Urban exploring can often be a thrilling experience, but it also comes with its fair share of risks. When you venture into abandoned areas, you never know what you’ll come across. There are some things you just can’t prepare yourself for. Here the scariest moments that triggered the flight-or-flight responses of urban explorers while they were exploring abandoned places:
1. Just One Small Problem
We were stupid seventeen-year-old girls. We decided to climb into the first-story window of the abandoned psychiatric facility in our city. My friend was a former cheerleader and she lifted me up to the window. I climbed in, with the intention of securing a rope for her to use to climb. After a cursory glance to find something stable to tie the rope to, I quickly realized I was in a really sketchy room.
I found evidence of squatters, substance use, something that looked like dried blood, and a very, very unconscious rat on the old desk in the room. But that’s not even the worst part. At some point, I heard someone in the distance whispering. I also realized I was unarmed and scrawny and alone and stupid. I promptly leaped back out the window, jamming both my ankles on landing. Then we hightailed it out of there.
And that was the end of my urban exploring.
2. Tunnel Of Love
The scariest place I’ve ever encountered during urban exploration is this spooky cement tunnel that seems to lead underground. It’s very dark and the echoes go on for ages. We had no clue what it was when we found it. It didn’t seem to be any kind of drainage tunnel, because it was square, bone dry, and out in an open field.
There were some old bomb shelters and missile silos in our area that are out of commission, so we decided to take a look. Only about twenty yards in, the light from the outside started really fading behind us. Someone took out a flashlight and the moment the light turned on, we all froze. We started seeing bare human footprints on the ground leading deeper into the dark. If that wasn’t scary enough, the footprints were fresh. Yeah, we decided to skedaddle.
3. Don’t Wake The Beast
My friends and I snuck into an abandoned hotel once. We found this massive room with a long-drained pool sunk into the tiles. Everything echoed strangely, even our own breathing. We all jumped when my friend knocked over an old cup because the noise it made was super loud due to the echo. Then, as we all stared at each other in the ringing silence, about two seconds —and suddenly, we heard a huge BOOM from somewhere upstairs.
It seemed like it shook the entire hotel. That’s the fastest I’ve ever run in my life.
4. Too Drunk for Fear
Drunk and lonely in Korea. Wandered into an abandoned construction site that I hadn’t seen anyone working on all winter. The night air is cold and frigid and there are echoes of cars passing by. Using the light of my phone I walk inside, look around. The place is empty and I’m too drunk to be scared. Stumble upstairs, wandering around.
I slip because I’m drunk and my butt hits the concrete. I drop the phone and I’m in total darkness. I reach over, pick up the phone, and see that right in front of me, where I was walking, the ground gave way to a ten-foot drop, at the bottom of which are a series of rebar bars jutting out of the concrete. I could have stumbled and impaled myself on them easily.
5. Coming In Loud And Clear
One time, I was taking a look at some of those massive smokestacks in an abandoned factory. While looking around, I suddenly heard the sound of a radio squelch. In other words, a radio turned on by itself somewhere behind me. That was the time to go, right there. I still to this day have no explanation for what could have caused that to happen.
6. A Well-Dressed Ghost
One night, we were walking around the French Quarter in Louisiana and we found an abandoned bar. Naturally, we decided to go inside. All the mirrors were cracked and all the beers were full of brown murky stuff. The building was old and creaked a lot as we walked. Suddenly, one of my friends tripped and knocked over one of the mugs of brown stuff.
We all froze and, to our horror, we heard something make noises behind the wall of the bar. It sounded like something hitting a wooden object and dress shoes walking on a marble floor, and it was loud, but there was nothing there! We got out of there fast.
7. ‘Nuff Said
I found a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere with a containment room built for a child.
8. No Filter
I was exploring an old stormwater filtration plant once. The lower levels of the main buildings were all flooded, which was super creepy, and it was pretty overgrown. This was my second time there and I wanted to see more than I had last time. A friend of mine and I had the bright idea to climb into one of the pipes that had an open manhole cover—a decision we would soon deeply regret.
We figured we had a pretty good idea as to where the pipe would come out, as there was another manhole on the other side of the compound in line with where the pipe was heading. When we got all the way there though, it turned out to be welded completely shut. But that’s not even the worst part.
When we turned to go back and realized we’d been slowly going downhill all along. The pipe was fairly slimy, and it seemed for a minute like we wouldn’t be able to go back the way we’d come. I’ve never quite felt that level of claustrophobia before or since. So, allow me to give some advice to everyone reading this story: NEVER try this!
I realized shortly after how dangerous it truly was, and I won’t make the same mistake again.
9. The Twilight Bark
I live in an area that is near a beach and very touristy. So touristy that in the winter, the place is completely devoid of life. There were a lot of apartments and hotels around that were under construction—basically just shells, with no windows or doors installed yet. At about 2 am one night, I went out to go to the local gas station to grab some smokes.
The streets were dead quiet and I could hear the teeniest, tiniest sounds, like a piece of newspaper rustling in the almost non-existent breeze. I was walking past one of the empty buildings when I suddenly felt like I was being watched. I carefully looked up and around but I couldn’t hear or see anything, so I carried on walking.
I slowed down and tried to be as quiet as possible while listening for anything strange. Then it happened…and I almost wet myself. Suddenly, every single dog around just went crazy barking. It made me jump about 10 feet. Feeling like eyes were on me again, I looked up—and there, on the 3rd floor of an apartment with no windows or doors installed yet was a single dog, just staring at me.
I literally turned around and walked straight back home, figuring that I’d just go get smokes at a more reasonable time.
10. Big Knife
When I was a teenager and some friends and I had nowhere to live, we found an abandoned house in a fairly dodgy suburb. One of the people I was with said it used to be a dealer’s place and he had left town indefinitely, so we figured we would be safe to squat there for a while. It had super high fences which we had to climb to break in through the back door, and the first thing we saw was utterly disturbing: an old dog chain that had been snapped and there was dried blood around it on the concrete.
Even so, we crashed there. One night we got awoken by a massive banging on the front door. Like really loud thumping that reverberated through the entire house. We just stayed as quiet as we could until it went away. The next morning when we left there was a huge knife shoved through the wood at the front. Embedded halfway down the blade. We left it there.
We went out a day or two later to get some food, and when we got back, we found that the windows had all been smashed in by rocks thrown through the windows. The remaining furniture had been trashed; beds flung onto their sides, couches pushed apart with their cushions ripped. Someone had clearly been looking for something. We booked it out of there.
11. Something To Bark About
In a building, I found the basement. Then the sub-basement. It was dark and I heard a sound; something like an animal running. At first, I wasn’t scared—those noises didn’t really worry me. But then I started to hear dogs barking… That’s when I knew I was in real danger. I booked it back up the stairs, closed the fire door, and got the heck out of there as fast as I possibly could. When I spoke to some urban explorers beforehand, they explained that if you hear dogs or see them, it probably means the area is being used as a substance lab.
12. Late-Night Transaction
I decided to climb a tree with a friend in the middle of a large college campus at 2 am one night. We sat up there chatting for a while, and then fell silent as a car pulled up and parked nearly right below us. One guy got out, and the driver stayed put with the engine running. 5 minutes passed with all of us just frozen in place.
Then, a whistle came from behind a nearby building, and a whistle was returned from the guy below us. A few minutes later, someone new walked up. There was a short exchange, and we could hear and see everything from our position in the trees. Then, the newcomer walked away, the first guy back into the car, and the car left.
We were silent and frozen for at least 10 minutes. Then, we hand gestured to each other and decided it was go time. We dropped out of the tree and ran. Technically, it was those guys who should have felt “not alone,” since we were watching them, but instead we felt like people were watching US for weeks. We were so sure we had been spotted, and we were waiting for the axe to fall.
13. At Least They’re Neat
In an abandoned hotel, which had giant holes in the third floor. In one room I came across a set of neatly folded jeans, a t-shirt, and a pair of men’s underwear sitting in the middle of a filthy, wrecked room. Goodbye.
14. You’ve Got A Friend In Him
I was exploring an abandoned hospital at night when I saw a light shining down the corridor just to my left. When I saw that, I started to slowly retreat backward. Then, I heard the loudest, most distorted laughter ever, followed by a man screaming. And then the sound of something breaking. I freaked out and ran away super fast.
I then learned a few days later that it was just my friend who knew I was going to be there alone and had wanted to scare me as a little prank. The sound of the screaming man was actually coming from a YouTube video.
15. Smoking Evidence
There was a decommissioned Naval Base in the town I grew up in. We used to sneak into the old barracks to explore. One time, we had been exploring for a while, confident that we were the only people there, when all of a sudden I turned a corner into the hallway and made a chilling discovery. There was a lit cigarette on the ground. The smoke was still curling up through the darkness.
I froze—there was nobody around from what I could see or hear. I should have heard someone walking away, as the floors were creaky wooden boards—but I heard nothing. We got out of there pretty quick after that.
16. Come Hang
A friend of mine who is a cop told me a story about how they got a call about retail theft and got a tip that the suspect entered an abandoned house. The cops entered the house and saw the words “come hang out with me” written on a wall. They moved to the basement only to find the worst possible scenario: a person that had been hanging there for over a year, badly decomposed.
17. Fool Me Thrice, Shame On Me?
Oh, I’ve had my share of things that made me nope out. Here’s just a few.
One time, I found a gas leak in an abandoned house that had been building up for years. I got the heck out, but not before taking the photos I wanted with extreme caution. That one I reported to the authorities, as it’s classified as the kind of hazard in the urbex community that supersedes discretion.
