Posts Tagged ‘Providence’

I’m a big fan of H P Lovecraft, and I am sure I don’t do that good a job of hiding it. It is because of the work he created and inspired, and more importantly, he continues to do so after his death.

Lovecraft is probably more famous for his ‘Cthulhu’ mythos than anything else. He was avid about sharing his creation, his world and the outer gods/strange beings that came with it. Thanks to Lovecraft we have role play games, computer games, shared horror stories, music, films and so many other inspirations.

His youth was marred by his mothers death, and at fourteen his grandfather died. His grandfather appeared to have the money in the family, he loved his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, and despite never furnishing high school is a literary classic.

He married an older woman named Sonia Green, and due to her success in work he moved to New York. From letters and reflections in his stories it was evident he did not like it. His stories often reflect a writer who felt quite xenophobic and was happy to remain in his home town. His racism seemed to quell in later ages but perhaps he was more a man who felt out of place and time. He would have liked to have been a European a few centuries before his time?

His stories do not portray happy endings, often the reader in given tales of warning about delving too far for knowledge. The author of the tale might end up a victim of Arkham Asylum; or killing themselves, if they themselves had not been killed by a bizarre creature or situation unknown. His stories depict insanity, sickness, lack of control, fear and other scenario’s close to man’s fears and mortality.

His mother was an affectionate woman and his father went insane before his death. It is possible his father was suffering from syphilis, was this and her inspiration to his work?

I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful town of Providence, we even ventured down streets he most likely walked himself. We also ventured into Swan Point Cemetery, this was a fascinating place. The whole problem we faced was it was so big! We were there an hour before dark and so didn’t locate his grave. A wonderful place it’s worth a drive if you can get there, or a detour on a visit if you are nearby.

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Their website if you want to check out more information. This also provided me with more notes and corrections that I have put into this. Original draft didn’t really
seem so unbiased as I would have liked. The Ladd School was a mental and rehabilitation hospital (I will rectify comments in later part of the blog here), 1902 to 1982. It looks like it’s been demolished now but I thought it was a nice one to pick up for a story. Rhode Island is also famous to me because of H P Lovecraft so a haunted tale for his neck of the woods sounds like a wonderful opportunity to have a nose around its tales and urban legends.

I’ve seemingly found jumbled mentions so will try and make them slightly more ordered for the purpose of the blog. Ladd School has been described as a series of ten buildings with everything from the main function of the hospital to a dental clinic, x-ray clinic which had patient records from 1968-1987, bowling alley, kitchens, and a crematorium. Overlooking the compound was a 400 foot elevated water tower amidst a group of tress. 1977 supposedly saw reports of abuse and malpractice brought against the school, two decades later the school gradually moved the patients out and it was left to rot and decay so lets see what we can get rumour mill wise?

It was not a mental institution for psychiatry or some kind of mental asylum, the were there for people that suffered disabilities which at the time were labelled under mental retardation etc. This included such things as children with ADHD, pregnant teenagers (I know don’t shoot me), sex offenders, prostitutes etc. There is nothing to suggest the ‘patients’ of these things suffered the same kind of experimental treatments as those in the mental asylums but there was cause to believe they had suffered some form of abuse by attendants. Unfortunately I didn’t see anything about the records that were kept to suggest to what extent and frequency this occurred.

Haunted? Well like any old place of medical facilities, castles and the like with long histories I guess it is not that surprising that these rumours came about. One of which I found was July 3rd, 2002 where a group of explorers headed into the nurses station and heard the sound of a dragging piano with echoing chords as it went. It suddenly stopped and they all looked at one another’s pale faces before they heard it again and promptly left.

Amongst the tales of the ghosts etc are voices, strange noises, mists and orbs oh and apparently someone had their camera smacked out of their hand. My message  here would have been maybe the ghosts or whatever are a little fed up of people trying to take a picture… hey even as spirit it’s not safe to assume they cannot be camera shy surely?

For some reason the website above also mentioned a rumour about a secret graveyard for abortions. Whilst it is likely there would be abortions on the site (or  miscarriages even) I cannot see that they would be performing the medical procedure on site, there is no records of this and as with many things of these periods the records in the cemetery don’t always get kept or created in the first place. More likely any aborted child, like most that died anyway, would be in the unmarked graves. A sad but grim fact would be that without names it’s just the most likely to occur in my mind. Of course the very practical perspective would be (okay I sound  horrible but hear me out) with a crematorium on site the thing would have been running day and night so why not just dispose of remains there?