The 11 Strangest Abandoned Places in New York


11. Homowack Lanes

The rattling of pins at the end of the lanes has been replaced with silence, and the once freshly waxed floors are covered under a thick layer of dust. The area surrounding Homowack Lanes was once filled with bustling tourists, but now it sits uninterrupted on most days. This bowling alley is just the first stop in an area with plenty of abandoned places to explore. It’s always interesting when a tourist town comes to an end, because usually people don’t care what happens to the remains. Oh well, more opportunities to explore for the rest of us!


10. Parksville Drug Store

Meth: Not even once. Obviously those aren’t the drugs that were once sold here, but this place is looking pretty rough these days. The most notable feature of the building is the retro sign which is slowly rusting away above the door and windows, but a lot of locals still hold memories of the place. Unfortunately today the building could use a solid power wash and a remodel. While you can’t get in, this is one of those spots that seems to be a page right out of a history book. You have to admire architecture from this time period in America.


9. Church of the Transfiguration

Oh, the church has been transfigured, alright. What was once a beautiful church filled with pews and ornate decorations is now dusty and partially exposed to the elements. Giant holes are scattered throughout the framework and the wood is warping is spots all over the place. This is one of those spots that may not be around too much longer, so you should check it out while you have the chance. Nature has a way of taking back what it wants, and that’s certainly the case with Church of the Transfiguration.


8. Renwick Smallpox Hospital

With the vaccinations we have today, it’s hard to imagine how ravaging Smallpox was at one time. Entire hospitals and sanitariums were constructed to ease the pain and attempt to treat the terminally ill, but often to no avail. Renwick Smallpox Hospital is an eerie reminder to the kind of past that the sickness once had. Today, it’s fenced off to the public, but that doesn’t stop many urban explorers from taking the risk to check it out. Many believe that it’s haunted, and with a history like the one it has it’s no wonder why. As always, be wary when adventuring forth. You never know what could be in there.


7. New York City Farm Colony

Poverty has always been an unfortunate part of life to New York City, and there were once entire farm colonies such as this one that housed and fed the poor when they had nowhere else to turn. Living conditions were horrible at times, but it was shelter to those whom needed it. As technology advanced, however, places like the New York City Farm Colony became obsolete, and were replaced with more modern structures to shelter and feed the homeless when they need it. Graffiti artists have had their way with the building, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it has a very unique history.


6. Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel

It’s pretty wild to think about just how large tourism was in New York’s section of the Catskills back in the day. Mainly a location for honeymooners and those seeking a romantic escape, the nearby mountains and landscapes provided a beautiful backdrop for those needing to get way from life in the city. Giant pools, like the one pictured below, were just some of the luxuries provided to those looking to spend a little more on that special someone. Unfortunately, the industry went bust as flights and fuel-efficient cars became more readily available, and these resorts were left to waste away. Pretty cool stuff.


5. Bannerman Island

Bannerman Island features some of the most interesting architecture on the list. While there are options for guided tours that will take you out here, this is a place where it may be better to venture out on your own. The arsenal used to house a factory where various explosives and munitions would be constructed, and Bannerman himself lived in a giant house also located on the island. Unfortunately, he went bust and a series of unfortunate events led to the downfall of his empire. Today, the entire island is abandoned, which makes for a lot of fun to explore. Bring a kayak, that’s the easiest way to get there.


4. King Park Psychiatric Center

Nothing like an abandoned loony bin to get you in the mood for exploration. Many of the old devices and instruments are still held within. As seen below, it’s hard to believe that no one has taken the time to clean things up inside, but there’s plenty to take in, including dust and possibly asbestos, so definitely bring a mask along if you’re wanting to take a look around in here. The creepiest part, by far, is the fact that many of the chairs where they would experimentally treat the patients are still laid back as if they were about to be used again. You could say that the history of psychology is pretty questionable, so who knows what was done to those people…


3. Staten Island Ship Graveyard

One of the best hidden treasures of New York is the lesser-known ship graveyard near the end of Staten Island. Boats from various time periods are scattered all along the area, and some can even be reached by walking to them during low tide at certain times of the year. Some of the boats within these waters are completely wooden, and date back all the way to the early 1800’s. While it’s not recommended, some brave souls have ventured across the rusty hulls of these ships to explore. Just make sure you’ve had a tetanus shot, these rust buckets could be trouble.


2. North Brother Island

North Brother Island has gained a lot of attention recently due to the fact that it’s right next to New York City and a soul hasn’t occupied it for the better part of a century. Some people think it’s cursed, and with a history like the one it has, it’s no wonder why. Now a sanctuary for birds, the island is “off-limits” to the general public. Everything from a Smallpox hospital to a center of rehabilitation for war veterans have been placed on the island, but all of them were shut down. A great deal of death has been seen on this tiny island. The mayor recently said he desires to have a light opening of the island for the public. That should be interesting.  Oh, and check out the history of Typhoid Mary when you get the chance. Pretty intriguing story.


1. Halcyon Hall

We put this at the top of the list because we know its days are numbered. The structure of this ancient boarding school for girls has definitely seen better days, and it doesn’t take a second look to see that. The truth is that the place is downright creepy looking. The insides contain an entire theater and old dormitory wings that await exploration. It’s definitely unstable, so proceed with caution if you’re standing over a wooden floor. Better to be safe than fall through a floor. It happens to people more often than you’d think.


Know of any other creepy abandoned places in New York? Let people know in the comment box below!