Beneath an Abandoned Hospital: Thoughts from Places


Good morning Hank, it’s Tuesday. Quick
disclaimer, do NOT try this at home. So I woke up around 8:30 in downtown LA to meet publicist extraordinaire Elyse Marshall and best-selling author / old pal Ransom Riggs who took us to the
building where they filmed part of Blade Runner which featured a carbonite encased Charlie Chaplin and then we went to an extremely creepy long abandoned
hospital now sometimes used as a setting for horror movies. This is the kind of
place Ransom takes his friends, which won’t surprise you if you’ve read his novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”. We visited the eerie chapel which
reminded me of my Chaplin days, a kitchen where patients meals were
cooked, “Oh, God!”, “don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t” “it’s the oldest coffee in the world.” “don’t tell me what’s in there don’t tell me what’s in there” “just look” “no!” “oh, it’s amazing, it’s kind of like Bill Nye” “alright, I’m gonna let the camera look but I’m not gonna look myself.” “Get a little closer. Yeah, there you go.” And
there was an endless string of hospital rooms caked with mildew and bird dung. So many of the windows were
blown out that it was hard to say for sure whether the place was inside or outside. And I could hear birds singing and rodents scurrying in the ceilings.
Like many abandoned buildings, there was evidence of recent squatters, poorly spelled graffiti, nasty nasty
water fountains, but what struck me most were the
skeletal remains of dozens of hospital beds. And then we made our way down to the basement, finding the morgue. By this time even Ransom, who is hard to scare, was getting pretty creeped out. “Jesus!” [John laughing]. I of course am very easy to scare, Hank. In an operating room, much of the equipment still there, miraculously unlooted, I saw a figure in the mirror, “oh my god!”,
and about peed myself before realizing it was me. We then found our way to the records
room, full of EKGs of hearts that had stopped beating decades ago. Finally, we made our way to the boiler
room – the beautiful dead guts of the hospital. Hank, abandoned building scare the crap
out of me, but I love tunnels. Steam tunnels, storm drains,
sewers, whatever. but the sewer entrance looked a smidge
unappealing so instead we fumbled around until we
found the steam tunnels. “yeah, we’re well underground now.” as we continued, it got colder. The walls
narrowed. “Can you give me the light? Does that end?” [shuffling] “Uh, it’s hard to tell. I should’ve brought my police flashlight.” “Alright, I’m gonna go.” “Okay. That was gross. Don’t trip.” That tunnel lead to a flooded
room and then to another tunnel and then to a huge room, entirely empty except for this bloody bathtub. Horror movie
leftover – I hope! By than I’d had enough, and as we
made our way up and out of the hospital’s bowels, I found myself wondering what the
hell I was doing. It’s true that such spaces remind us, in
a scary but seductive way, of our own temporariness and the relatively short life of all
that we build and do, and it’s true that the abject darkness
of the tunnels make the world outside impossibly bright and alive, but this is also true: it is nice, on a Thursday morning in April, to be a
kid for a while, exploring with old friends, never knowing
what wonder or terror may await around the corner. And isn’t that why we
explore and also why we read and watch sports and browse Tumblr and study
astrophysics? whether we’re watching horror movies or
accidentally visiting their sets, I think we’re after the terrifying,
awesome, otherworldly feeling of not knowing what lies in wait. Hank, I’ll see you on Friday.

100 thoughts on “Beneath an Abandoned Hospital: Thoughts from Places

  1. The first time I saw this video I was in gym class, not participating, and at the same moment that John reached the bloody bathtub I realized there was a stinkbug sitting on my leg. I shrieked and fell off the bleachers. Good times. – Z

  2. i have seen this before, but i literally just finished reading miss peregrine's home for peculiar children and it brought me back to this video. Knowing that Ransom Riggs is an urban explorer of abandoned places totally explains the settings of that novel. (which is an amazing book by the way !) 

  3. Was that where they filmed Grave Encounters? Because that tub and empty room and all the hallways and underground tunnel all look like it was from that movie set

  4. I tried this at home, but you can forgive me as I did it in 1999 or so. It reminds me of the place which I assume %70 or more of kids know about it was the place for anyone with trouble in mind, kids went down there to drink and smoke and avoid their parents. I think ours was bellow a church. One time we even found an armature film crew I even gave the tips I recall saying "Tonic water you jackass! Are you trying to make stuff glow yeah? Tonic water and a black light". A tip the got me free liquor for that entire night All this does is make me want to hang out with Ransom Riggs, well and appreciate Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children even more.

