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Patient 367

Patient 367

Estimated reading time — 30 minutes

He says that he visits abandoned asylums, prisons, hospitals and so on, and showcases them for others to see. I heard a voice saying.

I opened my eyes and squinted, I appeard to be lying in some sort of hospital room. What the hell had happened? Why was I here? I couldnt see anyone else around that the voice i just heard could belong to, then again, I couldn’t see much of anything. My head hurt and my vision was blurry. I closed my eyes again and went over the last couple of days in my head, trying to figure out what was going on.

First of, I´m Jason. I manage a pretty successful YouTube channel, where I, mostly alone, go out and investigate abandoned places. Urban exploring, I love it man! I love finding a place that no one else has discovered yet, to roam the halls of old school buildings, check out old prison cells or hospital rooms, the occasional presumably haunted cabin in the woods. I shoot video while doing this and post it on YouTube. I have quite the large fan base too, I´m proud to say. In fact, I´ve been able to make a living doing this for the last two years now. I´m always respectful to the places I visit, I never take anything with me home, no matter what. And let me tell you, I’ve found some pretty cool stuff over time. I also always research the places I´m going to very well, so that I can give it a fair representation in the videos.

This last place I found; man was it awesome. Located in the middle of nowhere, it the midst of a huge forest, its tall towers with what in its glory days would have been gleaming spires peaked high above the treetops, now forsaken and on the verge of collapsing in on themselves. Since long bereft of their former majestic stature. This place was huge. Built in the classic gothic style of the 19th century, it´s now blackened stone surface looked like something out of a classic knights tale.

“The Fairmeadow Asylum for the clinically insane” the huge curved iron sign said above the gate, leading into the premises. I had found this place while researching on different forums online, some people had talked about it, but I couldn´t find anyone who had acually went there. Presumably because it was quite a hassle to get to. This was nowhere near where I lived, but after reading up on it, and looking at the photos, mind you, there weren’t many of them to be found, I just knew I had to go. There wasn’t much information to find about the place, I did however manage to find one old article from a local newspaper stating that at some point in the early 1900’s, a patient, who the paper didn´t mention by name, almost managed to burn the whole place down, and in the midst of the confusion and disarray of the fire, actually managed to escape the Asylum, never to be found again.

I had decided to make it a road trip, I was going to start here, at The Fairmeadow Asylum, and move on from there to an old prison, an abandoned train yard, and wrap it up with an old orphanage that had been turned into a military hospital during world war II. This would give me material enough for a couple of weeks of videos.

It took me several hours and more than one wrong turn to finally roll up to the impressive gate. The gate, since long overtaken by nature, ivy grasping hold of the iron bars climbing from the ground all the way up over the cursive letters spelling out the name stood silently looming over the forgotten entrance.. Dead bushes and shrubberies growing wild all around the high fence surrounding the huge plot of land that belonged to the Asylum. A gravel road led down the centre of the front yard, on both sides decorated with what looked like apple trees. There were no apples now though, only bare branches reaching out like long bony fingers, looking to grab you if you came to close. The once, I assume, beautiful front yard was now heavily overgrown, it had been many years since this place last saw maintenance.

I slowly drove down the narrow road, that ended in a roundabout in front of the main entrance. The roundabout cirkled around an old cracked and partially ruined cast stone fountain. The once white stone figures in the middle, children-like angels that at one point presumably were pouring water out of their pots, now only filled with dirt, was missing both wings and other parts. Covered in dark green moss and dead leaves they gave the place a real ominous feel, Their blank stare, frozen in time, destined to look over the slow decay of this place until they themselves would be overtaken by nature and neglect. I parked my car and got my camera bags out of the trunk. I started filming outside by the fountain, doing my intro and going over some of the history of the place:

The Fairmeadow Asylum for the clinically insane, I started, opened in 1864 and was at its peak the home to over 600 patients that were put here for a variety of reasons. Back then it didn’t take much to be deemed insane . It could be as little as being a bit paranoid, slow in learning, reading, writing, or what we today diagnose as ADD or ADHD. There were of course also the cases here that were clearly more accurately described as truly insane. The patients hearing voices, speaking in tongues, people with schizophrenia and split personalities, the once having sudden fits of pure wild aggression against whomever was unfortunate enough to being closest to them at that moment. Though no matter what the reason for the diagnosed insanity , this place had a sure way of making sure you´d be calm and not acting up ever again – The Lobotomy. We will get back to that as we make our way to the operating rooms where these horrific procedures took place, I said while moving closer to the entrance.

