I’m finally doing it! I’m trying my hand at exploring some haunted places! I have a list ready of some local places that are either haunted, run down, or just plain creepy, and with the help of my amazing, not so enthused about being haunted, husband, I am going to visit them all!
First on the list is actually not that far from me. The Northern State Hospital Farm located at the mouth of the Cascade Mountains in Sedro-Woolley, Washington, now transformed into a recreational park, is managed by the state in order to preserve the buildings and land that used to belong to the Hospital.
The Northern State Hospital for the Mentally Ill was a very large, self-sufficient facility with a number of production facilities spanning across a 700 acre farm. Not only was it self-sufficient, but it was also productive enough to be able to feed other hospitals in the state, raising livestock from chickens to cows, managing a canning facility and processing food and crops on site. The farm was very beneficial to it’s patients, giving them a great way to socialize and work, and becoming the largest farm of it’s kind at it’s height this side of the Mississippi. The hospital is still in use, however the farm, closed in 1973, is now a great place to hike, pay Frisbee golf, and explore the empty, decrepit, decaying barns and milking houses.
We started at the parking lot and as we were walking towards the place, we realized very quickly how many people were exploring at the same time we were. Although it would have been more of an experience to be just my husband, father-in-law and I, it probably wasn’t a bad idea to have it not only be a high traffic area, but also be daylight .. and our dogs were with us to round out the numbers.
Among the first few buildings were what appeared to be milking, meat processing, and delivery facilities. There was a large loading dock near another building full of gated stalls with a long pit underneath. I’m still not quite sure which purpose this building served, but it was a little unsettling none-the-less.
Past these buildings were a number of large, empty buildings that could have been used for storage or for housing livestock. Along with the debris, the “empty” buildings were also filled to the brim with graffiti of all kinds, from the amateur to the artistic, and was even in some impressively hard to reach places.
Once we felt like we efficiently explored every square inch of these old buildings, we took to the trail to find some more structures along the 700 acres of land that were utilized. While we searched, we found a very intricate Frisbee golf course, winding in and out of buildings and housing platforms, around trees, and through streams and ditches. Along with finding this course, I also found a NEED to participate in a Frisbee golf game at some point in my life.
At the end of the trail, before it looped back to the main buildings, we found the remains of what looked to be an old food processing center, completely suffocated by Blackberries and almost completely obscured by the twisting vines. Although it made it hard to see and explore, it made for a very cool looking picture.
And with that, we decided to not make the dogs withstand anymore torment of us jumping around these old buildings like children and we went home. It was an incredible experience and one that I hope to do again! I would recommend to anyone who likes to explore the abandoned to make the trip out to this “middle of nowhere” treasure.
It has definitely caused me to want to do this again and find more old buildings, abandoned to time, and be able to explore them and find what secrets they might hold and what stories I can learn from them!
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