There’s usually a good reason why certain places get labeled as haunted, and an abandoned building can be full of them. The question is, what would you do if you heard creepy cries in the dark while trespassing in a known ghost lair?
Daring photographer Joshua Gold probably found himself asking this very same question while exploring an abandoned hospital in Troy, New York. Yes, despite the risks, this brave man had decided that it would be the perfect place in which to take some snaps.
His location of choice? The Leonard Hospital. Curiously, this building was closed in 1996 and left to fall into ruin. In the passing years, then, it has gained notoriety in the local area for being haunted. Of course, all of this only appealed to Gold.
And with its abandoned medical equipment, empty wards and trash-strewn corridors, there’s no denying that the hospital has a spooky air. Still, when brave Gold heard strange cries coming from the third floor, he didn’t hesitate to investigate.
Fortunately, he soon discovered that the noise was issuing from one of the hospital’s many deserted rooms. And once he was closer to the source of the sound, Gold reckoned that these were the cries of a lost animal.
But recognizing the source of the noise turned out to be far easier than locating the animal that was causing it. Indeed, Gold searched for the creature in the darkness with no luck. It seemed that he wouldn’t find the helpless little thing anywhere.
Yet he refused to give up on the apparently stranded animal anyway. In fact, Gold left the hospital and at 3:00 a.m. returned with a ladder. That’s when he discovered that he had been searching in the wrong place the whole time.
At last, using his equipment, Gold managed to locate a tiny kitten behind an inch of dry wall. Left with no other option, then, the photographer got to work carefully creating a hole in the structure that would allow him to reach the tiny fur ball.
But once Gold broke through the wall, the clearly very scared kitten hissed out in fear. So, in an attempt to sooth the distressed little critter, Gold whispered back, “Hi! Are you okay?”
Naturally, after all his efforts, Gold decided that there was no way he was leaving the cat to its own fate. After all, he estimated that the animal was just four weeks old. Therefore, he decided, if it was going to have a chance of survival, he’d have to take him home.
So, using the only thing that he had on hand, Gold scooped the kitten up in his lunch box. And, as soon as they got home, the photographer fed the hungry kitten a huge bowl of food.
Of course, he put in lots of play time and cuddles with the adorable animal as well. What’s more, Gold thought it was only right that he christen his new furry friend “Leonard,” in honor of the place where they first met.
Later, Gold posted a video of the rescue on YouTube that has since been viewed over 600,000 times. “While I was photographing the abandoned Leonard Hospital, I heard something crying on the third floor. I realized there was a kitten trapped on the third floor, but couldn’t quite figure out where; at first I thought he was in the heating ducts,” Gold explained in the caption.
“I brought tools up from my car and piled some chairs up so I could barely reach the duct, then used my phone to look inside. It was getting late and I realized I needed a proper ladder, so I went and bought one at the 24-hour Walmart,” he continued.
“As soon as I was up on the ladder, I could see over the wall and there he was! A tiny four-week-old kitten. I carefully made a hole in the drywall. He was too small to leave behind hoping his mother was still around, so I brought him home,” Gold wrote.
“This poor guy got separated from his mother and fell between the walls in an abandoned hospital,” Gold told LiveLeak. “I heard his sad, panicked cries for help when exploring with a friend and returned alone to get him out since my friend was too nervous. I’m sure [the cat] would have died if I couldn’t get him out.”
Gold also revealed that he often finds peculiar mementos during his photography adventures, but he admitted that Leonard was “the best find ever.” And, thankfully, the kitten was doing well when Gold gave him up for adoption.
“He’s healthy and well and now in foster care at Animal Humane awaiting adoption,” Gold said. However, after forming such a strong bond, he conceded that handing the feline over had been difficult.
“I already have several rescued stray cats as pets, so I couldn’t keep the little bugger, although I’d have loved to,” Gold said. Despite him having to give the cute creature up, though, there’s no doubt that Gold and Leonard have a bond that will last a lifetime.