As I was walking up the stone stairs leading to the huge front door, going on with my presentation, I got a sudden feeling of Deja vu, only way stronger than I had ever had before. It felt like I had been there before, which of course I hadn’t. It wore off, like Deja vu’s usually do, and I didn’t think any more of it, until later. The doors were made of massive wooden planks, several inches thick, with a small square in the middle with metal bars forming an intricate pattern of a flower in the middle, with leaves and branches reaching out to the outer frame. I pulled on the cast iron handles and watched as the doors slowly slid open, pushing broken branches and piles of dead leafs down the front stairs to the sound of the rusty hinges screaming and screeching like a wounded animal in a bear trap. The sound traveled into the rooms and hallways on the other side of the doors, echoing as it went, making it sound more like a thousand damned souls slowly burning in the fiery pits of hell. – What a nice welcome! I commented on the video with a smile.

A big entrance area opened up once inside the doors, a very high ceiling towering above, curved like the inside of a church, with lots of decorative details making its way to the very centre where a huge chandelier still hung, motionless and covered in cobwebs. The floor was black and white checkered stones, cracked at places and with a fair amount of dust that for the first time in forever got to dance around in the wind again when I opened the door. To my left was what I assumed the front desk, where nurses or orderlies would welcome both visitors and new patients.

To my right, on the wall hung a huge floor plan over the Asylum, with directions to all the different facilities. There was a birds eye view drawing of the place, it was built like a huge letter ”T” with the main entrance I had just come through located in the cross section where the horizontal line met the vertical. The top line, or horizontal if you like, was the front of the Asylum which I had seen towering in front of me while driving down the gravel road, I´ll refer to this as the ”main building”. The vertical line now lay infront of me, straight in from the entrance, I´ll refer to this as the ”secondary building”.

To my right and left huge hallways went down the east and west wing forming the horizontal line of the ”T”. According to the map, there were four floors including the ground floor, and a basement right beneath where I was standing now. Behind the whole complex, out on the back behind the secondary buildning there was a small house, a crematorium, and a cemetary with mostly unmarked graves where they had buried the patients that had died here who had no one to claim their bodies or remains.

On the ground floor, or first floor if you’d like, of the main building, in the west wing, there were mostly offices and smaller examination rooms, I assume to be close at hand when checking in new patients. To my right, on the ground floor of the east wing, there was a big dining room with an adjacent kitchen, a recreation room, a library and some more smaller offices. Straight ahead of me on the first floor of the secondary building were rooms that the staff could stay in overnight. Being as it was, way out in nowhere, staff probably worked a number of days in a row on a rotating schedule before being replaced by their colleagues. So of course they all needed somewhere to stay the night while working.

In the entrance area, the center of the cross section where the two buildings met, there were two huge staircases going up on either side of the door leading in to the secondary building. This house was built before the invention of elevators, but it seemed that they had done some remodeling back in the early 1900’s and fit one in next to the east side staircase. They sure did everything in style back then, now faded of course it looked like it had been a very nice looking elevator back in its prime. With brass doors and a golden frame around it. And a big finely carved golden arrow pointing to the floor numbers above.

The curved marble stairs were at least 10 feet wide going up in a semi circle from floor to floor. The handrails of the staircases too, were an impressive feat of woodworking. The dark smooth wood twisting around in a beautifully detailed braid all the way from the top floor to the first, ending at two big pillars, they too covered in fine details on the sides, and on top two big hand carved wooden owls, with their wings to their sides and big eyes gazing out in to the lobby, towards the big front doors. Probably representing wisdom and in some pshycological way maybe there to sooth newcomers and family members that this was a place of learning, information and healing, and not just a place where you would drop of family members that you just didn’t have the strength to deal with anymore, which of course it was for a huge part.

On all walls of the lobby hung big oil paintings of what I assume were the head doctors of this place. They were, like everything else in here, covered in dust and cobwebs, some hung slightly crooked and one had even fallen to the ground, breaking the massive frame in two. ”Dr. John L. Thomas”, it said in golden letters on the bottom of the cracked frame. The painting, showing an elderly gentleman with white hair and a impressive beard, grasping a big round pipe staring straight ahead with a pierce that almost made it seem that he was looking straight through you, now lay on the floor. What a shame, I thought.

I turned back to the floor plan on the wall to my right. On the west wings second floor of the main building they had patients rooms 1-80, and on the east wing rooms 81-161. The second floor of the secondary building were classrooms and smaller meeting rooms. Third floor of the main building held patient rooms 162-242 on the west side and 243-323 on the east side, and in the secondary buildning they had recovery rooms on one side of the hallway, where patients would rest after surgeries, and isolation cells on the other, if they needed to be kept separate from other patients for whatever reason. Fourth floor main building had patient rooms 324-404 in the west wing and 405-485 in the east wing. Some of the patient rooms were double rooms and sometimes, even if they were singles, they would put more then one patient in the rooms to be able to fit them all. In the secondary building, the forth floor had the operating rooms, this is where they performed the lobotomys of the patients the doctors decided were in need of it. The floor plan showed the basement as ”storage” and ”archive”.

