Urban Exploring – The Castle in the Hills

The Crumbling Castle in the Hills

My recent trip to an abandoned hospital in New York got me thinking of my solo road trip I took last year, it gave me the idea to revisit those photos and post the experience here for others to enjoy.

In November 2012, I was in need of something bigger and much different than what I’d been doing, something that was challenging and risky and not like anything I had seen before.  I had spent the entire summer exploring abandoned farm houses and a few industrial locations within my geographical area.

In October I took a long drive to Northern Ontario to visit an abandoned sanatorium, and I had also seen large abandoned candy factory, also in Ontario.

But I had seen something on a friends flickr feed that got me thinking, maybe it’s time for a road trip!  Having done some research of my own as well as getting some tips from a few other fellow explorers, I had picked my date to go and chosen my destination.

It was a very early morning in November when I hit the road, I had about a 3 hour drive and 150 miles to my first stop….The Castle in The Hills.
First Look

The Sanatorium was founded in 1854 and was established ‘for the scientific treatment of invalid, and for the recuperation and rest in cases of overwork and nervous exhaustion.’ ‘The Castle on the Hill’, was conducted as a Health Institution and not as a ‘fashionable resort’.

The surrounding wooded area, temperate climate, and sources of natural springs and mineral waters were what drew the founders of the sanatorium to that area. The natural mineral waters were prescribed for many kinds of chronic ailments. The main building was made from brick and iron and was marketed as “Absolutely Fire-Proof. The cost of renting a room in the main building ranged from $17.50 – $35.00 per week for an individual and could accommodate only 300 guests.

Right Wing

After changing ownership multiple times and serving different uses, the building closed it’s doors for good in 1971 – beginning it’s slow and gradual decay and destruction.

Having seen many sets from other peoples visits I was pretty sure I knew how to get in, I also knew the state of this place and that I would have to step carefully and judge each step. I hadn’t realized the extent of the damage done here until I reached the back of the building, where entire brick walls had collapsed to the ground…


My Way Out

Within seconds of entering the building,I knew I was in for a treat. While any traces of rooms and equipment and whatever used to be there were now gone – the architecture and design of the building was still prevalent throughout.

Step Lightly

Dark and Light

I started my explore and took in every room one by one, the silence is eerie, being set up on a hill there isn’t much outside noise – you can hear the building crumbling literally, as bricks fall and water drops from the floors above.

Soon to be gone

Paw Prints


Do not enter

The large rooms at the end of each wing got me curious as to what they might have been and looked like in their day, I managed to source some images online of what they looked like:


Sitting Room comparison

The cafeteria

Lunch Room comparison

I also found an artists rendering of the main reception area:

Reception comparison

Here are some more highlights of the rest of this Castle, I spend a good two plus hours in here, it was interesting seeing walls being slowly pulled away from the main building, an entire wing that had crumbled to the ground, a lone bed frame still in its room, and traces of blinds and curtains still hanging on some windows.

Crooked Walls


Big and Small


Open Door

Which Way



Then I found the roof, what used to be a lounging and exercise area for patients suffering from Tuberculosis (fresh air had proven to be a good way to cure tuberculosis). It is now very overgrown and decayed, but once again, being on placed upon the hills on New York State, the view was amazing!

The Hills have Eyes

Over Shadowed

Then, finally after having seen every inch of this building from the basement to the roof it was time to head out and drive two hours to my next stop, elsewhere in New York State.

I’ll save that story for another day!

Thanks for reading and following along!

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