December 5th, 2004


Ladd School Examinations

1. Chris, Joe, Kelly, Jesse and I walk through the Veterens Cemetery after parking the car at a convenience store. The first thing we notice are the Job Corps buildings. They're well lit and off in the distance, behind some trees. I am holding a rubber mallet and Chris has the crow bar. It appears that I'm pissed off, but I'm really just nervous. My stomach hurts. Between Kelly and Joe, there are at least 3 sources of light.

2. The cemetery ends and a field begins. To the right of this field is a large building. It is obvious that the building is in use. We walk along the opposite end of the field until a small path appears in the distance, on the left. We follow the path into a patch of woods. Every now and then we hear a noise and stop to listen. Probably animals.

3. A small road appears. Whereas we're walking straight, the road is running left to right. Since we can no longer continue forward, we choose right. Bingo! I notice a large, circular building and a few smaller ones surrounding it. The circular building is called The Fogarty building. Medical experiments were performed there. It has 3 or 4 floors. Beside that, to the right, is a flat-looking house. The 5 of us walk up to the house and notice a steel grate along the edge. A length of it has been pulled aside. Chris warns everyone to avoid stepping into the hole. He explains that a boy had been killed while rummaging through one of the abandoned buildings we were about to enter. A section of the floor had collapsed beneath the boy's weight.

4. The Fogarty building has heavy looking boards nailed to every window. Jesse and Kelly get the creeps and decide to walk back to the car. Chris and Joe go to work with the crow bar. I keep watch. Soon enough, a board has been removed. We jump inside rather quickly and observe our surroundings. The first room is white and cramped, with words and phrases spray-painted along the floor and walls. A quick exit leads us to a round hallway filled with doors, and an elevator. We make our way around the hallway and take a flight of stairs to the basement. Each room is blank and lifeless, with rusted chairs folded against each other and clipboards scattered about. Eventually, we come across the X-ray room. It is very small. In the center of the room there is a machine designed so that a small child could drape himself across a steel slab. Attatched to the slab is an arm-like examination rod that looms down at the patient. Along the walls are paint-chipped cupboards with slats for identification markers. One reads: Negatives. In the next room, there is a large machine used for printing X-rays. I wonder how many children had been examined there.

Next, we find a bathroom. There is a broken toilet and sink, as well as another machine equipped with a long green hose and foot pedal. Hanging from the steel beam along the wall is a urinal cup. The next bathroom is even smaller. A bottle of Baby Shampoo lies in the sink. The shower is closed off with a green plastic curtain.

When the basement is completed, we return to the 2nd floor and find nothing out of the ordinary. Several doors are hard to open, and most of them, when opened, reveal nothing more than small recovery rooms.

5. We exit the Fogarty building and decide to try our hand at the school house. Medical documents are strewn about the lawn. Medication orders. A quick look around the building finds absolutely no entrance. The windows are much too high.

6. Back at the flat-house, the steel grate is examined. Joe slips into the hole and tests his weight against the ground inside. Solid. We jump down into the hole and find a tunnel with boards along one side. Chris removes the board and discovers a hole leading into the flat-house. I shine my flashlight inside. Water is dripping from the ceiling and onto the broken floor tiles. The room is large. Perhaps it was a recreation area. There are rooms scattered along every wall, off in the distance. A hallway is connected to the recreation room, and the first room there appears to be a space for solitary confinement. A rusted bed frame sits against the wall. The room is no bigger than your average walk-in closet.

Joe motions for Chris and I to quiet down. Was that the sound of someone walking? Chris says: "Hello? Is anyone there?" No response. The hallway is empty.

Next door is the mini-morgue. Someone has spray-painted Welcome to Hell along the wall. I pull the slabs from the coolers. They are still cold. As we walk, the floor tiles crack and squeak. Next to the morgue is a room once used for sleeping. Hundreds of bed frames are cramped together. 9 inches was allowed between each bed, due to overcrowding. Toward the end of the hall is a staircase. I wonder if this was the staircase a male nurse had been pushed down. He was found dead, a broken neck. The room full of spoons is next: plastic spoons cover every inch of the floor. Next to that is a kitchen. I know this might sound odd, but it actually smelled like a kitchen. Broken pots and pans. Sinks. Rust. The laundry room. More bathrooms. And finally, we're back in the Fogarty basement. What the fuck? Then, it dawned on me. Those places were littered with underground tunnels, mostly for wheeling corpses or sickly patients to their respective rooms. Time to leave.

Since the window is up on the wall, Joe uses an AC unit as a step-stool and props himself into the window. Chris and I wait down below. That's when we heard the first floor tile crack behind us. Chris swings the flashlight toward the hallway. Another floor tile cracks. The both of us are not imagining someone walking down the hallway. Joe has cleared the window. Without a word, I jump through as quickly as possible, followed by Chris. Chris and I run down the tunnel and prop ourselves up onto the grate. Joe follows soon after and says: "I just heard someone walking around in that room!" We leave rather quickly, into the woods, back across the field, through the cemetery, and to the car, where Kelly and Jesse are waiting.


Many thanks to D for helping me out with directions and such. You fucking rock hardcore!