Abandonment Issues

A very long time ago, in a land that seems far away, but in reality is just down the road a bit, I used to explore abandoned houses. The adventure and excitement of exploring and the magic and creepiness of the experiences made me incredibly happy. My friends and I went to every abandoned place we could find and took photos, opened doors, and scared each other going down into basements. We eventually stopped. The biggest reason for me was my sweet baby girl and my husband at home. What if something happened to me and I couldn’t be there for her life, or to share his? This hit home hard one day when a friend and I realized we might have been in a house with a stranger and didn’t know it until later. (Thank God we didn’t open all the doors that day.)

My camera at the time wasn’t very good, being one of the first digital cameras, but I did manage to take some pretty creepy pictures which I’m going to share here with you along with my memories. I can only say I wish I had more pictures. I remember so much more than is here.

The first pictures are of a rural one-room schoolhouse that a non-profit I worked for was thinking of acquiring. It was going to be gifted to us, but we didn’t have land big enough for it, or the funds to move it. It was fascinating though. It had been through a terrible tornado and was actually twisted on it’s foundation. To fix it they had put bars across the ceiling to straighten and hold it stable.

Next is a side-of-the-road find. We had to be very careful here as an occupied house was very close! I loved the woodwork in this house (not the color though).

The next two houses are in my town. The top one was torn down over 15 years ago, the bottom one is still there, but much much worse now. I didn’t get to go inside either one. The top one still had someone living in it!

This one was an old farm, complete with outbuildings, a windmill, and a 1920’s “sanitary outhouse.” Fascinating! Plus we saw linoleum rugs- not flooring- literally printed linoleum sheets to look like rugs! I will have to find the pictures!

A lot of our houses were found while one of my friends was doing cemetery restoration jobs. She and a group would go to family plots and small cemeteries all over the state and clean them up and re-set stones, etc. Wonderful. This next one had no floor and plenty of dead shrub protection.

This house was my favorite, and actually adopted by a friend of mine who lived close by. She ended up contacting the family and getting it cleaned up and lived in again. It was a time capsule house, with everything left from the mid-80’s. Homeless squatters had set it on fire, but it was still full of wonder. I wish I had more pictures. I wish the pictures I did have weren’t so awful and tiny. There was food on the shelves, clothes in the drawers, books on the shelves and a huge, huge pile of garbage bags piled up to the ceiling of the living room. It was truly bizarre and shook me. The house was the same style as the house we were living in and all I could think about was my own house one day looking just like this- abandoned, forgotten, covered in soot. It really upset me. We went to this house many times.

How bout a farm? This one was lots of fun. The house was empty, but the basement sure was full!

A friend of my friend had an old cabin on her property that she let us explore. A few years after this it fell over. I think the chimney is still there.

Like I said, I got really spooked by the house that had been in the fire. It was also the house that we realized someone had been there while we explored. At that point I was changing jobs and life got super busy. I put off exploring because I didn’t want to end up shot or in jail, or raped and killed. I did find another outlet though, a much safer outlet than running around with a couple of other girls going in abandoned houses.

I found exploration videos online. There were so many great sites like forgottenohio.com, and youtube! Now I just watch other people go to dangerous locations and go through houses. Of course there isn’t the great thrill of doing it yourself, but it’s a whole lot safer. I also have my own big barn of a place to look after, it has plenty of spaces to explore!

I still might go back to exploring one day. We shall see.

With creepy haunted house exploration vibes to you from Kansas Street,

-Jaime

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