Dust Covered Memories
by Turtle Jones

After a long day of bagel dogs and researching burned out prisons, we thought of an idea. That's the way we work here. From seeing a dog crapping on the street to an abandoned house. Don't as us how we go from the dog laws in Holland to creepy cause we don't even know. All we know is it seems to work.

So after a nap, we thought the best place to start was the last place we left off.

Old abandoned places

turtle comes in the side doorabandoned_house_upstairs_2.jpg

Old houses are fun. I guess it just might be the feeling of them. Maybe the smell. I mean, there aren't many of them around here so when I talk abandoned houses, I'm talking about something that has about a week of life left in it before it goes down for new construction. The cool ones are never close.

See, this is the sad thing. I love them so much but there are none around here. Trust me. I've looked. When I was kid, any abandoned place was gone in a day. Any place you wanted to hang out in was temporary. Either someone would rip it apart or run it down.

We all have partied in abandoned houses. It's fun to scare the shit out of someone while they walked up the stairs. Half drunk and looking for a bathroom when this place wasn't made before indoor plumbing. See, that's funny. Scaring a girl when she goes from room to room looking for the bathroom. Or, maybe that's kinda mean. I have to think about that.

Seriously thou, what killed alot of time for us today was trying to figure out what ghost town I was in. Sometimes you see something on the road and just wanna stop and hang out. Just cause you can. Just cause you want to. Ghost towns are cool, well, the one I was at was cool. I can't speak on behalf of the other towns cause I don't know. No, this wasn't a guided tour. It was just something we wanted to do.

Well, this town was dust. I mean we are talking burned out houses and dried up floors. There were no signs or anything that told us where we were so don't bother asking me where it was. I mean fuck, we were looking state by state earlier today and we found nothing about where it was at. This was a place I really needed a camera on. Although, if I had one, I probably wouldn't have used it. My mind frame was different back then. I just sat on an old porch and watched the dust go by.

It really is kinda neat to think about all that went into this town. Someone here had an idea. It worked. Others followed. It became big. But something happened. Wonder why they all left.

You can walk up and touch the nails that the people put in the walls and think about grafton.jpgthings when the wood falls into your hands. Someone had a plan. Something happened. One of the things I think about alot when I go thru life. Somehow this place got from point A to point C. The question to me was, and always has been, "What happened in point B?" I thought about it for hours walking around and looking up at the sky. I had no answer. I never do. I’m no historian. I never will be. All I knew was something happened there.

What it was might never be known.

I climbed to the top of an old school house. Something out of Little House and watched the sun set and just thought about the simplicity of life. How easy it would be to live back in these times. I had really no idea what I was thinking till someone yelled to me to get down off of the roof.

It just seemed easier.

I climbed back in the van and left that place.

Feeling satisfied and confused at the same time. - T

michele gets creepy:

We got to talking about abandoned places today. It started with ghost towns in Nevada and ended up with us looking at pictures of abandoned asylums and amusement parks and jails.

Abandoned. The word brings up a lot of images.

A car left on the side of the road, windows cracked, tires gone.

An old house, overgrown lawn, shingles hanging, peeling paint.

A whole town, roads dry with dirt and dust, empty storefronts, crooked signs blowing in the wind.

Bleak, lonely, empty. It’s a powerful word. It’s a powerful action, to abandon something.

Did you ever look at something abandoned? Really close up look? Examined a ghost town? Walked through a house that been taken over by rats and cobwebs? Visited a cemetery that hasn’t been taken care of since the turn of the century? It’s a weird feeling, to know that what are you seeing was once vibrant. That where you are seeing holes and cracks and hearing nothing but silence, there used to be voices and footsteps and fresh paint. Abandoned places whisper. If you stay still long enough, you may hear the wind blow through and swear you hear on that wind whispers of the people that once walked through there.

It’s kind of creepy. But it sucks you in. You look at pictures of places like this, amusement parks and old asylums and houses and you think of the stories behind them. The things that took place behind the gates or walls.

Carousel horses standing still forever, surrounded by broken down roller coasters and flaked paintings of once happy clowns. How many birthday parties took place there? How many little kids rode those horses? What was this place like when music played and people screamed as the roller coaster went around a sharp bend? You look at the horses. They know.

An abandoned mental institution. For 100 years this place thrived. Lobotomies and shock treatment ruled the day at one point. What went on behind these doors? What happened in these rooms? If you entered this place at night do you think you would hear the screams of the past in your head? What would the words whispered on the wind say? This placed housed a morgue as well. How many people lived and died inside these walls? What brought them here and kept them here?


Whoever the people who took up residence here were, some of the knew it as home.

That’s the Kings Park Psychiatric Center on Long Island. Closed since 1996 and they can’t do much with the land and buildings because of asbestos.

You ever see the movie Session 9? An asbestos cleaning crew is working on an abandoned mental facility. Weird, evil things happen. So when people say to me, if you love this abandoned stuff so much, why don’t you go over to Kings Park and take pictures.

Why don’t I? Partly because I’ve seen Session 9 way too many times and it scares me silly every time. And partly because I think it’s wrong. A lot of people, most of them bored teenagers, enter those buildings. They walk around, graffiti the walls, throw beer bottles around and probably never stop to think of what went on there. It’s a form of desecration. Walking around where all these memories exist, where people lived out their days in pain or agony or depression or confusion. It’s a tomb of sorts, like a living graveyard. Something like that demands respect.

I guess most abandoned places are like that. Even the amusement park with its Ferris Wheel that made its last turn years ago or the house with its guts removed but its face still looking out at the road demand your respect. They are testaments to the past, but unlike stories or memories or postcards, they are living, breathing testaments. Where you can stand there and think you hear the whispers of the past keeping the place alive.

[1st and 3rd Kings Park photo from here. 2nd from here]

Visit the Unquiet Tomb for an interesting take from someone who went there to KPPC take pictures, plus a lot of other abandoned places. -M

Michele and Turtle write Late Night Typing in an old, abanonded farmhouse in the woods of Walnut Grove. By candlelight.



in an old, abanonded farmhouse in the woods of Walnut Grove

That wouldn't be the Walnut Grove up near Crystal Lake, would it? The one on the other side of Indian Burial Ground mountain? Near Haddonfield? Off Wrong Turn road?



You should read Cheri Priest's Four and twenty Blackbirds - The asylum scene is creepy - the whole book is excellent. I think her new one (sequel) Wings of the Kingdom (due out sometime this month) incorporates it too...

All I know is that there are ghosts, a monster and Amazon better send it to me quickly.


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