I decided I would start by checking out the first floor and move my way up, and with camera in hand I went down the hallway to my right, heading towards the rec room and dining area. It struck me how it seemed that the people here had just up and vanished one day, everything was left in place just like it had been evacuated in a hurry. There were food trays and an old hospital bed left in the hallway, a bit further down I saw and old wheelchair laying on its side on the floor. The paint on the walls was mostly gone, curled up and cracked, showing the brickwork behind it. Here and there you could still see the remnants of the old paint though, it seemed like the bottom half of the walls had been painted green, and the top half white. This was not just an aesthetic choice, everything in places like this was psycological in some way. Green has always been thought of as a restful and quiet color, while white symbolizes clarity and freshness. Subtle ways to unconsciously keep patients in a tranquil state.

I soon came up to the entrance to the rec room, two big white double doors stood open welcoming me in to the big room. As in the reception and hallway it was a high ceiling with stucco work all around, the same colors as in the hallway could be hinted on the decaying walls. Huge bookshelves covered the entire wall to my right, and on the south wall, looking over the front yard and gravel road I had come down before ,were enormous windows, letting in a lot of light. Natural light had always been thought of as healing, so naturaly they wanted their patients to get as much as possible, though, the grid of metal bars in front of the windows did remove quite a bit of the feeling of freedom. Tables and chairs were scattered across the room, board games and books lay here and there. I took some shots of the books on the shelfs and the room at large before I ventured out into the hallway again, moving down towards the library.

When entering the library you could clearly see that this was built not for the patients but for the staff. Mainly because of the colors of the room, everything was in a darker hue, and all the furniture was made out of dark wood, massive sturdy bookshelves all along every wall, leaving only free space for the windows to let some light in. Round smaller coffee tables were positioned around the room with big leather armchairs set in circles around them. It looked like a classic brandy and cigar-room if you know what I mean. The books on the shelves were mostly old medical books, encyclopedias and so on. After getting some cool shots of the place I kept going. The dining area was like any other, long rows of tables, walls once all white, now like the rest of this place, cracked and foresaken, with the same sized barred windows as in the rec room. On the far east side you would get your tray and your food and behind the counter you could see in to the old kitchen. That was about it for the first floor on the east side.

I went back to the lobby, and past it, going down the west side to check out some of the offices and smaller examination rooms. This was cool! All the equipment was left behind. You had the classic medical cabinets with glass windows on the upper half, some cracked but mostly in fine condition except for the wood expanding and paint peeling off. Old syringes and bottles of God knows what still stood there. Metal beds nailed to the floor in the center of the rooms, with leather straps attached to the sides to be able to strap down patients who wouldn’t be still. I won´t lie, it was a creepy place to be in all by yourself. It wouldn’t take much to convince yourself that the place was haunted, no matter if you believe in that stuff or not. And this was just the first floor! With daylight still coming through the windows! But you couldn’t help almost hearing the screams and feeling the anguish of the people that had been left here, especially those that probably didn’t need this kind of ”help”.

Imagine, being dropped of at a place like this by your family, being strapped to a table and getting shot with a syringe full of sedatives just because you weren’t like everyone else. Knowing you’d probably never see your siblings or parents again, knowing this would be your life until the day you finally died and would be set free. The horrors that these walls had witnessed over the years, you really could feel it in the air.This house had not forgotten. Most of the examination rooms were alike, the offices across the hall were your basic doctors offices with big desks, some armchairs and bookshelves, nothing out of the ordinary, really. I decided to check out the patient rooms on the second floor instead, and went back to the lobby and started to walk up the stairs to the west wing. Suddenly, another deja vu hit me! Or, not really a deja vu?

I swear that for a split second it was as if I was surrounded by people. Doctors going up and down the stairs, voices coming from the rooms, it was as if I stepped back in time to when the Asylum was in full use. But with the blink of an eye it was all gone again, and the staircase once again echoed empty and was back in full deterioration. There was no other sounds to be heard except for my own slightly excited breathing. I stopped filming and looked back on the last minute of film I had shot, but there was nothing out of the ordinary, except for a couple of seconds that looked like I had some digital interference. Weird, I thought, before I resumed filming and went up to the second floor.

