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The exterior of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital. The building is abandoned. There are multiple windows and the facade is stone. There is moss growing on some parts of the facade. It is evening and the sky is purple. Shutterstock.com

Mapping NYC’s creepy abandoned hospitals and asylums

These structures are a real New York horror story

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New York City is no stranger to creepy abandoned buildings, but the spookiest among them might be the hospitals, asylums, and other medical centers that have long since been left in the shadows. In each borough, you’ll find at least one of these abandoned buildings, some awaiting their newfound purpose—whether it be restoration or a new development—while others have simply been left to rot.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of these long-neglected structures. Many of them are off-limits to the public but, of course, that hasn’t stopped them from receiving the occasional visitor or two. (We’re not advocating that, of course.) In some, artifacts like apparel, medical equipment, books, and letters have been left behind, making these spaces all the more frightening.

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1. Hart Island Women’s Asylum

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Hart Island
Bronx, NY

Many people know Hart Island as the home of the almost impossible to access Potter’s Field, where the homeless and people whose families could not afford burials are buried in a public unmarked graveyard. But the island was also home to a Phoenix House rehab facility, as well as a women's asylum called the Pavilion. Remnants of the island’s more animated days remain, with letters and hospital beds strewn throughout the crumbling buildings. There has been a push to get the island opened up to the public; some city officials have even advocated for a Governors Island-like park.

The interior of the Hart Island Women’s Asylum. The room is large and in a state of decay with peeling paint and stripped wood. Kingston Lounge

2. North Brother Island

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North Brother Island
Bronx, NY 10454

This 20-acre island, off the Bronx in the East River, dates back to the 1880s and served as a quarantine site famously known for housing Typhoid Mary. The hospital was converted to an experimental drug rehab center in the 1950s but the program ended in 1963, due to corruption and high costs. The NYC Parks Department has controlled North Brother Island since 2001, however the abandoned hospital still stands and while it is off-limits to the public (and difficult to get to), people still find their ways. Currently, the city is exploring the possibilities of making the island accessible to the public.

North Brother Island. Wildlife grows amongst abandoned buildings. Kingston Lounge

3. Renwick Smallpox Hospital

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E Rd
New York, NY 10044

On Roosevelt Island, the decrepit 19th century Gothic Revival structure that once functioned as the Renwick Smallpox Hospital is high on the list of city’s creepiest landmarks. The hospital opened in 1856 in an effort to keep those with smallpox separated from the rest of society, and treated roughly 7,000 patients throughout its 19-year run. The hospital was later converted into a nursing school but eventually the building was shuttered and has fallen into disrepair. There have been talks of renovating and reviving the structure, but some Roosevelt Island resident would rather just see it torn down.

The exterior of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital. The building is abandoned. There are multiple windows and the facade is stone. There is moss growing on some parts of the facade. It is evening and the sky is purple. Shutterstock.com

4. Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus

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79-25 Winchester Blvd
Queens Village, NY 11427
(718) 464-7500
Visit Website

Many of the buildings on the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens are now abandoned, with just an outpatient center and The Living Museum in the campus’s former kitchen hall. Back in the day, Creedmoor was home to violent patients; some were transferred straight from prison into the understaffed hospital, where conditions were bad for both residents and employees. The buildings remain littered with belongings of patients past, medical equipments, a flock of pigeons, and a squatter or two.

The interior of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, New York City.  There are rusted doors along a hallway. There is a stretcher in the center of the hallway. Hannah Frishberg for Atlas Obscura.

5. Greenpoint Hospital

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300 Skillman Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

It’s been 35 years since the Greenpoint Hospital shuttered and ever since, plans to redevelop the building into affordable housing have been continuously stalled. It’s become home to squatters in the years since it was closed.

6. Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital

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Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Built in the 19th century, the crumbling Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital is one of the few original buildings that remain at the Navy Yard; many of the buildings that once surrounded it, including the ramshackle townhouses of Admiral’s Row, have since been torn down. Steiner Studios is planning to transform the space into a media complex but for now, the eery structure, which once treated soldiers during World War II, remains in a dilapidated state.

