In places like Pripyat, Russia wildlife is once again returning to eat from the land. If you don't know about Pripyat it is the town that was destroyed by the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. I dream of visiting someday because the beauty of the abandoned town and amusement park has drawn me to it for so long, as long as I've known about the town. It is sad if you think of the lives affected by the disaster, 31 people died that day, and it is predicted that thousands will have died in the years after the disaster due to the effects of the radiation. Still, there is something about disaster that draws us, as humans, to study it. For me, it isn't a morbid fascination, it is the idea of what was and what could be again. How many people died when the Titanic sunk, yet we still study and search for clues.
I have visited Centralia, Pennsylvania, also called the Town on Fire. It isn't really on fire anymore, and there isn't much to see because many of the buildings have been knocked down. The road to the town is over a mile long, so I don't suggest visiting on a very hot day, because you may feel like you are walking for forever and not getting anywhere. The road was, in fact, the most interesting part of the trip there. Also, in case you didn't already know this, Centralia is the town Silent Hill revolved around.
This summer I hope to take a vacation to the one place I have been dreaming of ever since I heard about it on an episode of GHOST HUNTERS. I plan on going to the Trans-Allegheny lunatic asylum in Weston, West Virginia. It is supposedly one of the most haunted places in Northern America, but that's not why I want to go. I want to go because I have a fascination with the way mental patients and non-mental patients were treated in older days. As medicine developed, so did therapy, and while even now some will argue that we are still not where we should be in treatment of mental health disorders, but it could be argued that the same could be said for physical health. Although, I am not here to argue treatment for anything right now. I am here to talk about what we used to do and why I want to visit this asylum.
Asylums in themselves are fascinating. The array of rooms, the places the patients were kept, and yes, while the remake of HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL was not the best, the asylum was awesome and the treatment rooms were fascinating. In different times people were put away for a variety of reasons, some women were put away because their sexual desire caused their families to believe there was something wrong with them mentally, and others were put away because of real life reasons (like dealing with postpartum depression before it was diagnosed).
So this summer I will take a trip to the Asylum, and take a tour, and take a billion pictures. This will be my fulfillment of another dream vacation, I have many. But I can't wait for this one.
If you too want to visit go to their website: http://trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com/main/heritagetours.html