The hallway was in better shape up here than on the first floor, and you could more clearly see the color scheme used, the same one as on the first floor with the now faded green on the bottom half and white above. I choose a room at random and went inside. It was a single room, and very sparsely furnished. Alongside the wall to my right was a bed, this too had the restriants firmly bolted to the side of the beds metal frame. A yellowish blanket still laid there. On the far side of the room, a narrow window was overlooking the front yard, this too with the metal bars in front of it, and two thin white see thru curtains hung from a curtain holder above. There was a small desk and a dresser with a couple of drawers. I moved on and found a room that still had an old patient robe hanging over a chair, with the name, ”Fairmeadow Asylum” printed in big faded letters on the back. I spent some time getting a few shots before I decided to go check out what I thought would be the crown jewel of my day here, the operating rooms on the fourth floor.

Just as I was about to exit out into the hallway I noticed that the battery on my camera almost was completely drained, which was odd since I hadn’t been filming for that long. I knew I had double checked that the batteries were fully charged before I left for my long drive here. Usually these batteries could keep going for at least 5 or 6 hours before starting to drain.

”Is he still holding on to that character?”

The words flew by me as a whisper in the wind. Did I just hear that, or think it? It sounded like it came from down the hallway, but I couldn’t be sure…I looked all around me and out down the hallway, nothing, no one. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, shaking the unsettling feeling off of me, changed the batteries in my camera and moved on. I couldn’t entirely shake the eerie feeling while walking back towards the stairs though. I don’t believe in ghosts, hauntings and stuff like that, but I had to admit, even I was starting to feel uncomfortable here. I had to double check to see that I really was alone here. Hello?! I screamed down the empty hallway, my echo being the only response. I quietly moved over to the room closest to me to see that there were no one lurking in there.

A curtain hang from the ceiling, the kind you use to separate beds in a double room. I clearly saw the silhouette of a person on the other side. Fear grabbed me! had I not been here by myself this whole time? was i being followed by some murderous lunatic, or worse? I slowly and quietly walked up to the curtain and with a swift move pulled it to its side! I grabbed hold of the bed in front of me and sighed in relief when I realized it was only a mannequin. The kind used to practice medical procedures on. It looked old and ragged, with multiple small holes all around the eyes, as if it had been stabbed over and over. I regained my nerves and started to walk back out to the stairs. The nagging feeling still lingered in the back of my head though, where did all the voices come from?

I got up to the fourth floor, and this was by far the one most affected by time and neglect of them all. It looked like it had been deteriorating for much longer than the other floors. There was no paint left at all on the walls, just bare, cracked bricks, the ceiling was discolored, dark, and sunken in at places. Looking as if it was about to completely cave in at any second. I hesitated. What if the floor would give way? I´d fall, I could get really hurt out here, with no help around, or worse. But what kind of urban explorer would I be if I didn’t even attempt it? This was, after all, what I had come here for! I mustered my courage and took a first light step out onto the floor. There were no stone plates here, the floor was all wood, moldy wood by the smell of it. Some looked burnt. It creaked and cracked under my weight, but I kept on going. I went into the hallway of the secondary house. Here you could see clear traces of a fire at some point,. The walls had patches of darkness on them, as if they had been exposed to intense heat. This must have been the fire I read about, I thought.

”Jeremiah Robertson.”

I turned my head so fast I almost fell over, I swear it was as if someone had stood right next to me and whispered in my ear! But jusst like before, there was no one! I suddenly realized I was still laying strapped to this god damn bed. What the hell is going on! I yelled out. No respons. I tried looking around to see where I was, but quickly realized even my head had been fixated. I couldn´t move at all. Out of the corner of my eye I could see what looked like one of the medical cabinets I had seen in the examination rooms earlier, only.. it looked brand new. Not at all like the ones I had seen, with the paint peeling off or the cracked glass planes. Hello?? I yelled again. Is anybody there? What are you doing to me? Where am I?

Nothing.. God damnit, I thought, I need to remember how I got here. Where was I ?.. Right, the fourth floor. I closed my eyes and kept going over what had happened out there on the Asylum. I had made my way in to the long hallway, above the door to my right there was a sign that was still readable, if only barely. OPR 2, it said. Operation Room 2, I guessed as I pushed the doors open.

It seemed to be one of those old educational operating rooms, where you had the operating table in the center of the room, and bleachers around it on a second level for medical students or colleagues to observe the procedure. It was an uneasy feeling being there, knowing what had happened to so many people here. So many lobotomies. The state of the room was mostly a lot better than the hallway on the other side of the door, though still looking very much abandoned. The entrance and the area just by the door did however looked badly scorched.. The floor was covered in big white tiles, mostly still intact, the operating table had rust eating away at the metal and the blackboard behind the table was more light-grey than black. Big windows looking east reminded me that the daylight was quickly disappearing. I took another glance att the blackboard and saw that you still could make out the writings and drawings that once had been there.

