For immediate release:
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Weird NJ Correspondent Authors Book Featuring Overbrook Asylum

(Montclair, NJ) Long time Weird NJ correspondent, Wheeler Antabanez, has released a new book, The Old Asylum And Other Stories, published by Sagging Meniscus Press of Montclair, New Jersey. The stories are fiction, set against the backdrop of The Old Asylum, Wheeler's imagined combination of the Overbrook Mental Hospital and the abandoned Tuberculosis Sanatorium that once stood on the Hilltop property in Essex County, NJ

Having spent a significant portion of his youth playing in these forsaken hospitals, Wheeler's explorations of the crumbling institutions directly influenced the stories in the book. There are also tales that branch away from the decaying asylum and delve into abandoned souls, but no matter where Wheeler's imagination leads the reader, the stories always take place within the confines of the Garden State.

Wheeler Antabanez is best known for his Weird NJ special issue, Nightshade on the Passaic, and his feature stories that frequently appear in the magazine. He is completing a book about his speedboat adventures on the Passaic, but also writes weird fiction as a diversion from his work on the river. The Old Asylum is an example of this literary extracurricular activity and takes readers back to Wheeler’s roots: exploring and writing about the Essex Mountain Sanatorium.

Weird NJ had this to say about The Old Asylum: "Wonderfully sick and great reading for people who need a break from happy endings. It's the long-term history Antabanez has with these spaces that lends authenticity to the fiction."

Publishers Weekly wrote: “Antabanez writes with a wry and witty voice that dips into tones of compelling intensity. Taking cues from the abandoned buildings that inspire him, Antabanez, reveling in the fear of the unknown, has created an impressive collection that defies the conventions of horror.”

In addition to the stories, the book is topped off with a non-fiction interview about Wheeler’s experiences exploring the Overbrook Mental Hospital and the TB Sanatorium on the Hilltop. The interview provides insight into the author’s qualifications as an asylum historian and recounts the urban legends surrounding the abandoned hospitals.

Interspersed throughout the book are eighteen evocative portraits of the Overbrook Sanitarium, painted by the author. The paintings are reproduced in the book to offer readers a glimpse of the abandoned institution from Wheeler’s unique perspective.

Demolition has begun on the last sections of the Essex County Hospital Center. Though the mental institution is being razed after standing for more than a century, Wheeler’s Old Asylum will remain as a testament to the sanitarium and a memorial to the dark ruins of our collective past.