06 Jun The Van Ness Asylum
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"The Van Ness Asylum"Written by
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Estimated reading time — 10 minutes
Being a devout fan of Creepypasta’s true story section, I felt compelled to share my story with other users. While it is nice to provide all of you with a chilling, and entertaining story, keep in mind I have a much greater goal in mind.
Before my experience two days ago (May 3rd and 4th, 2013) I was a very skeptical person; not just in the paranormal, but in all areas of life. Should something not be able to be factually proven, it was simply not true. While I was always interested in death, the paranormal, and ‘spooking’ myself in general, I had always been a hard-headed person who never believed that there was any truth to it all. I simply wrote things off as, “an interesting story” and never genuinely believed that in anything, “unexplained”. Following my experiences however, I’ve come to terms with the fact that just because things do not follow our illusion of reason, does not mean that those things aren’t actually valid.
As I had stated before, I have a greater goal in mind higher than simply entertaining my fellow Creepypasta members. Contrary to my previous belief, there are things in life that cannot be explained. Like the beginning of the universe, and life itself. We can trace things back in theory, 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang; but the further into it you go, the more questions arise. “And what before that, and before that?” Great wars have been fought over the topic ever since the beginning of man itself. We are all fighting and scrambling to answer the unexplainable origin of the beginning of the universe. Why? Simply put, we are very intrigued about a topic that is so complex, and abstract, that it could never be explained.
This is why the Creepypasta stories, true or false, are captivating. We all want to feed our hunger with a glimpse into the irrational world of the paranormal and incomprehensible. My goal above all is to show my peers that you must keep an open mind, and simply give into the inevitable truth that some things in life cannot be explained.
I apologize for the long prefix, but I felt it was an absolutely necessary one. Here are my experiences of May 3rd and 4th.
Seeing as how it was a Friday on May 3rd, I was very glad to be on a small but much appreciated break from work and school. Naturally, I did the old teenager cliché of spending the night at a friend’s house. As usual, I indulged in playing video games, and criticizing old classic movies with my good buddy, Cris. We were a couple of film buffs who loved share impressions of actors, and poke fun at poorly done special effects, etc. The night was honestly going great in true weekend fashion. My friend and I had just come to the realization that he could do a pretty good Nicolas Cage impression, so we spent a large part of that night laughing and talking like him at random points in our hangout.
When I had attempted to follow in and give the impression a try, he shot me down and ridiculed me for doing a bad job. I shrugged, and tried to laugh it off but he continued to pursuit berating me. Eventually, I grew tired of his negative criticism, and we had a small argument. It was no big shouting match or anything, we were used to this sort of thing because we made fun of each other on such a regular basis, it was only natural to have a small little fight now and then. We always got over it within a day or two. I felt the best course was to gather my things and ride my bike home so we could both cool off a little.
I was a little reluctant to bike home because it was really late already. I was no stranger to riding home in the dark, it was actually sort of routine because I got around a lot. It seemed I was always riding home in the late hours from someone’s house. This time was different however because it was now 1:24 AM (May 4th now). I had only ever ride my bike out past midnight only once or twice before for an absolute emergency. I refrained from riding when it was very late because I always had a fear of gangs and other not-so-great characters who tended to be out at that time of night.
Clouded of my better judgment by pride and anger though, I put on my backpack, hopped on my bike, and started off. I recall the cool summer breeze that I had felt as soon as I began to ride home. It was very therapeutic to feel the wind relieving me of my stresses. I was now confident that I had made the right call to leave my friend’s house, rather than stay there and wait in awkward silence until we both went to sleep. I continued to ride home for another ten minutes. At this point I was at a crossroads. Do I ride down Van Ness? Or turn, and head towards the main road, where the prostitutes and gangsters usually hung out?
