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(Also, in 1904, a steamship called the General Slocum burned on North Brother Island, killing over 1,000 people.)Why you should visit: Now the island is a bird sanctuary, and ruins of the hospital and other buildings remain, with some rooms amazingly pretty intact.
(Check out awe-inspiring photos of a visit to the island here.) There’s probably asbestos permeating the air, but the element of danger paired with the creepy abandoned-island vibe should be enough incentive for you to start planning your yolo-ified voyage here — though you’ll probably have to get creative.
You can find more information about visiting here, where you'll also find a database of who is buried on the island.
There are over 65,000 names in the registry, dating back to 1977 (a fire on the island destroyed records prior to this), and more names are planned to be added as they become available.
Those buried on Hart Island could either not afford the expenses of private funerals or were unclaimed by relatives; approximately 50% of the bodies buried here are children under 5 who are identified and died in NYC hospitals.
(If you were thinking about volunteering, here's a good excuse!
After it closed, the grounds became a state park, as The New York Times says, "partly because nobody knew what else to do with it.
Too far from major roads and full of buildings contaminated with asbestos and lead, it has proved inhospitable to redevelopment."Why you should visit: The center is rumored to be awash in paranormal activity.
The old hospital is now part of Kings Park, and you'd need to obtain a permit and clear your visit with the parks manager to visit legally.
Periodically, though, there are walking tours here; in the past, they've been given by an organization called Angels Without Faces.