The bolted front door was unlocked by a facilities manager, who walked around the first floor with me while telling a tale of WW I amputees, an excess of removed limbs and something about the basement and a concrete burial. It was difficult to listen. My eyes were fixed on the huge 19th century windows casting light on the walls of peeling paint. I could barely wait to explore. Then, he left with a final warning to avoid the basement. I was alone in the three-storied abandoned hospital with no electricity, no flashlight (I was ill-prepared) and a very dark staircase.
It was completely silent except for the gusty winds that rattled the windows and tree branches that banged against the glass. In the distance I could hear the clanging of metal on the flag pole outside the front entrance. This is not a gig best enjoyed solo. The first trip up the stairs was tough - I started up then turned back a couple of times. Finally I felt my way up using the railing. As I explored the upper floors, I was shaky at first but after a while my fear subsided and began to imagine the Pearl Harbor survivors and the 1918 flu epidemic patients who passed through here...so much history. I still want to check out the basement but definitely with a wingman.