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 - Old Essex County Prison
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I have been to places where there was evidence of squatters before, but never one where I ran into so many and found so much blatant evidence of drug use. Needles coated with fresh blood littered many of the cell blocks (along with other paraphernalia for shooting up heroin), and I frequently saw shady people meandering around in a daze. They didn't acknowledge me but I was glad that I wasn't by myself, particularly when on entering the basement we were yelled at by someone who was sleeping there. Living in a filthy old abandoned prison and getting high with a bunch of other addicts sounds about as much like hell as I can imagine.

Photograph of the Essex County Prison in New Jersey by Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America. If you'd like to learn more about this location, it is a featured chapter in the book "Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences," which you can order signed copies of here. It's also available (unsigned) through Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Powells/Indiebound/Booksamillion. You may also be interested in my new book, Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other online booksellers across the globe.

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