Another time, I ran into a security guard doing an unexpected interior patrol. He definitely knew we were there, so we had to book it for the tree line before he could get the authorities out there to search.
I also remember some homeless dude started chucking cans and bottles out the fifth-story window of an old factory. My friend and I were poking around, so I guess he did it to try and scare us off. We took a hint and left.
Perhaps the worst experience I ever had was when we tripped on a motion-detecting camera in the basement of an abandoned building and had to bail. I know for a fact that they got a full face photo of me staring directly into the camera with shock. But I never heard anything more about it.
18. Phantom Footprints
I was exploring an abandoned rehabilitation center near my house with two of my friends. There were a few buildings and while we were inside one, it had snowed enough to cover the ground. When we finished that building, we approached another one, and when I looked down, I saw a very large set of men’s footprints in the snow, heading into the building.
We continued anyway, since we always went prepared to defend ourselves, and we opened the door…to a completely silent, empty building. Feeling on edge, we moved quietly across the old floor. There was a staircase to a tiny loft, and we went up—still, no sign of the man to whom the footprints belonged.
Then, one of my friends noticed something strange: someone had cut a makeshift door in the wall to what was presumably an attic space on the other side. We positioned ourselves defensively, our hearts pounding, and then opened that door too—and there was still no one. Confused and creeped out, we made out way back down, searching fruitlessly as we went.
We never saw anyone but when we got back outside, those footprints were still visible in the snow, going in, but none coming out except our own. I haven’t been back since.
The scariest thing when you’re out in a giant, fenced-off, abandoned warehouse complex is the distinct sound of human footsteps making their way across the floor above you. Never ran so fast in my life.
20. Politely Asked To Leave
I was exploring an old ammunition factory that had been used to make ammo during World War II. There was a security guy inside. He didn’t chase me down or yell and scream at me. He just got my attention by shining his light at me for a second. He acknowledged how cool the building was, but politely told me I couldn’t be there.
He answered a few questions about the types of characters he typically finds there. He said he usually comes across vloggers or people documenting it in some form, with the odd person here and there looking to try and swipe anything that might have been left behind—which wasn’t much at all considering the factory closed in 1947 and hasn’t operated since…
21. Clean-Up Time
There’s a moderately well known abandoned mental hospital close to my town and a few months back, some friends and I went to explore a bit. In one of the rooms on the ground floor, we found a setup of a few folding chairs and a couple of old mattresses with blankets piled on them. We stayed there for about 10 minutes and then went on with our adventure upwards.
It was pretty uneventful from then on; we saw a few really cool graffiti murals, and there was an awesome view from the roof. When we were coming back down, we passed through the room with the chairs—and suddenly froze. All of the chairs had been folded up and neatly stacked against the wall, and the mattresses had been made up like beds.
Whoever did it would’ve most likely known that we were there and must have waited for us to leave to do all of that, as it was only a timeframe of about 45 minutes. There were no threats or anything, just an eerie feeling of KNOWING we had been watched in an abandoned mental hospital.
Some friends and I went exploring in an old abandoned “slave church” in the deep south Georgia woods. There were graves dug up in the cemetery and the church itself was all falling apart. There was one hallway with a room in the back that had the door cracked. I was the first one in the hallway and as I got to the door to the room in the back, I heard someone in the room go “shh”.
I went to turn and run out of there but my girlfriend at the time was leaned against the wall in a daze looking at the ground. I had to grab her hand and pull her to get her going. It was weird.
23. A Change Of Heart
There’s a place in Liverpool called Mossley Manor. It’s an old nursing home that’s absolutely stunning. Inside, it’s being left to rot. But there are lots of stuff left behind, like pictures and files on residents. The place was shut down over cruelty to the residents. I know this place inside and out. It’s a beautiful building with a horrible history.
It’s fantastic for photos and digging into its past. I would go once a week with friends and teach them how to respect history. One day, I had a bad feeling. I’m not a huge paranormal believer, but I had that feeling. Something was watching me. What? I don’t know. But I felt it had always been there. Like it allowed me to feel confident before, so it could get me now.
What would it do to me? Who knows. But I’ve never been back. I have a friend who is into his spooky memes. He was giving me some grief about negative energy manifesting into a poltergeist. He could be right. I would rather not know. I’m just glad I got to enjoy this place and explore it so many times before this feeling hit me.
24. This One Stings
I once went exploring with my brother on an old abandoned naval base at midnight. We snuck into the officers’ quarters and were just looking around when all of a sudden, we heard the most spine-chilling noise. We’re both into photography, so I decided to take a flash photo and see if I caught anything weird in the light. When the camera went off, we froze in sheer terror at what we saw.
There was a massive, six-foot-long bee nest on the side of one of the walls. I think our presence disturbed them because hundreds of them were already crawling on the outside of the nest. It was the single most scary thing I’ve ever seen, and it was gone in a second because of the camera flash. We noped the heck out of there right as an officer was pulling up to see what we were up to.
25. Against Animal Testing
I once explored an old makeup factory that had empty cages in the basement for animal testing. Those were creepy on their own. The place was extremely dilapidated; half of it had fallen apart. There was no access to the upstairs because every staircase was either disintegrating from water damage or so riddled with holes and rotten boards that it would constitute a flat-out suicide mission to attempt to climb it.
As my buddy and I found another dead end and accepted that we couldn’t get upstairs, we heard something that made us stop in our tracks. Someone was running on the floor above us, and it sounded like they were coming straight towards us! My buddy flipped his knife out, ready for some psychopath to just hurl themselves down what was basically a straight drop to the first floor due to the mostly disintegrated staircase ahead of us…but the footsteps suddenly just stopped.
We couldn’t see anyone, and after a moment, we looked at each other and started back the way we came as fast as we could. I still don’t think anything human could have gained the upper floor in that factory, but that’s what it sounded like!
26. Tunnel Crawler
My partner and I do urban exploration as a hobby. We once found a vent shaft in an abandoned publishing center that we, of course, ended up crawling through. It was extremely claustrophobic, and I started to get panicky. I felt like somebody was crawling through behind me. As I turned around, I felt paralyzed by fear. There was someone there. I nearly lost it until I realized it was a cop. Never again.
27. Consistency Is Key
I spent a lot of years super into urban exploration, hoping to eventually have that exciting experience of finding something creepy that would make me nope out. Well, it happened a lot and it was always the same thing: a uniformed officer telling me that I couldn’t be there. Not anywhere near as exciting as I hope the experiences would turn out…
28. Scared in Seattle
We decided to explore an old flour mill on Harbor Island in Seattle, which had been abandoned and locked up for a while. We were working our way through some of the regular block areas, and our buddy suddenly stopped us and swore that he heard something. We all stopped dead in our tracks, lights pointed down, just listening.
The amount of noise a dilapidated building makes when you’re trying to be quiet is amazing; constant creaking and wind noises. Then I started to hear it–it was shuffling, with the sound of somebody dragging something across concrete. At this point, I could feel my heart jumping out of my chest, and the blood pulsing in my ears and head. I was hyper-aware as I tried to pinpoint the sound and associate it with something I knew, but I couldn’t.
By the time we were sure it wasn’t just the wind, we had all heard the noises (there were 5 of us) and we were starting to think it was coming from near the stairs. We slowly, achingly, crept our way over broken glass and dirt. When we came upon the stairwell, we shone our lights down and up to the adjacent landings and couldn’t see anything.
My buddy turned around and stepped on an old water bottle on the ground, making the loudest crackling a water bottle has ever made in the history of recyclables. One of my other friends, looking back down the factory area we had just gone through, got startled and swore loudly at the sound of the water bottle.
We immediately heard the most chilling, deep, scream I have ever imagined. At that instant, we all just put the gas on and ran the heck out and didn’t stop our dead sprint until we got back to our cars. We figured it must have been some homeless person we scared with our creeping around and sudden expletive, but we never saw the person or identified the sound. So who knows?
29. The Silent Killer
I was exploring this really awesome abandoned Victorian-era mansion-turned-mental-asylum. It had everything; a stone ballroom, an indoor fountain, a huge staircase at the entrance that looked straight out of Resident Evil, a tower, patient rooms, the works. What made it even cooler was that I had stumbled into the place totally by accident. I had been exploring a nearby building on a whim and as it turned out it connected to the mansion.
I had been in there for at least an hour, maybe more, and I only had a few rooms left to explore. I walk into a big one on the top floor of the place and the first thing I see is a sign that says something along the lines of, “WARNING: Extremely high levels of asbestos in this area. Respirators must be worn. If you have been exposed go to [nearby hospital’s ER] immediately.”
I immediately sprinted the heck out of there, threw my clothes in the wash first thing when I got home, and took a really long shower. I also never went exploring again without having a P100 respirator on first.
30. Bird Is The Word
I was exploring an old, abandoned tuberculosis treatment hospital. I heard a sound that sounded a lot like a homeless person snoring. It took quite a while for my friends and myself to work up the courage to go into the room where we heard it coming from, but we were rewarded with the sight of a real live vulture’s nest.
31. Family Secrets Exposed
Some friends and I broke into an abandoned mental institution. In one of the rooms, we found a fist-sized white and red box with medical markings on it. It was sitting on the floor on top of a broken vinyl record. One side of the box was busted open and inside there was what appeared to be some sort of organ. There was blood all around the box that was just starting to congeal around the edges, so it was clearly fairly fresh.
