After leaving The Western State Hospital we headed to The DeJarnette Center. The hospital was once called The DeJarnette State Sanitorium, named after Joseph DeJarnette, who ran The Western State Hospital for a period of time. The center was a private pay hospital in 1932; it consisted of 4 units that held 12 patients each. In 1975 it was taken over by the commonwealth of Virginia and became state managed health care. At this point all patients over the age of 21 were transferred to The Western State Hospital. Eventually the name was changed to the DeJarnette Center for Human Development. The hospital was used for child and adolescents, but until 1981, the patients did not stay there throughout weekends or summers and other long vacation periods. Eventually, the adolescent unit of the western state hospital was closed, and only minors were transferred to The DeJarnette Center. by 1990, there was not enough state funding for the hospital. By 1996, The DeJarnette Center relocated. From what I gather, originally The DeJarnette Center and The Western State Hospital were part of one facility until this relocation. In 2001 the hospital was renamed the commonwealth center for children and adolescents. In 2004 there were plans to knock it down and building a shopping mall in its place, but these plans fell through.
The DeJarnette Center is not far from The Western State Hospital. There were 3 or 4 large buildings that were boarded up, along with a few smaller buildings, and a graveyard. What was strange about this was that there were buildings part of the same grounds that were still in use. They looked as though they may have been municipal buildings. Virginia works extremely hard to keep people out of these buildings for some reason. The windows and doors are nailed shut, boarded up, and then gates are welded on top of the boards. It was pretty much impossible to get into. One of the buildings had a garage door that Larry and Phil were able to get into, but they did not go far since the doors on the inside of the buildings were welded shut as well. There was a large building all of the way in the back, just like the rest, they were boarded up, but some windows were not left boarded. The Forgotten America was not designed to tell urban legends about these abandoned places, but rather educate the viewer and give details of our expedition, but this building was a whole different animal.
There was a small window in the back of the building that had been busted out. From the looks of it, someone had punched through the glass and then pulled their hand back, because the entire window and room had blood spattered all over. We entered the small window and walked through the room. The person that made the entrance way must have left after realizing they were bleeding to death because the blood stopped in that room. We walked down a small hallway where there were jail cells; some even still had soap sitting on the ledge. There was absolutely no graffiti in the building, and minimal vandalism, if any at all. It sent chills up my spine. Being that it was a mental health facility, or what we think may have been a jail, we put rocks in front of all of the doors we went through so we didn’t get locked in. the stair wells are actually located outside of the building and gated in. so we had to go back out to go up. By the time we got to the 3 floor. The eeriest feeling came over me, just bad vibes, and I waited in the stair well. No more than 10 minutes later, Phil came rushing out and made me come inside. He said they heard someone coming and we needed to hide. Bang, bang, bang. The sound came one after another. It sounded like someone running up the stairs, but no one ever came. Larry blamed it on the windows from the wind, but they were boarded, and I began to feel panicky. Minutes later I fled the building with Phil and Larry not far behind. I am still not sure what the sound was, an animal, a squatter, I just knew I needed to get out, everything was far too strange feeling for me to stay.
Please comment if you have any information regarding The Western State Hospital and The DeJarnette Center as the research I found all seemed to confuse the two places.