Abandoned places in nj

Abandoned places in nj DEFAULT

We Dare You To Take This Road Trip To New Jersey’s Most Abandoned Places

Posted in New Jersey March 09, 2021by Kristen

New Jersey has a rich history that lives on in so many ways. Our state’s achievements and major moments are captured in monuments, museums, literature, and well-preserved historic structures. We also offer a variety of restored living history villages that reflect life in the Garden State at various points in time. While these are all amazing ways to surround yourself in our state’s past, there is another way. There is a variety of abandoned places in New Jersey offering a unique (and often eerie) picture of what once was.

During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.

Image/Google Maps

Anthony Carbone/Google

Jacqueline colon/Google

The ruins of Weymouth Furnace are located in a public park, with hiking trails and opportunities to paddle along the Egg Harbor River. Open from dawn until dusk, you'll find a towering smokestack and other remains of a circa-1800 bog iron furnace. The site once contained a gristmill, sawmill, and blacksmith. While certain structures are fenced off, several sites are accessible to visitors.

atlantic city race course

Pete Johnson/Google

This spot was abandoned a bit more recently, closing in January 2015. The track was a popular thoroughbred racing venue, opened in 1946; original shareholders included Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope. In August of 1969, New Jersey's own version of Woodstock was held here. Nearly 100,000 flocked to attend the Atlantic City Pop Festival, spilling out into the streets and nearby forests. From August 1-3, the "Summer of Love" was in full force with performers including Little Richard, Janis Joplin, Santana, and Joni Mitchell. The facilities are already falling into disrepair and may soon be demolished.

Flickr/Scott O'Donnell

R. G. Lubischer (Monmouth County, NJ)

R. G. Lubischer (Monmouth County, NJ)

Along 1st Avenue (near where it intersects 10th Street) in Toms River, there is something hiding behind the trees - over a dozen seemingly abandoned silos, easily accessible by a short trail. Just a quick walk from the street, these structures are an urban explorer's dream. Visitors can peek (or even climb) inside the silos for a very unique experience and spectacular photo opportunities. Little is known about the silos and I've only found brief mentions of them in police blotters and planning board meeting minutes. It seems that they were once used to store sand and crushed gravel. If you have any more information about the silos, please share.

John Griggs/www.entropicremnants.com

John Griggs/www.entropicremnants.com

Adjacent to the former site of the U.S. Pipe Company, this magnificent mansion was built by its founder, Andrew McNeal. Constructed in 1890, the home briefly served as the company's headquarters just before WWII. The 10,450 square foot estate was once the largest private residence in the country. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it has been abandoned since 1974. With significant fire damage, it was slated for demolition in 2015. A restoration would cost millions, but a recent development provides some hope that at least a portion of it might be converted into a riverfront bed & breakfast. Currently, the site is unsafe and located on private property near state police barracks. Police have been cracking down on trespassers.

Wikipedia/Robert N. Dennis

Ian Ference/Google

Of all the creepy places in New Jersey, this one has to be the creepiest. Opened in 1848, Trenton Psychiatric Hospital was the first public mental hospital in New Jersey. While it was founded to help the mentally ill, it took a dark turn in 1907. The new lead physician, Dr. Henry Cotton, used unconventional treatment methods that regularly killed or maimed patients. His disturbing practices were discontinued in the 1960s and certain areas of the hospital were abandoned. Still, some of the facility remains in use and trespassers can be prosecuted.

Flickr/Peter Miller

Flickr/R'lyeh Imaging

Flickr/Peter Miller

Fort Hancock is an abandoned army base located in Sandy Hook's Gateway National Recreation Area. There is so much to explore here, it's an absolute must-visit. You'll find barracks and other buildings in various states of disrepair along with battery fortifications and formerly classified missile sites. Inquiring minds can enjoy Sandy Hook through a variety of tours, offered on select weekends from April through November. Be aware that poison ivy can be found in some areas of Fort Hancock.

Wikipedia/Daniel Case

This abandoned hotel has since been boarded up, but remains a vital part of New Jersey history. Built in 1814, with the current exterior dating to 1878, the hotel was once a popular stagecoach stop. In 1935, members of the media stayed here during Bruno Hauptmann's trial. Bruno was convicted of killing the son of famed aviator, Charles Lindbergh. The hotel was eventually converted to a restaurant, and many former employees claim that the building is haunted. Closed in 2008, new plans are in the works for the future of this building.


Flickr/Paterson Great Falls

A 10,000-seat stadium above Paterson's Great Falls, Hinchliffe was opened in 1932 to provide entertainment and recreation for locals struggling during the Great Depression. A popular boxing, auto racing and football venue, one of the stadium's most historically significant moments was hosting the "Colored Championship of the Nation" in 1933 - the Negro Baseball League's equivalent to the World Series. Now a National Historic Landmark, the "Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium" are working to preserve it.

Image/Google Maps


Easy to spot, the Devil's Tower was built by a wealthy plantation owner whose wife allegedly jumped from the top after finding out about her husband's infidelity. Rumor has it that the spot was set to be demolished but mysterious occurrences scared construction workers away. Anyone can visit this haunted place in New Jersey, although the tower is gated.

A bit more difficult to find, but just a short hike from the Alpine Lookout Parking Area in Palisades Interstate Park, you'll find Cliff Dale Manor. The imposing ruins overlook the Hudson River and are quite incredible to see. Built by flour magnate, George A. Zabriskie, the property was purchased by John D. Rockefeller to be demolished. He hoped to preserve the natural charm of the area, but while upper floors were bulldozed, a significant portion of the manor still remains.

While these are spectacular places worth knowing about, please note that some are on private property and are dangerous to enter. Explore the publicly accessible spots to your heart’s content and learn more about several of these abandoned New Jersey locations in the following posts: Cliff Dale Manor, Fort Hancock, and Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. For directions and specific location details, see this map.

Address: 2050 Weymouth Rd, Mays Landing, NJ 08330, USA

Address: 4501 E Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, NJ 08330, USA

Address: 262 1st Ave, Toms River, NJ 08757, USA

Address: Jones Ave, Burlington, NJ 08016, USA

Address: 101 Sullivan Way, Trenton, NJ 08628, USA

Address: Fort Hancock, NJ 07732, USA

Address: Main St, Flemington, NJ 08822, USA

Address: Paterson, NJ 07522, USA

Address: 12 The Esplanade, Alpine, NJ 07620, USA

The OIYS Visitor Center

Abandoned Places In New Jersey

March 13, 2021

Melissa Mahoney

Are there any ghost towns in New Jersey?

As with any state, New Jersey has a few abandoned towns. One, in particular, is Sea Breeze which was once a popular resort town that sits along the bay. By 1985, Hurricane Gloria hit and demolished many buildings and the community never recovered.  Ong’s Hat is an unincorporated community with beginnings dating back to 1778. It thrives for many years until the industry left town. The last resident left by 1936. This is perhaps the creepiest abandoned ton in New Jersey with some strange disappearances that occurred and, according to urban legend, it has an interdimensional portal. Read more about this ghost town in our previous article, Step Inside The Creepy Abandoned Town of Ong’s Hat In New Jersey.

Are there any haunted hotels in New Jersey?

The Garden State does have a few haunted hotels if you dare to spend the night. The historic 120-year-old Hotel Macomber in Cape May has several ghosts who have never checked out.  One is a former waitress who likes to moves silverware around in the dining room. Another is a woman from the 1940s who used to stay at the hotel. Her apparition has been seen dragging around a steamer truck and she likes to create mischief. In Ocean City, there’s the Flanders Hotel built in the 1920s as a lavish resort. It has a happy ghostly resident dressed in white and referred to as Emily. Sometimes you can hear her laughing or singing. 

What are the most haunted places in New Jersey?