From what I could gather it looked like it had been a detailed description of a lobotomy. When performing a lobotomy the patient was first rendered unconscious by electroshock. Although, rumor has it that this step wasn’t necessarily always done, sometimes all it took was a good old head-fixation and a quite conscious patient. The doctor then placed a sharp ice pick-like instrument above the patients eyeball. With a swift and hard hammer stroke, the doctor then struck the ”ice pick” through the eye socket just above the eye, through the skull and into the brain, severing connections in the brain’s prefrontal cortex which more often than not left the patient in a vegetative state for the rest of his or her life. This procedure was performed on all kinds of patients, most of whom could easily have had somewhat of a normal life if given the option.

I contiuned to look around the room, and to my dismay I found the ice pick-looking instrument and the metal hammer lying on a small table beside the operating table. I picked it up and imagined how it would feel to see that thing, and to know that it soon would be lodged in you brain. I felt nauseous just holding it, and put it back down. I kept looking around and went through the drawers of a desk that stood in the corner. One drawer was full of metal bracelets with names stamped to a small plate in the middle. These must have belonged to the patients, I thought. There was about twenty of them, i picked one up; Janet McFerren, it said, I looked at another; John Reese, Oliver Holden, the third said. I was about to close the drawer when one bracelet called out for my attention; Jeremiah Robertson.

There´s that name again, I thought. I swear I heard that before in the hallway. That would be one hell of a coincident, I thought, if I had just imagined a random name before, and then found this up here. Did I acually hear it ? Then again, what kind of explanation do I have for hearing names echoing down an abandoned asylum hallway? Am I losing it?

I decided that I had more than enough footage of this floor and all of the surroundings. I thought it was best I started to pack up and head out, before it got completely dark outside. I had booked a room at a motel near the interstate not to far from the Asylum, where I would spend the night before heading out to the abandoned prison a couple of hours away the next day. I went back out to the staircase and went down into the reception area. As I stood there, packing my gear up I cast a final glance up on the floor plan again. The Basement. I hadn’t checked out the basement. I looked outside, I still had maybe an hour before the sun would set. I knew I would beat myself up later if I didn’t check it out, after all, I had come all this way. Would be silly not to check the whole place out, right?

So I got my camera back up from the bag and started to film again as I went around the nurses desk in the reception. The room behind the desk was a lot bigger than I would have thought. It looked like some sort of break room for the nurses and orderlies, some tables and chairs, a sink and a small wood burning stove for smaller meals or heating water maybe. In the back there was a door. Even though the letters themselves were gone, the way the sunlight had faded the color of the door you could still make out the letters that once had been there; ”Basement”, it said. I remembered that the floor plan had said that the only things being kept down there were a storage and the archives, but I thought it might have some cool artifacts down there, so down I went.

The door was heavy, all metal, probably in case of a fire, I thought. Basements make good shelter and a metal door would keep a fire out. Behind the door, a narrow twisting stone staircase descended into the utter darkness. I picked up a flashlight from my backpack and lit the steps in front of me as I cautiously took one step at a time, all the while narrating the video and explaining what I was doing.

”Room 272, it´s time!”

I almost fell down the stairs! It was the same voice as before, echoing from somwhere near, but just like before there was no one there. I was seriously contemplating my own sanity by now, but kept on going. I just needed to check out this last couple of rooms then I was out of here. I finaly came down to the basement after I don’t know how many turns around that windling stair, and shone the beam of light emanating from the flashlight ahead of me. It was a large room with a low stone ceiling. The walls and floor were also made out of big blocks of massive stone. There were small windows to my right, almost as high up as the ceiling, no bigger than twelve by six inches, but even these windows had bars on them, even though no one would ever fit through those narrow holes. I noticed that the daylight was disappearing faster than I had thought and was all but gone already, I better hurry, I thought.

The room was filled with cabinets and bookshelves. Folders and books where stacked all around in what looked to be no order at all. I moved closer and soon found a cabinet with lots of small drawers, kind of like the once they used to have in librarys before everything got digitized. They were marked in alphabetical order, first drawer was A to C, second was D to F, and so on. I don´t know why, but my hand immediately moved to the drawer marked ”P to R”. I set up the camera on the tripod I had been holding it with beside me, and pulled out the drawer. I squeezed the flashlight between my head and shoulder and started to flip through the files inside. Petersen, Petrov, Perskins, Quinn, Quimby, Reed, Reynolds, Robertson,Robinson, Wait! Robertson! I pulled out the file and brought it, along with the camera, with me over to a table near the stairs. I opened it up and started to read;

Patient nr: 367

Name: Jeremiah Robertson.


