The Phantom Theatre

I do not know much about it other than it was built around 1927 and was a ward and administration building for the hospital. When Woodmere burned down, only this and only a few others remained. This building housed patients until the mid 1960's. It was later used as a haunted house for Halloween, hence the name Phantom Theatre, and I believe it closed sometime in mid 1990's. One of my regrets is that I never went to the Phantom Theatre as a kid. Just from looking around, it looked liked it would have been a fantastic venue for Halloween scares. The ESH used to put on this haunted house to make money for the patients. They could use the earnings to provide excellent services for their residents. It's kind of funny. They would make money scaring the bejeepers out of people to make other people happy. That's a lot of emotion tied up in one old building. One thing is for sure, that source of income for the patients is no longer available as this structure has become unsafe. I tried, as always, to put this together right. But, I'm sure at some point I messed it up. All the artwork in this building was made by Phil Wolter who also put on the haunted house and is considered a legend. He also is the one who runs/created the Old Catacombs.

Facing east from the park, you can see this fantastic display of architecture with the sunset hitting it.

Here are some external shots. This building is very photogenic, one would think I would have taken better pictures of it being my favorite of the buildings.

Facing east. Closer and looking up, you can see the problems this building has. Basically the same angle, just pointing straight at the building.
Here you can see a longer shot of the building. That giant metal thing was something of curiosity to me. A closer look reveals that it is an old fire escape. Same side of the building but looking up at the far right.

The south side of the building was also most impressive as seen from a distance.

The south side of the building. This picture was taken just to the right of the auditorium. Closer to the building looking up. Looking at it from the parking lot.

The east side of the building is the most interesting, but also the most upsetting. On this side you really can see the bad shape this building is in.

Looking up towards the copper top. The north part. Just below is the concourse that once led to the main building.

The north part of the building. It once held the concourse to the main building, but now it just leads to open land.

This recent shot shows what's left of the concourse and the very aesthetically pleasing north side that now has ivy all over it. An older shot, before spring, which shows the same side from a different angle with the concourse still intact. Looking at it northeast from the buidling.

I had been waiting over a year to get into this building. Since I don't break doors, scale the sides of buildings, etc. I had to wait for another way in. Well, Tealman found a good way in through the north door. Now, this used to be a Ward and Administrator Building, but for many years it was also a haunted house. Most of what this building looks like now is consistent with it being a former haunted house; not part of a hospital.

I'm going to do my best to put these by floor. As always, I managed to get them out of order, so I may have the 2nd and 3rd floor mixed up. This building really held up to my description of the senses when entering an old building: Old, Cold, & Mold.

First Floor

Just inside the door. There was furniture stacked up. I'm guessing the was the main entrance for the haunted house. Directions for the haunted house.

I had to make sure I spoke with Madame Marty to get tickets, then I continued the tour. Every floor was basically setup the same way with the exception of the attic area. They all one a large hallway with a bunch of side rooms and two huge rooms on the north and south sides.

The main hallway on the first floor. Bathroom. Rooms like this were found all over the place. I guess the props and such from the haunted house were stored in the rooms.
The orange room. I'm guessing at one point this room was the mail room/closet for employees. Another room to the site. This one empty.
The main room on the south side. Another angel. Yet another angel
Another side room. This one had, well, something in it. Heading upstairs.

2nd Floor

For some reason, I didn't feel it necessary to get many pictures of this floor. don't ask.

Main hallway. Filled to the ceiling with junk. I think this may be why I didn't get more pics of this floor. A nice old fuse box.
This room had a tree in it. There were also a few empty rooms Probably an old bathroom. Can't really tell.
More Debris Another junked room. Water damage on the ceiling.
Some type of light. Maybe someone can tell me what this was.

The end rooms were the best part of this floor. The north end had a slide from the staircase leading to it, and it also had access to the fire escape. The fire escape had access on the second floor was well as the third.

From the staircase, this slide led into the main room. This foam was all over this room all stacked up. I'm guess it broke the fall from the slide. Same room facing the other way.
In the event of a fire, please use the appropriate exit. The south end room. Out this window would face CTU. Facing towards the park.

3nd Floor

We found the most interesting stuff on this floor. It had many relics that are indicative of a haunted house, and perhaps a few of it's life before that.

Main hallway. Looks like an old electrical room for the haunted house. A room that led to a maze
I think this was the only obstacle part of the haunted house we found. I didn't fit, but it went through the next room.

