The Coolest Abandoned Places in Rhode Island

Forgotten forts, cursed mansions, and haunted hotels–when it comes to abandoned places, Rhode Island has some of the coolest around!
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Jul 06, 2022
Are you looking for a little adventure through a haunted hotel or the charred ruins of a mansion cursed by pharaohs? If so, then Rhode Island has what you need! The Ocean State is home to some of the coolest, creepiest, and most intriguing abandoned places in the nation! 
It should come as no surprise that
Rhode Island
is home to some of the spookiest urban exploration sites around. The state has long been known for its air of mystery and the supernatural—masters of all things chilling, such as H.P. Lovecraft, have told endless haunting tales about The Ocean State. 
Experience this thrilling and sinister tradition firsthand when you visit some of Rhode Island’s abandoned bridges, forts, mansions, and more! 
To help you on your journey,
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car insurance
, has prepared this guide to the ghoulish and disused areas in Rhode Island. Join us as we venture into forgotten places better left undisturbed. 
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Abandoned bridges in Rhode Island

Crook Point Bascule Bridge 

Location: The Seekonk River–connecting Providence and East Providence
Abandoned since: 1976 
Is it legal to go in? Yes–but it’s also dangerous
Originally built in 1908 by the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company, the Crook Point Bascule Bridge–also called the “stuck up bridge” by
locals—has been a rusting monument to urban decay for nearly half a century. 
The bridge became obsolete and was abandoned in 1976 when the train station it led to closed down. Designed with the ability to raise and lower one half, the bridge was left in the upright position, where it has remained for almost 50 years. 
Today it is a beloved, yet dangerous, icon of the town. It’s been the sight of student hazings, school initiations, underground gatherings, and even suicides for decades. The bridge is covered in graffiti and compromised by rot, rust, decay, and fire damage–making it extremely dangerous (but legal) to go for a spooky adventure on the “stuck up bridge”. 

East Side Railroad Tunnel

Location: Under College Hill in Providence, connecting Gano Street and Benefit Street
Abandoned since: 1981 
Is it legal to go in? No
Built in 1908, the East Side Railroad Tunnel was actually part of the same construction project as the Crook Point Bascule Bridge. It ran under College Hill and led to Union Station. Eventually, hurricane damage and dwindling use caused the tunnel to be closed and abandoned in 1981.
For several years, the tunnel served as a favorite hangout spot for students and young people in Providence. That ended in 1993 when a student party was brutally attacked by a combined force of private security and the Providence police department. 
Officials later attempted to justify this violence by claiming that they suspected the party may have been engaging in “satanic worship”—no evidence was offered to support this claim. After that, the tunnel was permanently sealed
Today it remains entirely inaccessible—a haunting tomb of the railroad era and a grim monument to past abuses of power. 

Abandoned forts in Rhode Island

Fort Mansfield 

Location: Napatree Point,
Abandoned since: 1926
Is it legal to go in? Yes
Fort Mansfield was a federal artillery base constructed in 1901. For a few years, the fort was a bustling military stronghold—until a mock battle in 1907 showed that its design was fundamentally flawed and the fort was deemed unusable. 
Fort Mansfield was all but abandoned right there on the spot. A small crew of five military caretakers remained stationed there until it was sold and turned into a
state park
in 1926.
Today, the cracked, rusty, and windswept ruins are open to the public

Fort Wetherill 

Location: Jamestown 
Abandoned since: 1946
Is it legal to go in? Yes
Another former artillery base, Fort Wetherill was built high atop the rocky cliffs of Conanicut Island, overlooking Narragansett Bay. Constructed in 1895 to replace the outdated Fort Dumpling that originally occupied the site, Fort Wetherill saw frequent use until 1946.
After the end of WWII, the fort was abandoned and later converted into a
state park
. Today it is open to the public and a great place to explore some ruins and learn about the past. 

