Sanatorium in Bloom

Sanatorium in Bloom

This ivy-wrapped sanatorium began its life over 100 years ago as tuberculosis treatment facility. It operated as such into the 1950's, at which point the discovery of streptomycin made treatment of the disease much easier, and subsequently negated the need for full-fledged TB facilities. Like many other such centers throughout the country, this sanatorium then saw itself re-purposed as a psychiatric hospital in the years following. Though the building which we filmed has long since been left to rot, the entirety of the campus itself was only recently (and controversially) shuttered.

Our journey began in a craggy and washed out ditch that twists and turns downhill and into the forest. A forest that is home to far more thorned bushes than trees. Many of these bushes have barbs like needles, so long and thin that they may pierce your flesh without you so much as knowing you had been touched. That is, until you feel the sensation of a warm and moist trickle running down your leg. Then shortly after that, the burning of sweat as it enters the tiny gashes, alerting you to the fact that there are far more wounds upon your limbs than you had initially thought.

After some time trekking through the stinging underbrush, we arrived at the building. A place so entangled in vines and overrun with plant-life that one, if not paying attention, may walk right past thinking it a massive bush. Gazing upon it as a whole, it really is quite amazing how overwhelming nature can be when presented with something artificial - Which in this case happens to be a four-story hospital ward. These countless plants have, through time, attached themselves solidly to the exterior walls. Seeing all the exposed roots clinging upon the smooth man-made surface of the old hospital conjures thoughts of tightly wrapping tentacles grasping out from some giant sea-dwelling creature, constricting upon the hull of a massive ship.

Within the foliage-hidden walls of this ward, things were no less green. Moss and sprouting plants had come to live here, nested in the fertile soil which is now the flooring throughout a majority the building. Plentiful and varied insect life can be found here as well, crawling across desk tops, and repeatedly flying into window panes. We believed we had left the forest behind us when we entered here, however the rooms and hallways said otherwise, and their message was apparent - Things, no matter how grand, are never more than temporary.

Some surprisingly beautiful blooming trees have encroached upon the old hospital.

The long-disused basement laboratory.

The decaying plaster has made many of the hallways here appear to have dirt floors.