Guest post by Emily Brindley
Abandoned buildings have a strange draw; regardless of what the place was originally used for, the allure grows exponentially after abandonment. It may have started as a typical, predictable, nothing-to-write-home-about outbuilding, but once the life is taken from it, it becomes captivating.
Add to that intangible magic a fascinating backstory, and the result is something like Seaside Sanatorium in Waterford, Connecticut.
It was opened in the 1930s as a hospital for children with tuberculosis, then temporarily became a treatment center for elderly patients, and finally became a home for the mentally challenged. Not too long after that, whispers of violent abuse began to spread. By the 90s, the patient death rate at Seaside was significantly higher than average. With questions and suspicion surrounding it, Seaside was closed in 1996.
The air around Seaside is still thick with unanswered questions. The remnants of the facility are likely the only answers we will ever get.
There was one room I couldn’t bear to photograph; it was the last room at the end of the basement hallway. The door hung ajar, gaping just wide enough to see the murals on the walls. Murals of children’s shadows, dancing in endless circles around the perimeter of their four-walled prison. It’s so easy to imagine that the shadows are all that remains of past patients, burning to release the stories of their undeserved torture.
Like I said, I couldn’t photograph it. Some things aren’t meant to be photographed.
Location: Waterford, Connecticut