New Jersey has numerous bone-chilling haunted places you can visit. Along our Haunted Road Trip, you can take a drive to Clinton Road in West Milford which is considered one of the most haunted roads in the country. Further along on the route is the Princeton Battlefield where hundreds of soldiers lost their lives during the Revolutionary War. Another stop is Allaire Village in Farmingdale which has two spirits who are quite the pranksters. If you are looking for more haunted places, check out our Definitive Guide To All Things Haunted And Creepy In New Jersey which gives a more in-depth look at some of the scariest places in the state.

Address: 2050 Weymouth Rd, Mays Landing, NJ 08330, USA

Address: 4501 E Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, NJ 08330, USA

Address: 262 1st Ave, Toms River, NJ 08757, USA

Address: Jones Ave, Burlington, NJ 08016, USA

Address: 101 Sullivan Way, Trenton, NJ 08628, USA

Address: Fort Hancock, NJ 07732, USA

Address: Main St, Flemington, NJ 08822, USA

Address: Paterson, NJ 07522, USA

Address: 12 The Esplanade, Alpine, NJ 07620, USA

Sours: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/new-jersey/abandoned-places-road-trip-nj/

Visit These Abandoned Attractions in New Jersey

Believe it or not, New Jersey is home to some of the country’s most storied abandoned locations. Viral urban explorers are often seen flocking to these decrepit areas in hopes of capturing a glimpse of what once was.

For curious onlookers, the vibrant urban exploration scene has provided a reliable account of these deserted locations. A copious number of blogs and YouTube channels have become notorious for documenting these sites and their history. The adventurous and artsy sides of the individuals documenting the past are prevalent in this genre.

Particularly, exploratory people have been rampant in New Jersey’s abandoned attraction scene. A contributor to WestMilfordJungleHabitat.com, a website dedicated to preserving the history of the once-thriving, Jungle Habitat theme park, wished to remain anonymous and had some input on this matter. When the park first shut down, she said, “locals would break in to wander the property, take trinkets or signs and of course to party. The security guards were there around the clock as any signs of a break-in were quickly patched and replaced within hours.”

Of course, there are bike trails, paved roads and a monstrous parking lot. The area that used to house the baboons is still party central as evidenced by the bottles and burned out campfires,” she added.

With an undisputed interest still present in the topic, here are five abandoned attractions in New Jersey that have garnered the attention of urban explorers.

1. Nike Launch Site

Sandy Hook

In the midst of a decade strewn with Cold War fears over the actions of those on the other side of the world, the greater New York City area need not fret. This was because an enforced, concrete facility in Monmouth County was at the ready to protect the people of the tri-state area. Being an integral part of Project Nike–an initiative to construct missiles to defend against potential attacks–the Nike Launch Site in Sandy Hook was constructed in the 1950s to ease the fears of those who lived in the shadow of New York City, a potential target during the Cold War. 

With the terror long gone, the base has been rusting for decades. The launch site was rendered obsolete in 1974 as the government began to develop more efficient ways to protect the tri-state area. While Sandy Hook sees flocks of tourists year-round, the decaying base is not a hot spot for visitors. Aside from the occasional tour given on weekends during the warmer months of the year, the launch site doesn’t seem to garner much attention. 

Taking a peek into the future, it’s tough to imagine that after almost five decades of rotting away, the area will be touched anytime soon. However, curious history buffs will not be devoid of updates on the site. Urban explorers and historians alike have consistently provided the Internet with interesting accounts of what remains.

There is something ominous about a site that was once a bustling, last line of defense for New Jersey against a potential nuclear attack now sitting sequestered from society. Since being relieved of its duties, the base let nature slowly take its course while gazing out on a safe New Jersey shore town. 

2. Watcher House


Any list of abandoned attractions in New Jersey would be remiss not to mention the chill-inducing story of the Watcher House. No one would argue with Broaddus family’s decision to flee the 100-year-old house after an unnerving series of letters were received. The letters were penned by someone who went by “The Watcher” and detailed the family’s whereabouts at any given time.

The notes the Broaddus family received when moving into 657 Boulevard, the street address of the Watcher House, went beyond your normal local kids pulling a prank scenario. These frightening letters made observations such as, “You have children. I have seen them. So far I think there are three that I have counted.” The family heeded the advice of what all horror film viewers bark at the screen when in this scenario in vamoosing out of there. 

By 2015, the house became a must-see for local thrill-seekers. Technically being classified as abandoned, potential buyers steered clear of the house in this once idyllic neighborhood. The house was finally rented out several years after the incident only to see another threatening letter from the mysterious presence materialize. Despite all the drama, 657 Boulevard was recently sold, thus ending the several year-long Blumhouse movie the Broaddus’ lived in. 

Those brave souls who purchased the property may be in for more publicity in the coming years. Netflix recently purchased the rights to turn the tale into a horror film. With the story essentially writing itself for the big screen, a ferocious bidding war allegedly ensued for the rights to the story. 

3. Harrisville

Bass River

Some may be surprised to hear that New Jersey has an extremely profitable ghost tour scene. Particularly, the Pine Barrens are home to a plethora of 1700s nostalgia. One would be hard-pressed to find an abandoned town in this area with an eerier history than Harrisville. 

The town was a hub of paper production for South Jersey from 1795 to 1914. After the mysterious abandonment of Harrisville, a spectral fire broke out, leaving the community in ruins. 

The most unique aspect of this abandoned location is that it is arguably the most accessible in the state. Guided historic hiking tours are offered frequently. For a more controlled experience, a majority of Harrisville is open for the public to explore freely. 

For those who relish in all things paranormal, a stop at Harrisville could certainly be a portion of a larger ghost tour of the Pine Barrens. Pinelands Adventures offers a myriad of activities to encapsulate the area. In addition to a several hour-long ghost tour, tourists can take up canoeing or kayaking while learning about the extensive history of the area. 

4. Fish Factory

Little Egg Harbor 

On the outskirts of some of New Jersey’s most luxurious beach towns sits a relic of what the area was once known for. Undoubtedly, it is a chilling sight for those who are traveling for an escape from reality to see a Chernobyl-esque complex across the water.

The Crab Island Fish Factory, as it was known in its heyday, represented the pinnacle of the fishery scene in this part of New Jersey for a good portion of the 20th century. However, when the area became a tourist destination, the demise of the factory ensued, culminating in it ceasing operations in 1972. Ocean County executives seem to have given up on reviving the island it sits on after a series of failed proposals. 

For those adventurous souls who may aspire to explore the abandoned complex, it’s not an easy trip. A tad east of Tuckerton, the fish factory sits on an island that does not present convenient bridge access. Yet, there is perhaps no abandoned location in New Jersey that has been better documented online. The advent of camera drones has eliminated the usually difficult trek to photograph the decaying structure. Numerous locals have provided the public with a quality delineation of its state. 

With Little Egg Harbor not finding developers lining up to take advantage of this property, the land the factory resides on does not seem to be of pertinence to fill. Despite this, perhaps it is due to be torn down soon as locals apparently have come to refer to it as “The Stink House,” according to a Weird NJ exposé on the subject. 

5. Jungle Habitat

West Milford

When the notorious entertainment conglomerate, Warner Bros decided to delve into the theme park industry in 1972, what better place was there than Passaic County to begin this endeavor? The West Milford drive-through safari, Jungle Habitat operated for only four years and has been left to rot ever since, earning it a spot on our list of top abandoned attractions in New Jersey.

The park’s short lifespan may surprise some after hearing it attracted several hundred thousand visitors in the summer of 1972 alone. However, West Milford, residing in one of the denser parts of the state, presented little opportunity for expansion. Visitors saw the entertainment options as tedious. While locals, on the other hand, vehemently opposed expansion due to the growing traffic issues, and Warner Bros simply bailed. 

Photo via West Milford Jungle Habitat

Nature has taken its course over the years. Management seemed to have left the site on a Friday in 1976 with every intention of opening the following Monday, but they never did. Erroneous rumors from Passaic County residents have stated over the years that animals can still be seen roaming the property, although these have been debunked. Animals were appropriately moved, sold and transported following the abrupt closure. 