We obviously should have booked it out of there as soon as we saw that but, being stupid kids, we decided to leave the room with the box and keep exploring. We explored one more room with patient records and, needless to say, we took some and then started home. Afterward, we went to eat at a diner and started going over the paperwork to see what we had found.
Among the papers, we found a single page out of a photo album with 6 photos on it. Here’s where it gets unbelievable: 3 out of the 6 photos had my friend’s mom in them. She was dressed in a uniform and was clearly working at the institution. My friend had had no idea her mom had ever worked there. What makes it even weirder is that they were the only photos we found.
What are the odds that, out of all of the old papers and photos that littered the ground of that place, we would pick up the ones of my friend’s mom?
32. The Scariest Thing: Cops
I went to an abandoned water park with some photography buddies, crawled through the hole in the fence, opened the front door and a cop was just sitting at the desk like he was there to give us pool passes… Yes, he was a real cop. He called for another unit to come to us and then they just asked us what and why we were there, then let us go on our day (not in the water park sadly).
33. Ever Get The Feeling That You’re Being Watched?
I was exploring an abandoned mineshaft for the second day in a row. It was in a small, old Midwestern town that used to be booming from the mining industry, but has long since been abandoned. It was also a ten-minute walk from the nearest road. This time, I went with different friends and better flashlights.
The door I had gone through on the first day was now padlocked shut. That should have been the first red flag, but then we found an entrance from the rooftop into one of the main buildings and continued to explore anyway. After exploring about three floors of the mineshaft below ground, we were back on the main floor exploring the workshop and garage.
I was looking through the cracks of light coming through the rusted metal walls when I noticed a bright color that stood out from the rest of the area. After inspecting it for a few seconds, the shocking realization finally hit me—It was a man looking back at me through the cracks. I was seeing his blue sweater. I could see two sets of eyes looking into the room that we were in. I wasn’t quite sure what to do next.
After whispering to my friends that there were people watching us through the wall, we freaking booked it out of there and jumped off the roof and into the woods. The men were in a pickup truck and drove around looking for us, even getting out of the truck to look around. We couldn’t see them from where we took cover, but we could hear the truck stop, the doors open, and footsteps breaking leaves only about twenty feet away from us.
We hid in that spot for about fifteen minutes while the men searched all around for us. It is harder than most people think to try and quiet your breathing down after sprinting. The whole experience was extremely terrifying, to put it mildly. I’m glad I was able to get away unharmed. I’m definitely not going back there again.
There is a building in my city that has been abandoned for over a decade. The building itself is massive; it covers over 40 acres. As a result of this, if the cops are called they won’t search for you inside, but instead wait for you to come out. The second time I went to explore this building, it was about 3 am and we were looking for a way inside. We came across a section of the building that was a large outdoor amphitheater, so we walked down to the center and went up to the boarded-up windows.
As we were looking for any loose boards, we started to hear voices. We followed the sound and determined it was coming from behind one of the boarded-up windows. We listened and, sure enough, on the other side of the wood you could hear talking. But the more we listened, the more we began to realize that it was only one voice; there was someone having a full-on conversation with themselves on the other side of the board. We started to feel pretty creeped-out and got out of there.
35. Crunching Snow
Long shot here but I’m hoping someone from Edmonton will remember this place. There was an abandoned “crematorium” on 184 St. (I think) about 25 years ago. Supposedly, graffiti of pentacles and “blood spatters” were all over the walls. We would go there at night and explore. It was beyond creepy. I don’t think it was ever a crematorium but urban legends said otherwise.
One night my buddy and I were exploring. It was winter. As we were nearing the building, we heard footsteps walking towards us, crunching the snow. We stopped, the sounds would stop. It wasn’t an echo. We started walking, they would start walking towards us again. We both booked it back to our car. You’d always see a police car slowly patrolling the main street as it was a pretty popular place.
36. Tunnel Vision
One time, while exploring what I thought was an abandoned area with some friends, I stumbled upon an active shooting gallery in a tunnel. When I say active, I mean it was very clearly set up and being used by someone on a regular basis. You better believe that I noped the heck out of there in a hurry, and never even thought about returning.
37. Silent Supper
About 14 years ago, I was living in China, and when I got bored, I’d go out riding on my motorized scooter and just explore various roads. One night, I decided to check out a place I had been to in the daytime. There was a little settlement where they were building a whole bunch of new things, including an apartment building that was at least 20 stories high. It was just a shell; no windows or doors or even stairs, just the concrete floors and some of the walls.
That night, I rode to the partially completed apartment building and stopped, because something was different. There were bamboo ladders leading up to the first few floors, and more bamboo ladders inside going all the way up the building. The entire building was filled with people. They had little fires going and were cooking, and I could see adults and children and even babies.
There were hundreds of people living there, and as I stopped with the engine running, more and more heads started appearing over the edge of the building, all of them watching me. The creepiest part was that they were all silent; nobody called out. They just looked. So I rode off again, feeling spooked.
38. Fly Like a Bird Out of There
Found a room full of bird skeletons, I’m talking a couple hundred, in an abandoned unfinished hotel/condo building. This was in British Columbia so we assumed it was probably the home of a cougar. Got out of there so fast. Creepy as heck.
39. Put On A Happy Face
This is a little less ‘urban,’ but worth sharing anyway. I was camping in British Columbia with my girlfriend at the time and her dog. We had a couple of rough-looking people who were the only other folks in the area. It was late though, so we set up and thought nothing of it. A little later, the guy wandered over while we were in our tent.
We could hear him outside and our dog was barking at this point. I got out and asked him what he was doing. He said he just wanted to pet the dog. Mind you, this was at around midnight. I told him we were settling in and trying to sleep. The guy then wandered off without replying at all to what I’d said. I shrugged it off and went to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I came across a most shocking scene. There appeared to be a single bullet sitting upright on our site’s picnic table, and a happy face made with sticks and rocks on the bench part of the table below it. Maybe it was just a bad joke, but we sure didn’t stick around to find out.
40. Dodged a Bullet
I explored part of an old Nike or Atlas missile site one night with a few friends. We weren’t doing anything bad, just looking around. As we were leaving, things got weird. I was looking at my friend, and a bright red dot from a laser appeared in the center of his forehead. We instinctively ducked and looked toward the woods, thinking someone was shining a laser pointer at us from the cover of the trees.
Somehow, we couldn’t actually see where they were though, even though that’s usually pretty easy to do with laser pointers. I still wonder if it was just a laser pointer and not a laser sight instead.
41. Tub Ghost
My friends and I broke into an abandoned military base. We found a big empty concrete room that used to be a barracks. Nothing in it. Except that right in the center, an old-fashioned clawfoot bathtub. I really felt like nope-ing out then. I didn’t. We stayed overnight. Totally illegal and I don’t know why I let myself be talked into it.
I kept trying to tell the other two people, “An old-fashioned bath-tub in the middle of a creepy concrete room! We just walked into a freaking horror movie!”
42. Crazy Train
When I was at UChicago, they were renovating some of the green line stations. A friend and I would jump the turnstiles at the station across from our building at night to watch the trains go by. On day two of the station being closed, one of the conductors saw us and actually stopped, so we got on with only one other person in the car, thinking it’d be fun to just ride it until it came back.
It was pretty late, and there was nothing out of the ordinary… But after a few minutes, we looked over at the homeless-looking guy and noticed he was up to something incredibly suspicious on his side of the car. Upon closer inspection, we realized he was cleaning a weapon. We immediately got off, only to realize that it was an Ashland/63rd bound train and we had no idea where the heck we were. To this day, neither of us can remember how we made it home.
Only now writing this out now do I realize we had no way of getting back since they wouldn’t have stopped at our station again.
43. Petrifying Penthouse
One day, three of my friends and I decided to explore a local ruined mansion that was once owned by a rather eccentric millionaire. It featured a 14-story penthouse, with an elevator shaft up to it from the two-story mansion below. The driveway itself was the only way onto the enormous property without using a boat, as there was a moat around the entire house.
The tower was very visible from a local highway, so we knew exactly where it was, and we decided to hike in. After some time exploring and honestly not seeing much that was interesting, my friend decided to tell us a story about a party that had happened there a decade ago. A young teenager had had a bit too much to drink and had tragically fallen down the elevator shaft to her death.
At first, I didn’t believe him, but after consulting Google, it turned out to be very real, which freaked all of us out a bit, as it was very dark outside by then. As I scrolled down, I saw that there were even a few articles claiming the tower was now haunted. We carried on exploring a little more, and then got to a lounge on the second floor.
I looked out from a window—and at that exact moment, I saw a flock of birds take flight from the woods, like there was something out there that had set them off. I told myself they were just birds, and we continued exploring. At that point, I was on edge myself but, not wanting to appear weak, I figured I’d keep exploring until my friends were ready to leave.
We found a kitchen on the second floor, and that’s when things started to get truly terrifying. The kitchen was deep into the house, with no windows to the outdoors. We all froze when we heard a door open on the floor below us, and then the sound of footsteps. We all stopped dead in our tracks and got as quiet as we humanly could, listening for anything.
We could still hear these footsteps downstairs, and we quietly decided that we needed to sneak out of the mansion as fast as we could. We were able to squeeze out of a broken window and onto the first story roof, above the garage. We jumped down from there and bolted as fast as we could. I remember turning around as we ran—and seeing the silhouette of a figure standing at the front of the house, no doubt the person we had heard when we were upstairs.
44. Keep Out
On Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, there’s an abandoned WWII military base including an old hospital. You can explore the buildings, but the lower floor staircases have been removed so you can’t go up onto the upper floors and potentially get hurt. Well, being reckless 15-year-olds, my friends and I decided to boost the most nimble guy up to the second floor so he could see what it was like up there.
