Take a look at these shots of North Brother Island in NYC (situated in the awesomely titled ‘Hell Gate’ on the East River between Riker’s Island and The Bronx) from photographer Ian Ference.

They depict a crumbling island once used as a quarantine centre (way back in 1885), and leper colony, before its closure in 1963.

North Brother Island was also once home to the infamous Typhoid Mary.

Speaking of the Island, Ference said: “This has got to be one of America’s most important places to visit.  Historically it has had a notorious and sometimes sinister reputation.  It was established as a forced quarantine camp for people suffering from infectious and often fatal diseases such as typhoid, scarlet fever, yellow fever and typhus. There were six people suffering from leprosy confined here in wooden huts.  New York was taking in a huge number of immigrants in the late nineteenth and earth twentieth centuries – and new arrivals were forced to live in crowded and unsanitary conditions.  Diseases would inevitably spread and once the health authorities identified a person as having a communicable disease they were seized and forced to live on North Brother Island – unless they were rich enough to afford a private clinic”.

Ference has gained special access to the island, which is monitored still today by armed coastguards to protect it from trespassers.

The buildings have rotted and crumbled, and weeds, grass and vines have ensnared much of the masonry.  It is an island reverting back to nature.  Eerie?  Certainly.  A good bet for a spooky camping spot?  Don’t bank on it…

Via Mail Online

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