Back for more? Good! Hope you enjoyed that feature image. Did it feel like someone was staring out at you from the door? Well, let’s look closer.
Hmmm…interesting capture. Is it a play of light, or is there really a giant eye staring out at us from the door? You decide. This wonderfully creepy old building is the Jones building. We drove over to this area around the pecan grove after leaving the Howell Building. This wasn’t the first building we saw, but it was certainly the most imposing. It seems to draw you toward it from across the grove.
Now, I haven’t discovered much about the history of each individual building on the campus, but in general, I have found some interesting history about the hospital. In 1904, there were 121 deaths due to tuberculosis, which ended in a cry from the staff for a facility to be built especially to treat this disease. And that same year, there was contamination in the water supply from Camp Creek resulting in an outbreak of typhoid fever. Also, throughout the years there were several deaths under suspicious circumstances and questionable practices such as electroshock therapy and lobotomies. Then, of course, with overcrowding and under-staffing, many a patient led a miserable existence behind these doors. So is someone hanging around, watching from the door, waiting for someone to return to take them home, waiting to warn others of danger, waiting to exact revenge, waiting to be seen and heard and known? Anything is possible with a history such as this.
But, like I said, this was not where we started, so let’s move back across the pecan grove to the Walker Building.
The Walker Building is magnificent. It looks like a vine-covered castle. I could only get so close though as there were signs everywhere warning of unstable building and grounds. Alas, I was confined to the sidewalks, and even then only up to a certain distance.
I did manage some photos of the vines creeping up the walls, some weathered windows, and some broken windows where you can see how the roof of the building has caved in and left the upper floor exposed to the elements.
The front porch has also become weathered and worn over the years, and I’m sure serves as a wonderful backdrop for a spooky story or two.
As you can see from this cornerstone, this building was erected in 1884. It served as the facility for white male convalescent patients. It was abandoned in 1974. It had a sister building across the grove that served as the facility for female patients. That facility has since been torn down and replaced with an auditorium. Only the front entrance portion of the building remains due to a cornerstone listing the names of some of the original founders of the institution. (There will be photos of this later.)
A few photos through the windows give an idea of the rooms inside of this stately structure, as well as a glimpse of the damage of the elements over the years.
The entrance to this facility, even though worn and overgrown, still maintains a welcoming appearance. This must have been one of the nicer facilities to be admitted to.
Some of the other entrances, however, are maybe a little less inviting. We’ll leave those to the ghosts.
The building next door to the Walker building is the Green building. It is a large structure with enclosed porches along each side of the building.
I included a color photograph here to give an idea of how the porches were constructed.
A curious thing I noticed when examining this building was that the glass in the windows at the apex of this building were shattered and gone. I’m not sure if this was due to storm damage or some other phenomena, but it gave the building a rather ominous appearance.
There was one that remained, however, giving us a taste of the stately beauty of a bygone era.
Today, however, the vines creep up the walls and within those walls the plaster peals.
Next to the Green building is the chapel. The chapel is beautiful and appears to still be in use today. Service times are listed on the sign outside of the front of the building.
After exploring the Walker building, the Green building, and the Chapel, we headed across the grove to the Jones building. Just as we were reaching the road, a security guard was driving by and stopped to chat. He had a lot of interesting stories to tell and offered suggestions of places to photograph. He also told us that this building was used by the crew of “The Originals”. Of course, living in the town where they film “The Vampire Diaries” (the show “The Originals” is a spin-off from), I had to hear about this. Apparently, the crew got permission to use the front entrance of the building for filming. The main entry and just beyond, where the building was more stable, was renovated for filming. The signs outside still remain forbidding entry beyond the sidewalk, however. The building and grounds still aren’t safe enough for the general public to walk around.
After chatting with the security guard for quite a bit, I got a few photos of this magnificent building…
After visiting this building for a minute, we headed over to what was left of the female facility where there was the promise of a really interesting cornerstone.
And this was the cornerstone bearing the name of the Georgia Lunatic Asylum. There was an event going on in the auditorium behind this building, so there was a good bit of foot traffic around the building. One man even asked if I thought the place was haunted…proof there are stories! This building, the name of which I cannot remember, had a lovely porch with impressive molding (no, not the fungus type…though I’m sure there was a fair share of that too).
There was also an interesting spot to the rear of the building where a single brick was dislodged. I wonder why…
And then around the corner…an eerie vine-covered staircase that led to a door in the basement. I venture a guess that the children that hang out at the auditorium have their imaginations go a little crazy with that one…
The next building we came to, and we started moving fairly quickly due to losing daylight, was the museum. I only took one picture of this fairly new building.
Now the next building to greet you around the corner I found to have a rather haunting presence about it. I do believe it rivaled the Jones building in the creep factor. This building is known as the Brantley building.
I’m not quite sure why, but this particular building was not left open to the elements like many of the others. It’s windows were carefully boarded up. Are they trying to keep people out, or something else in? Hmmm…
And the spider-like vine cover was hauntingly amazing!
And the last building we happened upon was the Powell building. This is a large white building that is still in use, and from what I understand was the first building on the campus.
After this we headed out to one of the cemeteries. The acreage of the grounds was rather impressive; however, what struck me most was how scattered the few actual headstones were. I suppose the metal stakes we came upon at the head of the cemetery were once marking various graves throughout those grounds. Many of the remaining headstones had fallen into rubble and decay, but they were interesting nonetheless and at least marked the existence of the few who can still be identified.
And on this All Hallow’s Eve…I leave you with a lovely photo of the moon…
Oh, and you might want to check out some of these sites for some more history, information, and photographs…
(use the custom google search bar on the left of their page to google central state hospital for even more stories)
Also the Atlanta Journal and Constitution has some very good archived articles on this institution, one of which has quite a bit of interesting information: Judd, Alan. “Asylum’s Dark Past.” Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Sunday, January 20, 2013. A1.
Payne, David H. “Central State Hospital.” New Georgia Encyclopedia. 03 September 2014. Web. 27 October 2014. (http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/science-medicine/central-state-hospital)