Abandoned hotels in Rhode Island

Rocky Point Hotel

Abandoned since: 1995
Is it legal to go in? Yes
Rocky Point Hotel was the centerpiece of the once-great Rocky Point Amusement Park. The park first opened in 1847 and was a local favorite for nearly 150 years. Over the decades the park grew into an awe-inspiring spectacle of electric lighting, carousels, fireworks, steamships, and rollercoasters. 
But beneath the gleam of carnival lights there lurked darkness. The park was plagued by a string of misfortunes from fires to hurricanes, and many believe that it was cursed
The first sign of this trouble–and perhaps its origin–was the brutal murder of a 5-year-old girl on park grounds in 1893. That August, Maggie Sheffield was killed by her own father. Without warning or provocation, Frank Sheffield suddenly picked up a rock and proceeded to beat his young daughter to death with it. 
Legend says that Maggie’s spirit began to haunt the park–and was perhaps responsible for its ultimate downfall in 1995
Some years after its closure, the site of the park and hotel were converted into a
state park
. Though most of the attractions have been torn down, signs can still be seen of Rocky Point’s faded and haunting glory. The park is open to the public and visitors are welcome—if they are bold enough to brave the haunted grounds. 

Abandoned mansions in Rhode Island

The Bells / Brenton Point Stables

Abandoned since: 1963
Is it legal to go in? Yes
In 1876, a grand mansion known as The Reefs was built near Newport, Rhode Island. Its owner, famed archeologist and adventurer Theodore M. Davis, filled his illustrious home with plundered artifacts from his travels around the world—most of which were sacred ancient Egyptian relics taken from royal tombs. 
Rumors of Egyptian curses did little to dissuade Davis from adding to his collection—even as the other members of his expedition began suddenly dying of strange and/or unexplained causes. Davis’s own mysterious death in came 1915. 
After the house was temporarily commandeered for the war effort in WWII, the owners at the time expressed an unwillingness to return to the mansion—though they did not say why.
The house lay empty until a mysterious fire reduced most of the estate to ruins. All that remains of The Reefs today are the moldering foundations of the house and an eerie and decrepit stable house—referred to now as The Bells or The Brenton Point Stables
The Bells rest within the boundaries of
Brenton Point State Park
, so they are open to the public. You may visit the site–so long as you do not mind risking the rath of the Pharaohs! 

Other interesting abandoned places in Rhode Island

Industrial National Bank Building

Location: 111 Westminster Street/55 Kennedy Plaza in Providence
Abandoned since: 2013
Is it legal to go in? Not without permission
The beautiful and iconic Industrial National Bank Building or “The Superman Building” as it is affectionately known by local Providence residents, was first constructed in 1928. Its distinct architecture is in the Art Deco style and, at 428 feet tall, it is the tallest building in Rhode Island. 
In 2013, after nearly a century of use, the building was abandoned by Bank of America–which was its only tenant at the time. 
Like the exterior facade, the design within the building is one of unparalleled beauty and ornateness. 
Despite being a beloved local icon, the site remains empty–fabulous chandeliers and impossibly intricate banisters gather dust and cobwebs within the silent halls of the Industrial National Bank Building. 
Though abandoned, The Superman building is still private property. If you want to tour the spooky interior, you’ll need permission from the current owners, the High Rock Development of Massachusetts company–permission which they sometimes do grant. 

Tips for exploring Rhode Island’s abandoned places

With visions of derelict hotels and forgotten mansions swirling around your imagination, you’re probably eager to rush off and explore some of The Ocean State’s many thrilling abandoned places. Before you do, though, you’ll need to prepare properly. Glace over these handy tips to help yourself get ready. 
  • Check the ownership and ask permission if necessary. No one wants a perfectly good adventure spoiled by grouchy landowners or legal troubles. If your tour of forgotten places includes stops that are on private property, make sure to get permission before entering. 
  • Dress appropriately. Rhode Island can get pretty chilly and some of the sights listed above require navigating uncertain footing. Make sure to bring proper clothing and footwear. 
  • Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footsteps. Most of Rhode Island’s abandoned sites are in a fragile state and have rich historical value. This is not the sort of adventure where you should take souvenirs. Help keep these places intact for future adventurers and leave them just how you found them. 
  • Bring a friend and let someone know where you’re going. Any time you venture off into forgotten places, you’re taking a risk–even if the site is usually pretty safe. Always let someone know where you’re going and bring a friend if possible. 
  • Gear up! Depending on where you’re going, some adventure gear could be useful. Things like gloves, rope, face masks, flashlights, a first-aid kit, and a pocket knife can make all the difference. 
Adventuring is all about fun and exploration–but respecting historic sites and your own safety is just as important. Remember to always be careful and not to damage the site while you’re there. 

How to find affordable car insurance in Rhode Island

One of the most important precautions to take when planning your adventure is to make sure that you have the
car insurance
coverage that you need—nothing ruins a road trip like car trouble that your insurance won’t cover. 
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