Like a post-apocalyptic video game, but, you know, in real life.

Kat Strumm is on a mission to explore Boston’s spookiest and most decrepit places that you’ve probably never heard of. ‘Tis the season for creepin’. First up, an abandoned zoo:

Take the 16 from Forest Hills, or put White Stadium into the GPS. Get behind the zoo, at the Giraffe Entrance. Walk about a quarter of a mile down the path, behind a couple softball fields, and turn right onto a gravel path. Bear (heh) left for about another quarter mile on that path until you see a set of stairs.

You’ve made it to the Bear Dens.

Opened in 1912, the zoo was open to the public and housed only animals that were native to the area. The bear dens are set off from the zoo proper, in the Long Crouch Woods. The zoo fell into disrepair during the Great Depression and World War II, and when the DCR bought it in 1958 they decided against taking the Bear Dens in the deal. So, it was completely abandoned.

Walk around–on the right is a bear cage, on the left is a bear cage; walk behind the left bear cage and stay to your left to see (you guessed it) another bear cage. The first two cages are pretty tame and cool, but the third has a lot of shattered St. Ide’s bottles, some condoms, a few needles, and a hospital bracelet. If you’re into that sort of thing, go check it out, I guess.

Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The last time I went, there was a lot more graffiti, but it’s all been covered up with grey blocks of paint. There were also little trap cage doors for the bears to go inside that have been covered up with matching grey slabs bolted into the stone. But, if you walk behind the big cage, there’s a log strategically placed under an uncovered window–turn on your flashlight (your flashlight app won’t be bright enough, lazybones) and look at the decrepit interior.

Go with a buddy. There are always a few people milling around walking dogs and jogging. Sometimes they’re not walking dogs and jogging. Use your head.

TL;DR: It’s a lot like the fall in The Last Of Us. Except dropping a Molotov and L2-ing the hell out of there when a zombie shows up isn’t an option.
Spooky: On a level of a candle going out on its own to watching a ghost walk through a wall, it’s a 1.5.
Creepy: On a level of Boo Radley to finding bones in the back of your car, it’s an 8.

Final: Go to kill zombies, don’t go to summon demons.


Kat is a Boston-based alive-person. She fondly recalls putting a dollar into a vending machine and getting 17 cans of Coca Cola when she selected 7-Up.

Comments are closed.