Another anonymous contributor to the aforementioned archive, had this to say on what remains, “several animal cages and exhibits are still in place from 1976. When the state acquired the property, all of the buildings were razed. The dolphin pool was leveled in place. The walk through area (Jungle Junction) still has some original pieces including two long tunnels that connected visitors from the parking lot to the park…There is plenty of space to explore, and likely there are pieces of the park buried under decades of soil and debris.” For those inquiring minds, the idea that structures that were enjoyed by millions are sitting, waiting to be discovered is a thrilling one.

This destination has been a must-see for urban explorers making their way through northern New Jersey. With a myriad of hiking trails having been added to the property recently, adventure-seekers can lawfully observe what was once the state’s most popular summer destinations.

Main image by West Milford Jungle Habitat.

Sours: https://thedigestonline.com/travel/abandoned-attractions-in-new-jersey/
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Looking for some urban exploration in New Jersey? I got you. Below are 21 of our favorite abandoned locations throughout the state with coordinates.

Abandoned Places In New Jersey

1. Brooksbrae Brick Factory

39.8899, -74.4415

abandoned factory in new jersey

I was surprised to find this massive graffiti wasteland hidden among the pine barrens in Manchester Township. Once a fully functional brick factory that could produce thousands of bricks every day, this building now is only a shell of its former self.

The factory’s downfall began with the death of the owner, William J. Kelly. There were many complications in his will which led to most of his assets being frozen, including the factory.

It was abandoned in 1915 after an accidental fire killed its caretaker. It is a popular spot for art and graffiti lovers. It is undoubtedly an exciting place to visit for anyone looking for abandoned places in New Jersey.

2. Summit Greenhouse

40.7092, -74.3847

abandoned green house in new jersey

If you are ever wondering what a post-apocalyptic world would look like, this is the perfect place to visit. Not much is known about this place, but it’s believed that it was constructed in 1920 and was called Carl’s Greenhouse.

The only proof of this is an old board found among the rubble. If we go by the state of decomposition that the place is in, it is safe to say that it was abandoned in the 70s.

Any urban explorers looking for a memorable picture should definitely visit this abandoned wonder in Summit, New Jersey.

3. Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital

40.6976, -74.0425

abandoned places in new jersey that are historic

I felt a great sense of wonder as I stood among the ruins of this place that has such a great history attached to it.

This was the first public health hospital in the U.S. It was constructed in the early 90s. It featured multiple wards and 4 operation theaters. It served the community till the 30s and was shut down as the immigration laws were tightened.

Now, it is a shadow of its former self, the entire building is rotting away, and it is unimaginable to think that this was once a fully functional hospital that served millions of people.

4. Paulinskill Viaduct

40.9480, -75.0613

It is fascinating how time can turn the mighty into the weak. This is one of the most interesting abandoned places in New Jersey that I have visited.

It makes for the perfect place for simple urban adventurers. In its prime, this was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world.

It was constructed in 1910. It is 115 feet high and 1100 feet long. It was abandoned in 1979 and since then has become a hot spot for graffiti and street artists.

5. Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital

40.6927, -74.9195

abandoned hospital in new jersey

When it comes to abandoned places in New Jersey this one just might be the largest structure-wise. It was constructed as the first state-operated hospital in New Jersey in 1907.

It was expanded several times and a new extension was added to keep up with demand in 1977. Now both of these buildings have been abandoned and left to rot.

After healing the sick for over a century it was finally closed in 2012. It is a great spot for urban adventures looking for abandoned places in New Jersey.

6. Van Slyke Castle Ruin

41.0448, -74.2626

I was astonished to see this 100 plus year-old mansion. It was built in 1900 by Willam Porter and initially named “Foxcroft.” But when the owner died and his wife married Warren Van Slyke the mansion was also renamed.

It remained in the ownership of the Slykes till 1940 until they passed away. After their death, the castle passed down through many owners until it met its demise at the hands of arsonists in the 1960s. The castle has been largely reclaimed by nature now. Still, it makes for a great visit for anyone interested in local New Jersey history.

7. Amatol Ghost Town

39.6013, -74.7436

the amatol ghost town in new jersey

It is quite a rare sight to come across a whole town that has been abandoned. I was pleasantly surprised to find this ghost town a bit soothing. It presents an eerie picture at first sight but soon you find yourself relaxed looking at the remains of what was once a busy munitions town during WWI.

It was set up in the 1920s to produce Amatol, an alternative explosive to TNT. Amatol was abandoned after the end of the war as demand for Amatol plummeted. Now, Amatol is nearly completely overgrown and can be a challenge to even find in the first place.

8. Sandy Hook Nike Launch Site

40.4639, -74.0028

abandoned nike missile site in NJ

 It is almost impossible to believe that during the cold war this site was one of the most heavily guarded and secret places in the whole of the U.S. When I visited this place, I was intrigued by the remnants of the cold war era.

You can see the rusted bay doors and faint yellow markings along with some old loudspeakers. One can only wonder what went on here during the Cold War. It was touted as the last line of defense for New York against a nuclear attack.

It was abandoned when new technologies were found to be more potent against a nuclear threat. If you are an urban adventurer who is interested in military history then this is a must-visit site.

9. Feltville Village

40.6818, -74.3874

Abandoned Feltville Village

This just might be the oldest abandoned place in New Jersey. When I went to this quaint abandoned village, I could easily imagine the people that used to live and work here. The village was set up around a sawmill that was constructed by a man named Peter Wilcox in 1700.

It was sold to David Felt who named the village Feltville. He sold the village in 1800 and it was deserted. There was an unsuccessful attempt at making the village a resort. It is an abandoned village that can be visited by anyone who has an interest in abandoned places in New Jersey.

10. Jungle Habitat

41.1321, -74.3407

abandoned zoo in nj

This abandoned safari park caused a lot of controversy and scandals before it finally shut down. It was opened in 1972 with sponsorship from the warner brothers. It was divided into a section for pedestrians and a section for cars.

Disaster struck when a person decided to roll down their car window and taunt the lions in the park. They attacked the man and he got severely injured.

There were also several reports of animals escaping into the town of Milford. The Park was shut down in 1976 after the people of Milford complained about the problems. It is a great hiking spot now for urban adventurers.

11.  New Jersey Terminal

40.7070, -74.0350

abandoned new jersey terminal

This is perhaps the most accessible abandoned place in New Jersey. It is situated on the Hudson River. On my visit there I was stunned by the beautiful sight that it presented. This railway terminal has been abandoned since 1967 and has largely been reclaimed by the elements.

Part of the terminal has been restored and serves as a ferry point for the Statue of Liberty. However, most of it is still in its original condition. The terminal can be a great trip for any urban adventurers looking for a simple adventure in New Jersey.

12. Hinchliffe Stadium

25.3214, -80.5577

abandoned stadium in nj

This abandoned stadium was once home to the best baseball players that our country has ever seen, and played a considerable role against racism in sports. Many legendary black baseball players that were not allowed to compete in the major leagues due to their race used to play at this stadium.

The stadium was constructed in 1932 and was abandoned in the 90s. It is a great relic from the past that stands as a reminder of the struggle of racism in our country. It is now entirely abandoned, and graffiti can be found on the stadium seating arrangements. It is a must-see spot for adventures and history buffs alike.

13. McMyler Coal Dumper

40.561608, -74.231306

This fantastic abandoned structure is nothing short of a wonderland for urban explorers like myself. It was constructed in 1917 making it well over a century old at this point. As the name suggests, it was an industrial coal dumper that operated for more than 60 years.

As the use of coal declined, the dumper was abandoned. It is an excellent representation of what a steam-punk world would look like. It is a must-visit place when checking out the abandoned places in New Jersey.