Apparently it was mostly like the rest of the hospital, except there was a room on the third floor that was padlocked shut and had “keep out” painted on the door. Yes there was photographic evidence so he wasn’t just messing with us. I have no idea what they’d need to keep locked up on the theoretically inaccessible third floor of an abandoned hospital, and I’m not sure I want to know.
45. Taking Notes
I was exploring an old house that used to belong to my dad’s friend. I found a slightly blood-stained mattress inside that clearly belonged to someone very disturbed. There was a notepad next to it that had creepy stuff written on it, like “I can’t” and “He hurts me” and “Please stop.” But there was one note that made my heart skip a beat. It read: “Don’t look up.”
I didn’t look up. I just looked straight at the door and ran directly towards it.
46. Mistaken Identity
Near an apartment I used to live in, there was an old hotel that was abandoned and boarded up. One night, we decided that exploring the old hotel would be a brilliant idea. We made our way over and explored a couple of the rooms. They were moldy, dirty, and broken down, but didn’t have anything unexpected, just graffiti on the walls and some garbage in the rooms.
Then, we went into the office/lobby area. As soon as we walked in, we froze. There, in the distance, in the darkened lobby, was a man staring at us. He didn’t move, just stood there and stared us down. We bolted, quickly, and ran at a full sprint back to my apartment. Thankfully, the man (homeless, drug addict, we didn’t know) didn’t follow us.
A few days later, my friend was back over during the day. We were talking about the experience at the hotel and, this time spurred on by daylight, decided to look in the hotel lobby again. When we entered, the man was still there… standing in the same spot, staring us down… and, illuminated by daylight, clearly made of cardboard.
We had gotten freaked out by a cardboard cutout advertising the hotel’s website and online bookings.
47. Don’t Fall
There’s an old abandoned mental asylum near where I live which is pretty creepy. It’s got a pretty depressing history (history meaning the stories other kids told me). Anyway, the asylum is huge and because it’s pitch black, it’s so easy to get lost, it’s like a labyrinth inside, making it very confusing and disorientating. It smells weird, and is filled with relics from the past, like hospital beds, machines, etc.
But the scariest thing that happened to me was the last time I went. Me and my friends walked into a dark room, and the entire floor was missing, apart from a small patch directly in front of the door. As I was walking in, I almost fell completely down the hole, which was like a two-story drop. I was literally half an inch from death.
48. Something Seems Fowl
As a teen, my friends and I used to break into an old aluminum factory a lot. I led us up a staircase winding around pill-shaped vats with small flap lids. Four flights up, we started seeing feathers, then a whole pile of deceased birds. Keep in mind, there was no open ceiling where they could’ve flown in from.
We turned around and one of my friends suddenly stopped me. We then noticed the lid on the vat next to us was open. There were no noises coming from anywhere other than us which was a little comforting, but we still got the heck out of there right away. We didn’t want to wait and find out who or what was inside. And we never went back after that.
49. That’s A Bunch Of Bull
My friend and I went to “explore” this large area of farmland that was technically private property. We were about to enter a large paddock until I saw a large sign saying something along the lines of “BEWARE OF BULL.” My friend still wanted to do it, but I backed out and convinced him to do the same. I’m glad we did, because after seeing what a bull can do, I know we would have been lucky to escape one.
50. Car Trouble
Boy oh boy, do I have a story! I went urban exploring at an abandoned college campus. It was pretty cool. It was due to be demolished soon and there was some really nice graffiti. At the time, I kept sending video messages to a friend of me roaming around looking at everything. There was a singular building in this giant lot with nothing else on it, right in the middle of an open area.
The building was three stories tall, and on the ground floor, there was an open area where there appeared to be an abandoned car. I spent some time messing around and recording videos for my friend. Everything was normal until I went to record the graffiti right next to the car. As soon as I started filming, something completely unexpected happened.
The car turned on. I immediately threw my hands up and pointed towards the gate to gesture, “Sorry, didn’t realize someone was here, I’ll be on my way.” But the guy started blaring on the horn and aggressively revving the engine at me. At this point, I was super startled and decided to book it down the driveway back to the gate.
He then started speeding after me in the car, whilst still blaring on the horn. Due to being startled and running, I accidentally hit send on the video I was taking on my phone. So my friend got to see my panic, along with the caption “1111.” He was right behind me and I needed to get rid of him, so I turned off the driveway and ran over a pile of rocks.
I fell down and ended up scratching my knee really badly. My glasses went flying off and they got scratched up too. I picked up the glasses and sprinted as fast as I could over to the fence where there were some bushes to hide behind. I could still smell the car’s engine from how far I was. It was putrid and the guy for sure looked like he was living out of the car. In my head, I kept thinking: “I might die today.”
I had insane adrenaline in my bloodstream and I sort of moved further behind the bushes, but I couldn’t quite get over the fence. I figured I could wait for the guy to get impatient and leave. I was there for around twenty minutes whilst he sat there with his car idling. By this point, my friend was practically having a panic attack thinking I just got murdered. Meanwhile, my adrenaline was wearing off.
Now, the pain from my leg was the only thing I could feel, so I couldn’t climb the fence and get away quickly without him noticing. My friend was messaging me like crazy, asking if I was okay. Amazingly, she ended up driving over to the place to rescue me. She pulled up a bit up the street and the guy drove up towards her, which gave me the chance to climb the fence.
She then rushed down to where I had said I was, picked me up, and we drove off. Never have I been so scared in my life, and never have I appreciated someone more.
51. Family Fright
Every morning my mum used to take my brother and me to our grandparents’ while she went to work. Near my grandparents’ house, there was a huge abandoned factory, and I had always wanted to go to see what was in there. So one day, I begged my uncle (he lived at my grandparents’ house) to go with me to explore that building. He said yes, so we went to the building and searched for an opening to get inside.
Once inside, we started to look around the place, and obviously found nothing except old machines and stuff like that. We searched through the whole building. Then, when we were about to leave, we started getting an eerie feeling like we were not alone. We got quiet, and then jumped as we heard noises coming from upstairs…and then footsteps.
Then, we both saw a shadow coming towards us from the end of a shadowy hallway, so we got the heck out of there, running. That was the first and last time I explored the factory, and I don’t think my uncle ever went back either!
52. Retiring Early
As kids, my cousin and I went exploring in an abandoned old church. He, being the more adventurous of the two, had decided to go climbing and seeing if he could get on top of the roof. Well…It wasn’t exactly stable and luckily he didn’t get all the way to the top when he fell. He copped a nasty gash on his leg in the process though. And it was a long walk back to our grandmother’s house to get it tended to, purely because we kept stopping.
Needless to say, we’ve been banned from exploring since then.
53. Burying The Hatchet
About ten years ago, I was out exploring a park in a western suburb of Chicago with some friends. The area was medium-sized with a big industrial lot leading to the parking lot, plus a prairie area and a big old forest with paths. We were walking around the forest for a few hours in the early afternoon and we saw some random pentagrams along the way.
Honestly, nothing super out of the ordinary; but they did seem concentrated in this one field that was probably about 2,000 square feet of four-foot-tall grass. For whatever reason, I thought it would be fun to walk through the grass field. Right in the exact center, there was an eight-foot-long, three-foot-wide rectangle of freshly dug ground. The sight of it sent chills up my spine.
It was the perfect size for hiding a body. Because of how tall the grass was, it was almost totally covered. But when I moved the grass back, it looked like a burial mound. I told my friend we had to leave, and so we beelined back to the parking lot. As we approached the car, an officer pulled up. He turned on his lights and stopped us.
Once he saw that we were kids, he said something like: “Better get out of here, it’s not a good place to be after dark.”
54. Flashlight Casualty
My friends and I explored an abandoned psych hospital in Suffolk County, Long Island. After checking out the building and finding some really cool areas, like an old cafeteria and an abandoned bowling alley, we decided to leave. As we were making our way towards the entrance, I realized that I had left my flashlight back in a patient room, so I told my friends that I was going to go back quickly to grab it.
On the way back to retrieve it, alone now in the musty hallways, I started to feel uneasy. I made my way down the hallway to the room where my flashlight was, and started to feel even more nervous. Then, my heart stopped; the door to the room I was aiming for was closed—and there was flickering light visible through the crack under the door. I forgot about my flashlight, turned tail, and ran back to my friends.
My significant other and I went through an old farmhouse. Nothing too creepy…until we got to the shed. When we got to the barn, we found enough guns & ammo to start WW3. But that’s not even the creepiest part. We were in Australia, where guns are a big no-no. It’s not normal to have one, never mind 100. We got the heck outta there.
56. Life Is But A Scream
I once came across a large structure with high windows. It was essentially one large room with two external doors, a cathedral-height ceiling, and windows high on the walls. The interior was painted a rather drab yellowish-green, and paint was peeling off everywhere. The floor was a sort of cement, cracked here and there.
I think there may have been a drain somewhere on the floor. Lots of dirt and leaves. Then, all of a sudden, the loudest, shrillest scream emanated from the middle of the room. We both covered our ears and it lasted about two seconds. We had been on opposite sides of the room examining the walls and the chipping paint.
We both freaked out and exited the door nearest to each of us. We circled around and met on one side. We both heard the scream come from the middle of the empty room, but nobody else was there. Also, nobody else was outside… that we knew of. Certainly nowhere close enough for it to have seemed to be from inside.
I’ve never experienced anything like that.
