Vacant New Jersey

Imperial Baths

Status: Region: Type: Gallery:
Abandoned New York Historical 24 Photos

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Water spewed out from my mouth, further propelled past my trembling lips like an erupting geyser angled horizontally toward a crowd of bewildered spectators. Pressurized liquid forcefully sprayed from between the gaps of my teeth, the narrow spaces acted to separate the spray into a thin saliva laced mist which cast a bit of a short lived rainbow about the air. The spectrum of colors existed before my eyes for only a few brief moments, as a nearly transparent two foot string of spit, thinner than a follicle of human hair managed to remain attached to my lower lip. The free end fluttered out before my face like a single strand of silky strong spiderweb, exhibiting wavelike motion, like a slinky stretched horizontally end to end and then gently shaken. In horror I watched as through the process of cohesion the drool acted like a leash, drawing in expelled airborne mouth mist particles closer and closer towards my face. In a frantic last minute heroic reaction I quickly swatted my face with my hand, thus breaking the saliva strand and saving my face from full impact, instead redirecting the column of drool down towards my cotton t-shirt, where it quickly absorbed and dried with just a slight shimmer as the caked on saliva particles glistened under the sunlight. Fortunately for my self-esteem, this entire reaction unfolded in under just a few seconds sparing me from gathering any unwanted witnesses to humiliation, as my friends had their eyes fixated towards the abandoned bath house building just behind.

I picked up the stainless steel sipping ladle off the ground, returning it back to the natural sulfur spring well, in turn learning an important lesson that sulfur water does indeed taste as fetid as it smells and attempting to drink it for the first time will enact the gag reflex. Fart Water I will forever deem calling it. In such moments of self discovery I always wonder what the first human thought when they stumbled upon such a rancid smelling liquid emanating from a random crack in the Earth's surface. Did they honestly think that water which smells exactly like the air that funnels out of ones ass would be fantastic to sip with the evening dinner or to heat up and lazily bathe in? All supposed health benefits aside, I just couldn't fathom relaxing in a bubble bath of fart water. But then again, just moments earlier, I had convinced myself to take a raw gulp of it, out from some random ladle. And so is the problem with humans, sometimes we are too curious, always figuring out ways to profit off of anything and everything. Because hey, if it tastes like shit, smells like shit, well than why not bathe in it, create a monopoly around it, build an entire resort destination dedicated to it; that could never fail. After all who wouldn't want to drive into the middle of nowhere to drink a fart and then bathe in one?

And so currently exists the once thriving resort village of Sharon Springs, NY, built on the promise of sulfur and mineral springs. Today the village loosely survives on a new promise of quaint bed and breakfast hotels and inns, a few remaining restaurants and bars, and buildings of various historical significances. If not so distantly placed within the Catskill Mountain rage, the village may have had a better chance at survival. Walking down Main Street, Sharon Springs is an almost always solemn experience, except for the few days during the year when various seasonal inspired festivals draw thousands of people to the tiny town, but only ever temporarily, a tease to perhaps how the town once existed.

In current days I can attest that a demon haunts the small village, and Imperial demon, existing in various forms and having numerous lives. Such an illusive creature it is, wandering about the town day and night, aided only by the wind. Its presence is invisible to sight and can be recognized only by its putrid scent which weaves in and out of the dozens of abandoned hotels and decrepit structures. The demon rears from the natural mineral springs, where it continuously seeps out, taking on the form of various fart fragrances. The only true way to harness and destroy its evil is to capture it directly. I tried. I failed. As my gut reaction was to immediately spit it out. But such was not my true goal, just a side quest perhaps; an endurance test. Instead the numerous ruinous hotels and decaying buildings held my curiosity captive. Whilst wandering the vacant hallways and empty rooms of once stately resorts my mind would occasionally slip into lonely thoughts, but only ever briefly, for the fart demon would always find its way in, to interrupt thought. Flowing in through open doors or broken windows, the demon would appear with little notice and without fail nasally assault me with its rancid scent, before quickly dispersing into the atmosphere abound.

Secured shut by what appeared to be an oh-so-intimidating piece of balsa wood loosely nailed across a door, I effortfully pushed the back entrance of an abandoned bathhouse open with my pinky finger. Curiously I entered, excited to discover for myself the wonders of the sulfur bath technique. Instead I discovered what I believed to be the fart demon's lair. A beautiful building free of decay. The demon covers its furniture with a delicate white cloth, so as not to be disturbed. Antiquated medical equipment ages away in forgotten corners and bath towels are still stocked on shelfs collecting only dust. The demon mustn't be home I assured myself, for I had yet to be disturbed by its scent. I took my chances and captured a few pictures inside its bathhouse refuge, before making a hastily retreat. Upon exiting I accidentally let the door slam behind. Disturbed it, I must've! For a breeze picked up, my eyes teared, and nose began to drip. I could sense the fart demon's presence was upon me. Its thick stinky sulfur scent nearly knocked me to my knees, so thick it existed that I saw the demon's true form appear briefly; quickly it dispersed, funneling into the basement of the bath house. It was a royal sight, no an Imperial sight. The fart demon as I witnessed it was full of angst, for its once popular village had long since fallen victim to changing times. Abundant noses no longer clogged the village streets and hotels, searching for sulfur cures. An emperor of a lonely village the Sulfur Fart Demon remains, eagerly awaiting to horrify its next victim's nose, but seldom and few they remain.