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Thread: Dan Haga in the Carroll County Times

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    Reality Hacker Dan's Avatar
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    Default Dan Haga in the Carroll County Times

    I worked with the Carroll County Times providing information and photos for a write-up on the "Henryton Center"... Read the article below.

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    Abandoned complex popular with "urban explorers"
    By Isaac Baker, Times Staff Writer Monday, January 16, 2006

    MARRIOTTSVILLE - Signs declaring "State Property" and "No Trespassing" in bold blue letters cover trees in the thickly wooded slopes surrounding the Henryton Center, a former hospital facility that closed down more than 20 years ago. The faded yellow gate at the center's main entrance has been broken, leaving the long-abandoned facility wide open. A warning sign attached to the gate is covered in black spray paint.

    The center, off Marriottsville Road in the middle of the Patapsco Valley State Park, was built in 1925 as a tuberculosis hospital for black patients. Various additions were built over the years, and in 1962, the complex was turned into a hospital for individuals with developmental disabilities. It has been closed and largely deserted since 1985. However, this seemingly vacant facility is now frequented by other individuals.
    For many "urban explorers," the Henryton Center is a paradise. Urban explorers, as they call themselves, are a loosely organized group of individuals who share a common interest in visiting abandoned sites ranging from hospitals and mental institutions to factories, schools and prisons. Mostly meeting and planning their excursions in Internet chat rooms and forums, these explorers keep tabs on abandoned facilities all over the country and even abroad. One of the most popular hobbyist Web sites, www.Infiltration.org, defines urban exploration as, "the investigation of manmade structures not designed for public consumption, from mechanical rooms to storm water drains to rooftops; usually such areas are off-limits." By definition, the Henryton Center campus is a prime spot. Enthusiast Web sites and zines hail Henryton as a great place for an urban expedition. The center's dormitories and its 50,000-square-foot administration complex are widely known among explorers.

    "Henryton has heavy foot traffic by everyone from photographers ... to vandals, with everything in between ... ghost hunters and urban explorers," said Dan Haga, an amateur photographer and hobbyist who has visited Henryton. Urban explorer Justin Tims, of Sykesville, said enthusiasts travel from all around the surrounding areas to visit the complex. "It's hard to find a good place to explore," he said. "So, when you hear of a good one, you are tempted to drive a distance to get there."
    The Henryton Center is owned and operated by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The DHMH is responsible for the site's upkeep, as well as keeping it secure. Betsy Barnard, a public relations official with the DHMH, said the center's gate has been broken a couple of times in the past and each time the department has fixed it. However, she said, the DHMH may not have been aware that the gate is currently broken. While enthusiasts may find touring through the decaying complex thrilling, it is illegal. Urban explorers caught on the property could be charged with unlawful entry and trespassing, both misdemeanor offenses.

    The Maryland State Police's Westminster barrack said that because Henryton is a state facility, they would respond to any calls concerning trespassing on the grounds. However, the area is not actively patrolled. Since the area around the Henryton Center is rural and only lightly populated, both Haga and Tims say urban explorers don't really worry about the security. Haga said the trespassing warnings do little to stop enthusiasts. Rather, he said, they only add to the excitement of exploring the complex. "I think the thrill of being at these places comes from them being off limits and the creepy feeling you get in places like that," Haga said. Haga, 25, traveled from his home in Harford County to photo document Henryton in the summer of 2005 with permission from the DHMH. He said not only is the site in disrepair, but it is heavily vandalized as well. "Henryton is in bad shape, but not because of its age," Haga said. "It's been vandalized more than most any site I've ever visited. Broken windows, busted doors, smashed furniture, broken sinks and toilets, holes kicked in drywall - all common at Henryton."
    While visitors have vandalized Henryton, Haga said urban explorers respect the areas they trespass upon. There is an unwritten rule among urban explorers, he said: Look, don't destroy. Haga also stressed the difference between hobbyists who frequent the Henryton Center and other visitors who he said are responsible for damage to the center. "It's the kids with the paint cans and crowbars you gotta worry about, not the cameras," Haga said.
    However, the Henryton Center may not be a Mecca of urban exploration forever. In June of 2005, the DHMH requested expressions of interest in the property from developers. Dave Humphrey, communications director for the Maryland Department of General Services, said the state has received several responses from developers. Humphrey said the state can't release any details of the proposals or give out information concerning the developers involved while the proposals are pending.
    The DHMH, which maintains the property at a cost of about $100,000 per year, tried to sell the property in 1992 and 1996, but to no avail. In 1996, a developer proposed building a nonresidential drug and alcohol treatment center on the site. The proposition was met with protest from both Carroll and Howard county residents and the developer eventually withdrew.

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    Senior Member MDexplorer's Avatar
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    Is it really worse than Glenn Dale?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDexplorer View Post
    Is it really worse than Glenn Dale?
    Well it deff is now.

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    Level 3 User YellowSled's Avatar
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    was that written by the guy that went with us when we went?
    ~Evan~ UA member #12
    Kosher Sausage, what?

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    Reality Hacker Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KosherBenz View Post
    was that written by the guy that went with us when we went?
    The guy that wussed out and wouldn't even go past the power plant, yes.

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    Member exploringtheunkown's Avatar
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    btw I learned not to ask ouketright for site locations, anyways I like the line its not the camera's you need to worry about.... its true. It would be nice to find places not totatly trashed, but Im sure when there is heavy security involved its less of a problem.
    Poor Spelling and A fowl mouth my signature mark all the way. How I passed the national certifications because of this no one knows.

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    Level 3 User Doomed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exploringtheunkown View Post
    btw I learned not to ask ouketright for site locations, anyways I like the line its not the camera's you need to worry about.... its true. It would be nice to find places not totatly trashed, but Im sure when there is heavy security involved its less of a problem.
    huhhhh????
    "I'm coming down fast, but I'm miles above you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by exploringtheunkown View Post
    btw I learned not to ask ouketright for site locations, anyways I like the line its not the camera's you need to worry about.... its true. It would be nice to find places not totatly trashed, but Im sure when there is heavy security involved its less of a problem.
    i found a great spot you should check out, it's huge, totally abandoned, and not many people have been there yet. the satellite photos are a bit old and show cars parked there but it's totally dead now. there is a fence to climb but once you're over that you're golden.

    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=3...08025&t=h&z=17

    good luck!
    All I do is party...
    L/amE

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    Member exploringtheunkown's Avatar
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    lol dude your gutsy i like that and I know exactly where that is and the building it was. Thats some hardcore sh#$%. Screw it your only dumb once. I cant believe they publish that as well being what it was.
    Poor Spelling and A fowl mouth my signature mark all the way. How I passed the national certifications because of this no one knows.

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    Member exploringtheunkown's Avatar
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    Im going to have to get AIM to talk to you about this. How you managed it etc.
    Poor Spelling and A fowl mouth my signature mark all the way. How I passed the national certifications because of this no one knows.

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    Level 3 User trinity's Avatar
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    did you get past the cops in the unmarked hummers and explorers they have there?
    though it might be easier to park on the side of the road and take KTS' advice and jump the fence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kts View Post
    i found a great spot you should check out, it's huge, totally abandoned, and not many people have been there yet. the satellite photos are a bit old and show cars parked there but it's totally dead now. there is a fence to climb but once you're over that you're golden.

    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=3...08025&t=h&z=17

    good luck!
    Dude that was a boring explore, That fence is riddled with holes.
    - has never been arrested for "Moapery"... just for the record.


    F/RoX

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    You should try this one. Just pull off on a side road and park in the trees, hop the fence and it's an easy walk from there.

    Uber cool location

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