As kids, there are those that shared a street with or lived just around the corner from an old spooky house. Even as kids, there were those that would ignore its existence. There were others that would shudder at its foreboding presence and take care to cross to the other side of the road when they got close. Then there where those whose overwhelming sense of curiosity would edge them closer and ever closer to the house. It starts with sneaking up its path and peering in through cracked windows then, when the curiosity becomes truly unbearable, nerves are steeled and with fear trapped breaths, we gradually find our way inside……
Our compassion for decaying abandoned buildings is something that we openly discuss but our respect for them is a matter that is close to our hearts. While it may seem exciting and adventurous to explore these places we do not encourage others to enter derelict buildings. At the same time, we know that telling others NOT to is plain hypocrisy. With this in mind, here are a few things for the brave/foolhardy to consider before embarking on such expeditions:
- Even though these places are abandoned and may appear unwanted, entering them is regarded as trespass. It is worth seeking permission before attempting entry.
- We have a rule to leave the place in the condition we find it in. Taking something away is theft in the eyes of the law and in our opinion just wrong.
- We never force our way into a building. There are legal implications to consider as this is classed as breaking and entering.
- Reporting to the authorities. Although this sounds scary it is the right thing to do. (There are reports of explorers walking into very scary situations and some have come across dead bodies).
- A lot of places left to their own devices become structurally unsound. Ceilings may collapse, rotting floorboards and rusty stairwells may give way. Also think of things such as broken glass and protruding nails.
- The air in decaying buildings can pose a threat via asbestos, mould spores etc
- Doors may have dodgy safety catches and could get jammed. There are also doors that were designed for one-way entry (normally found in hotels and hospitals).
- There is always a chance of encountering other people that are likely to be in a difficult situation to be living in an abandoned building.
- There is a risk of insect infestations and finding trapped animals (sometimes dead) is not unusual.
- Never use a naked flame as a source of light. Not only are some materials highly flammable, but there is also a risk of gas leaks or chemical reactions.
- Keep away from fire extinguishers as they can be volatile.
While abandoned buildings may suggest an air of indifference and seem utterly forsaken, it is important to remember that these places once sheltered people. People who laughed, cried, grew, survived and loved within their walls. It is no wonder that we cannot help but be moved by the emotions that remain behind in the foundations long after the people leave. Bankruptcy, broken families, sudden life changes are just a hint at some of the reasons for people to up and abandon a place often leaving behind remnants of their lives. This is one of the main reasons why we believe that these places should be treated with respect.
Sadly, we have come across blogs that do not share our principals and heartlessly display private items found in abandoned homes. Though we are always moved by the human aspects of abandoned places, we will never reveal personal details, exact addresses nor publish names, photos, letters that we come across. To us, this is an unjustifiably distasteful, cruel and horrible thing to do.