In my teens, when I first began taking an interest in urban exploration- the Holy Grail of locations to photograph was undeniably Danvers State Hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts. Opened in 1878, Danvers State was notorious for it’s experimental, and often inhumane treatments for the mentally ill- and for (allegedly) being the first facility to begin performing pre-frontal lobotomies. After it’s closure and ultimate abandonment in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the large, sprawling property, as beautiful as it was haunting- was left to succumb to the elements. It was also heavily patrolled. I can recall my friends and I being followed or stopped on more than one occasion by local police as we walked/drove by- attempting to snap photos or simply just gawking at how monstrous the buildings were from where we stood or sat- who warned us of no-nonsense arrests and steep fines for anyone caught trespassing.
What attracted me to Danvers, more than anything, was it’s architecture. It was one of the few remaining institutions left standing in the New England area that were designed under the Kirkbride Plan- the same layout used in another mental institution (now demolished) in my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, that was equally breathtaking.
Interest in Danvers State and it’s creepy, sordid history only intensified with 2001’s cult-classic horror film, “Session 9” (which gave us the greatest line ever uttered by David Caruso,) but despite it’s historical importance and efforts from the community to preserve it- the property was bought out a few years ago, and a large portion was demolished and converted into apartments.
Now, with no one to stop me (Take THAT, Danvers Police Department!) I like to head up to the main office, the former administration building- every so often to take in the beauty of the preserved Kirkbride structure and surrounding scenery. The photos above were taken a few days ago during a lovely, crisp, late afternoon. Even though the newly constructed condos clash with the brick of the main building- I do have to admit they did a good job with the overall renovations. It’s nice to see the space getting some use.
When I wasn’t walking around the remains of a former mental institution- I spent a portion of this past weekend with my mom visiting a couple of farmers’ markets and general stores outside of Boston where we ate homemade fudge and maple-glazed jerky (delicious, I swear,) My mom snapped the above photo of me and my over-enthusiasm for finding what I think was the perfect pumpkin- but the real star of the picture is my navy Michael Kors bag, which has become my go-to purse for the Fall. It goes with everything.
Over the next couple of days, I’ll have another “Horrors of Netflix” review, as well as an in-depth review of a skin care line I’ve been testing out over the past few weeks!
But before I get to that:
There’s still a few days left to enter!