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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.

The Vass Homestead

Located alongside White Lake in Hardwick is the old Vass Homestead. Born Johann Wass, he emigrated to America in 1764 and changed his name to Vass. One of the first settlers in the area he ran a successful farm, and his sons established a business selling ice taken from White Lake, and mining the shells from the bottom of the lake and crushing them for use inf fertilizer and cement.

The farm house has been preserved, the other buildings on the property, not so good a shape. You can read more about the man and the property at this website.

More pictures

Jans Bungalows

I was driving along a main road in Ulster County when I saw this and had to stop. Its about 8-9 bungalowes, clearly abandoned. Wellllll…..not abandoned, not in use is the right term. There were two houses obviously lived in so I shot some pictures over the fence and then i noticed an antique store/junk shop right next door. I stopped in andf asked the owner if he knew what that was about.

Told me he was Jan and that was his place. He had ran it for 30 years and then Irene put 3 feet of water into every bungalow. Insurance didn’t cover any of it so he gave up. Thats when he decided to open th store. I bet if I had asked he would’ve let us walk around but I was satisfied with the over the fence shots. Didn’t think it was right to ask him.

Link to all the pics

Tamarack Lodge

Sitting on 400 acres, the Tamarack lodge was built inthe early 1900s as a simple boarding house and was expanded in 1927. At its peak it would have 300 rooms and the resort had all the activities one would expect from a retreat in the Borscht Belt of Ulster County, NY. The location primarily catered to jewish familes and provided popular entertainment of the day, which in the 60s meant Cream, the Who and Janis Joplin.

There was a massive fire in 1995 which effectively shuttered the resort.It remained functionmal till 2000 when the health dept closed them down. the property sat unused for a decade until another fire broke out destroying 30 buildings in 2012.

Now there is very little left. There are only 3 primary buildings left along with some sort of storage building and a half dozen bungalows at the back of the property. the main building floors are extremely unstable and the rar building has had a partial collapse of the roof.

You can see pictures of it before the fire at this site.

Tamarack Lodge