57. The Easter Bunny’s Lair
My father does architectural salvaging for a living, and I help him out from time to time. One day, he told me that when he was touring Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts, he was following two other salvagers and the foreman through the attics. Upon turning a corner, they all paused and stared. There, sitting in the middle of a dusty shaft of light from a shattered skylight, in an otherwise completely empty attic, were two children’s Easter Baskets.
58. Good Call
I was around 10 years old, I went into this not that old abandoned building with two of my friends, they were boys, we explored the building and got down to the basement and we met some boys from ninth grade and we went with them. We got pretty deep into the basement and then all of a sudden a woman starts to scream.
We couldn’t see anybody since it was very dark, we had flashlights and flashed around the room, keep in mind I was the only girl with the group of boys and my friends. We just ran out after that as the screaming continued, we all agreed to never enter again.
59. On The Job
I used to explore a building that I worked in because it was allegedly haunted. It was a retail store, and each employee had their own stories of the shadow man. I encountered him three different times.
But my craziest encounter with him occurred on a random day when I saw him staring at me from behind a display. I was working and when it was finally time to clock out, my manager and I hastily went to our lockers to get our stuff. While we were packing our things up, we were stunned by a creepy and unfamiliar sound. We heard a loud male voice shouting “Hello?! Hello?!”
The building had already been locked for about half an hour. We decided to rush for the exit. When we were at the doors arming the security system, the sensor kept insisting that there was a movement in the part of the store we’d heard the voice come from. I will never forget that night.
60. A Dusty Escape
When I was about 9, a friend and I had finally worked up the courage to explore this super scary-looking dilapidated house in our neighborhood. It was boarded up really solidly; nobody was getting in or out without a ton of work prying off boards from door or window frames. After searching exhaustively, we figured that the easiest way in was to just widen a small hole we had discovered in a section of exposed drywall at the back of the house.
It took us a while, but we did it! As soon as we stepped in, we froze, nearly wetting ourselves in terror. There was something vaguely human-shaped at the top of the stairs. We bolted back through the wall, screaming, and took off running, covered in drywall dust.
61. Was Pennywise There?
While exploring an abandoned warehouse that we always used to go to as kids, we found a film crew one night. As we were passing the campers where the actors stay, the cops pulled up and chased us into the bush. Turns out they were filming a scene for It Chapter 2. Now when we go to the warehouse all we can think about is that darn clown.
62. Boarder Patrol
Last week, one of my good friends made the pilgrimage across a few states on his motorcycle to go visit his extended family. He decided to camp along the way, in an effort to get out into nature and catch some scenic sunsets. He texted me an SOS after he made it to his family’s house, and told me this story over FaceTime.
In parts of West Texas, there are only gas stations every ninety miles or so. As he was getting low on gas before the last sunset, he decided to camp near two abandoned structures. The next morning, with a camera in hand, he went exploring. As he was filming, he walked into the second structure and he immediately started to panic.
A person was sitting in a chair with her head rested on the table. She had one arm dangling to the side and a trash bag over her head. He ran to the road and tried to get a hold of Border Patrol, as he was only forty miles away from the border. After walking some miles, he got the attention of a BP agent.
After all was said and done, the BP agents informed him that her passing had already been reported.
It was reported by the man who had helped her group get across the United States border. They also said that the 13 inches of snow they received a couple of nights prior contributed to her death. After being detained for a few hours, he was let go in part because of the evidence on his camera.
He said the worst part about it was that he felt responsible for her death in some way. Even worse? She was his age, 20 years old, and she had made it all the way from Guatemala, only to die 40 miles to the US border. Heartbreaking. He promised me he wouldn’t go exploring next time.
63. Shuffling Shadow
My friends and I grew up in a town with a large, abandoned psychiatric hospital. People went in there all the time, so my friends and I decided to sneak in at around 2 am one night in our senior year. We got up to the third floor, just goofing around, but then we all froze when we started hearing footsteps from around the next corner.
We decided to turn the flashlights off and hide in a room, to see who it was. We watched this big, black figure shuffle slowly into view, cross the open door of the room we were in, and then continue down the hall. We held our breath the entire time, every hair on our bodies standing on end. When the shuffling sounds finally faded, we ran the opposite way down the hallway to another stairwell and got the heck out.
64. Just to Be Safe
My friends and I while looking for street spots to skateboard at, found an abandoned toy store. The back door was open so we started to go in, thinking, “Hey, this might be a good spot to skateboard.” Well, we get in and on the wall there is a big graffiti that said “Bloods Territory (Gang), # of people beaten here: six”. We got out of there so fast and never came back.
It could have been just a scare tactic, but we had no intention of finding out.
65. Run Of The Mill
There was this really popular abandoned mill in my city. On one Saturday, I took a whole bunch of friends out there and I acted as their tour guide. We were having a great time, but there were also a ton of people there that day. More than I had ever seen before. After a few hours of checking out various parts of the mill, we suddenly heard a commotion going on below us.
I looked out the window and there were about four cars with flashing lights approaching. Alongside the cars were several officers, a paddy wagon, and a golf cart. Kids were scattering in every direction and the officers were chasing them on their golf carts, throwing them into the wagon. I told all my friends to run and we split up.
A buddy of mine stuck with me and we booked it to the ground floor. We climbed out a window towards the back of the building. There was this big river and then some woods. We could still hear lots of yelling, so we decided to wade across the river and run through the woods.
We kept running through the woods because we knew our moms would kill us if we got taken in by the cops. Eventually, we felt that we’d put enough distance between us and the officers, so we stopped to catch our breaths. We were both covered in mud, water, and scratches, but at least we didn’t get caught.
We trekked back to our cars that were parked near the mill and we found all of our friends hanging out. Thankfully, none of them got caught. We asked them how they got out and they said they just walked out the front door. Apparently, the officers had fully filled up the wagon and ended up leaving to get more backup. I felt pretty stupid.
Some months later, I explored the mill again. This time, I was there alone. It was on a Monday morning, so there weren’t a lot of people around. Now, the mill is next to a bunch of businesses and I came across a few people who were out on their breaks from work. It sounded like they were spray painting or something behind the buildings. I was a few stories above them, and I peeked over the ledge to see what they were doing.
I accidentally kicked a piece of glass over the ledge. It landed maybe ten feet away from them. The moment it hit the ground, they started yelling, “Hey, who’s throwing shards of glass at us?” After hearing that, I just left and kept exploring. I figured they’d eventually forget they saw me, so I just kept on. Then, not too long after, I stumbled upon someone that I loosely knew.
We greeted each other and exchanged pleasantries. After a few minutes, I looked up at the parking lot and noticed a bunch of officers gathering. Now, I’ve waited out the authorities before, for hours sometimes, so that was my plan. I told my friend that I was going to hide. I gave him my phone number, then climbed up this sketchy ladder that led to an open window.
I was sitting on a roof hidden behind a little wall. No one could see me, but I was able to peek out and check if they were still there. Pretty soon afterward, more officers showed up and I could also hear dogs barking. After about 45 minutes, my phone rang. It was an unknown number. I answered it but didn’t say anything. It was a woman on the other end. She said, “Hello? Is this (insert my name here)?”
I asked, “Who is this?” and she replied, “This is Officer So-and-So. We know you’re up there. Come down now so we don’t have to send the dogs up after you. They will bite.” I told her that I wasn’t where she thought I was and that I had snuck out through the back a while ago. But she didn’t believe me. After talking to her for a few minutes, I decided I didn’t want to cause any more trouble than I already had.
So I decided to come down. I climbed down the ladder and they put me in handcuffs. Then they threw me in the back of a squad car, and guess who was sitting there already—the dude I ran into. Turns out, the guys who were spray painting called the officers and told them I was throwing shards of glass at them. The officers made me apologize to them. They also wrote me a ticket. I never heard about it again, except during a phone call to my mother about a week later. She wasn’t happy. So yeah, always run away as soon as something doesn’t feel right.
66. Go With Your Gut!
Back in my teenage hoodlum days, some friends and I did some urban exploration in an abandoned medical facility. It was perched atop a steep hill with only one road in and out, surrounded by a small forest. It had been totally left to rot…or so we thought. The first thing we noticed was that there were some ambient lights on—the place was not totally off the grid, like we were led to believe.
We figured they were probably just there to scare off troublemakers like us. The rest of the facade was dark, and there were no cars in the lot. We got inside through a boarded-up broken window. Once inside, it became clear that place was not abandoned. There were interior lights that came on as we wandered around, and some equipment was scattered about.
I started to get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, but my friends seemed to be enjoying themselves, and I didn’t want to be the one who got scared. Yet I couldn’t ignore the sense of pure dread that was getting stronger every second I was in the place. Finally, I convinced them that we needed to leave, fast.
We scrambled back out the window, climbed in the car and peeled off, turning off the only road that leads up the hill and stopping at a nearby gas station. A few of my friends went inside to get drinks, but a few of us stayed in the car. From the spot where we parked, we could see up the hill to the outside of the facility.
As we watched, a security car with flashing orange lights pulled up to the front, followed shortly by a police car. We must have missed them by two minutes. If I hadn’t listened to my gut, my hoodlum friends and I probably would have spent some time in jail for breaking and entering.
67. Sound the Alarm
Explored an abandoned school. The place was boarded up so we technically had to break in but the roof was caving in and the power was cut. We got into the gym and triggered an alarm that was apparently on some kind of backup power and we all had to squeeze through a small opening to rush back out.