14. Rutherfurd-Stuyvesant Estate

40.921050, -74.782510

This abandoned mansion is also dubbed as the “Profanity House.” It has been given this moniker because of the incredibly profane graffiti that can be found almost at every corner of the houses in this estate. It was a very creepy experience for me when I visited this estate.

This estate belonged to the Stuyvesant family. It was burned down in 2007 as a result of a massive fire and was abandoned. It is a unique place that offers a different experience for urban adventures interested in visiting abandoned places in New Jersey.

15. Wreck of the SS Atlantus

38.94432, -74.97208

It’s amazing to witness something so weird and quirky as the remains of this experimental ship made out of concrete. Yes, it was made entirely out of concrete. After some testing, it was determined that this ship could not function as intended due to its weight.

The ship weighed over 3000 tons and it took a massive number of resources to move it and keep it afloat. It was deemed impractical and sunk at Sunset Beach. Not much of the ship remains above water now but still, it’s a place like none other It makes one appreciate the leaps in technology that we have made since.

16. Nike Missile Site PH-58

39.77261, -75.29906

 Have you ever visited an abandoned place and wondered if you could buy it? Well, you can buy this one if you want because it is officially for sale. This is another abandoned Nike missile site like the one we told you about earlier. It was abandoned when the cold war was over and the technology was rendered obsolete

17. Fort Hancock

40.46361, -74.00209

Going to this abandoned military fort was a special experience as it is house to the oldest surviving lighthouse in the U.S. This military fort was constructed in 1859 and remained on duty for more than 100 years before closing in 1974.

At one time it had more than 7000 soldiers stationed here. Now, the place is in a state of disrepair. It has been empty for more than 40 years now but still provides a glimpse into the life of a soldier. It is a great spot to visit if you are interested in abandoned spaces and military history.

18. Hamburg Paper Mill

41.1428, -74.5755

This is one of the lesser-known and talked about abandoned places in New Jersey. I was really surprised by how big the building was when I visited. It was constructed in 1874 as a paper mill to produce packing material for fruits. After the area had persistent flooding, the mill was closed down. It is completely empty, the remains of old equipment can be found inside the building. It is a great place to visit for any beginner urban explorer.

19. Battery 223

38.93157, -74.95561

 It is strange to come across a bunker on a beach, right? This abandoned bunker is a defunct remnant of WWII. It was constructed in 1943 and it has 7-foot explosion-proof walls. It served as a line of defense for the coast of New Jersey.

It was decommissioned in 1962 after being repurposed for a short time by the military. Although you can not go inside the bunker, It still presents a fascinating sight for anyone w6ho is interested in abandoned WWII structures.

20. Crab Island Fish Factory

39.51829, -74.33681

This is another abandoned place that most urban adventurers will find very interesting. It was abandoned in 1972 after serving as a processing plant for menhaden. It closed mainly due to the decline of the fishing industry overall. The hollowed-out structure now stands completely empty on an island all its own. If you want to visit the factory yourself, good luck swimming!

21. Kinnelon Castle

40.97295, -74.33539

abandoned castle in new jersey

Only ruins are left of this 1920s estate to explore. Kinnelon Castle was once home to the mutli-millionaire stock broker Milson Untermeyer. He had plans to convert his french chateau-style home into a winter resort, but things didn’t pan out. In 1969 a fire desimated the property, leaving only it’s stone shell behind.

The cause of the fire was never determined. In 2003 the property was purchased by John Konarski, who plans to leave the ruins intact. He hopes to make it a natural part of his property, and incorperate it into a his greenhouse design.

Go out and explore!

That concludes our list of abandoned places in New Jersey, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and discover some new places for yourself.

Tags:New Jersey

Sours: https://urbexunderground.com/abandoned-places-in-new-jersey/
The Eerie Deserted Ghost Town of Walpack, NJ

New Jersey is a scary place, and I don't mean the skyrocketing property taxes, monumental traffic jams and assorted crises and catastrophes that are our daily lot.

I mean scary places: the haunted houses, abandoned buildings, creepy cemeteries and ghoulish legends packed into this tiny, terrifying state.

Here's my list of the Garden State's 10 Creepiest Places, drawn from personal experience and my book New Jersey Curiosities, plus the archives of that indispensable and bottomless fount of strangeness, Weird N.J.

Speaking of Weird N.J., here's my story on an unforgettable road trip with Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran, WNJ's founders.

Orson Welles' "The War of the Worlds'' broadcast in 1938 was the most terrifying radio program ever. Here's my 75th anniversary story on the infamous broadcast, including an interview with a Grovers Mill resident who was in town at the time.


Would we fall for Orson Welles' 'War of the Worlds' today?

Have your own favorite scary place or story? Feel free to share — if you dare!

1. Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, Parsippany. Does any abandoned building in New Jersey evoke the same dread and frisson Greystone does? Opened in 1876 as the New Jersey Lunatic Asylum, the 675,000-square-foot Kirkbride Building on the 1,000-acre grounds was built on what was once the largest continuous foundation in the world.

Built to house hundreds of patients, Greystone eventually packed in 7,500 or more. Its most famous patient: songwriter Woody Guthrie, who — suffering from Huntington's disease, a hereditary nervous disorder — stayed here in the late 1950s.

Preservationists fought to save the magnificent French Renaissance building, but the state announced this August it had awarded a $34 million contract to demolish Greystone.

2. Snake Hill, Secaucus. A monstrous black rock looming over the Turnpike is scary enough; when you add the fact that Snake Hill was once home to a psychiatric hospital, almshouse and penitentiary, you can see why it has spooked generations of Hudson County kids. And let's not forget all the snakes; Secaucus is often translated as "the place where snakes hide (or live).''

But the rock was inspiration for The Rock. On a train ride from New York City to Newark, an advertising executive passed Snake Hill and was inspired to create the Prudential Insurance Co.'s Rock or Gibralter-like logo, which is used to this day.

Today, there's a pleasant waterfront park at Snake Hill, and the Hackensack Riverkeeper runs tours — highly recommended — from there.

3. The Pine Barrens. How can a place so beautiful and mysterious be so supremely spooky? Because there's a lot of nowhere there — deep, dark woods; overwhelming silence; and trails that lead to certain doom, all of which give rise to legends of ghosts, goblins, and yes, a devil or two.

"I got lost in the Pine Barrens one night going to cover a Jersey Devil hunt,'' recalled Jess Infante, a Jersey native and now Boston resident who shared her story on Twitter. "Phone died, ran out of gas. I cried.''

What happened next?

"With my last bit of cell battery, I called my boyfriend, who hacked into my email, got me directions. I found (the rest of her group). Then, on the hike, we kept hearing these strange rumblings, like a truck bouncing along. There are no trucks in the Pines.''

Cue the creepy music!

4. Henry Leddel's gravestone in Hilltop Cemetery at Hilltop Church, Mendham Borough. Cemeteries and mausoleums are morbid enough; but the state's most gruesome gravestone is in a league of its own. The 23-year-old suffered Leddel from "the most acute pain'' from an unknown disease for three days, according to the stone, and died:

in the [undecipherable] agony of [several words undecipherable] vomiting black cholera and excrement on the 30th of January, 1799.

5. Shades of Death Road, Warren County. The state's scariest-sounding road can be found in Warren County, minutes from the town of Hope. There are many legends of how the road got its name; the most outlandish one says a band of wildcats mutilated and killed early residents.

Henry Charlton Beck, that unrivaled chronicler of 1930s, 40s and 50s small town and backroads New Jersey, discovered a more likely explanation: malaria. In 1849, an outbreak struck Independence and the nearby area.

There was once a Route 666 in Rockaway, but the signs were stolen so often Morris County officials changed Route 666 to 664. You can still find Route 666s in Burlington, Camden, Salem and Cumberland counties.

