Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Whispering Fence

It stands in mute testimony of times gone by.
When the fence at the edge of the property stood tall ... guarding the rest of the world from entering the grounds ...
Not that many tried to get in. 
It was scary, they said, to see the inmates.
Those labeled by society as too eccentric to be allowed to live among the rest of us "normal" people ...
Yes, most of them needed to be behind this fence.
Not to be hidden away, but to be safe. Safe from themselves; safe from the judgment of the world.

The fence was there to guard those locked inside from leaving.
To stay safe.
To stay medicated.
To recover, maybe, a semblance of life.
The "mental hospital" (it was NEVER called an "institution") closed a long time ago.
It sat vacant (and some say haunted) for years, then suddenly a housing development started to sprout.
The main building was torn down; an apartment complex sprung up in its place.
The owners of the new complex never told the tenants about the history of the land they were living on. They told them it was a research facility; or a retirement home.
The truth eventually came out, of course, but most of the tenants decided to stay.
And only the fence posts remain on the edge of the property ...
In mute testimony of times gone by.
Whispering memories to the grass.
Of those who once called this place home.


  1. I remember...I remember wrapping myself in a long cloak I'd made--and being stopped by two aides in a facility car. "Someone said there was a patient wandering around here."

    "No," said I. "I'm just taking a long evening walk."

    I remember the patients would would "escape." They would come by the house and have the most outrageous stories...

    I can't believe they didn't tell the people who lived there what really happened there--especially when they actually filmed scenes from "One Flew Over the CooCoo Nest" there.

    Whispering memories...there are so many...

  2. Fascinating story - real-estate is too valuable to waste! Thanks for your kind words, things are finally starting to look better.