The exterior of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital. The facade is brick with peeling white paint. The window frames are dark red. There are trees and tall grass in front of the building. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

7. Ellis Island Hospital Complex

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Liberty Island - Ellis Island
Jersey City, NJ 07305

While most people head to Ellis Island to see its main building, or as part of their trips to see the Statue of Liberty, there is another historic site that’s much more difficult to access. The 29-building complex dates back to 1902 when the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital was opened as the country’s first public health hospital. The hospital quarantined thousands of immigrants with infectious diseases who were deemed too sick to enter the country. But many people weren’t treated—those who died at the hospital were sent to the campus’s morgue. By the 1930s, the hospital was on a decline and eventually shuttered. By 1954, the complex was officially abandoned and is now accessible through a select number of private tours.

The interior of the Ellis Island Hospital Complex. The paint on the walls is peeling. There is a chair and a table and a rusty light fixture. Shutterstock.com

8. Neponsit Health Care Center

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149-25 Rockaway Beach Blvd
Rockaway Park, NY 11694

For the past 20 years, this former nursing home in the Rockaways has sat abandoned and deteriorating ever since the city unexpectedly evacuated 282 elderly residents in the middle of the night back in September 1998. The abandoned property spans 14 acres and dates back to 1915 when it was built with designs by McKim, Mead & White. The Oceanside hospital was originally used to treat children after journalist Jacob Riis pioneered for a hospital to treat tuberculosis cases. The fate of the center remains unknown, though it has been appraised for $40 million and eyed by developers for luxury apartments.

9. Bayley Seton Hospital

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75 Vanderbilt Ave
Staten Island, NY 10304
(718) 818-6000
Visit Website

While Staten’s Bayley Seton Hospital is still up and running, eight of the twelve buildings located on the 20-acre Stapleton campus have been abandoned—so it’s hella creepy here. In the 19th century, the site was home to the Marine Hospital Service and the Seaman’s Retreat, before going on to be renamed several times and eventually selling to the Salvation Army in 2008. The campus has been used as the filming scene for several episodes of the television show Gotham.

In the foreground is a fence and a lawn. In the background are a group of abandoned buildings with dark red brick facades. Google Maps.

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1. Hart Island Women’s Asylum

Hart Island, Bronx, NY
The interior of the Hart Island Women’s Asylum. The room is large and in a state of decay with peeling paint and stripped wood. Kingston Lounge

Many people know Hart Island as the home of the almost impossible to access Potter’s Field, where the homeless and people whose families could not afford burials are buried in a public unmarked graveyard. But the island was also home to a Phoenix House rehab facility, as well as a women's asylum called the Pavilion. Remnants of the island’s more animated days remain, with letters and hospital beds strewn throughout the crumbling buildings. There has been a push to get the island opened up to the public; some city officials have even advocated for a Governors Island-like park.

Hart Island
Bronx, NY

2. North Brother Island

North Brother Island, Bronx, NY 10454
North Brother Island. Wildlife grows amongst abandoned buildings. Kingston Lounge

This 20-acre island, off the Bronx in the East River, dates back to the 1880s and served as a quarantine site famously known for housing Typhoid Mary. The hospital was converted to an experimental drug rehab center in the 1950s but the program ended in 1963, due to corruption and high costs. The NYC Parks Department has controlled North Brother Island since 2001, however the abandoned hospital still stands and while it is off-limits to the public (and difficult to get to), people still find their ways. Currently, the city is exploring the possibilities of making the island accessible to the public.

