25 Bone-Chilling Photos of Abandoned Places

Top of the grand stairwell, Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital, 2008

Though insane asylums, prisons, and hospitals wouldn't necessarily be the first places that come to mind when you're thinking about beautiful places to shoot, you might find photographers Ian Ference and Katherine Westerhout there. These two have made it their mission to find beauty in the decrepit, stories in the forgotten and stunning imagery where most would never look. While Ian Ference mostly shoots inside abandoned buildings in New York, Westerhout has shot in everywhere from Philadelphia, Buffalo, and Detroit to Southeast Asia. Though most of these photos have that ability to make your skin crawl, you might be surprised at the range of emotions you can feel while looking at them. In fact, you might even ask yourself these questions. Who once sat in that chair and what were they thinking as they looked out the window?

Chair in patient bedroom, shot by moonlight, Taunton State Hospital, 2006

Easy chairs and patient art, Creedmoor State Hospital, 2008

Attic of administrative wing of Babcock Hall, South Carolina State Hospital, 2008.

Connector hallway between wards, Trenton State Hospital, 2005

Violent ward hallway now used to store chairs, St. Lawrence State Hospital, 2007

Patient dormitory at sundown, Buffalo State Hospital, 2008

A typical dark room at Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital, 2009

The first floor hallway of the center brick ward, Buffalo State Hospital, 2008

Operating room in Fort Totten Army Hospital, Queens, 2009

Child's riding grasshopper found in Fort Totten Army Hospital, Queens, 2009

Kings Park Psychiatric Center, Building 40, 2004

Kings Park Psychiatric Center, Building 93, 2004

New Orleans, 2005

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, NY, 2004

Sears, San Francisco, 2001

Bethlehem Steel, Lackawanna, 2008

Bethlehem Steel, Lackawanna II, 2008

Lake and Rail Elevator, Buffalo NY, 2008

School Room, San Francisco, 1998

Spaulding Fiber, Tonawanda, 2008

Protestant Church, Detroit, 2009

Eastern State Penitentiary II, 2009

Wards VI, San Francisco, 2001

Eastern State Penitentiary III, Cell Block Three, 2009 First eleven images by Ian Ference at Kingston Lounge, rest by Katherine Westerhout.

Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content