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11 years ago today I almost ran into an escaping mental patient

11 years ago today, at roughly this time, I was doing my thing, exploring the empty and rotting buildings of a semi-abandoned psychiatric facility. The old buildings were in dis-use, and newer facilities had been been nearby, Many were crumbling, some were just … old. We used red headlamps so we could see and not be easily noticed by anyone passing by.

Me and my friend explored for hours and went home. Nothing unusual happened. We saw no one, heard no one, heard nothing out of the ordinary. The next day my friend calls me. “Have you seen today’s newspaper?” “No.” “read the local section.”


I’m bothered on several levels. 1) I could’ve run into this person and had a Michael Myers moment (In fact the new film seems very similar to what happened here) or 2) I could’ve run into security looking for this woman and I don’t think that would’ve gone well.

She was captured overnight at her boyfriends house. Not the boyfriend she tried to kill. A new boyfriend. I wonder if he knew about how she and her previous boyfriend broke up.

But wait, there’s more. This guy escaped just 4 days earlier! I literally never knew about it until today when I went looking for these stories to post this.

Me: Maybe I should rethink my hobbies.
GF: //tilts head//
Me: Nah.

video inside abandoned mines

journey into abandoned Vernon mines with Dan Lopez

Firefighter statue in front of the Avenel Fire Dept on Route 1


The Han Solo grave of Rahway


When wandering thru a cemetery, most of the headstone are rectangular blocks of granite and stone, interspersed with the occasional more exotic designs. Sometimes there are carvings of specific items that meant something to the deceased, like a football or religious statuary. You might see images engraved on stones, but its unlikely you will see a headstone quite like this one.

Found in Hazelwood Cemetery in Rahway, the headstone of Bruce Berman has his face carved in to it, but he is emerging from it. As such, it has been dubbed the Han Solo headstone, a reference to when Han Solo was frozen in carbonate.

Berman was a special effects animator and was an adjunct graphics/animation professor at both Seton Hall University and William Paterson College. Berman was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) in 1996 and eventually passed away in 1998. In his memory, the Bermanimation Award is given out every spring at Seton Hall University to a student in the field of computer animation.

Berman came up with the idea before he died, and had his head scanned by a computer, from which a bust was made. With the help of his friend, Rob Dressel, his wife had the headstone designed and it was installed a year after his death. He thought it was amusing and she felt it was important to see his wish fulfilled.



Three Stooges Headstone in Edison


This headstone is found in Hillside Cemetery in Edison

lightroom recomendations

finally picked up Lightroom and Im learning the ┬áropes. Im hoping to be posting some more pictures and stories later this summer. Life gets in the way and although Ive been getting out there, I haven’t posted much because I haven’t had time to edit them properly. ┬áIve got quite the backlog of things to share. On the subject of Lightroom, if anyone has any good presets for urban exploration photos or landscape photos, please share them.