6. The Devil's Tree, Mountain Road, Bernards. The legend goes that a local farmer killed his wife and kids, then hanged himself from the tree. Anyone who cuts down the tree, the legend continues, will come to an untimely end. Apparently many have tried; the tree is covered with ax marks.

Dave Hochman, who grew up in Bridgewater and also shared his story on Twitter, remembers a Halloween trip to the Devil's Tree with buddies when he was 17, "when the area was much less developed.''

"Pitch black, nothing around,'' he says. "A friend of ours had an axe and was going to chop the tree down. We get to the tree, and walk up to it, the guy takes a big swing, axe head breaks off as soon as it hit the tree.

"The axe head went flying back,'' he continues, "and missed the neck of the axe swinger by about 3 inches. "The tree trunk was unscathed. We left very quickly.''

7. Camp Pahaquarry, Warren County. What is it about Boy Scouts and murderous backwoodsmen — and women? In the current issue of Weird N.J., several readers not-so-fondly recall Hatchet Annie, a famed ghost in Daretown (we kid you not), Salem County.

One story goes that she was a girl attacked by Indians in colonial America; a hatchet aimed at her heart ended up in her shoulder. Another that she was a mad hermit living deep in the woods who attacked trespassers with her ax.

But Annie is no match for Buck. He was a bloodthirsty fiend who apparently loved to carve up Scouts at Camp Pahaquarry. At least that's what our counselor told me and my fellow Scouts one night: I can still remember sitting around the campfire, scared you-know-what. I've never spent a more restless night; I was absolutely convinced I'd be slaughtered in my sleep.

Camp Pahaquarry closed in 1972. Will I ever go back and camp out in those woods? Not a chance.

8. Clinton Road, West Milford. No other road in the state, according to Weird N.J., has had more rumors and tall tales attached to it than this long, lonely stretch of asphalt. There was once a castle-like mansion here, named after its owner.

Weird N.J. readers have reported albinos, strange chants, mysterious writings, witches, ghosts, bodybags and hundreds of blue and white lights in the area. And don't forget Dead Man's Curve.

Here's the Weird N.J. report on Clinton Road and Cross Castle.

9. The Gates of Hell, Clifton. Need any more proof Jersey is a spooky state? The very Gates of Hell are located here! It's a name given to a passageway leading to a series of underground tunnels and storm sewers in the Passaic County town.

Thoughtfully marked by a "Gates of Hell'' spray-painted sign, it's still a popular urban exploration outing.

10. The Spy House, Port Monmouth. Often dubbed "the most haunted house in America,'' the Spy House has long been the home of ghostly apparitions and paranormal presences.

Proprietor Thomas Seabrook spied on British troops during the Revolutionary War, and pirates buried their dead in the cellar. The house has been called "The Grand Central of Ghosts."

The Seabrook-Wilson Homestead, as it's also known, now houses the Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, which will host upcoming programs on seals and snowy owls. There is no mention of the building's ghostly history on the park web site. Hmmm, what are they trying to hide?

Peter Genovese may be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @PeteGenovese or via The Munchmobile @NJ_Munchmobile.
Find the Munchmobile on Facebook and on Instagram.

Sours: https://www.nj.com/entertainment/2014/10/njs_10_creepiest_places_-_dont_read_this_list_if_you_scare_easily.html

Nj abandoned places in


One of the most unexpected things that we’ve ever seen while wondering around in the woods of New Jerseys was the military jet fighter abandoned in the wilds of West Milford, located in the hilly northernmost part of the state. … Continue reading →

Now you can have all of your favorite Weird NJ icons on all kinds of cool new Weird Wear, like Tee Shirts, Girls Tees, Sweatshirts, Long Sleeve Tees, Hoodies, Unisex Tanks, Kids Tees, Tie Dyes or Onesies! All are available in all sizes and … Continue reading →

There is one particular abandoned dynamite bunker on a remote beach on Sandy Hook that holds some very strange and mysterious secrets. Continue reading →

Somewhere in New Jersey there is an abandoned structure housing two massive wind tunnels.  The facility was built in 1943 to test airplane propellers for WWII bombers, but is now abandoned and decayed.  In our current issue of Weird NJ … Continue reading →

It was an African safari theme park in West Milford operated by Warner Brothers in the early to mid 1970s where “wild” animals, such as lions, zebras and elephants, roamed free. Over the years Weird NJ had received reports sporadically from the West Milford area of sightings of non-indigenous species of animals, such as monkeys and kangaroos, roaming the woods there. It was always rumored that these were the descendants of escapees from Jungle Habitat. Still, for some reason we never though to actually go to the site of the old abandoned park until this new tip came in. When we did go we could hardly believe what we found. Continue reading →

It’s sad and hopeless looking sight to see – a U.S. Naval submarine mired in the muck of a river not deep enough to allow for its draft when the ship is on the surface. The vessel is the USS Ling, a 312-foot long, 2,500-ton veteran of World War II, which now rests on the silty bottom of Hackensack River in Hackensack. Continue reading →

There is a place deep in the woods of the Watchung Reservation that is officially known as the Feltville Historic District. Here, down a narrow winding road that leads into the forest you will find a cluster of houses dating back to the mid-19th century, several of which are now long abandoned. The site is known locally as the “Deserted Village,” and he has a many–storied history of promise, failure and even hauntings. Continue reading →

It’s not everywhere that while wandering the meandering trails of a scenic wooded parkland you might unexpectedly find yourself smack dab in the middle of the ghostly remains of fortress-like military base from another age, complete with massive concrete cannon … Continue reading →

Though the grand old hotel no longer accepts visitors today, there are said to be some guests who have never checked out. Recently Weird NJ was invited to tour the vacant rooms and empty corridors of the Union Hotel, which have been sealed off from the eyes of the public for three years now. Continue reading →

If your curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to venture through the ominous looking gates you will find yourself walking along the meandering carriage path deeper into the woods. You will soon see the remnants of stone walls, bridges and dams, that once led the way up to an old mansion, which was originally built in the late 1700’s. If you continue on this course you may just find some intriguing––some might even say shocking––surprises await you there. Continue reading →

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Sours: https://weirdnj.com/category/stories/abandoned/
Top 10 Abandoned Places in New Jersey

As one of the nation’s oldest and densest population centers, New Jersey offers urban explorers a wealth of vacant, abandoned and even a few allegedly haunted places to discover. From industrial relics along the turnpike to shuttered psychiatric hospitals in the countryside, these are the 10 best abandoned places in NJ to add to your agenda for 2021.

Killer Urbex Note: It is important to note that many of these locations are in an extremely delicate state. Specifics on the locations are not given purposefully to ensure the abandoned places in NJ stay as vandalism and destruction-free as possible. Take only photos, leave only footprints.

Interested in venturing outside New Jersey? Here are a few guides to surrounding states that will be helpful in your explorations outside of the wonderful abandoned places in NJ:

If you have a specific location from the list below that you would like to immediately get more information about, click the links in the list to snap straight to that abandoned places in NJ location.

The Best Abandoned Places in NJ

Brooksbrae Brick Factory (Manchester Township)

Brooksbrae Brick Factory

Despite its projected capacity to produce thousands of bricks each day, the Brooksbrae Brick Company’s impressive facility in Manchester Township never had the chance to reach its potential. The company’s owner, William Kelly, died in 1908 before its production lines had been brought to full speed, and disputes related to his will brought completion of the facility to a standstill.

In 1915, employees at the Central Railroad of New Jersey launched a strike in relatively close proximity to the unfinished factory. With the status of Kelly’s assets still in limbo, a private caretaker was dispatched to safeguard the property from any spillover from the strike.

The caretaker and his wife lived in the residence on the site, and when they lit a fire in the woodburning stove to heat the home one cold winter night, the clogged flue resulted in a blaze that consumed the house and killed the couple.