Admission date: April 4th, 1912.

Reason for admission: Schizophrenia / Multiple Personality Disorder

Treatment: Psychotherapy, counseling and psychosocial therapy.

Room: 272

Comments: Patient has been showing no siginificant sign of improvement over the last two years of continuous therapy. Even though the episodes of transition between the different personalities at times has been increased, the severety of them when they do happen have without a doubt grown worse. We have therefor decided, that patient nr 367, Jeremiah Robertson, is a prime candidate for undergoing a lobotomy. We strongly feel that this is what it will take to cure him from this monstrous disease. Patient has been scheduled for a Lobotomy on Nov 14th, 1914.

Signed, Dr. John L. Thomas

I felt ill, I couldnt explain why, I just did. I felt scared, and out of breath, like I had been running from something. When I turned to the next page of the file all the blood left my head and came crashing down in my feet. All the hairs on my body stood up and I fell to the ground. There, on the backside of the first page, barely still attached with some old glue was a picture of Jeremiah Robertson. A picture of me! I had dropped the file on the floor from the shock, I must have been mistaken, it´s dark down here! It couldn’t be! I grabbed the file and camera and ran upstairs to the break room.

I flung the heavy door wide open and more or less crashed in to the nearest table and threw the file open again. There was no doubt, that was a picture of me! How in the hell could this be? The picture was without a doubt old, easily from 1912 when the file was created. It was faded, curled up in it´s corners, yellowish tint over the whole thing, but damnit, that was me!

I had to sit down and catch my breath, this was insane! I couldn´t sort my thoughts out, I tried to figure out possible explanations for this, maybe, it was a relative of mine, someone I had never heard of? Maybe it was all just a coincident, or my tired mind was playing tricks on me? I turned back to the first page. Room 272. That´s what I heard in the staircase too…

I needed to check it out. I was done filmning, I was to freaked out to even think about making a youtube-video out of this. I packed my camera and set the bags by the entrance door and started to walk upstairs again. I got to the third floor and turned left, down the east wing of the main building, 268, 269, 270, 271…there. Room 272.

The door was ajar and made a high pitched creak when I slowly pushed it open. It was nothing out of the ordinary, it looked just like the other patient rooms I had seen here. It did however, feel different.It felt familiar, I knew this room. I suddenly got extremly dizzy, this was all to much. I had to sit down on the bed, but before I even had finished that thought everything turned black. I passed out.

I woke up to the sound of voices near me. – He says that he visits abandoned asylums, prisons, hospitals and so on, and showcases them for others to see. I heard them say – Is he still holding on to that character? – Yes, I´m afraid so.

I opened my eyes, my head hurt, blurry vision, I couldn’t move. – Yes, It´s Patient nr: 367, Jeremiah Robertson, I heard from somewhere near. – What the hell is going on! I yelled out. No respons. I tried to look around to see where I was, and that´s when I realized my head was fixated. Out ot the corner of my eye I saw the medical cabinets..

Mr.Robertson, I suddenly heard someone say. Who´s there?! I yelled, Where the hell am I, what is going on? Mr.Robertson, I need you to calm down, can you do that for me? The voice said. I am NOT Mr.Robertson, I replied. My name is Jason and you have no fucking right to…he interrupted me. Yes, Jason, I know who you are, we have met before, many times. I was stunned. What do you mean we have met before? Who are you?!

My name is Dr. John L. Thomas, and if you are willing to calm yourself, we can loosen these restraints and have a nice calm conversation. Alright?

Yeah..Alright, i stuttered. I was far to much in shock to make any kind of resistance at this point, I gave up and took some deep breaths. Two big men in short hair, dressed in white uniforms started to release the straps holding me down and helped me up in a sitting position. One of them stood behind me and the other next to the man I now recognized from the fallen oil painting in the lobby to be Dr. John L. Thomas.

Mr Robertson, he continued. I´m afraid you have suffered another episode.

Listen Doctor, I said. I don´t know who you think I am, but my name isn´t Robertson. My name is Jason, and I´m a..

Urban Explorer, yes we know, you have told us many times.

I don’t understand, I said, I’ve never met you before, I never been here before! And… how the hell did you clean this place up so fast? Everything looks brand new? I looked around, there were no paint falling of the walls, the floor was impeccable, rows of folders stood neatly positioned in the bookshelves. I glanced out of the room and saw nurses and orderlies walk past, patients in wheel chairs being pushed around, it looked like I was back when the place was in its prime.

