Urban exploration used to be a niche pastime, but in recent years it has increased exponentially in popularity. Whether it’s due to the rise of television shows dedicated to a paranormal investigation or urban exploration (i.e., Ghost Hunters), people are now more aware of these places than ever before.
For the brave and adventurous among us, watching other people explore these creepy and abandoned places isn’t always enough! Do you dare explore them for yourself?
It isn’t only those with interest in the paranormal who feel drawn to these places. For some, it is the history that brings them there; the air seems filled with the stories of people who once lived there. For others, it is the curiosity of seeing a place once buzzing with human activity now lying dormant as it is slowly reclaimed by nature.
Considering the recent pandemic, it’s become less and less difficult to imagine yourself as the last person left in a post-apocalyptic world (while walking the halls of an abandoned hospital or the grounds of a derelict fairground).
Whatever your reasons for wanting to explore these incredible places, here are three major rules you must remember:
Now that the formalities are out of the way, you’re probably wondering, “how do I find cool abandoned places to explore near me”? The best tool you have at your disposal is Google. Have a look through some of the sections listed below to get an idea of the sort of place you want to explore, then just copy and paste the headers provided into google and it will offer suggestions for those types of destinations.
Abandoned hospitals are extremely popular with ghost hunters. It’s no secret that the best place to find ghosts is a place where people have died (RIP), and as such, hospitals are a natural fit. The key here is… abandoned, as performing a séance in a working hospital might scare the patients.
There is an abundant history of mistreatment and torture behind many old mental hospitals. People were often subjected to horrific ordeals like electroshock and submersion therapy in the name of “medicine.” Could the tortured souls of the patients (or the guilt of those who inflicted such pain) be binding them to these places? Or are they simply monuments to a dark time in our history?
If only the walls of hotel rooms could talk. Hotels are bustling hives of joy and drama. With so much history (and so many people coming and going), you can bet they are filled with stories (please forgive the pun). Their sheer size alone makes them a prime target for urban explorers.
While not all hotels are as exciting as The Shining’s ‘Stanley Hotel,’ rest assured that there are plenty of haunted hotels to go around – many of which are still open! So if you’re looking to spend the night in a haunted hotel (while still enjoying the comfort of a freshly made bed), why not kick things up another notch for your next stay?
This may not be so much a job for Google as a job for word of mouth. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that abandoned houses were once well furnished and liveable homes. As such, they have a ton of history and memory attached to them. Ask around your local community to find out if anyone knows of any houses that have been left abandoned and are now ripe for exploration. They are a great option if you are just starting and want to explore the community.
Abandoned schools are more popular with urban explorers (than they are with ghost hunters) because they are typically associated with education and growth. Perhaps the reason abandoned schools generate that apocalyptic sense is because they contrast so intensely with our memories of noisy, rowdy schools filled with students and teachers. The now-empty halls and deserted desks are eerie, to say the least.
Ok, this one isn’t technically specific enough for Google, but it’s worth listing. If you don’t mind where you go exploring (or even whether that place is abandoned), then there is an app that is quickly gaining popularity with urban explorers called “Randonautica.”
Randonautica generates a random set of coordinates for you to travel to, and you can set the radius for these coordinates anywhere from 1000 to 10,000 meters depending on how far you are willing to travel.
What is really different about Randonautica is that it claims to allow you to manifest your intentions in the place you visit; imagine a Ouija board if you will.
If you are still undecided about where you want to go exploring, or you are in dire need of inspiration, then here are a few more general terms that you can try searching for your next adventure:
Wherever you choose to go exploring and whatever you hope to find, be safe, and have fun!