Whistle in the Dark

Northern State Hospital isn’t as much of a curiousity to me as it is the default photo walk place for a quick fix when I can’t think of anything else.  It’s relatively close to work, it is peaceful…

Correction, it was peaceful.  

There wasn’t a soul in site as I wandered the deserted grounds of the old mental hospital yesterday afternoon with the Canon.  It was the perfect reprieve until I crawled into the old kitchen (I’m guessing?), and a strange sense of loneliness descended upon me.  Water dripped from the moss hanging from the jagged edges of decayed wood above, and in the dark, silent expanse of an almost unidentifiable room I stood completely still except for the wrist that twisted to check the time.  

Something was wrong.  Choosing not to question what that might be, I slowly exited the structure and didn’t turn back to face it once I hit the dirt path.  

One might assume I’d just keep walking that path and leave.  I would have, but as I rounded the corner I spotted the old apple tree from my posts earlier this year and felt the urge to revisit it.  There was a moment of hesitation, but it was brief, and I walked cautiously up the hill to inspect the area. 

I dodged the thorny blackberry bushes and made my way to the basement, capturing the picture above.  As I framed the shot, I heard whistling. 


The whistling was close, but quiet like a breeze with no leaves to rustle.  It was sad with a note of malevolence.   Click, click…time to GO!

I later shared this story with David, who had a creepy story of his own.   And even though my heart didn’t race and my skin didn’t crawl at the time, my reaction was a tad different when looking at the pictures later.  I’m thinking I’ll call it quits on Northern State for a while…unless David comes with me.

This is unrelated to my story, but when I started editing the photos, I spotted these objects above the window.  Any idea what they are?

11 thoughts on “Whistle in the Dark

  1. Nice shots. I’ll have to visit that place next time the sun is out. It looks like all of the things above the window are connected to a single wire. If that is a metal wire that they are connected to, and the wire goes down into the ground, then maybe it is part of electrical grounding for the building.

    1. Another friend of mine had the electrical theory as well. It just seems unusual – but maybe not so much 50+ years ago? It’s definitely a great place to get interesting photos. We always go to the farm side of the property instead of the hospital side. There’s enough on the old farm side (turned frisbee golf course) to keep you busy for awhile.

  2. Okay–maybe not ‘bells,’ but chimey weight thingamajiggies that probably each make a different sound. And, it looks like they might be strung through at the bottom, so every time someone would pull the cord they would clack together.

  3. LOVE that first picture–there is beauty in everything. I think those things look like some kind of wiring into the building. Maybe electrical? A clothesline?

    1. It almost looks like the chord could be detached and hooked to anyone of those bottle things. A mystery…if I’d only noticed while I was still there, and not while photo editing, I could have investigated….

      1. Actually–I just noticed, after zooming to 600%, that they look like bells. They must be dinner bells! Someone must have pulled the cord, which yanked the last one and made them all chime into each other. At least, that’s my theory… and I’m sticking to it.

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