139/365 Insanely Broken



Haunted. That’s what they say. I wandered the grounds, holding my camera in front of me like a shield. But the only haunting I saw were the cops driving around me slowly as I wandered through the Central State Hospital grounds.

Central State Hospital, formerly known as the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane, has a reputation for being haunted. Acres and acres of untended grounds, and building after building falling into ruins, keeps the rumors alive. There are only two sane establishments on these grounds now: the pathology building, which runs tours through its impressive-but-sterile archives, and a mounted police station in the back. That’s why all the cops.

But I do not fit a profile. I mean, I’m female and I have a camera that looks impressive to the uninitiated eye—nothing subversive about that. I must be documenting something. I’m not wearing a hoodie or jumping into the shadows when a cop car rolls by, so I must be either naive (yes) or harmless (double yes). So I’m safe. (I guess I do fit a profile.) The hardest admonishment I received from one of the cops was issued through his rolled-down window, “Be careful.”

Um. Ok.

I truly wished I was with someone for this little trip back into time because THE BUILDINGS AREN’T SECURE and I am more daring with a co-conspirator. But I was alone on purportedly haunted grounds with the cops trolling me. The most daring thing I did was enter a building whose doors were flung wide open by the wind, doors which kept banging every time the wind snatched them. Each bang made me jump. I ducked between each rabid flinging of the door, entered the building, and looked around. I was disappointed. I felt like I had entered my grade school building. Boring!!! I took the above photo from within the building, then left.

I found access to tunnels, to other buildings in even more disrepair, and to lots of trash scattered about the grounds. I have a high sense of self-preservation and (dangit!!!) respect for authority. Entering this building was out of my comfort zone (I saw a cop pass by) but I did it anyway. Maybe next time I’ll flout all authority and go into a tunnel. Maybe. But only if someone comes with me…because the insane ghosts on the premise may trip me up. I can deal with cops, but not ghosts.


About Dezra Despain

Life is full of stories waiting to be revealed.

Posted on March 22, 2012, in 365 Days Journey Through the Past and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Real nice piece Dezra. Your flicker photos are really good too.

    • Thanks, Mike. I appreciate your comment. The most recent flickr uploads will be used in tomorrow’s post (March 23). I had time today to upload them so I took advantage of it.

  2. I would love to explore those grounds — with a buddy, of course. My mom is a nurse in a psych ward…oh the stories I’ve been told…

    • I’d love to go back with someone. I really would. Someone with a camera because I really believe it was the camera that kept the police from asking me to leave.

      I’m not sure I’d want to hear stories from a psych ward. That would be too unnerving!

  3. May we expect more images from this excursion? Your descriptions are tantalizing and I, for one, am eager to see what else presented itself to your lens and your imagination. I’d gladly ride shotgun and be your backup for a future visit!

    • I should upload more photos of this area. I wasn’t thinking about that when I chose just this one. And sometimes I need a partner in crime! It’s much easier (and safer) to go to these places with others just in case the ghosts come out. 🙂

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