Archive for the ‘Atlantic’ Category

The abandoned patient houses of Ancora Psychiatric

In issue 18 of Weird NJ they showed photos of the old patient buildings at Ancora, a psychiatric facility in Hammonton. By the time I actually visited in 2004, the houses had all been razed and there was nothing to see. Well, there might have been but the main facility across the street is still active. I wasn’t risking being caught for something that was really not much to see anyway.

Lesson learned: go to see a place while it’s still there. You snooze, you lose.

This is a photo submitted by a reader:


The Tank Girl Jet

I was driving near AC International Airport when I encountered this odd item sitting up in front of Christi’s Bar. The bar is airplane themed (being near and airport that makes sense), and after making some inquiries I found out it was a prop in the movie Tank Girl, with Lori Petty & Malcolm McDowell.


The Fireside Restaurant

This restaurant looks normal enough from the front (except for the half of a VW sticking out the wall of course). You pull into the parking lot, and there’s another VW sticking out of the side wall. If you think that’s weird, just wait till you go around back….





The Miss America Statue

The Miss America Pageant is a well known beauty competition (though they now prefer to call it a scholarship competition) that has run since 1921. Before 2006 it was held annually in Atlantic City, NJ. The organization headquarters was located at the Sheraton Hotel at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Bert Parks was the host for the Miss America pageant from 1955 to 1980. His signature song was “There she is” which he sang to the winner each year. He was let go in 1980 when the pageant officials decided he was too old. There was a grew public outcry not just because he was let go, but how he was let go (they mailed him a letter while he was away on vacation). The news got into the press before he got the letter, so he was notified by reporters seeking a quote that he had been fired.

Johnny Carson tried to get him re-reinstated, but it didn’t work. He did make a return appearance in 1990, and he did sing his song during the show (but not to the winner). He also starred in The Freshman in 1990 & sang a parody of “There she is” to the komodo dragon lizard which was to be served to the Gourmet Club members. In 2006 the pagent moved to Las Vegas, and the headquarters moved to Linwood, NJ.

In his honor, a statue was placed outside the hotel near where you valet your car. The statue shows Parks holding holding out a crown. If you stand and put your head in between his hands, he sings “There she is”. Or at least he used to. For several Bert Parks has been quiet. In 2004 I called the Miss America Pageant and got the run around before being told he was being repaired. I have not visited the statue since so I can not say whether the statue is still there or whether it’s been repaired. You can read more about Bert Parks in the biography by PBS


Abandoned Motel near Atlantic City



As you enter Atlantic City off either the White or Black Horse Pike, you’ll find lots of motels and hotels in the $15-20 per night range and some offer hourly rates as well. The Comfort Inn in the background looks very nice different from these other types, so I guess they can’t be too happy that this derelict abandoned motel sits so close to them.

The interior of the motel was totally trashed. The pictures I took thru the windows were so dark & blurry that they were useless. I would’ve tried to venture inside but the doors are securely boarded up, and the windows had broken glass in them which pretty much turned me off.