten Island Farm Colony wards, and just as empty. After circling one of the shells for ten minutes, we found that access was to be granted through the blown-out second story window. Of course, climbing up to get there, in the snow, without gloves, was not pleasant.

We were fortunate that this building offered free coat and bag service.

I like to say that this is a general rule with exploring: you will get in using a very difficult method, and after circling the complex, find a much easier entry on the way out. It turned out our arduous climb was unnecessary, as a door was blasted wide open.

After discovering that embarrassment, we rationed that once we had seen one of the smaller buildings we had seen them all, and made our way over to the Children's Ward, which boasted some strange phenomena when we were there. But before that we discovered this sewer manhole, which stunk up a fetid, albeit warm, storm.

Hiking through the woods, we heard a tree creak, adding to the eerie feel of the place, and it seemed liable to fall at any moment. However, we pressed on in search of the Children's Ward. 

The building is here in the background. We were in the forest, but the other side appeared relatively active, with security trailers and work noises persisting. Once inside, we figured not to venture too close to the balconies or windows, lest we be spotted.

Believe it or  not, some of the keys still functioned.

After poking around the lower floors, we checked out the first floor and basement, which were both so well sealed that very little light penetrated it. The first creepy occurrence could be explained logically: there was a rotating fan, still able to spin after years of dereliction. However, this was quite obviously the wind moving it along.

The second happening was not so obvious. There was a heavy sprinkle of metal flakes raining down from the ceiling, no more than ten feet in front of us. I deduced that it was probably caused by an animal sneaking around the pipes. Still, we decided it best not to stay on that floor for long. To make it clear, I don't believe in ghosts or the occult, but this was definitely a bit odd.

This hospital was originally used for patients of tuberculosis, and that is frightening enough for most folks to keep out. However, I was not frightened by the building's past but its security, which were active on the site. This should help you understand why I had a small heart attack when we heard a creaking sound in the dark ground floor.

We all ran back a few steps and retreated into the shadows, hiding behind various items. None of us made a sound as we waited, ears pricked up intently. Then, my partner turned one of his flashlights on. It produced a faint red, and using its light, we tiptoed back to the staircase and made our way up, still shaking a bit from the adrenaline that had started to boil in us, but kept exploring regardless.

Up on the fourth floor I experienced the next oddity: I smelled smoke in the building. Fearing that an arsonist had been sneaking around on the ground floor, I sniffed around to look for the source of the fire. It just turned out to be my partner lighting a cigarette!

A tree grows in Staten Island.
Seaview was quite an experience, but I wish I hadn't chosen such a cold day to go, especially when I didn't even bring gloves. The draft from the busted windows making taking pictures unbearable, and it was warmer outside the building than in it! 

We had to climb an ice-licked ladder to get to the very top of the roof. I threw my hands in my pocket when I finally got onto the roof and put my camera away for the most part, for fear of my fingers getting frostbite. However, I did manage to snap the occasional pic here and there.

Afterwards, we drove back to Brooklyn and had some pizza. Not a bad way to end a day and warm up in the winter if I do say so myself.

1 comment:

  1. I plan on going soon, I've only ever been to the Farm Colony. How do I get into the hospital? (not get inside of the hospital) as in, How do I find my way to the hospital from the bus stop? I take the 57 to the newer seaview complex and get off.