North Brother Island
Bronx, NY 10454

3. Renwick Smallpox Hospital

E Rd, New York, NY 10044
The exterior of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital. The building is abandoned. There are multiple windows and the facade is stone. There is moss growing on some parts of the facade. It is evening and the sky is purple. Shutterstock.com

On Roosevelt Island, the decrepit 19th century Gothic Revival structure that once functioned as the Renwick Smallpox Hospital is high on the list of city’s creepiest landmarks. The hospital opened in 1856 in an effort to keep those with smallpox separated from the rest of society, and treated roughly 7,000 patients throughout its 19-year run. The hospital was later converted into a nursing school but eventually the building was shuttered and has fallen into disrepair. There have been talks of renovating and reviving the structure, but some Roosevelt Island resident would rather just see it torn down.

E Rd
New York, NY 10044

4. Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus

79-25 Winchester Blvd, Queens Village, NY 11427
The interior of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, New York City.  There are rusted doors along a hallway. There is a stretcher in the center of the hallway. Hannah Frishberg for Atlas Obscura.

Many of the buildings on the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens are now abandoned, with just an outpatient center and The Living Museum in the campus’s former kitchen hall. Back in the day, Creedmoor was home to violent patients; some were transferred straight from prison into the understaffed hospital, where conditions were bad for both residents and employees. The buildings remain littered with belongings of patients past, medical equipments, a flock of pigeons, and a squatter or two.

79-25 Winchester Blvd
Queens Village, NY 11427

5. Greenpoint Hospital

300 Skillman Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

It’s been 35 years since the Greenpoint Hospital shuttered and ever since, plans to redevelop the building into affordable housing have been continuously stalled. It’s become home to squatters in the years since it was closed.

300 Skillman Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

6. Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital

Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
The exterior of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital. The facade is brick with peeling white paint. The window frames are dark red. There are trees and tall grass in front of the building. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

Built in the 19th century, the crumbling Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital is one of the few original buildings that remain at the Navy Yard; many of the buildings that once surrounded it, including the ramshackle townhouses of Admiral’s Row, have since been torn down. Steiner Studios is planning to transform the space into a media complex but for now, the eery structure, which once treated soldiers during World War II, remains in a dilapidated state.

Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

7. Ellis Island Hospital Complex

Liberty Island - Ellis Island, Jersey City, NJ 07305
The interior of the Ellis Island Hospital Complex. The paint on the walls is peeling. There is a chair and a table and a rusty light fixture. Shutterstock.com

While most people head to Ellis Island to see its main building, or as part of their trips to see the Statue of Liberty, there is another historic site that’s much more difficult to access. The 29-building complex dates back to 1902 when the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital was opened as the country’s first public health hospital. The hospital quarantined thousands of immigrants with infectious diseases who were deemed too sick to enter the country. But many people weren’t treated—those who died at the hospital were sent to the campus’s morgue. By the 1930s, the hospital was on a decline and eventually shuttered. By 1954, the complex was officially abandoned and is now accessible through a select number of private tours.

Liberty Island - Ellis Island
Jersey City, NJ 07305

8. Neponsit Health Care Center

149-25 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

For the past 20 years, this former nursing home in the Rockaways has sat abandoned and deteriorating ever since the city unexpectedly evacuated 282 elderly residents in the middle of the night back in September 1998. The abandoned property spans 14 acres and dates back to 1915 when it was built with designs by McKim, Mead & White. The Oceanside hospital was originally used to treat children after journalist Jacob Riis pioneered for a hospital to treat tuberculosis cases. The fate of the center remains unknown, though it has been appraised for $40 million and eyed by developers for luxury apartments.

149-25 Rockaway Beach Blvd
Rockaway Park, NY 11694

9. Bayley Seton Hospital

75 Vanderbilt Ave, Staten Island, NY 10304
In the foreground is a fence and a lawn. In the background are a group of abandoned buildings with dark red brick facades. Google Maps.

While Staten’s Bayley Seton Hospital is still up and running, eight of the twelve buildings located on the 20-acre Stapleton campus have been abandoned—so it’s hella creepy here. In the 19th century, the site was home to the Marine Hospital Service and the Seaman’s Retreat, before going on to be renamed several times and eventually selling to the Salvation Army in 2008. The campus has been used as the filming scene for several episodes of the television show Gotham.

75 Vanderbilt Ave
Staten Island, NY 10304