(Image: hey-gem, reproduced with permission)
Urban Ghosts recently covered 10 favourite abandoned places traditionally documented by urban explorers, but there’s really no limits to where this adventurous subculture will go. If it’s abandoned, chances are someone has the photograph. For that reason, we’ve put together a sequel of 10 more incredible abandoned buildings and places for your urbex viewing. Perhaps you visited one of these locations before it fell silent?
Abandoned places are spooky at the best of times, but they don’t come much more eerie than abandoned prisons. Something about their peeling walls, dark corridors and dank cells gives them a sinister atmosphere that lingers long after the last inmates leave. With often violent and tortured souls among their former residents, an unsettled air is perhaps to be expected. But while most people would keep clear, urban explorers relish the opportunity to infiltrate such places. (The prison above is Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary.)
Disused Bowling Alleys
While the thumping sound of bowling balls has long since dissipated, and much of the interior fittings have been ripped out, this abandoned bowling alley impressively retains ten pins standing at the end of one of its lanes. Perhaps the last strike didn’t come with the bowling alley’s closure, or maybe urban explorers reassembled the pins in a nod of respect to the abandoned entertainment venue?
Dead Malls: Deserted and Disused Shopping Centres
Those of you that dislike shopping may not weep at the sight of dead malls, but the fact that their numbers have increased may signal a death blow for some communities. But of course, their massive abandoned interiors provide an interesting urban exploration subject to be documented. Above are Newcastle’s now demolished Royal Arcade, Belfast’s burnt-out Art Deco North Street Arcade, and Six Flags Mall in Arlington, Texas.
If long corridors, grand staircases and ornate tiling are your thing, the abandoned Bokor Palace Hotel & Casino might speak to you. Located in an abandoned French resort town in southern Cambodia called Bokor Hill Station, the hotel has been disused for decades but has been slated for redevelopment. Abandoned hotels of varying sizes and grandeur can be found across the world, with some notable examples among Detroit’s famous modern ruins.
Forgotten Swimming Baths and Pools
Abandoned swimming baths have long been popular with urban explorers, and documenting their often impressive remains can tell us a lot about our recent history. From grand Victorian and Edwardian baths to modern pools and outdoor lidos, many abandoned swimming pools survive today. Be sure to check out our exploration of historic British swimming baths – coming soon.
If there’s one thing you can say about zoos, refashioning them for other uses is probably rather tricky. There’s only so much you can do with empty cages, secure tunnels, and strange man-made landscaping designed to resemble (if only slightly) an animal’s wild habitat. That’s why many abandoned zoos are left to decay for years before they’re finally flattened. In the interim period, of course, they provide for a great urbex adventure.
Ship, Train and Aircraft Graveyards
Urban Ghosts has explored ship, train and aircraft cemeteries in a series of popular articles that received extremely positive feedback. Fortunately, this means it’s not just us who are fascinated by the strange sight of vast vessels and state-of-the-art jets rusting away seemingly forgotten. Such objects appeal to a broad cross section of inviduals, from urban explorers to historians and general enthusiasts. They also make great urbex photography subjects.
Cemeteries, Ossuaries and Catacombs
It’s no coincidence that many overgrown or abandoned cemeteries also happen to be the historic ones, like Sheffield’s famous and highly symbolic General Cemetery. Grand, foreboding, and home to Sheffield’s wealthy and poor Victorian dead, this cemetery – and others like it – would be a perfect film location for any horror classic. Ossuaries, with their decorative bone arrangements, are even more chilling. Explore seven sinister ossuaries here.
Ghost Towns and Abandoned Cities
It’s tempting to think of the Wild West when ghost towns come to mind, but there are many other abandoned towns and even cities across the world. From old west ghost towns like Bodie, Rhyolite and Calico to the abandoned Sanzhi “UFO” resort in Taiwan, urban explorers have long enjoyed spelunking the ruins of entire forgotten settlements.
Abandoned Pubs and Bars
This one might seem less mainstream in terms of urban exploration. But like abandoned hotels, many pubs and bars have fallen into dereliction in recent years, especially in the UK. Ironically, pubs are an important part of British culture despite their dwindling numbers, and thus present not only interesting urbex venues, but also an important chronicle of history and reminder of a beloved industry in need of help.