By Rebecca Drew
WELCOME to the empty town that stands around what was once one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in the United States and where 25,000 deceased patients were buried in its grounds.
The haunting series of pictures show the windowless remains of the Central State Hospital’s Jones building, collapsed wooden homes that once surrounded it and rows of rusted iron numbered pegs in the ground that signify the 25,000 patients that are buried in the hospital’s grounds.
The spooky photos were taken at Milledgeville, Georgia, USA by an urban explorer known as Abandoned Southeast. To take his pictures, Abandoned Southeast used a Canon DSLR camera with Tamron wide angle lens.
“I got the idea for this project whilst visiting Milledgeville and the enormous Central State campus,” explained Abandoned Southeast.
“A large portion of the town of Milledgeville, Georgia is within Central State Hospital, the hospital was once one of the largest mental institutions in the United States.
“The Central State Hospital campus is notorious for charging trespassers with a felony so to be safe these shots were taken only from the outside, besides, most buildings were locked up really well.”
Milledgeville was Georgia’s capital between 1803 and 1868. In 1837, state legislators passed a bill to create a state operated insane asylum. The Georgia State Lunatic Asylum opened five years later and went through many name changes before it became the Central State Hospital.
At the hospital’s peak, there were more than 12,000 patients and the campus became its own town with a school, fire and police departments and a church.
Parts of the hospital were closed and buildings were turned into prisons which became the Rivers State Prison in 1981 and closed in 2008.
“I got involved in photography through exploring,” added Abandoned Southeast.
“I was tired of watching places change over time through demolition or renovation and wanted to capture what I saw.”