By Mark McConville
EERIE images and video have revealed the crumbling remains of an abandoned isolation hospital where children were allegedly abused and was the set for the hit Russell Crowe movie A Beautiful Mind.
The spooky pictures and footage show the contrasting conditions in the left wing and right wing of the old hospital building. The left wing, abandoned since the 1970s, is a flaking, dilapidated mess while the right wing, abandoned in more recent years, looks like it could still be active.
Other haunting shots show the rusty padlocked doors, biohazard bags left behind and medical equipment and books that remain from the hospital’s operation.
The creepy pictures and video footage was taken at the Essex County Isolation Hospital in New Jersey by urban explorer The Unknown Cameraman.
“One of the most unique and amazing things about this explore is the fact that one half of the building had been abandoned since the 1970s, and the other half had only been abandoned recently,” he said.
“One room would be so well preserved with just a little bit of dust on the modern items left behind, and the next was so dated, completely mouldy, deteriorated, and in horrible condition.
“We joked that going from room to room was like stepping through a time warp, witnessing the different stages of decay decades apart right before our very own eyes.”
Opened in 1905 as a Children’s Hospital for Infectious Diseases, this building was prepared and used for polio quarantine, treating scarlet fever, encephalitis, and more.
The Children’s Hospital remained active until 1955. The county took over when it closed. The upper floors became a geriatric ward and others were used for housing the mentally ill and insane.
The first floor and basement were rented out to a school for emotionally disturbed children. These units all closed in the early 1970s. A separate building, now demolished, was used as an orphanage.
“Sadly, there are many stories of patients who were abused by the staff here,” said The Unknown Cameraman.
“Children were punished by not getting any food for a day, toys taken away from them, and they were physically beaten for wetting the bed.
“A few wings of the hospital later reopened again under a new owner as a Center for Molecular Medicine & Immunology, Cancer Research Center, and a School for Mentally Ill Children.”
Hit 2001 film, A Beautiful Mind, was also partially filmed at the hospital.
The historic site was put up for auction, purchased by a new owner, and is now being renovated to be turned into apartments and a shopping centre.