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Report - Rockland Asylum, USA March 2015/May 2016

mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
#1
Rockland Asylum is one of the most well-known abandoned asylums in probably the entire USA. It was established as Rockland State School in 1927 before being widely known as Rockland Psychiatric Center later on. It was originally intended to house just under 6000 patients but at it's peak in the late 1950s it was recorded as having over 9000 residents plus 2000 staff on site. Buildings and facilities on site began to be wound down and closed from the 1970s onwards and nowadays around three-quarters of the sprawling site is abandoned, making it one of the largest intact abandoned psychiatric facilities anywhere in the USA.

Rockland is a weird place to walk around, as the roads are all 'public' roads. So you can drive and walk through the site untroubled, but if you walk around with backpacks on and camera equipment and are unlucky enough to be seen by staff members from the active parts, or it's own campus police who patrol regularly, or even the state troopers that like to drive through from time to time you will immediately be told to leave. Because parts of the sprawling facility are still active, patients walk around the grounds with you and sometimes follow you about, which can be a bit odd but it's all part of the experience.

It's difficult to really get some sense of the scale of this place. Imagine our own Whittingham, or Severalls, and times it by three or four. Unlike asylums in the UK, most asylums in the USA are composed of lots of standalone buildings that aren't interconnected by corridors so the sites can be alarmingly large. Underneath the asylum is a network of miles of tunnels, in some areas three layers deep criss-crossing the buildings which does enable easy movement between them if you can locate an entrance.

My first visit was on a blisteringly cold snowy day in March 2015. We had planned to hit all the good stuff but as soon as we drove through the gates it was obvious the campus police units were present and alert. We saw a group of kids run across the site so they were obviously busy trying to catch them and we didn't fancy getting caught in the crossfire. After doing a couple of loops it became clear we weren't going to have much luck in the main body of the asylum so instead decided to explore two of the buildings on the outer edge - the old children's wards and one of the outer adult ward blocks. Rockland isn't a very interesting site architecturally, but it's one exceptional building was the children's wards. A sprawling single storey building connected by walkways that looked more suited to a facility on mainland Europe than the USA. This was a double edged sword though, as it was both the most interesting building in terms of architecture and stuff left behind but, with it being so close to the outer fence and road, it was the most trashed and the most graffitied of all of them.













































Continued....​
 

mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
#2
A year and a bit later I returned, with just my trusted exploring companion and no others. This was a dream trip, we only saw security once all day compared with the year before. We got in with no mess or fuss and had the run of the place to ourselves which was awesome. We walked miles that day, exploring the place for hours popping out the tunnels in random wards and buildings as we went. The majority of the buildings at Rockland are very stripped but they are also in very good condition with little to no graffiti, other than in the auditorium which is where most of the idiots congregate as it's glaringly obvious which building it is.

After many hours and many photos (all taken handheld as I had misplaced my tripod at this point) we emerged into the setting sun and called it a day. We even managed to see the padded cell which is a feature almost nobody manages to find, hidden somewhere deep in one of the buildings - god knows which one.

Apologies for the quality of some of these photos, they were all taken without a tripod as I said previously.



































The future looks bleak for the campus, as a communications company recently bought a large chunk of the land and is currently demolishing over 40 of the abandoned buildings to make room for a new headquarters.

Thanks for looking :)​
 

mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
#9
Cheers all, this was such a fun place to run around. After Overbrook was demolished this became my friends new hangout explore location, and now this one is going the same way I don't know what he's gonna do.

That is one sweet report, how the hell do you misplace a tripod? did a ghost steal it.
I think I had left it in my friend's girlfriend's car or something after coming back from another location, something silly like that!