68. Cat Scratch Fever
Back when I lived in the rural south, my friend and I went to an abandoned trailer because she wanted to show me all of the old Playboys that were left lying around in it. There were pentagrams painted on the front door and on one wall of the bedroom that was through the kitchen. But that wasn’t too spooky in and of itself.
My brother was one of those edgy teenagers and I had seen more than enough crookedly spray-painted pentagrams to know it was just idiots goofing off. Nah, the thing that was scary was on a whole other level compared to that. There was a half-dead cat hung by its back legs from the ceiling fan in the backroom down the hall. We went to take it down so we could call the authorities and then hopefully bury it to give it some peace.
But then, it woke up and started squalling. It scratched my arms and my friend’s face and tried to get away, but it was so weak all it could do was stagger. We eventually got it wrapped in my shirt and brought it home. We had to explain to my friend’s mom where we were and what had happened. That crotchety old cat lived another six years with no teeth, a limp, and horrible cataracts.
69. Harpoon Guy
One night about 8 or 9 years ago, a few friends and I were out driving around in two cars, and we stopped for a bathroom break in a small parking lot on the side of the road. There was a path on the other side of the lot to a gated house, another path that led down to a beach, and also an opening through the old, damaged gate.
One of the guys ventured a little further, and came back saying he’d found an abandoned-looking trailer in the middle of the forested area, with camping chairs set up outside it. We all looked from our position at the gate; it did look in disrepair and the window was smashed. No signs of life. There was a clear sky that night, so the moon gave us some visibility.
We decided to slowly sneak up to the trailer, maybe have a look inside, and just go from there. The silence was eerie. I felt goosebumps race across my skin—like something was very wrong. Then, as we got close to the caravan, I suddenly noticed an old-looking bike propped up against the side of the trailer that we hadn’t seen before.
Alarm bells instantly went off and I started to whisper to the lead guy to let him know—but then someone suddenly jumped out from a bush, just past the caravan. That was, without a doubt, the 2nd scariest moment of my life so far. The scariest moment happened seconds later. We had all started screaming and sprinting back to our cars, and I was overtaken by the lead guy of our group, leaving me last in line.
As I reached the gate, I heard VERY quick, heavy footsteps behind me. That was scary moment number 1 of all time for me so far, and I sped up even more, using my last ounces of strength to run the last few steps to my car. It was absolute chaos, everyone seemed to be running in all directions, screaming. I switched the engine on, which turned on the lights, which illuminated the guy who was chasing us—and the long, metal-tipped harpoon that he was waving around.
He hit the hood of my car with the blunt end and started screaming something. Two of my friends jumped into my car, but the driver of the other car couldn’t get his keys out of his pocket, so he and the rest ran out of the parking lot onto a completely dark, 60 mph road that went steeply downhill. I somehow had enough nerve left to reverse while being careful not to hit anyone, and then drive out of the parking lot while the guy stood there, still waving his harpoon and shouting, but thankfully he didn’t chase me.
We managed to rendezvous some distance down the road; the guys who ran had covered a really impressive distance in a short amount of time. The next step was to retrieve the other car, as the guy finally got his keys out. To be honest, we expected harpoon dude to have smashed it up a bit, but he never even touched it. I had to drive right up to the other car for the driver to retrieve it.
70. Blast Off
A plaque honoring those that died in an accident at an abandoned rocket test facility deep in the woods. The facility was abandoned in the 60s after the accident. A massive rocket engine test pit surrounded by tunnel catacombs. The adrenaline rush of actually finding this place was amazing!
71. Calling All Cars
I convinced a group of about five or so of my friends to go with me into this old house that was in an odd sort of industrial area. It was on one of those service roads next to a highway. The only way in was to go through the basement and through a hole in the wall at the top of the stairs. After exploring for a while, I thought I’d do a “scout mission” for fun.
The mission involved me just walking around the house, checking for security officers. Usually, “scout missions” are uneventful, but this one took quite a turn. There were security cars pulling into the street just then, with sirens on and everything. They were pulling into the restaurant next door, as someone had probably reported us. The exit was on the other side of the house from where they were.
I quickly called out to the others to climb back out, and we somehow managed. I don’t generally believe in intuition, but I do find it odd that I had the urge to do a sweep right when they showed up.
72. Shameful Legacy
I was exploring an abandoned hospital near my house with my buddies. The complex was huge; it had a college, living areas, and a massive main treatment center. After several weekends of exploring the area, we found lots of cool things: old surgical equipment, rooms blocked off and covered with radiation warnings, and massive machines we could only guess the purpose for.
One weekend we were very lost in the main area and found a back staircase in some random back room that went up to a floor that wasn’t marked on the floor plans or main stairways. The floor had no windows at all, so we had to rely entirely on our flip phones’ screens on full brightness as flashlights. We went in the first room, and there was only a single, horrifying thing inside: a human-sized cage.
It had a locking door and that little sliding thing on the bottom to put food trays in. There was only a small cot in it, and a very small toilet. We were a little freaked out and tried to pretend it was possibly a cage for something else, but then we went down the hallway and looked in each room, we found only the same large cages in each one. We quickly got out of there, and they have since torn down the complex.
73. Airsoft Hooligans See the Light
We used to play airsoft king of the hill games in an old early 1900s mansion that had been abandoned since the 80s in the Illinois cornfields. We never went deep into the basement because it was partially flooded and at the same time gave everyone a very weird feeling when we would get to the bottom of the steps. Well one day we decided to play a night game and the whole vibe of the house was off.
It felt like there was someone standing right behind you the entire time. We kept hearing noises and sloshing water coming from the basement. We booked it out of there and as we were leaving we all swear we saw a light come on really quick up in the attic and then go dark.
74. Take Me To Church
I decided to explore an abandoned church on my own. I dropped down through a window into the basement. After wandering through some hallways, I found a large room with the stairs to the main level at the other end. I started crossing the room when I heard footsteps above me. It sounded like somebody walking with crutches or a peg leg, making a weird thunk-THUNK, thunk-THUNK.
The steps seemed to be going in a circle. I paused for a minute. I’d had run-ins with homeless people before that were generally amiable. I’d make small talk for a minute, give them some change, then be on my merry way. I wasn’t normally scared to run into them. This time, however, I had a bad feeling.
After hesitating, I took a couple more steps towards the stairs. I was so focused on the noise above me that I accidentally kicked over an empty spray paint can. The footsteps above me stopped for a moment. Then, it began running towards the stairs that I was about to start climbing, still making that thunk-THUNK noise.
I was suddenly more terrified than I have ever been in my life. I sprinted full tilt back towards the window I’d come through. I somehow managed to quickly claw my way up and out. I didn’t look back until I was safely out of the building, at which point I could neither hear nor see anything.
I waited outside for a few minutes, but apparently, whatever or whoever it was had decided that scaring me off was good enough. They decided to retreat back into the building. There’s a slightly spooky epilogue, though. About three weeks later, I went back with a couple of friends. We made our way into the building and up the stairs without anything out of the ordinary happening to us.
Inside the church, we found obvious evidence of multiple homeless persons living there. Mattresses were set up in corners, some small fires had been lit, etc. Most of it was fairly normal. However, on the window sills, we came across a scene that shook us to our core—there were multiple birds and small mammals, all of which had been gruesomely beheaded and their bodies carefully lined up.
After perusing the main sanctuary, one friend and I made our way up to the third floor, which had classrooms and offices. Coming up the stairs, I could see the door to a room off the landing at the very top. As I got to the last few stairs, the door abruptly slammed shut. The room had been dark and didn’t appear to have any windows in it.
Looking down the hallway from the top of the stairs, I couldn’t feel a breeze or see any open windows that could have pulled the door shut. My friend tried to open the door and said that it felt like there was something on the other side pushing it shut. We elected not to explore the third floor. After going downstairs and consulting with our other friend, it was decided that we should leave.
About three years later, I revisited that church yet again. When I came to the top of the stairs, I found the door to that room wide open. Shining my flashlight in, I confirmed that the room had no windows. That church is fairly well known in the local exploring community and, while several people have said they got a bad feeling or felt creeped out there, nobody else has had any encounters like mine.
I assumed that the first incident was a homeless resident trying to scare me off, the dead animals were the work of an unmedicated schizophrenic, and the slamming door was a homeless person not wanting his nap disturbed by some dumb kids. That said, the whole experience was hair-raising and I still bring it up as an anecdote for new explorers on why you should never explore alone.
75. Inconvenience Store
While I walking back home, I stopped at a grocery store and took a short break. It was in a kind of a sketchy area of Queens, New York, but I felt safe walking with a few friends. The parking lot entrance was along the edge that we were leaning on. All of a sudden, a totally blacked-out, fancy sedan pulled into the entrance and stopped right in front of us.
At that moment, a tall man in a suit came walking from around the corner, basically behind us, giving us all a terrifying look. He gave me the eeriest, most unsettling feeling. It felt like he was trying to warn us to leave right away. As the man opened the back door of the car to get in, the passenger side window opened and we saw the faces of two oldish men staring at us with a chilling look.
Without missing a beat or even looking at each other, we quickly stood straight up and rushed away. We speed-walked away and said nothing until we got to the next block. We had no idea what we saw, but I don’t think we were supposed to see whatever it was. The coldness we felt from the stares we got were unlike anything I’ve experienced.
76. Weird Woman (?)
One night, we couldn’t find our cat, so my brother and I were out looking for him. There was an old abandoned hotel up the road, and we figured it might be a good cat hideout, so we went to check it out. The place was way larger than we realized and had a highly creepy vibe. There were still shoes and clothes hung in closets and even places where people had just left their tea or possessions behind.
