“Urban Exploration”

One topic I find almost endlessly fascinating is so-called “urban exploration”, essentially trespassing and breaking into old abandoned buildings just to explore them. This hobby has spawned online forums and underground zines like the now-defunct (in print, at least) Infiltration.

This seems to be more of an east-coast and mid-west thing to do. I don’t think we keep old buildings around long enough for this out here on the left coast. About the only thing I can think of in this area is the old Colman School in Seattle near I-90, but that is about to be turned into an African-American cultural center or something. That, combined with the fact that I tend to be fearful of breaking the law, makes this more of a curious interest for me and not something I can really get into.

I like to live vicariously in this regard, checking out websites and reading the exploits of others and checking out their pictures. Of particular interest to Urban Explorers is abandoned mental hospitals, and I find that both creepy and cool at the same time. One of the better-known such locations is Danvers, which was used for the excellent scare film Session 9.

One of the more interesting websites, though, is about Edgewood Hospital, an old asylum in New York state that (after it was abandoned) became a favorite exploration and hang out of the local headbanger crowd. The site captures a time when Dio and Ozzy ruled, and these wasteoids went out to this old hospital and created a weird little society all their own. The site gives you a good feel for what it was like then, especially the posts from people who obviously haven’t changed much in the intervening 20 years.

Sometimes I wish I had more opportunity and more guts to do this kind of thing in my youth, but I’ll just have to keep living vicariously through those who did.


~ by mattbear on August 8, 2006.

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