When visiting a new city I tend to seek out abandoned houses, dangerous neighborhoods, and written-on walls. I particularly enjoy abandoned houses; I find these intriguing and for many reasons, these places bring a certain calm. Recently, I was able to exchange words with someone who is equally as obsessed with abandoned places as I am. He is a rule follower and said that in his life he feels rigidly controlled and confined by the city he lives in, his job, and daily transactions. There is something alluring about the places where control breaks down. I definitely relate to him, and I think many people can also relate. So then, why aren’t most of us flocking to these traditionally repulsive places? There must be something more.

Visiting an abandoned structure is aesthetically stimulating. Normally an abandoned house will be covered by wild grass, ferns, and animals. It’s chaos. The contrast between a man made object and nature makes for some interesting photographs. If the house happens to be in a remote area, it’s even more exciting because it is guaranteed that no one else will be there. This is the true beauty of an abandoned place. It is also the exact reason most people are not urging to visit.  Being alone, in a desolate area, is not everyone’s idea of fun. I can see how some of these places can be scary or dangerous. Still, the only thing I feel is freedom, appreciation and calmness. That, and a tendency to imagine what was there before- the history of the place, the devastations, tragedies, and the why’s. Why was the place abandoned? Where did the people living there go? What happened to make them leave? And does the place still hold a space in someone’s memory?

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