We arrived in the tiny town after a six hour drive, and were subsequently stared at by the locals at the convenience store. Our looks and out of state license plate didn't help much. Things looked a little better at the old hospital - a tall fence tipped with razor wire stretched across some of the campus, behind which was the state prison, but it wasn't too close to the decrepit buildings we wanted to see. Still, we felt it needed to be approached carefully.
Armed with a very helpful tip from a friend, we managed to crawl our way inside one building; unfortunately it had been renovated in a way that eliminated the 19th century charm it once had. The structure housed some vintage equipment and quite a few documents rotting away in piles.
Feeling the need to see more, we started to make our way through the underground tunnels that housed the steam connection to all the buildings from the power plant, located behind the prison fence. The tunnel twisted and turned, and started to look cleaner and cleaner as we walked. This is common when tunnels slope downward, as all the debris washes downhill and accumulates at the lowest point, so I didn't think much of it. Then we passed a suspicious wire mesh door that was open, and the next turn revealed working lights and some kind of panel that sparkled with red LED lights. Obviously we were making our way into the state prison - not good.
A quick jog back eventually directed us to a small niche that led into the basement of our intended destination - another ward, built in the 1870s. A peek outside was of foremost importance since we had been underground for quite some time; an armed corrections officer was wandering around the outside of the building for some reason. We hunkered down in a room for a good fifteen minutes until he left - there was no reason to risk anyone seeing us through the large windows. The rest of the trip went off without any problems... we explored the rotting guts of the hospital to the beat of the inmates exercising outside, all chanting in unison.