I sat with my mouth open trying to grasp what I was seeing. – As I said, the Doctor continued. I understand that this is all very confusing, but let me assure you, we’ve been through this many times you and me. And it´s about time we finally did something about it. He motioned for the orderly next to him to fetch a wheelchair that stood in the corner.

Room 272, it´s time! Someone shouted from the hallway.


Come with me, he said as I felt the big hand from the man behind me grab hold of my arm to assist me down into the wheel chair. They started to strap my arms down down to the wheelchair and I tried to pull away.

Now now, Dr.Thomas said, there’s nothing to be afraid of Mr.Robertson, this is only for your own protection, we will release you as soon as we arrive, alright? Arrive where, I thought. I took another deep breath and tried to relax. I needed to play along to understand what the hell was going on. Ok.. I said, nodding my head, and I let them strap my arms down.

We got out into the hallway, Dr. Thomas walking in front of me, slowly packing his round pipe with tobacco. Both of the big guys walking behind me, one pushing the wheelchair. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There were people everywhere here, all the rooms had patients in them, nurses walking back and forth with equipment or charts. It was first now that I noticed that I had the robe on, the same I had seen in one of the abandoned rooms before, with the ”Fairmedow Asylum” text printed on the back. I started to feel the panic creep up on me.

As I said before, Dr. Thomas continued, We have had this conversation many times before. Unfortunately I don´t think our sessions have had any real impact on your condition. Even though the episodes come less frequently, I have noticed that when they do come, they tend to affect you deeper every time. Every time you seem more and more convinced of this, reality of yours. We had come to a stop in front of the now fully functional elevator, I saw the arrow above it moving from floor one to two, then from two to three, a clear bell rang as the doors slowly opened up. The doctor walked up behind me and thanked the orderlies. I can take it from here, he said, sending them back to the hallway of the third floor. He rolled me in to the elevator and pressed the button for the fourth floor.

Now don´t you worry about this Mr. Robertson, we are quite sure that we will rid you of this condition once and for all. Rid you of this, Jason-personality that you have conjured up.

Now, the panic set in for real. – No no no, where are you taking me? I´m not a fucking personality, I´m a real person! You can´t do this! I started to freak out as the doors slowly opened on the fourth floor. Two new, just as big, orderlies were waiting on the other side of the elevator doors to assist the doctor. Once again he walked in front while I was being pushed by these, clones. They all looked alike. I now knew where we were going. We took the turn in to the secondary building, and then in to OPR2. It looked the same as it had done when I was here, just moments ago, though as with the rest of the place, it was spotless, shiny and looked brand new.

The doctor came up to me and put a hand on my shoulder. Relax, he said, we have done this many times before, you have nothing to worry about. Soon, you will be back to normal, back to good old Mr.Robertson. He reached down and unclasped a bracelet from my wrist, I hadn’t even noticed it before. He then went over to the desk in the corner, there was a nurse sitting there. He handed the bracelet over to her and I saw her dropping it into the drawer. Mr. Robertson, scheduled for a lobotomy today, Nov 14th, 1914, he said to her. – 1914 ?! I cried out, are you people insane? It´s 2021 and you cant fucking perform lobotomies on people!

Mr. Robertson I do have to insist that you calm yourself down, otherwise we´re going to have to sedate you. The doctor said, turning his head towards me, giving me a stern look. One of the orderlies went over to a cabinet to my right and unlocked the glass doors, as if to be ready if they needed to make good on their threat. I had to figure out a way to get out of here! I tried to calm myself down and look around the room. It wasn´t until then I noticed all the people up on the second level, looking down at us. More doctors, young men holding pens and papers, medical students, I assumed. They were all looking at me in a way that you look at a monkey at the zoo. This was how they must feel, I thought. Like a speciment, an experiment waiting to happen.

I continued to scan the room, Dr. Thomas was now standing by the black board, now acually black, and drawing something up while addressing the audience on the second level. I looked to my right, there was the medical cabinet, now with the glass doors open. There where supplies stacked on the shelves inside. Syringes, tubes, and a big bottle of Ethyl Alcohol with a big ”flammable” warning on the side. I looked back over at Dr.Thomas who was still writing and drawing on the blackboard while talking loudly to the onlookers. The orderlies had sat down on two chairs to my left, fully engaged in listening to what the doctor was talking about.

I slowly tried to slide my hand out of the restraints. They hadn’t fastened my right hand as hard as my left, maybe if I… The doctor turned to me, pointing with his whole arm and presented me to the room, I stopped trying to get loose immediately. One of the big guys in white came over and rolled me in to the center of the room, right next to the operating table. It wasn’t until then I recognized what was being written on the black board. It was the same description as I had seen last time I was here, the step by step instructions to a lobotomy. My head was spinning, I couldn’t grasp what was going on, all I knew was that I had to get the hell out of there.