I continued to go straight and head down Van Ness. Although this seemed like a no-brainer, it took some thinking, and a fair amount of guts. Van Ness was a very tranquil street. It was filled with tall pine trees, little traffic, and certainly no shady characters like Blackstone. It was the quintessential biking trail for the town during the day; a bikers paradise. At night however, it was much different. Van Ness was a bit off a historic part of town, so it did not have street lights. There were so many trees, that even the moonlight could not sneak through to illuminate the street. Me and my friends frequently joked that this was the darkest street in the world. Aside from being very dark it was also very quiet, even the sound of crickets would be relieving because you would know that you were not completely alone.
I had been riding on the street for a while now, and only had about three-quarters of a mile remaining until I was on my street. I had gotten kind of used to the street and was no longer nervous about the ‘spookiness’ of the street. The solitude was actually quite refreshing.
During the day, I frequently rode down Van Ness, as I had mentioned it was a ‘Mecca” for bike riders. I was very familiar with all of the buildings and fields on the stretch of road. So, when I saw an unfamiliar building, it stuck out like a sore thumb. At the end of a long, dry field stood a tall menacing, mansion of a home. Like straight out of a classic horror movie. I could totally imagine a thunderstorm in the background adding to the horrifying look of it. I stopped pedaling, and slowly passed the building by. The curiosity of the building began to burn a hole in my head. I knew that if I did not stop and analyze the building, I would lose sleep wondering at what I had missed.
I turned around and dismounted my bike, and stared at the building in awe. On the front of the building was a green text, the same green that was used on this historic part of town in Van Ness. I was nearsighted, which meant that I need to wear my prescription glasses to see far away. I reached in my pocket and realized that I had left my glasses at Cris’ house in my hurry. I decided that I would have to get a closer look if I wanted to read what it said. I was way too enthused to simply call it a night on that note. I had to at least read what it said.
I stepped onto the crunchy dry field and proceeded to walk towards the building. My imagination was running wild, thinking of what on earth this sign would read. My mind is drawing blanks now as to what I thought it could have said. Finally I got close enough to make out the words. “Van Ness Asylum” Under that what smaller subtext that I could not yet read. I did not know if I should continue to walk towards it, and run like hell out of there. Once again, I figured, I have to at least read it. I walked a little closer and read the smaller text,” 978 N. Van Ness”. I was so puzzled. I was so sure that had I seen this terrifying building before, I definitely would have looked inside of it, and at the very least remembered that it was there. It’s not very often you see an asylum you now.
Second, why would there be an asylum in the middle of all of these nice homes in the first place. All of the homes surrounding, and the asylum itself looked to be built around the same time period. The homeowners would have gone mad had they known a looney-bin was built right next door. The asylum was obviously abandoned as shown by the broken windows and poor upkeep. So at the very least, why wouldn’t the neighborhood have at least petitioned to have the building torn down in recent years?
None of this was adding up. I decided I should call someone and at least get their opinion. Should I go in? Then the grim reality reminded me that it was now about 2 AM. All of family and friends were asleep. Maybe not Cris, but he was mad at me. I contemplated going in, and paced back and forth at the idea.
My entire life, I had been kind of a play-it-safe type guy; afraid to branch out and try new things. In the past two years, I had tried to embrace the spontaneous life and tried to learn to say yes. I had to be absolutely nuts to go into an abandoned asylum on a dark street at two in the morning, by myself mind you. “But imagine what you’d find?” I recalled watching YouTube videos of people who would break into condemned asylums and see what they found. The idea fascinated me, but at the same time, I didn’t think I had it in me. “I couldn’t possibly, could I?”
Once again, clouded by my better judgment; this time by intense curiosity and the drive to take a chance and explore, I proceeded to look for an opening into the building. I circled the building and gave reasons like, “That hole is too small…” or “I’d rip my shirt there…” soon I realized I was making sorry excuses to delay the exploration. I psyched myself up, and crammed myself through broken window.