  5. This is one of those Vlogbrothers videos that I love to re watch.
    John I apologize because youthful curiosity causes me to try this at home.

  6. the scariest thoughts from places video but still so beautiful and cool, definitely would not have the guts to go in there, also reminds me a bit of Neverwhere

  7. the scariest thoughts from places video but still so beautiful and cool, definitely would not have the guts to go in there, also reminds me a bit of Neverwhere

  8. This is so cool. I would have loved to try that. I would have been pretty terrified, but it's such a cool experience. Or maybe I'm wrong and I'd be kidnapped and mauled by trolls. Idk.

  9. If I had to choose between John and Ransom when it comes to narrating skills, I'd have to pick Ransom. I don't know what it is, maybe it's just the sound quality, or voice characteristics. John is really good at talking to a camera and conveying emotions on his face, but when it comes to voice-over's on a mic, I think ransom does slightly better.

  10. it's amazing how much more and better of a writer/narrator you have become since your first videos and book (even though this is an old video) Gee I wish you have time in your life to work for audiobook sometimes <3

  11. "We found our way to the records room, full of EKGs of hearts that had stopped beating decades ago." Holy Shit that is heavy!

  12. The Bradbury building in LA! I just listened to the 99% Invisisble pod about that building. I love when two of my favorite worlds collide :3

  13. Based on the quick shot of them driving down a street my best bet is that this is the Linda Vista Community Hospital in Los Angeles

  14. This video is the dream. I miss living in the same area as my urbex friends, but at least I can rewatch these, which are a lot more interesting than your basic urbex videos. I'd love to see more!

  15. Theres this all girl school that had a steam tunnel you had to walk through but you had to be quite because the nuns were studying.

  16. This video is just, it's very much spoken like your books are written

    Some funny
    Some cool
    And some amazingly poetic pieces

  17. Ok I'm going to write here, even though this is a terribly old video and probably no one will read this……abandoned hospitals, mental or otherwise are the ghosts of a past we wish would just go away. People lived and loved and were born and died and were cared for, or not cared for in those places. What remains are the metal things- the things that people were strapped to, who leaned on, who bled out over, who tried to get their life back from, in some ways the things that saved them, in some ways the things that killed. them. IF only the walls could talk- what tales they would tell- you can't help but sit on one of those beds and wonder, was there a little 8 year old YOU strapped to that bed, struggling with anxiety and debilitating obsessions- the orderlies pinning him down, trying to stop him from the circle you are trapped in, and with no medicine discovered yet or coping mechanism invented yet, these people were left to their own devices, both patient and nurse…..and it was often awful. I find the muse in those places to be overwhelming- the stories and tales and laughter and crying coming at me all at once, like fairies yelling in my face "Tell my story!" and then another " No, tell MY story!" I have to get out of there, it is too much. Thanks, John, we'll see you on Tuesday.

  18. Revisited this for the first time since the video came out. In my opinion, it might it's one of the best thoughts from places.

  19. I wonder- what happens when you go to an abandoned building and meet a squatter? Would they talk to you and show you around or ignore you? I guess it depends on the person.

  20. I'm sorry, but I did not like this video. I'm still being haunted by the movie SAW. I was 13 and I had to sleep with a nightlight for 2 months.

  21. This hospital really reminds me of how Ellis island hospital looks like now. All of the rooms and windows left exactly how it was when they closed it down the years and years ago. I went on a hard hat tour of it. I highly highly recommend it John!!

  22. So I see now that this video is super old, but I heard you say L.A. so I am going to guess that is the Linda Vista hospital. I don't know if you did any research about that building before you went in but 100% haunted. That's rolly chair she touched? Very famous to move itself around. Anyway Fall Out Boy did a music video there roughly bout the same time you were there. I love it when things I like fall together in odd patterns.

  23. Everyone always says don't try this at home, but then they aren't doing it "at home." With no particular expertise that the rest of us lack? I will try this at home, dammit.

  24. It’s fun to visit abandoned places. It makes you wonder about its history & it feel like you are visiting the past, future or timeline.

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