Everyone’s gaze was yet again focused on Dr. Thomas´s presentation, and I very stealthly rocked my hand from left to right, finally! I felt it come loose! I left it like that for now, as to not draw attention to myself. I needed to loosen my left hand as well, but there was no way that that would go unnoticed, i was sitting right in front of at least 10 people. I needed to think!

Excuse me, Dr.Thomas. I said, Would it be possible to turn me around so that I can see what you´re writing? After all, it is me who is going to get the benefit of this treatment and I think it would be interesting to see how it is done. The doctor turned his head and smiled. There, see, now that you´ve calmed down you´re starting to come to your senses. He motionted for one of the orderlies to come and turn me around. I now had my back to the audience and slowly slid my right hand out and quietly, and very carefully, loosened my left hand.

I had just placed my right hand back under the restraints when Dr. Thomas turned to face the room once more.

And that´s about it! He said, Any questions? He was done with his presentation, I didn´t have long now. I saw the small table I had seen before, now to my left, there it was, the ice pick and the hammer, gleaming in the light. Dr. Thomas got out his pipe while listening to a student asking something, and stuffed it with tobacco once more. From his pocket he presented a box of matches. He lit one up and held it up to his pipe, drawing deep puffs to get it going. The smoke rose towards the ceiling, it had a sweet smell to it. He threw the box of matches down on the table beside me and I knew this was my chance.

As quickly as I could, I almost flew out of the wheelchair, grabbing the matches as I went. I rushed over to the open medical cabinet and grabbed the bottle of Ethyl Alcohol and held it up in the air. Wait!! Dr. Thomas shouted as the orderlies were about to run over and tackle me. Mr.Robertson, now don´t do anything hasty here. Remember, we are all here to help you! – Yeah, Well I dont remember asking for your help! I screamed. I am NOT about to let you hammer a fucking ice pick into my skull, you understand?! -Calm down, he said, slowly walking towards me. You don´t actually think you can just walk out of here, do you? I backed up as he was approaching, raising the bottle higher.

Stop!! I yelled. Don’t come any closer! Out of the corner of my eye I saw the orderlies slowly walking along the wall towards me. An incoherent gasping and mumble was heard from the students and doctors above us. With all my force I threw the bottle on the floor, sending shards of glass flying across the room, the content of the bottle splashing all over. I lit a match, and held it threateningly in the air. I said Stop!! I yelled again. The orderlies looked over to Dr. Thomas for confirmation of what to do. He held his hand in the air. Now be careful Mr. Robertson, that is highly flammable! Oh I know, I said. You will let me go, or I will burn this fucking place to the ground. You hear me?!

One of the men in white saw his chance and leaped towards me. His quick movement startled me and dropped the lit match to the floor. A flash of light dazed the room and in a second you could feel the heat licking your skin. The room was ablaze and I turned around and ran. The commotion had gotten the attention of everyone else on the fourth floor, now hurrying to OPR2 to see what had happened and help them put out the fire, but it spread quickly. High flames whipping the ceiling, spreading out into the hallway, floors, walls, everything caught fire. I hurried down the stairs, second floor. All empty, they must have run upstairs I thought. First floor, theres that god damn oil painting of Dr. Thomas, still on the ground with a cracked frame. Wait! I did a double take and looked around, wait.. what?

Everything was back to being abandoned and foresaken, the dust and cobwebs once again had claimed the house. But I could still hear the screaming and commotion from the fourth floor, albeit a bit distorted, like it was alot further away than it acually was. I ran towards the door and saw my camera bags, just where I had left them before everthing started to to take a weird turn, I grabbed them and bolted through the front door. I was outside, and .. I was back in my own clothes! There was my car! I threw my bags in and jumped in after, turned the key and floored it. Gravel shot out from behind my rear tires like a machine gun blazing, ricocheting of the stone angels in the fountain as I took off towards the exit. As I looked in my rearview mirror, the Asylum looked just like it had done when I first came there, but I swear I thought I could see smoke rising from the roof.

I´m now writing this from my motel room near the interstate. I still have no idea what I just went through. But I think I´ll have a break from urban exploring for a while. I´m glad I got out of there without having my brains turned into mashed potatoes, if that shit even acually happened? I don´t know. There is one thing though, that´s a bit weird. When I came to the motel they couldn’t find my registration. It wasn’t until I told them what room I had gotten a confirmation for that the guy found it.

Only..It was registered to a Jeremiah Robertson….

Credit: M.S. Grahn

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