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All the world's a cage --Jeanne Phillips

Dover Mental Cage

Dover Mental Cage, Dover, New Jersey

+Roadtrip::North Jersey+

[Kinnelon Castle]   [Split Rock Road]   [Dover Mental Cage]   [Satanic Church]   [Tomb of 12 Nuns]

*this location has since been demolished

explored & photographed by: Shady

When we got to our next intended stop- the Dover Mental Cage- we got a disappointing shock... the Cage is no more!!

Yep, that's right, the famous strange Dover, NJ landmark is gone, nothing remains in the empty spot where it once stood besides a few scraps of rusted old metal and a flattened clearing. The pics on this page are older pics which were actually shot before the North Jersey trip, the last time I went out there...

Dover Mental Cage

Dover Mental Cage

Dover Mental Cage

Legend says that this sinister-looking Cage, which used to be found in a patch of woods in Hurd Park, out behind St. Clare's Hospital, was used to lock up the most incorrigible criminally insane patients from the hospital. It was said that the angry spirits of the patients who suffered this cruel and unusual incarceration still haunted the Cage, just waiting for anyone foolish enough to step inside the inescapable iron bars with them. Indeed, we shot a picture of it that seems to have an unexplained, unexpected subject (pic, below right)... check out the weird misty, ectoplasm-y shape in front of the Cage, complete with orb!

Dover Mental Cage

Dover Mental Cage

Dover Mental Cage

However, the real story of the Cage is somewhat less shocking. It was actually the first "jail" in the neighboring town of Wharton, an 8x8 steel-walled double cell used for locking up the town's bad guys. When the Wharton Police station was updated, the old jail was donated to the Dover Historical Society, who housed it in an old wooden mansion in Hurd Park. The mansion ended up being destroyed by fire, with the only thing surviving the blaze being the iron Cage. Still, one has to wonder... did any of the prisoners ever die inside the Cage's walls when it was an active lockup? Maybe there was a spirit or two haunting Cage after all, forever incarcerated within it's bars? I dared to share the Cage with whatever dwells inside; thankfully, it didn't seem to mind...

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Dover Mental Cage

Dover Mental Cage

above: a couple of pictures of me vamping it up in the "Cage of Hurd Park"

You can learn more about this freaky New Jersey landmark on Weird NJ. There was a big ugly spider in the Cage with me when I was in there, and he was not too friendly looking. And he had big fangs. And he was looking at me like I was a giant juicy fly. I was a tad nervous. Spiders- me no likey.

We only spent a few minutes at the site, sadly examining the empty spot where the Cage once stood. We hope that the Cage was removed safely to another place of preservation, but it's hard to say as we found a whole bunch of broken pieces of the Cage lying everywhere. We found huge chunks of the dividing wall itself, looking as if they were smashed apart. We also found remains of the bars and the iron bunks, so, we can only speculate about the condition of the Cage, wherever it may be. We didn't bother shooting any pics as there was nothing to see, so I have posted these pics that I shot of it on the previous trip.

R. I. P.   D O V E R   M E N T A L    C A G E

You can learn more about the history and the legends of the Dover Cage on Weird New Jersey.

One last glance at the lonely clearing, and we piled back into the Shady Lady and sped off into the highways and byways of New Jersey once more...



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