My father owned a funeral home for which I worked in my younger days and he and I still run a graveyard to this day. I've never got spooked by anything to do with the dead, until today. I walked through the Western States no name graveyard, and got a cold chill from being in there. Something about a graveyard full of stones and no names or numbers, just isn't right. That was the strangest feeling I've ever had. I felt like I was staring into the mouth of hell or something. very weird, especially for me. Staunton, though is a photographers playground. Beautiful gothic homes and Victorian architecture. I just wish the weather had been better, overcast. I hope to spend a day there and a night , as I enjoy night photography, sometime in the spring. Matt nice to meet you, Matthew Thacker here, or Bonedaddy to my friends. I enjoyed your photos of Dejarnette, very nice work.
Although it's boarded up, can you still get access through the frontier center to the grounds around Dejarnette?
My understanding, based on comments here and elsewhere, is that it is no longer accessible. period.
it was recently purchased from the state of VA and will be torn down or converted into commercial space sometime in the near future. the new owners re-boarded-up the windows and entrances, and built a new fence. it is only accessible through breaking-and-entering, which is inadvisable.
this is all based on second-hand info, as i haven't visited since late June '09. it was once a no-risk (short of injury) photo excursion. but now i would assume it's watched more closely and not easily entered/explored.
Here's an update to those of you wondering.
I visited Dejarnette about a month ago. We parked at the nearby Lowe's store, and crossed the street to the grounds of Dejarnette. The grounds are NOT fenced in, and you can walk right up to certain parts of the building (The main entrance has a gate and fence).
As of a month ago, every single entry point that we could find, was boarded up. According to staff at the museum down the street, the building has asbestos.
They have not started to demolish it or anything yet.
We spent a good two hours trying to figure out a way in. No sign of police or anything, and s long as you're not wearing bright colors or flashing your flashlight everywhere, there is NO way anybody would see you out there.
But, like I said, everything is boarded up. We tried slamming concrete blocks against the wood to try and break in, but the wood is mounted very good and I think it is thick. We considered buying a crowbar, or bringing an axe to bust down some of the wood, but, we don't like the idea of having 1 entry/exit point, in case cops showed up.
We are going to try again in a month or so. The place looks really cool. It's very eerie, especially when considering what all has happened in there. The grounds are spooky.
To anybody who might want to visit: Park at Lowes. Walk across the street to the huge field, where the hospital sits. We all wore dark colors, and we amde sure we were invisible. I stayed behind at first to see if the others could be seen from the road or nearby gas station. No. You are invisible. So don't worry about that.
Your only worry is getting inside. Let me know if you find a good way to get in :)
If I were you ^^^ I would not mention this online, frankly. It could get you in legal trouble. I would strongly advise editing your comments to place everything in the hypothetical subjunctive!
The story on why they won't let people in is that there is a fair amount of asbestos in there. It is very dusty and such in there and the security gentleman I spoke with said they never de-asbestified it, and he would only go in with a respirator. He looked me in the eye and very sincerely begged me not to risk my health. I said thanks and what about a waiver, he said forget it, they'd have too many people signing a waiver and then what about all the lung cancer.... So I didn't press the issue.
Just do not risk your health for interior shots, trust me it's not worth it.
Recent (digital) photos of the former Dejarnette children's asylum/hospital, taken by a Flickr member, Deep Creeker:
It looks like it's been boarded-up pretty damn tight.
Hey, I know Dejarnette is totally off limits now basically, but I was wondering if you had any tips for Western State? 3 friends and I are planning to head up from Roanoke on Monday to do some photography, and we know it's not that difficult to get into, but any advice would be great.
Originally Posted by keithwms
Sire, go easy on the Proust please!
And—do I read correctly, somebody wants to barge into an asbestos-riddled building just for some photographs?
Do you know that just brief exposure to stirred asbestos dust can have profoundly serious consequences? How does acute asbestiosis sound?
In Australia, people have died from this poisoning from both very long and very short exposure. So I can only repeat what others have said and that is to respect the legal standing of the building's current state and stay well away from asbestos. It is a death wish.
I'm not dead yet..
Be careful. That's about all I can advise.
Originally Posted by WhiteBox
These buildings are not forgotten nor derelict. People live in some. So, tread lightly, if at all..
I am also drawn to Staunton VA. I often stay over night on my trip from Pa. to NC. I found Dejarnette Center while gasing up at Sheetz. and thought cool place to investigate and photog but it was boarded up, traveling alone and not having bail money with me I decided to stay away. I found the above link and this site while doing a Goggle search of Staunton VA. Take if for what it's worth. If you do get in you may get a little extra in your photo's!