Brooksbrae Brick Factory

The property was sold once Kelly’s estate issues were finally resolved, but the factory was never completed, and it has been abandoned for decades. Graffiti artists and other vandals have made the unfinished factory their canvas, and ATV and dirt bike enthusiasts use the land around the facility as a racing ground, making it one of the most adventurous abandoned places in NJ.

Paulinskill Viaduct (Columbia)

Paulinskill Viaduct

At the time of its completion in 1910, the Paulinskill Viaduct held the title of the largest reinforced concrete structure on the planet. With its impressive 115-foot clearance and seven majestic supporting arches, the 1,100 foot-long bridge was a marvel of modern engineering at the time.

The viaduct was a product of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and opened to regular rail traffic on December 24, 1911. It carried trains until 1979 and officially closed in 1982 when then-owner Conrail decommissioned the line. The tracks were removed from the bridge two years later, and the viaduct was officially considered abandoned.

Paulinskill Viaduct

Despite the risk of receiving trespassing charges, the bridge still draws considerable pedestrian traffic from hikers, graffiti artists and even daredevils who have used it for bungee jumping. The interior chambers of the bridge, which once permitted inspectors to assess its structural integrity, are now adorned with colorful graffiti, spray-painted profanity and other detritus left behind by visitors.

If you opt to traverse the defunct bridge, know that local police occasionally patrol the site looking for trespassers, and it’s illegal to park on the surrounding property at one of the most stunning abandoned places in NJ.

Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital (Glen Gardner)

Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital

Like most states, New Jersey opened its first tuberculosis sanatorium at the height of the epidemic in the early 20th century. Designed as a model for modern treatment methods, the facility in bucolic Glen Gardner was expected to serve approximately 500 patients per year. Initially, the sanatorium only accepted cases deemed to be curable, but by the 1920s, it had expanded its guidelines to accept all patients, no matter how advanced their disease.

When new treatments for tuberculosis helped get the epidemic under control in the mid-20th century, the facility once again evolved to treat all diseases of the chest and lungs. However, with its population and the state of the facility in decline, the hospital closed its doors in the late 1970s and was left to decay.

Soon afterward, a new treatment center named for former Senator Garret Hagedorn was erected on the adjacent property. The Hagedorn Gero-Psychiatric Hospital was primarily intended to function as a state-operated nursing home, but soon broadened its mission to become a 288-bed psychiatric hospital for the elderly.

Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital

Hagedorn’s run was considerably shorter than that of its neighbor, and the facility was shuttered in 2012 and likewise abandoned.

Today, both the sanatorium and the state hospital are vacant and deteriorating. According to posted signs, the state-owned property is outfitted with 24-hour video surveillance to catch trespassers on the site.

The safest way to view both crumbling buildings is to take Sanatorium Road past the entrances on the right to the veterans’ medical facility, where you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the red tile roof of the sanatorium and the newer psychiatric hospital next to it. Compared to the new hospital, this is one of the most derelict abandoned places in NJ. 

If you are on the hunt for a great respirator to more safely observe some of these incredible abandoned places in NJ, we highly recommend the 3M 6800 for a full-face option and the North 7700 if you would prefer a half-face option. Find more respirator options in our in-depth guide.

Van Slyke Castle Ruins (Oakland)

Van Slyke Castle Ruins

This once-grand mansion was built at the turn of the 20th century by wealthy stock trader William Porter, who named the estate Foxcroft after the hill on which it was constructed. Sadly, Porter only enjoyed a few years in the residence before he died in a 1911 car accident; his wife Ruth was on her way home from a European vacation and thus survived.

Ruth remarried in 1913 to attorney Warren Van Slyke, who later served as an assistant to the commander of naval intelligence during World War I. Renamed Van Slyke Castle, the vast property was transitioned into a vacation home for the couple, although Ruth made it her permanent residence after she was again widowed in 1925.

Van Slyke Castle Ruins

Upon Ruth’s death in 1940, the castle sat empty and unclaimed for nine years. A couple bought it in 1949, then sold it again two years later to a new owner who also quickly abandoned it for unknown reasons, although rumors suggest her departure was related to a messy divorce.

After sitting empty for several more years, vandals broke into the mansion and set it on fire in 1959, destroying much of the building, although significant portions of the castle remain on the site along with the nearby pool and water tower. The ruins have since been incorporated into Ramapo Mountain State Forest and are marked as part of the Castle Loop in the park’s trail system.

Amatol Ghost Town (Hammonton)

Amatol Ghost Town

In the waning days of World War I, supplies of much-needed TNT were dwindling, spurring scientists to create a substitute form of explosive. The solution they invented was known as Amatol, and munitions factory and surrounding community was established to fuel its production.

Named for the substance to which it owed its existence, the town of Amatol sprang up on 6,000 acres in the state’s Pine Barrens region. Almost as quickly, the town and its factory became obsolete when the war came to an end that same year. The plant was quickly shuttered, the homes abandoned and many of the buildings demolished.

Today, all that remains of this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it community are the concrete foundations and piles of rubble where the factory and its employees’ homes and businesses once stood. If you’re looking for abandoned places in NJ that are perfect for moody photography, look no further than the Amatol Ghost Town.

Amatol Ghost Town

You can also see the ghostly outline of the wooden racetrack that was built on the site in 1926. Known alternately as the Amatol Racetrack and the Atlantic City Speedway, the 1.5-mile track briefly held the distinction of being the largest on the East Coast. It too was eventually abandoned and torn down.

Today, the site of the former racetrack is partially maintained as part of the Hammonton Creek Wildlife Management Area, and this section is open to the public for hiking and exploration. The remainder of the ruins sit on private land, which is well-marked with “No Trespassing” signs. From the parking lot, you’ll hike about three miles to access the remains of the track and the town.

Sandy Hook Nike Launch Site (Highlands)

Sandy Hook Nike Launch Site

This site on the northern New Jersey coast is a mysterious relic of the Cold War era. At one time, it represented part of the nation’s top-secret efforts to defend the homeland against a possible nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. Today, it is little more than a poorly-marked, rusting structure on a wooded patch of land.

Beginning in 1945, the U.S. began developing a nuclear missile program capable of responding to overtures by the Soviets, who had just completed their first successful test of an atomic bomb.

Known as Nike missiles, the surface-to-air projectiles were strategically and surreptitiously placed at locations around the country, including New Jersey’s Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook. The site was ideal for defending nearby New York City, but remote enough that it could be easily concealed.

Sandy Hook Nike Launch Site

After the Nike missile program was discontinued as part of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, the weapons were removed from their underground silos, and the Sandy Hook site was abandoned along with roughly 250 other missile bases across the country. Some of these sites were repurposed as schools, prisons and recreational facilities, while others were simply left to decay; Sandy Hook was among the latter.

Today, remnants of the launch facility are still visible, with a barbed-wire fence surrounding a vast slab of concrete now overgrown with weeds and brush. Rusted bay doors embedded in the ground are marked with fading yellow paint, and decrepit loudspeakers and aging arc lamps ring the structure. The large, seashell-shaped radar guidance systems perched on deteriorating metal platforms still stand guard over the site.

The National Park Service maintains the relics as part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, and guided tours are available on select weekends from April to October.

Feltville Ghost Town (Berkeley Heights)

Feltville Ghost Town

First settled in the mid-18th century, the community later known as Feltville was first settled by Peter Willcox, who came to the area from Long Island to build a sawmill. The region’s population continued to grow for the next century, when another mill owner, David Felt, purchased the property containing Willcox’s mill and officially established the village in his own name.

The resolutely religious Felt strongly encouraged his village neighbors to match his regular church attendance, and the townspeople nicknamed him “King David” in response.

Felt sold off the land in the late 19th century, and while many of the businesses soldiered on for a time, they all eventually succumbed in the face of the burg’s dwindling population, and Feltville became known colloquially as the “deserted village.”

