Sunday was a day I honestly thought would never come, especially after the fuckery in Poughkeepsie — my first time in a real abandoned mental asylum. Not just Rochester psych, half of which wasn’t even built until the 60s, and the other building which I only saw by permission, but a real explore, a respectable location, and as an added bonus, even a working camera! Willard was actually the third asylum we tried that day, after abject failures at Rochester and Newark, and it seemed I would do anything possible to make it three in a row. I barely had a clue what to do, and it wasn’t obvious once we got there. There were some ominous Department of Corrections signs around most of the complex, and what looked like the Kirkbride surrounded by a prison fence. (It turned out to not actually be a prison anymore, but a mandatory rehab facility to lock away detoxing drug addicts, but that wouldn’t make the wardens any friendlier.) I started desperately asking any explorers I knew online who might have been before, to little avail. I got a bit of advice from a few, but contradictory, and not particularly clear at that, and I couldn’t be sure they were trying to help and not lead me straight into a trap. But even though I had fully given up, my friend wasn’t ready to stop. So, against my fear and objection, while I frantically kept asking and googling for a solution, he led us along the lake toward the building.
Sure enough, the front door opened.
These were some lucky inmates. Look at this view!
Granted, some parts of the building aren’t in the best of condition, but what more can I expect for a first asylum?
The more of the place I saw, the more amazed I was. I could almost understand now why so many explorers obsess over these places.
Peeling paint asylums aren’t cliché.
I wonder where the bowling pin came from? There’s no bowling alley here…
Obligatory UE selfie, probably the first I’ve ever taken?
This is just the iconic shot of Willard everyone takes. But I’ve been here, so I’m taking it too.
Look! I found the tunnels!
Even the bathrooms are worth a picture here…
So many people must have seen this at the beginning of a very, very bad day. I’m not quite sure what these chairs are, they seem more restrictive than dentists’ chairs?
On the way out, we noticed that the wing we’d spent most of our time in was officially off limits. Oops!
These magical beasts live right across the highway from the asylum. We were lucky enough to have one prance right in front of us on the way home!