Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Abandoned Mental Hospital Building at Night

Photos taken by Danielle, a photographer in her thirties who suffers from major depressive disorder and falls somewhere on the bipolar spectrum. She recently spent two weeks at a psychiatric facility in Massachusetts where she did an intensive residential program.

About these photos: “I took these photographs several months ago during my stay at a mental hospital. I was not in a locked unit, so one night before curfew I went out with a fellow patient for a walk. We stumbled upon a very creepy abandoned hospital building and had an eerie encounter with something very ghostly when I tried to take photos with my phone. Seriously. Despite my fear, I went back the next night with my real camera, and came across a second abandoned building – shown in these photos – boarded up, with broken windows and crooked columns. I could barely see anything because those buildings are no longer lit, but I shot in the dark, and somehow managed to take a handful of pictures that actually came out once I brightened them in Lightroom. Amazing since they were taken in pitch darkness.

I feel that these photos represent change. How things change over time, how they may deteriorate and break down, but how even when that happens, beauty can still be found. They also represent the personal change that I was experiencing at the time. Just like my experience with these photos, everything seemed so dark, I could barely see, but with some adjustments change could be visible.

If only real life could be brightened and altered in Lightroom! Positive change may not be that easy, but if we keep fighting, it can be found. It may even be lurking in the darkness right in front of you.”


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10 comments on “Abandoned Mental Hospital Building at Night

  1. Ziya Tamesis
    April 12, 2013

    For some reason I find these photos utterly terrifying.


  2. Nicole Moseley
    April 12, 2013

    The old hospital looks like some sort of broken down fortress that once housed mental patients. It is eerie. I think things for mental health consumers have become better over time.


  3. JD
    April 12, 2013

    This looks like something out of a scary movie…Just insert zombies here. Great post!


  4. Emma Lewis
    April 12, 2013

    I wonder what the ghostly thing was. These photos have so much atmosphere – actually send a chill down my spine…


  5. Anita Flowers
    April 12, 2013

    Just counting the bricks of this ‘prison’ is painful …


  6. bambangpriantono
    April 12, 2013

    So sad…


  7. Syncopated Eyeball
    April 12, 2013

    Looks menacing to me too.
    But good photos, for sure.


  8. LGPhotographix
    April 13, 2013

    Great post and credit to the photographer for taking these in the dark. Very eerie and full of atmosphere.


  9. Bipolar II in New England
    April 13, 2013

    Lightroom is great like that. Perspective is hard to gain in dark times. It sounds like you are in a better place than you were then. Thank you for sharing these – I find them to be quite lovely.


  10. Penny Fisk
    April 16, 2013

    Reblogged this on Observations on Bipolar Disorder and commented:
    I like this photo. It reminded me how much we as society have changed in our approach to dealing with (i.e. where we put) the mentally ill over the last hundred years since the advancement of modern drugs.


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