25 Bone-Chilling Photos of Abandoned Places

Top of the grand stairwell, Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital, 2008

Though insane asylums, prisons and hospitals wouldn't necessarily be the first places that come to mind when you're thinking about beautiful places to shoot, you might find photographers Ian Ference and Katherine Westerhout there. These two have made it their mission to find beauty in the decrepit, stories in the forgotten and stunning imagery where most would never look. While Ian Ference mostly shoots inside abandoned buildings in New York, Westerhout has shot in everywhere from Philadelphia, Buffalo, and Detroit to Southeast Asia.

Though most of these photos have that ability to make your skin crawl, you might be surprised at the range of emotions you can feel while looking at them. In fact, you might even ask yourself these questions. Who once sat in that chair and what were they thinking as they looked out the window?

Chair in patient bedroom, shot by moonlight, Taunton State Hospital, 2006

Easy chairs and patient art, Creedmoor State Hospital, 2008

Attic of administrative wing of Babcock Hall, South Carolina State Hospital, 2008.

Connector hallway between wards, Trenton State Hospital, 2005

Violent ward hallway now used to store chairs, St. Lawrence State Hospital, 2007

Patient dormitory at sundown, Buffalo State Hospital, 2008

A typical dark room at Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital, 2009

The first floor hallway of the center brick ward, Buffalo State Hospital, 2008

Operating room in Fort Totten Army Hospital, Queens, 2009

Child’s riding grasshopper found in Fort Totten Army Hospital, Queens, 2009

Kings Park Psychiatric Center, Building 40, 2004

Kings Park Psychiatric Center, Building 93, 2004

New Orleans, 2005

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, NY, 2004

Sears, San Francisco, 2001

Bethlehem Steel, Lackawanna, 2008

Bethlehem Steel, Lackawanna II, 2008

Lake and Rail Elevator, Buffalo NY, 2008

School Room, San Francisco, 1998

Spaulding Fiber, Tonawanda, 2008

Protestant Church, Detroit, 2009

Eastern State Penitentiary II, 2009

Wards VI, San Francisco, 2001

Eastern State Penitentiary III, Cell Block Three, 2009

First eleven images by Ian Ference at Kingston Lounge, rest by Katherine Westerhout.

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Tags: 25, Abandoned, Bone-Chilling, Photos, Places, of, photo

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Comment by Mia Hood on September 2, 2010 at 10:33am
Melanie- in most cases abandoned buildings, you don't really get permission. often you have to break in to get in =|
Comment by Mia Hood on September 2, 2010 at 10:30am
Loveeeeee! My friends who studied photography always used abandoned houses for photoshoots :3 and the ones they found were awesome!
Comment by Stephen M. Barrett on September 2, 2010 at 7:38am
Beautiful well composed imagery that makes you hope this was the way things were, not are.
Very well done, my compliments
Comment by Mark Langkilde on September 1, 2010 at 11:59pm
Awesome pictures. Going to check that tumblr out.

Comment by Cyrelle Cartel on September 1, 2010 at 7:51pm
I love these. Abandoned places are full of history and so very interesting. Actually, there's this tumblr dedicated to pictures of places like these. Maybe you already know?

Comment by melanie godecki on September 1, 2010 at 6:23pm
i'm curious about whether they get permission to be in these buildings....?
very creepy, but super cool.

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