Everything was covered in a layer of dust and cobwebs; it looked like people left in a huge hurry and never came back. We never did figure out why, because there were no signs of fire or anything. All we knew was that it had been vacant for about a decade. We searched all four floors, more out of curiosity by that point.
The final place we had to search was the lobby. We went down, and I was busy staring at this perfect ream of white printer paper. It was the old kind, with perforated strips of holes down both sides, but what interested me was that it was perfectly pristine. It had no dust and no water damage, despite the floor around it being covered in about an inch of a mixture of dust, shards of broken glass, and rotting floorboards.
While I was considering the paper, I suddenly saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up—and there was a woman standing by the reception desk. Standing totally normally, as if she worked for this long-forgotten hotel. I swear that I heard her say, “Hi there. How can I help you?” I’ve never been so scared in my entire life. I felt frozen.
She somehow made no sound walking up to us in a place where you simply could not move silently, due to all of the debris on the floor. Her demeanor was bizarre, and I thought there was no way she was real, I had to be imagining it. My brother, who evidently saw her too and was apparently a bit braver then me, decided to engage with her, and explained why we were there.
She told us that she “looked after the cats.” Then, she asked us to come fix a pipe on the third floor. My brother followed her as if it was a perfectly normal request, but all I could think was “holy crap, she’s going to kill us.” Not wanting my brother to get shanked by some drugged-up cat hoarder alone, I decided to follow at a distance, picked up a shard of glass, and hid it in my sleeve.
We climbed the rotten stairways like we were on our way up a marble staircase in the Ritz. To my surprise, there WAS a broken pipe. We determined that the pipe couldn’t be fixed though, and went back downstairs. She sort of excused herself and left. Afterward, my brother also said he was convinced that she was a ghost at first. Why he spoke to her is beyond me to this day. I thought he’d lost it.
77. Lessons in Urban Exploration
Been exploring all kinds of things for years, on and off. With tunnels and stuff, “bad air” is the scariest thing ever. CO2 concentrates in deep spots with crap ventilation, so it’s fairly easy to blunder into a place where you find yourself “out of breath” a lot but still “breathing”. If that happens, double back as fast as freaking possible. High concentrations of CO2 also tend to elicit a “fear” response, so if doing tunnel/underground exploring and you find you are suddenly feeling extra jumpy and short of breath, back the heck out.
Only had one experience with “abandoned” farmland but stumbling across animal bones while already a bit spooked is sure to get the heart pumping for a bit!
78. Times Have Changed
There was an abandoned house down the road from my high school that was still filled with stuff. Some friends and I would hang out there from time to time. There was a point where the house got boarded up and we didn’t go into it for a while. Jump to a few months later—one of my friends told me he had found a new way inside.
After a couple more weeks, I went to the house with one friend to check it out again and relive some old memories. When we got there, it was clear that something bad had taken place. The stuff in the house was thrown all over the place. Any kind of dish from the kitchen had been smashed on the floor. When we looked at the stairs to the second floor, we both got the worst feeling. Like we would find something terrible if we went up there.
So we got the heck out of there. After a couple more months, the house was demolished.
79. The Locked Room
My friends and I once explored a huge abandoned apartment complex. We had to climb in from the roof and were working our way down. The stairs brought us past at least 200 individual apartments. Every door was open, or at least unlocked, except the one on the third floor at the end of the hallway, C46. I have a lock pick set and I’m pretty good with it, so we camped out for at least 30 minutes trying to get into the room.
After finally accepting that we couldn’t get in, we left, a little creeped out, because the lock seemed normal and normal locks were usually easy for me to pick. Once outside and in the truck, I turned back to the building one final time–and felt my stomach drop. The locked room had a light on and, even though it may have been the curtains or just my head, it looked like someone was standing there, in the window, staring down at us.
It really freaked us out, because we had been outside the door for quite a while and had not seen or heard anything.
Took two steps into the doorway and a gigantic banana spider crawled right onto my face. I knocked myself backward out of the place, just hitting myself in the face to get it off. After that, I decided that was enough of that noise.
81. Getting Salty
There was this massive salt storage facility. I’m guessing the company sold salt to the city and other municipalities for road maintenance during the winter. My friends and I, all about twelve years old at the time, thought it would be cool to sneak in and climb to the top of this major salt mountain. This salt mountain was about two hundred feet high.
It was massive. We got to the top and celebrated, and we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of the city skyline. Its buildings lit up across the bay as the afternoon had turned to dusk. As we were getting ready to come down off the mountain, we saw something odd beneath us.
About five guard dogs at the bottom, staring up at us with a piercing glare. They couldn’t get up the mountain because they couldn’t get traction on the salt, but they were clearly waiting to get us when we climbed down. We all started freaking out. My friend’s little brother started crying. We began yelling for help but nobody was around, as it was late on a cold Sunday afternoon in mid-November.
The sky’s hue darkened as dusk turned to dark. We were probably up there for two hours trying to figure out what to do. We finally got silent, laid flat, and acted as if we had disappeared. The dogs must’ve gotten bored or distracted and began wandering away. We kept looking and looking and when they didn’t come back for 20 minutes, we traversed off of the salt mound as fast as we could.
We made a mad dash for the fence we had entered from and luckily all got out safely. Our parents were all angry and ready to call the authorities because none of us came home at dark. It was one of the scariest moments of my childhood. And so, the lesson is to never climb up a mountain of salt no matter how cool it looks, because there may be dogs waiting for you on the way down!
82. Bad Vibes
I explored an abandoned hospital/asylum at a State School a few times. Some of the rooms even had padded walls. The moment I walked in, I felt like I wasn’t alone. The air felt very strange, and I always walked back out with a terrible headache that went away as soon as I left the building. A psychic friend refused to walk near it, since he also got a strange vibe from it.
When development finally started happening, the poor demolition crew lost a lot of members due to them hearing disembodied screaming, and being touched by something that wasn’t there while cleaning the buildings out. I felt relieved when they finally tore it down.
83. Ghost Has Joined the Chat
Not an “urban explorer,” but I’ve worked in property management for a while and one of the properties I managed was an old abandoned bank/office building. It had two elevators, but only one of them worked. Once, while doing a routine safety inspection, I got on the elevator in the basement and pressed floor 12 (the top floor).
The next three minutes made my blood run cold. The elevator stopped on floor three. The doors opened. A cool breeze blew in. The doors closed. The elevator continued to floor 12. I swear a freaking ghost joined me in the elevator.
84. Clowning Around
I was with several of my friends and my girlfriend. We knew of this old, abandoned nursery out in the country not too far from our college. It was on a weekend; around midnight or so. I don’t remember specifics. We pulled up and parked the car. I went in first, followed by my friend and then my girlfriend. To be honest, nothing really occurred until the end.
That was when we found this room at the end of this really short hallway. It had paintings of clowns and two beds in it that were clearly meant for babies. My girlfriend claims to have heard a chuckle come from the room as we were leaving. As soon as she said that, the door slammed shut behind us. It was the creepiest thing I had seen in a very long time.
85. Get Out Of My Restaurant
My friends and I were exploring an abandoned restaurant in this beach town one winter’s night. We snuck in through a broken window on the shore side, to avoid being spotted by any cars driving by. Inside, there was a long bar, with tables and chairs tossed about haphazardly. We walked downstairs into a wine cellar, and started walking through the labyrinth of hallways, finding that the basement was deceptively larger than we would have expected for a beachside restaurant.
As we went further, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that we were being watched. We wandered into this room off of one of the hallways and shone our flashlights around the edges. There, in a corner amid the dust, we saw an unmade cot on the floor, along with a safety razor next to a mirror and some random other belongings.
Our stomachs immediately dropped as we realized we were currently in someone’s living quarters, and promptly vacated the premises. To this day, we still don’t know if the person was hiding in the basement with us, waiting for us to leave, or if we stumbled on it while they were out and about. Either way, we couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched by someone from the shadows of that basement.
86. Internet, Meet Bomb Shelter
My friends and I went into an old WWII bomb shelter in some woods when we were about 10 years old. In them we found very explicit drawings in pencil of cartoon characters naked doing intimate acts. Like Kim Possible, every Simpsons character, and some Family Guy ones, too. Super creepy. Did not go back.
87. Freezing Up
When I was a teenager, some friends and I would occasionally party in the unused biology department of the local university. We would get in through a hole we’d cut in this barbed wire fence surrounding the building. Maybe the fourth or fifth time hanging out there, a few of us found a lab that still had beakers and vials in it.
There was this big walk-in freezer type door in the back with plastic tape over it. Sort of like crime scene tape. Being the young imbeciles we were, we tore the tape off and opened the door. It was definitely some kind of storage area, with shelves full of jars of weird liquids and powders. The ground was covered in broken glass from a jar that had fallen and shattered.
We then noticed the room was releasing this red powdery substance that was coating everything. We thought it was probably hazardous to our health, so we went back to the main group and we all left and never went back. I still have no idea what that stuff was. It could have been harmless, but I’m also glad we were sober enough not to try tasting it or anything stupid like that.
88. Apocalyptic Rodent
One night, my friend and I were walking back to his place after a concert. It was pretty late, and we decided to take a shortcut through a construction site because we were tired. Since all the streets around the construction site were closed, it was completely empty, as if the whole area was abandoned in a zombie apocalypse, with just the two of us left in the South Loop area of Chicago.
While we were crossing a small bridge and just chatting away about what we liked the most about the show, I was looking at him and then turned my head forward—and found myself face to face with what looked like a zombie rat. Someone had taken a mummified rat or squirrel or something and used wire to position it like it was pouncing mid-air at your face.
