Saturday, May 28, 2016

Abandoned Sites

URBEX is the term for urban exploration, or exploring and photographing abandoned sites. There has been an increased interest in this passtime and i's something that I have been doing for years. 

My son tells me it's because his generation inherited the broken infrastructure of the baby boomer generation. He's pretty accurate with that. Boom towns went bust, industries went under, agriculture shrank, and all those highways built with happy motels for the road trip travelers of the 1950s, 60s and 70s became abandoned as more and more families opted for cheap flights. 

You can explore lots of abandoned sites on great sites like THIS ONE.

It seems that Europe really owns the rights to lots of abandoned sites, as they often leave them standing. Nature takes over, plays tug-of-war with the sites like this one in West Virginia - 

A little surfing on YouTube and you can find abandoned amusement parks, factories, air force bases, asylums, mansions, and more!



Mining towns, towns with dying industries like Detroit and Pittsburgh, small towns long forgotten on highways not utilized anymore because of newer highways running in better directions, agricultural towns in the Midwest, the oldest part of towns with little industry....

There is something eerie about wandering on a site that seems as if it were just up and abandoned all at once, items still sitting inside....

There are places where entire towns are abandoned. Most often it had to do with a disaster like tsunami, earthquake or a retired industry, like mining.

The easiest, cheapest and safest way to tour such places is on YouTube. You can happily sit back, room darkened, and listen to the creepy music and see the first-hand viewpoint of some of these amazing places.

Hashima Island, Japan

You might also want to follow abandoned and urbex photographers on Instagram. It allows you to see these desolate spots around the world throughout your day.

There are some locations that ignite your creepiest fantasies like this renaissance festival location in Virginia - 

The use of drones in capturing images from abandoned sites is a new and exciting dimension to the practice. 

There are also some really insane urbex'ers who get a thrill doing selfies in dangerous locations.

Urbex is dangerous enough. Some basic rules include adhering to "no trespassing" signs and locks. There is no need to get arrested or in great danger, as some of these sites are being blocked off for safety reasons. 

Gloves and masks are essential as the buildings are old and torn apart, being asbestos-laden environments.

Keep your tetanus up to date.

Go in groups so some can keep their eyes open for wildlife or people up to no good.

Make plenty of noise while approaching to warn any potential people hiding out inside. Here in the southwest, there is a very real issue of illegal aliens and drug cartel members within such places which is why we have given up the practice of urban exploration in the southern half of our state.

There really is no reason to put yourself in danger for any photograph. You can easily appease your desire to explore with channels on YouTube, such as these - 


  1. I don't think I'll try that in Florida. Someone would shoot me.

    1. Yup. Here in AZ, they pretty much told the public right out that they should be packing if the plan to go out in the desert or abandoned sites in the southern half of the state where there are drug cartels and illegals hiding out.



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