Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital - Abandoned New Jersey

    I regret not having spent more time investigating Marlboro. Growing up, we studied the folklore surrounding Marlboro and other similar abandoned institutions like it was our religion. However, I consider this place to be the one that (almost) got away. It seemed every time I attempted to pay a visit, some series of whacky misfortunes would occur; almost certainly involving some sort of encounter with the local police.

    At one point I figured I had nothing to lose, parked my car across the street and brazenly walked up the front gate alone like I owned the place. I snapped a few photos and peered inside the guard booth, where I was suddenly started to find a figure staring back at me! Lo and behold, it ended up being "Twilight Guy" (as I preferred to call him, or Taylor Lautner to those of you on #teamjacob). In no less than 30 seconds, I was surrounded by a crowd of police cars. It was a spectacular display, roughly a half dozen grown men with guns, lights on, asking me what I was doing. The fanfare quickly simmered down after a couple back and forths (yes, I'm alone, yes I'm just taking photos, no, I did not try to break in). The rest of the crowd became bored and drove off while I chatted with a relatively attractive young officer who ultimately lectured me about the dangers of .... taking photos? Cross the road? Being outdoors in general? I was sent on my way, just to return with some sidekicks a few days later.

   Now comes strike two. We decide the best approach is to get into the woods before the sun rises and make our way up. Not my favorite kind of plan, but now I'm determined. The morning finally comes, and after some difficulties waking my accomplices, I'm stricken with quite the stomach ache. Still, I press on. It feels like it takes us years to get there and find our ways through the woods and various obstacles to the buildings, where I think proceed to barf in the bushes a few times. We cut our visit short, I'm not feeling so hot, it's freezing out, everyone's exhausted.

   Little did I know that I'd never successfully make another trip back here. After that, strike three, four, five, six.... so on and so forth, I'm somehow stopped by the police or manage to become so disorientated in the woods (which is pretty unusual for me) that I never step foot back on Marlboro's campus again before it meets the wrecking ball. I will always feel like there were so many more secrets there that I never uncovered, and that making it in just that one time almost made it more frustrating than if I had never made it at all!

So long, Marlboro, it was fun while it lasted. 

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