I prepared to sprint across an expanse of lawn, and wondered what the hell I was getting myself into. The hour was late, and the white Kirkbride building beyond was awash in an eerie greenish light by massive flood lamps; the interior, mostly lit by flickering fluorescents, was vacant except for the stationed police patrol. The building closed so recently it was almost conceivable that there were still patients inside. No trees or shrubs crept close to the structure, so getting in without being seen would be left more up to chance than any planning. I took a deep breath and started running towards the parked patrol cars.
A small opening led me into the basement of the asylum - a literal maze of pipes and conduit retrofitted onto the ancient building over the years. A metallic clanging boomed loudly somewhere in the blackness in front of me as I searched for a way up to the first floor, probably water hammer or steam I thought. In an almost amusing fashion, I gave a start as an officer flushed a toilet almost directly above me; I carefully proceeded towards the empty wing tips in the subterranean labyrinth, away from their small office.
Reaching the wards upstairs, I realized I would only be able to take photos in the spaces where the lights were already turned on. Flipping light switches on, or using a flashlight would be a dead give away to anyone who would notice; best not to take a chance, as the hospital was still operating a geriatric and a forensic unit in the buildings nearby. The worn out floors and heavy doors spoke of years of use, but these spaces were vast and empty, coated in paint chips. The only sounds here were humming from the fluorescent lamps above and the crunching underfoot as I gently moved around the wing, hoping I wouldn't run into a motion sensor, or someone patrolling inside.
Due to the lighting situation and limited access, I walked away with only a handful of photos from inside the Kirkbride, but I was happy to have seen it. Sprinting back to the abandoned administration building, I began shooting there as the sun finally rose to reveal what had been left behind.