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UER Mobile > US: Northeast > An abandoned nursing home in South Jersey (Viewed 478 times)

post by Squirrel.   |  | 
An abandoned nursing home in South Jersey
< on 10/11/2022 12:36 PM >

I grew up in the pine barrens of South Jersey, and living in a place like that, there isn't much to do. I was young, too - too young to drive, too young to smoke pot, too young to do much of anything. So I'd spend my time as a kid exploring the area around my house.

The suburb I lived in was small. My road stretched about a quarter of a mile and then ended in a beautiful dirt hill we used to go sledding down in the frigid New Jersey winters. Just beyond that dirt hill was a massive, uninterrupted patch of pine barrens running along the Garden State Parkway. The trails, blazed by dirt bikes and ATVs, stretched on for miles and miles, and I don't think I ever got to explore all of them.

If you were heading down my street, you'd notice a long dirt road branching off to the right. There were a few houses on it, some more random dirt hills, and if you reached the end, you'd reach a government site where the town parked all their dump trucks, school buses, and other equipment.

But before you reached that point, you'd notice the road would suddenly be paved. A parking lot would form to your right, marked with crumbling asphalt, faded white lines and weeds poking out of the cracks. On your left, a sprawling abandoned building with the words "(My Town Name) Nursing Home" written over the front entrance.

This was a magical place to me as a kid. I never knew why it was abandoned, it had been this way when my mom moved in before I was born. A neighbor once told me that she worked there; she came in for work one day in 1994, and the front door was just locked up, and all the residents were gone. There were persistent rumors around town though, ranging from rampant elder abuse to irremovable black mold.

Whatever the reason for its closure, I would spend hours wandering around the site. My mom warned me never to go in, fearing the air quality, but I used my allowance to buy masks and went in anyway. The inside depicted a very sudden abandonment. All the equipment and fixtures were still in place, documents were still strewn about desks - I seem to recall even finding a filing cabinet filled with what I can only assume were confidential medical records.

Around age 14 I stopped going in as much. It was still fascinating, but I had seen the whole building time and time again over the years. I spent more time in the abandoned municipal gas station next door, which had long been replaced by a much larger site for the town's buses and trucks to fill up with diesel. I'd take friends there, destroy my pants hopping the chain link fences, play with fire extinguishers, and engage in certain activities I'd never do anymore as an urban explorer.

Now I'm 22. I still live in the same house and sleep in the same bedroom. I take a few college courses when I can afford it, my plan is to have myself completely moved out one year after I finally get my associate's degree next year. I spend my time making music, playing video games, hanging out with friends or occasionally going out on dates. I still love the outdoors, and I still love exploring abandoned places.

Every morning I go for a walk, and instead of the massive dirt hill with the sprawling, pristine pine barrens beyond, I see an electric gate guarding the sprawling adult community that replaced them. The other street is still unpaved, but only for a few hundred feet - then you reach the massive Cornerstone apartment complex that has long replaced the nursing home.

The abandoned gas station is still there, though. So that's cool.

I originally came here to see if anyone remembers the abandoned nursing home that was a big part of my childhood - few did. Now, two years after that post, my interest in exploring abandoned places has grown, so I'm making a new post about this strange, ethereal place I grew up in.

I wish I could include some pictures here, but unfortunately I never took any. In fact, the only proof of this place's existence I can find is a single video exploring it: https://www.youtub...YqgqJ-37yP0&t=163s

I know you've all probably been to hundreds of different places, and this one is probably pretty mediocre, but it has a strange, special little place in my heart. I just hope this write-up was as fun to read as it was to write!

I wish you all universal love and happiness,

- Squirrel

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