There was one room full of junk that I could actually get in.

This room had all sorts of old props. A creaky old table I had to climb to get to the next room. A creepy doll. This was obviously part of the haunted house.
A wonderful relic from the haunted house. I sat in this, but was disappointed when I didn't get the jolt I was wanting.

I mentioned climbing the table, over that was an otherwise inaccessible room.

A nice bathroom. There is some modern type plumbing, but I'm guess this room was used for scares, not BM's. Sink. Looking out towards the door I came in on.

The South end room was probably my favorite room just because of the artwork. Somehow I didn't get any pics of the other end room. Sorry.

The Green Monster Room. The mouth was the fire escape. I've been told this was how you ended the haunted house. North wall of the room.
Facing back towards the door, you can see this neat lamp. This building was most recently used to fire fighters to train in. I guess they left this.

Main Staircase.

This is a good time to put in the pictures of the main staircase. This had access to the attic, which is next. It spiraled and had a cage in the middle.

The gate. 3rd floor shot of staircase. Was this stretcher a throwback from the hospital days, or just another prop?
No idea what this was, but it looked important. Up another part of it. The very top that leads to the attic.
An artifact from the haunted house.

The Attic

This was a pretty neat part of the building. On the left from this hallway, was an interesting ventilation system and a tower. To the right was some small wooden rooms. The hallway curved and led to another room.

The main attic hallway. In the right hand door. Still in the right hand door. There were two small rooms. You can see where that metal thing continues from one room to the other.
Just inside the left door. There was an old stereo and a hole. If you don't watch your step. you could hit this right inside the huge attic. The backside of the vent. system.
The vent system was connect to that chute that was caged in up the spiral staircase. The gaping hole in the roof. The vent system curved out and then went to either side of the building. Facing the other way.
Inside the giant duct. You can get an idea how big it is by that chair. Looking down the other side.

If you look at the exterior shots, you can see the tower on this wonderful building. What you see below is the inside that leads to it. A cylinder thing with 2 feet of pigeon shit, some beer cans with beer still in it (who knows), and a giant ladder to the top. Unfortunately, I didn't have the fortitude to climb up it. I was also being stung by wasps.

The opening to the tower.
To the left is the giant shoot. Wouldn't wanna fall down this. Looking up towards the tower. You can see the ladder and some extension chords. A close up of the ladder I wouldn't climb. Can you blame me?

Now, I mentioned before that if you followed the original attic hallway that it would lead to some other rooms. Here they are. I'm not really sure what they were, but there is some stuff that would suggest it may have been used as a costume room for people who acted in the haunted house.

Turning the corner on the main hallway. Large room at the end filled with mostly junk. Some costumes and Christmas stuff.
The middle of the pigeon shit filled room. Here is some type of chair. More beer cans. Looking out one of the windows.
The corner of the room. Here water had ruined the roof, ceiling, and the ground below it.

It had two 3 side rooms.

This room likes like it was a bathroom/dressing room or something. This one was to the right of the entrance door. Another one of the rooms. This one was across the big room. The third room. The only one with a window too. This was on the same side as the previous one, just down the room.
A shot out of that window. You can see the beautiful park.

The Basement

The basement wasn't that big. It had some crawl spaces, but mostly it had a ventilation system. I'm not an expert on these things, but do know of antique "air conditioners." When we were in the basement, you could see your breathe. It was 80 degrees outside and had been all week. Underground is cold, and before AC they would vent the air from the basement through the building and it would cool down the rooms. However, people had to keep their windows open in to maintain the proper airflow. I'm guessing all the vents in the attic were somehow part of this.

This door once leads outside. Passed that door is the way downstairs. These steps were extremely steep. Here is the giant induction system.
The backside of the behemoth. We found a ladder back here through the narrow passage way. Instructions for the behemoth. The ladder was very helpful in getting us to the crawlspace and other vents.
Looking down the vent tunnel. To the other side of that tunnel was this crawl space. Some equipment/junk in a closet in the main behemoth area.

Well, I was somewhat disappointed since most of the stuff was all stacked up or thrown in rooms. But, you can tell by all the pictures that this building is pretty amazing. I sure am going to miss it when it's gone.

Continuing Treatment Unit
Continuing Treatment Unit: Second Trip
Laundry Room
Power Station
Small Buildings
State Hospital Main