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Old Sep 29, 2011, 10:04 AM   #1
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Default Abandoned Train Depot/Restaurant

The building used to be a train depot for the long defunct NY O&W (Ontario & Western) Railroad.

NY O&W went bankrupt in 1957. Since then, the building had been a private home and then a restaurant. It is now abandoned.

I went out early morning for sunrise pictures. Then I remembered this building. So I drove there. I intended to shoot only the exterior but while I was doing so walking around the building, I noticed the front door was wide open. So I went in.

Past the front door it was pitch black. I couldn’t tell if there was a wall in front of me, a passage, or homeless men sleeping on the floor. So I fired a test shot using my camera’s built-in flash.

What I saw on my camera’s LCD blew me away. The place looked downright creepy! Without a moment’s hesitation I ran back to my car, got my bigger flashgun, and went back in. All the interior shots I took were with flash, just within a few steps past the front door. Had it not been for the flash, I would not have found my way in the dark.

I guess the big question is, is it haunted? If it had just been a train depot and a restaurant and nothing more, then probably not. But it had once been a private home complete with a bedroom upstairs, so, who knows? The local paper thinks it might.

What do I think?

I have to admit I was spooked when I took my first shot. But my fear of the supernatural was instantly gone, too, when I realized I had a photographic gold mine in front of me. I was actually more concerned about making my steps in the dark and composing my shots without seeing. In short, there was no room in my brain for thinking about ghosts.

I was also concerned that a cop car might pass by, see my car in the parking lot, and stop to question me. There were no “no trespassing” signs or any other sign for that matter but surely someone must own the building.

So while I was taking my shots, my mind was also busy composing my defense. With a door wide open like that -- quite possibly to a whole other realm -- what true photographer in his or her right mind would not go in and take some shots?

Reasoning like that ought to make it an open and shut case...

#1) Abandoned building that used to be a NY O&W train depot and later restaurant.


#2) Just past the front door, this must be the antechamber where patrons waited to be seated. This was actually my "test shot" that drew me in.


#3) This must have been the main dining hall.


#4) Steps leading to the barroom


#5) Bar.


#6) Barroom.


Thank you for looking. C&C welcome. I used a modified version of Topaz Adjust's "dark - night" preset to make it look hopefully even creepier.

Last edited by vvcarpio; Sep 29, 2011 at 10:16 AM.
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Old Sep 29, 2011, 1:47 PM   #2
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The Adjust treatment worked quite well.
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Old Sep 29, 2011, 2:12 PM   #3
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This place needs some time spent to really get the shots it needs. How about daytime shots? Im sure that would open things up a bit and give you some better lighting effects and more HDR imaging look to things.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 9:32 AM   #4
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Thank you, Walter, Paul.

Walter, I searched online for "how to make a room look creepy", found plenty of fun Photoshop halloween editing tricks, but none for what I wanted. In the end I tried the different Topaz Adjust presets. I'm glad "dark - night" worked.

#7) Brightly lit it looks just like a place under construction.


#8) After Topaz Adjust's "dark - night" preset, it's clearly not as the ceiling insulation and wires hanging down the ceiling exposes it for what it is -- an abandoned place.


Paul, several people have gone there before me and posted pictures online -- one was a blog, one a group of railroad enthusiasts following the old O&W tracks, one a discussion forum about abandoned stuff, and one from a writer for the local newspaper who went there with a group of ghost-hunters. So it looks like people freely come and go to the place. And so, likewise, as the late General Douglas MacArthur once said, "Ah'll be baaack." No, wait, I think that's the Terminator...

#9) Topaz Adjust's "dark - night" preset on the exterior.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 9:57 PM   #5
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Wow, I have to admire your bravery; not so much for the supernatural but the real vagrants and homeless that may have taken up residence in places like this......Please, please be careful the next time you go into places like this! Great images, however!!!
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Old Oct 1, 2011, 10:03 AM   #6
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wow,, gotta love old abandoned places !! Love your post processing,, that place looks like it was VERY dark inside and your use of flash was essential there, you did a great job under those conditions !!
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Old Oct 2, 2011, 6:32 AM   #7
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Thank you, saly, jaharris.

saly, my wife and I came back in the day and found no one. I'm guessing the place is too far to walk to for homeless people (although, who knows?) when there are more abandoned places on main street.

#10)


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Old Oct 10, 2011, 5:13 AM   #8
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Oh, what a shame this building is abandoned and in disrepair. It might have made a cracker railway museum...
I like your treatment of the shots, giving it a creepy feel and (without repeating myself again), I enjoy the narrative you provide. Have you ever considered a career change to tour guide
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 7:03 AM   #9
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Thank you, banksy. That's a thought -- there isn't actually a railway museum for a town that was not a minor hub during the railway days. (I think there's a small display at the library.)

I'm gainfully employed right now so I'm finding myself being asked to do a lot of photos for free -- church, friends, that sort of thing.

I will, however, man a photobooth come weekend at a wedding party and get paid for it.

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