I saw no signs of graffiti, old soda cans, or cigarettes that would imply that anyone has been in here since it was boarded up and deserted. That scared me. If someone had been in here before, I would have at least known that they whatever dangers may be in here, someone had encountered before me. I had a very annoying habit of scaring myself when having a clear, non-timid mindset was very important. I had a flashlight that I attached to my bike that I used to navigate the dark, cold building. Because this was virgin ground since the boarding up, the inside of the asylum was very well preserved. The white, flawless tile flooring still looked very sterile.
Trust me when I say, neatness was much more scary than if the place was a wreck. It was very freaky. Papers were scattered about from when they were extracting files and sensitive patient information, but other than the papers, the place was pristine. Spotless, no mirrors broken, no cracked porcelain toilets, no piss and excrement all over the walls like you would expect.
Next, I focused on paying attention to where I was and where I was headed. Where were the patient’s bunks, where were the operating rooms, and where was the morgue? It seems I was in the admissions area, where you would be checked in and out. I walked down a narrow hallway and found a cluster of operating rooms. Complete with the anti-septic metal tables, stripped of all warm, comfortable sheets and pillows. I didn’t find any scalpels, or bone-saws. I presume they removed those for health concerns. I scavenged through drawers and found surgical tubing, respirator masks, and sterile gloves, still sealed in the boxes. It was so odd to see that aside from the scattered papers, and no chairs, or furnishings, the place still contained a lot of things necessary to keeping an operational medical facility.
I continued through the asylum and found that the pattern on the floor had changed, the tiles were a different color, almost like a yellow brown, and the tiles were smaller. I noticed that every few feet there were drains on the floor. I looked up and around and saw lockers where I assumed scrubs and other gear was stored. I put it all together, and made the conclusion that I was in the morgue. The drains had been strategically placed to allow for the draining of blood on the floor. A truly haunting thought.
My whole time in there, I heard a few creaks, and whatnot but just blamed them on my stepping, and the age of the building. I had been in there about six minutes when finally I heard something that absolutely made my stomach drop. The only thing that I could assign the sound to was a drawer of a morgue refrigerator slamming shut. (The large lockers where the dead are stored before burial) I did not explode and bolt out of there. I knew that if I had done that, I would have gotten scared that something was right behind me chasing me. I tried to keep calm and walk out of that place without panic, but in the back of my mind, I knew that I had never been so scared in my life. After an eternity it seemed I jumped out of the window and landed back on the porch of the Van Ness Asylum. I ran through the field and got on my bike and rode home. It’s not like my endeavor was over, I still had to ride nearly a mile home in anguishing fear on the dark deserted streets of Van Ness.
Soon, I was home safe and sound. I was so shaken up I didn’t think that I could return to living a normal life again. Falling asleep that night was very hard. I pushed through it, and the next day I felt a lot better.
Now, I suppose I could have sullied the story by making up some bullshit about how I saw a figure, or something touched me, or there was blood all over the walls. I know that some people would prefer to have some truly horrifying experience to make this long story all worth it, but I wanted to stay true to heart, and not spoil a true, and scary story. Need not worry however, the story is not over there.’ Here is the paranormal, truly unexplainable part:’
I called up my friend Cris and it seemed the both of us were done being mad, I told him about what had happened, and told him I’d meet him at his house in about an hour. I rode to his house and was there in about 40 minutes. I was very excited to tell him about it in person.
He was so amazed, that he decided he wanted to go and look at the asylum for himself. He also rode down Van Ness at least twice a year and did not recall seeing an asylum, night or daytime. I was very much still traumatized by last night, but I really wanted to show off the fact that I had gone into that scary fucking house all by myself. We decided we’d both take a bike ride down Van Ness to see the building.
When we arrived there at about 3 PM, thirty minutes later, we had some trouble finding the house. I recalled the length and shape of the field of the asylum, and I saw a field that matched it, but saw no menacing asylum on top of it. This didn’t make sense, it didn’t add up, just like the asylum being there in the first place. I didn’t understand. But as I stated earlier, there are just some things in life you cannot explain.
Credit To – Frankieseshy
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