Feltville Ghost Town

The land was later purchased by a new investor who transformed the swath of empty buildings into a mountain resort town, but the aspiring vacation destination simply couldn’t compete with the popularity of the Jersey shore, and it too was soon abandoned.

Though a few residents still remain within its borders, Feltville’s main appeal is its identity as a ghost town, drawing visitors with an interest in local history. Many of the original buildings are still standing, frozen in time until they are renovated, demolished or destroyed by nature here at one of the most well-known abandoned places in NJ.

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Jungle Habitat (West Milford)

Jungle Habitat

In 1972, Warner Brothers opened this highly-anticipated zoo and safari park featuring more than 1,500 wild animals.

The attraction offered visitors the opportunity to explore both on foot and by car. The pedestrian section included a petting zoo, reptile house, camel rides and a live show starring actors costumed as popular characters from the Looney Tunes cartoons. The drive-through safari part of the park allowed tourists to get close to free-range elephants, lions, tigers, monkeys and llamas, many of which would even climb on top of the slow-moving cars.

Unfortunately, this proximity to the wildlife wasn’t accompanied by strenuous safety measures, and soon after the park opened, a man in a car was mauled when he taunted the lions from his open window.

Another incident saw a young elephant picking up a woman with its trunk, and over the next several years, multiple animals escaped into the adjacent town of West Milford. An outbreak of tuberculosis also swept through the animal population, killing many of the park’s residents.

Jungle Habitat

To offset the challenges posed by the animals, Warner Brothers sought to add rides to make it more of an amusement park destination, but the residents of West Milford rallied against the proposal for the crowds and traffic they feared the park would draw.

Without this new revenue stream, Warner Brothers opted to shut down the park altogether in 1976. The animals were relocated to other zoos and sanctuaries around the country, and the facility was abandoned.

The former Jungle Habitat property was bought by the state in 1988 and incorporated into Long Pond Ironwoods State Park. A local cycling club performed a massive cleanup of the site in 2007, clearing brush and removing trash and installing more than a dozen miles of single-track trails for cycling, hiking and horseback riding.

Visitors to the park can still see the scaffolding that once supported the Jungle Habitat sign, as well as the remains of multiple animal enclosures and exhibits in these abandoned places in NJ.

Hinchliffe Stadium (Paterson)

Hinchliffe Stadium

Completed in 1932, the now-abandoned Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson holds a significant role in the state’s cultural history. The 10,000-seat amphitheater-style structure was named for Mayor John Hinchliffe, who championed the project for years before it finally came to fruition.

When it opened, the stadium hosted primarily Negro League baseball games, and in 1934 the New York Black Yankees established Hinchcliffe as their home stadium. The team’s tenure lasted until 1945, when the team relocated to Rochester, New York.

Hinchliffe later became a prominent destination for other sports, including Diamond Gloves boxing matches, auto racing and professional football. The venue also hosted multiple Victory Bond rallies during World War II, starring famous athletes, actors and other celebrities to raise funds for the war effort.

For most of its operational existence, however, Hinchliffe was used primarily as a site for high school sports. Two local schools, Eastside High School and Central High School, played football and baseball games at the stadium until the late 1960s, and it was also shared by schools in neighboring towns that lacked sports arenas of their own.

Though it was initially owned and operated by the city, the school system eventually took over the stadium in the mid-1960s and funded a variety of repairs and upgrades to the facility.

Hinchliffe Stadium

As the Paterson school system began to decline through the 1980s, much of the funding that had gone toward maintaining the massive athletic facility was funneled to other areas, eventually causing it to fall into disrepair. The stadium was finally closed in 1997 amid rampant rumors of its pending demolition.

A group of citizens came together in an effort to preserve the historic arena, forming the nonprofit organization Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium. However, the stadium’s designation under the National Register of Historic Places declared it only “locally significant,” rendering it ineligible for certain grants that might have funded its revitalization.

In 2009, Paterson residents approved a ballot measure that earmarked nearly $13 million for renovations to the crumbling stadium, but the project never moved forward, and the mayor who vowed to oversee the stadium project left office amid a corruption scandal in 2017.

In 2019, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh proposed a project that would invest nearly $19 million in resurrecting the stadium for baseball, football, soccer and track, but to date, no improvements to the facility have yet gotten underway.

The decrepit stadium remains a notorious eyesore in Paterson, with large swaths of weeds and brush sprouting up through its rows of concrete seating of this sought-after example of the dereliction of abandoned places in NJ.

Huge chunks of turf are missing from the infield, and the surrounding track is pockmarked with holes. Most of the interior and exterior walls have been tagged with crude graffiti, leaving only trace indications of the grandeur the stadium once brought to this working-class community.

American Cyanamid Agricultural Research Facility (West Windsor)

Agricultural Research Facility

This sprawling 653-acre campus in West Windsor once housed research, testing and regulatory approval operations for the agricultural division of the manufacturing conglomerate American Cyanamid.

Located along a busy commercial stretch of Route 1, the research complex provided ample space for testing its agricultural and medical products, both in its laboratories and on live plants and animals in its greenhouses, pastures and pens. The site employed roughly 900 researchers when it opened in 1960, expanding its operations over the next several decades as the company went through multiple mergers and acquisitions.

When its agricultural division was sold to German chemical company BASF in 2000, it was valued at a whopping $1.7 billion. The West Windsor campus was abandoned in 2002, along with the company headquarters in Wayne and several other New Jersey facilities.

In the 20-plus years since it was shuttered, the research facility has been largely ignored, even after being acquired by the Howard Hughes Corporation in 2010. Office supplies, plans and other documents remain scattered across desks inside, decades-old comic strips are pinned to the walls and a dry-erase board is still marked with building maintenance instructions.

Despite some broken windows and water damage, the buildings have survived relatively unscathed from the vandalism and destruction that typically befall abandoned buildings.

Agricultural Research Facility

The eerily empty offices, greenhouses and storage facilities may not survive much longer, if the developer has any say in the matter. A conceptual plan was recently filed with the township proposing construction of several thousand housing units, retail and office space as well as more than 200 acres preserved as green space.

However, rezoning, site plan approvals and construction are likely to take years, meaning the abandoned campus will likely remain in its current state for the foreseeable future.

New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum (Trenton)

New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum

Among the first facilities in the country to provide progressive treatment for the mentally ill, the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum opened its doors in 1848 with room for 200 patients.

The hospital was designed according to the Kirkbride plan, which called for spacious, gender-separate wings that fanned out from a central administration building. The most violent and disruptive patients were placed in the far wings, while those with milder afflictions were housed closer to the center.  

Within 25 years, the asylum had reached capacity, prompting several expansions that would increase the size of the administration building, add a 300-seat chapel with pipe organ and double the number of patient rooms. In 1876, a second facility—Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital—was built to allow for the transfer of almost 300 patients.

However, the original facility quickly filled up again, and several more additions were completed, including two new dining halls, a laboratory building and two greenhouses. The facility’s transformation also included a name change to “New Jersey State Hospital” in 1893.

When the hospital hired Henry Cotton as medical director in 1907, a dark chapter opened in the asylum’s history. Dr. Cotton believed that mental illnesses were caused in some cases by defective body parts, and his cruel and ineffective treatment approach involved removing patients’ teeth and organs. Even after his retirement in 1930, hospital staff continued to employ these painful treatment methods for another three decades.

New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum

As psychiatric philosophies began to shift toward pharmaceutical treatment in the 1960s, the state hospital’s population began to decline, and some of the buildings were converted to offices. The elegant Kirkbride-style administration building was demolished in 1971 and replaced with a more traditional hospital structure, and the name was again changed to Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.

Though the state still operates a 400-bed psychiatric hospital on the site, many of the older buildings stand empty and neglected. Many of the windows are covered in sheets of plywood, while others reveal the decaying rooms inside: paint peeling from the walls, metal doors coated in rust, plaster cascading from the ceilings.

