Day 359: Investigate an abandoned, “haunted” sanitorium
Exploration and curiosity are ingrained in everything that makes us human. The benefits of seeking the unknown have been many and have ranged from discovering new trade routes to swapping secrets on crop irrigation with indigenous populations. And to a certain degree, we are all the ancestors of explorers.
On the plains of Africa, for instance, those who moved to new lands in search of food were sometimes the ones who survived. And in modern times in the US, those who escaped their home countries to come to America to find work were the ones who were prosperous enough to raise a strong family.
But researchers still do not know precisely where this human sense of curiosity comes from.
Some experts think curiosity is an internal drive, something that makes us explore a dark cave or abandoned tuberculosis sanitarium, in this case. They believe it to be similar to hunger or thirst, an urge we must answer to be healthy and survive. This belief is called the drive theory of curiosity.
Other researchers believe in incongruity theory - the belief that our environment triggers curiosity. These experts believe that individuals only become curious when prompted with an environment or occurence that challenges our sense of the world. Magicians, for instance, play off this curiosity theory. Make a rabbit disappear in a top hat, and wham.. you’ll have hooked your audiences’ attention for hours.
During a trip to my hometown for the holidays, I was compelled to explore an abandoned sanitarium, a complex established in 1903 for those suffering from tuberculosis. It was a trip I had been thinking about making since I was a child, growing up in the region.
Upon returning from the trip, which was made on Christmas night, my mother informed me that the song “White Christmas” had actually been written by someone who was treated at the sanitarium.
- A friend and I approached the ground-level door to the sanitarium, which had brown and black wooden supports strewn on the ground in front of the complex.
- The entire entrance, which was roughly 7ft tall, was covered in graffiti with the word “beware” in orange spray paint above the doorway.
- There were three rooms directly off of the main entrance. The first, to our left, was covered in rubble and had one large broken window. The second, straight ahead, was also covered in rubble and broken lumber. A large triangular piece of the ceiling had collapsed in the room and was blocking the far left corner. The third entrance led to a room that housed a large wooden table.
- My friend was the first one to advance into the complex. He moved toward the back of the first room, peaking into another room that was blocked by large cinderblocks and other forms of rubble.
- There was primarily only black spray paint inside the room.
- I came quite close to having my eye poked by a sharp piece of wood hanging from the ceiling near the front entrance to the room.
- My friend and I stepped back outside and turned to our right to continue investigating the room. On the second level were two large French doors. At the far corner of that same room, which was exposed to the outside of the building, was several curse words with arrows pointed to a second doorway.
What happened on day 359? Find out here.
I believe we walked around the abandoned sanitarium for 12 minutes and 09 seconds.
How long did it take? Find out here.
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