Though the New Jersey Department of Human Services police regularly patrol the property, a few determined urban explorers have still managed to capture video and still footage of the historic buildings as they succumb to the ravages of time.

Cameras, headlamps, respirators and more. Urban exploration can be very gear-heavy, especially when exploring abandoned places in NJ. When this is the case, it’s important to have a good-quality backpack. We recommend both the Osprey Packs Daylite for sling backpacks or the Mardingtop Tactical Backpack for a standard two-strap backpack. Alternatively, check out our comprehensive guide for far more options, tips, and tricks.

Mercer Hospital (Trenton)

Mercer Hospital

Construction of the Mercer Hospital at the end of the 19th century was truly a community effort, with the wealthy Fisk family donating the land for the hospital and the Trenton Women’s Auxiliary taking charge of the fundraising and planning for the new facility. The hospital accepted its first patients in 1895 while simultaneously opening a nursing school on site.

Over the next several decades, the hospital saw several expansions, growing to a multi-building campus with its own power plant by the 1930s. In 1958, a massive new wing was added on the complex’s east end, and in the mid-1970s, most of the residential properties surrounding the hospital were demolished to make way for a new office building and parking facility.

Mercer Hospital

By the time construction was completed on this last project, the hospital featured more than 650,000 square feet of building space, ranking it as one of the state’s largest medical facilities.

Even with these massive investments, the hospital ran out of space to grow, even as the existing structure drifted toward functional obsolescence. In 2005, hospital administration announced its pending relocation to a new facility in Hopewell Township.

Despite vocal resistance from the community, which feared the new hospital would be too far away to provide adequate emergency care, Mercer Hospital closed its doors in 2011. Global Life Enterprises purchased the facility for $500,000 in 2013, but its plans for redeveloping the space into a health and wellness complex fell through due to lack of funding.

The defunct hospital campus has remained vacant since then, with vandals and scrappers causing significant damage to the buildings’ interiors, thus complicating any future plans for repurposing the facility.

Essex Generating Station (Newark)

Essex Generating Station

This early 20th century-era power station was designed with unusual elegance for a public utility building, thought to be the work of classically-trained architect Paul Phillippe Cret, whose most famous works include Philadelphia’s Rodin Museum, the Main Building at the University of Texas and the Eternal Light Peace Memorial at Gettysburg Battlefield.

In addition to its graceful exterior, the facility initially featured four coal-fed stoker boilers that powered two General Electric turbines when it opened in 1915. By 1924, the station had expanded to 20 boilers and six turbines, making it the largest generating station in the state. The following year, when the utility transitioned from direct consumer access to a regional grid, the Essex station became a critical switching point in the region.

In the subsequent two decades, the station gradually moved to a combination of boilers that would allow it to use coal, oil or natural gas to produce electric power to consumers; as technology continued to evolve, its massive boilers were replaced with compact, standalone gas turbines that offered more efficient and reliable operation.

A half-dozen of these units were constructed outside the building, and by the mid-1970s, only three traditional high-pressure boilers remained online inside the facility.  

Essex Generating Station

With environmental concerns moving into the spotlight in the 1970s, the station was the subject of several investigations by the EPA, including reports of contractors and employees at the facility dumping tar and contaminated water into the Passaic River. In 1990, the U.S. Coast Guard again raised concerns about pollution from the plant making its way into the river, and the large turbine hall behind the main switch house was demolished as part of a remediation effort.

The Essex station—along with several other PSE&G facilities—suffered severe damage when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Atlantic Coast in 2012, including being inundated with several feet of floodwater.

Over the next several years, the utility invested millions of dollars into upgrading and replacing old and obsolete power stations, the Essex Generating Station among them. The building has been abandoned for several years, with evidence of its age and storm damage visible in its peeling paint, crumbling ceilings and shattered windows.

Many of the rooms still contain batteries and other generating equipment, as well as dusty, dilapidated office furniture and other detritus. Graffiti artists have tagged many of the avocado-green interior walls as well as the exterior brickwork near the roof.

Though the defunct power facility itself is vacant, many of the surrounding structures in this industrial section of Newark remain active, so explorers planning to visit the site can expect a high likelihood that law enforcement will be in the area watching for intruders.

Morton Street School (Newark)

Morton Street School

The first elementary school on Newark’s Morton Street was built in 1873 and known as the 13th Ward Public School. It was later expanded and renamed after the street where it was located, and in 1908 the original building was razed and replaced with a well-equipped, modern facility.

The 65,000-square-foot addition featured a 750-seat auditorium with a stunning stained-glass tray ceiling, a gymnasium, 35 classrooms, a rooftop playground and a pair of kindergarten classrooms marked by distinctive stained-glass windows.

The school closed to students in 2007, although the Newark School District continued to maintain it as a storage facility for several years afterward. However, multiple break-ins and weather damage resulted in its rapid deterioration, and by 2013 the district assessed it to be in extremely poor condition.

Morton Street School

The building was sold to a developer for $1 million in 2018—a far cry from its appraised value of nearly $5 million—but there are currently no definitive plans for the property, although the appraisal report recommended demolition to allow for construction of multifamily housing on the site.

Today, the historic school building at 75 Morton Street remains vacant, its prior beauty overshadowed by its water-damaged walls, crumbling ceilings and debris-strewn classrooms. There are gaping holes in the walls where scavengers have stripped the building of plumbing, wiring and anything else that might be of value. Most tragically, the magnificent stained-glass ceiling in the auditorium has been damaged beyond repair, with many of its colorful panes shattered or covered in leaves and other debris.

McMyler Coal Dumper (Port Reading)

McMyler Coal Dumper

Located in Port Reading, the McMyler Coal Unloader was once a critical component of the shipping industry in New York Harbor. Built in 1917, the unloader was powerful enough to lift a 72-ton coal car, flip it upside down and empty its cargo onto a barge.

Relying on a modest 12-man crew, the machine nicknamed “Big Mac” was capable of unloading two dozen rail cars per hour and sending barges on their way to ports in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Big Mac’s storied efficiency came to an abrupt halt in 1951, when a pier fire sent the machine crashing into the water. The largest components of the dumper were salvaged, and the rest was rebuilt using parts from comparable unloader purchased from another facility. Within four months, Big Mac was back to work.

Conrail took over the aging Reading Railroad in 1976, but the McMyler Coal Unloader eked out a few more good years serving a handful of power plants that still relied on coal for fuel. Big Mac’s legendary career ended for good in 1983, and the mighty machine was left to decay on the abandoned pier. In recent years, high winds have separated the pan and chute from the tower.

McMyler Coal Dumper

The rusted metal hulk remains anchored in place, though marred with graffiti and inhabited by a colony of aggressive Canada Geese. Though scrappers and vandals have made off with much of the equipment left inside the facility, a few larger items—including a pair of steam engines—are still visible inside one of the most interesting abandoned places in NJ.

Despite its historic significance, restoring or relocating it would likely be prohibitively expensive, so the defunct dumper seems destined to rot where it stands until it eventually collapses into Arthur Kill.

Our Final Thoughts on Abandoned Places in NJ

With many abandoned sites across the United States waiting to be explored, take time to check out these famous abandoned places in NJ. If you live in-state or plan to travel here soon, these 10 sites deserve your attention. The unique culture and history of this state make it a must-see for any urban explorer. Adventure awaits in the Garden State. 

Those who are into urban exploration in the New Jersey state area, and wanting to explore abandoned places in NJ, should get comfortable with New Jersey trespassing laws. Luckily, in the state of Louisiana, the laws are easy to understand and are pretty cut and dry.

For more about obtaining permission to explore abandoned places in NJ, check out our guide Explore Abandoned Buildings: How To Get Permission.

Additional Urban Exploration Resources

Categories On LocationTags abandoned places in nj, new jersey urban exploration, new jersey urbexSours: https://www.killerurbex.com/abandoned-places-in-nj/

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