Scared the heck out of me. The combination of the abandoned construction site and the zombie rat freaked both of us out, so we ran until we hit a busy street with other people around.
So this happened one year ago. I was with my best friend at a pretty known abandoned house in my city. Almost every weekend we would go there, have fun and drink. Nobody was interrupting us, but one night as we entered, we noticed some homeless people walking around and yelling. At that point, we knew that we should get out of there.
The problem was that those guys had already seen us and started chasing us, not running, but still. He and I decided to run and hide in a bus station nearby. After 10 minutes the homeless guys were around the corner of the street and holding some kind of knife (there were four guys). It was 11:00 at night so we got really scared and went to one of my friend’s houses 500 meters from there.
We called the police and it turns out that those dudes have been sleeping in buses and doing this kind of stuff all over the city. I was pretty scared about that situation.
90. Unintentional Explorer
I was in Athens, Greece. It was my first time traveling alone in a foreign country. I didn’t know that people basically deserted the streets midday. I walked into a shop just off the Plaka. I didn’t realize the store was empty and that the door had been locked behind me. I looked around for a bit and then tried to leave, but I was caught completely off-guard by the owner. He blocked the way and prevented me from leaving.
I am darn lucky he didn’t physically attack me. He finally opened the door. Lesson learned.
91. Forget Crocodiles in the Sewers…
One summer when I was a kid, it somehow got popular to explore the storm drainage system underneath our neighborhood. These were cylindrical tunnels made from pre-made pieces. Getting into the pipes required crawling through a tight fit for 15-20 feet, but after that, we could stand up easily. Occasionally there were odd structures, like huge grates that looked like prison bars that only covered the bottom half the pipe.
Very rarely, there was light coming in from a grate in the road above, but most of the time we needed flashlights to see anything at all. Every single sound was nerve-wracking, because technically there shouldn’t have been any sounds other than running water down there. One day my brother, who was essentially fearless, and some of his friends decided to explore a tunnel none of us had ever ventured into.
I’ll admit it: I was too scared. I don’t know why I was creeped out on that day, but I was. So two friends and I stayed at the junction while my brother and his two friends went exploring. After they were gone for ten or fifteen minutes, we heard terrified shouting and running footsteps echoing down the tunnels, coming toward us. Finally, through the dark tunnel, I heard one of my brother’s friends shout a single word: “Go!”
We all ran down the big tunnel that we knew led to a pond exit, because instinctively we knew that whatever was down there would catch us if we had to shimmy back through the small pipes to get out the way we had gone in. So we ran, hard, flashlight beams bouncing off the walls, until we finally started seeing light from where the tunnel emptied into the pond.
One by one, we all reached the drop and just kept running into thin air, falling into the pond below. I was terrified of heights and I didn’t even know how to swim very well, but that didn’t stop me. As I was making my way to land, my brother and his friends came shooting out of the pipe and into the pond. For a moment I thought they had been playing a prank on us, but my brother immediately insisted that we all go home.
He wouldn’t even tell me what happened on the entire, dripping wet walk. The whole group went to my house and my brother told my mother what happened—his story still sends a chill down my spine to this day. Apparently, they had stumbled across a spot where light was trickling in from above, illuminating a pile of trash and debris built up around one of those half-pipe-high bar grates. And, lying within that pile of trash, they had seen a man. When their flashlight beams hit him, he had raised his head, reached out towards them, and started crawling out of the trash in their direction. So they ran.
My mother called the police. They asked my brother to guide them to the location in the pipes where this happened, and they found exactly what he described…but the man was gone. Within minutes, there were at least a dozen police cars around our neighborhood, and people and dogs searching that drainage system from end to end.
They wouldn’t tell us any details, but we do know that they never found the man. The dogs followed his scent to the end of the pipe at the pond, but they never picked up the scent anywhere on the ground around the pond or creek. As far as I know, none of us ever went into the storm drains again.
I used to go to Army Cadets in like 2011-2012, and on the way back there was an abandoned building. I started in winter so it was always dark on the way back (around 9:00 pm) so I didn’t notice the most chilling part of the building until it was too late. I went there in July when the sun went down much later in the night. As I looked around, I felt a chill run down my spine.
The word “HELP” was carved into the window. If it was the bottom floor I could brush it off as a prank or something, but it was the top window of a four-story building. The place got knocked down thankfully.
93. You’ve Got Company
A friend of mine used to work at a Subway with a drive-thru. Whenever he and his friends decided to poke around after hours, they saw the “Shadow Man.” Just the shadow of a man; sometimes staying still, sometimes coming closer, in both the store and on the drive-thru camera screens. I don’t remember if they said it felt malicious or not, but it scared the heck outta me.
94. Labyrinth 2.0
One night, while exploring a large abandoned building, we found one of the boarded-up windows where the wood looked like it wasn’t fully secured. We pushed it back and there must have been some bricks piled up against it on the other side, because there was a crash when we pushed it open. RIGHT when that happened, we heard someone running away, yet we still ventured in, thinking it was probably just another explorer.
When we had climbed inside and walked around a bit, we stepped into a scene from a horror movie. We found a room in the basement that had blood all over the floor. We panicked then and tried to get out, but it started to feel like we were trapped. We were walking in circles, we kept taking different turns and ending up at the same place!
We finally realized that we were in a section that was blocked off except for the one hole in the wall through which we had entered. Just as we were about to call the police for a rescue, thankfully, we found the room with the hole and got out of there.
95. Wild Animals
High school me and a few friends (including a girl that my best friend really liked) had seen this abandoned, old house in the middle of the woods near a cow field, and we thought it would be a good idea to check it out in the middle of the night. We only had one flashlight, so mostly it was just the moon guiding us while the girls freaked out the entire time.
We got into the house by climbing on a fallen log that fell right through the roof and noticed certain things… an old plastic Christmas tree, moldy books, and a broken bowling ball. We wandered into a dark room away from the fallen tree and tried to let our eyes adjust—and then the worst, putrid smell hit our noses, like rotting meat.
We started talking, and then heard something scurry in the room (which wasn’t a big room by any means). The girls started screaming (with the one girl my friend liked clutching onto him which he loved), and we heard whooshes of air like something moved past our faces. I had no idea what was happening, just that something real was in that room and we couldn’t see it.
Eventually, the friend with the flashlight made it in, and we held our breath as he turned it on. In the middle of the room were two vultures with a disgusting piece of carrion just looking at us like we were crazy. Not as scary as it could’ve been, but it’s crazy we were walking right into wild animals as they ate and had no idea.
96. I Saw The Light
I went exploring in an old textile mill in rural Alabama. We parked right in the middle of the mill’s backlot. We decided to climb the ladders up to the roof. Once we got to the roof, the sun started setting, so we got our headlamps ready, watched the sunset, and then decided to head back down from the roof.
As we were walking to the ladder, my car alarm down below started going off. Immediately, from the rooftop across from us, someone flashed a flashlight at us. But here’s the kicker: they never said a thing. I was way too nervous about my car to really care about the other person, but they didn’t chase us, yell, or anything. They just kept their light on us so that we could never see them.
They followed us with their light until we got into the car and left. I never went back after that. It’s torn down now.
97. Heavy Metal Discovery
I’m no urban explorer, but when I was a kid my dad and I were walking around an abandoned school that his company was going to demolish. In the trophy case there was a pentagram with a headless crow in the middle surrounded by unlit candles. It looked pretty fresh too.
98. Open Door Policy
I was inside an abandoned brewery, looking at the old equipment. I climbed a lot of stairs and found a door with scribbles of graffiti on it. Among the sentences written on it were: “Don’t look down” and “End your life here!” We were about four floors off the ground at this point, but my curiosity was killing me. I opened the door to see what was on the other side.
And what was on the other side was… nothing. No stairs or balcony or fence or anything whatsoever. The door was on the wall of the building and it literally opened up into thin air. You absolutely would have been killed, and painfully, had you fallen out or taken a step through it before realizing that there was nothing there.
99. This Story Has Some Pop
In Al Asad airbase, Iraq, my unit inherited this massive hangar that backed up to a few old bunkers. They were these huge pyramids protruding from the sand. I didn’t have much going on one night, so I went skulking around. I found an air vent on top, which I then kicked out. The duct had a ladder that went way down.
I “Mission Impossible-d” my way down. It was full of spent brass and pieces of old weapons. I also found a door that had all the trappings of an officer’s office. On the desk, I found a diary that turned out to be the minutes of several years’ worth of party meetings. There was also a flag. Proud of my new loot, I found another small closet. I never could have guessed what I’d find behind that door.
I opened the door and it was filled floor-to-ceiling with unused explosive devices. Everything from grenades to those packages that hold C4. There were tons of it, and it was all very old. Terrified that I would accidentally trigger one of them and blow myself to oblivion, I shot up that ladder like I was being chased. I put the vent back on and casually returned home, whistling as if nothing had happened.
100. Mystery Chopper
Friend of mine got a tip about an abandoned military munitions storage. Wide-open gate. No locks. Drove right in. Found these grass-covered bunkers. Empty inside, but very cool and creepy. Took some great pictures. All of a sudden, we see something that makes our jaws drop. A helicopter flies by, and it’s flying low. My friend gets really spooked. Looked like a police chopper. He insists we pull the truck INTO the bunker to hide in case it comes back.
I pull the truck in, and sure enough, it comes back. We all duck into the bunker. And this thing drops into a low hover. Right above us. Spotlight shining on the bunker door. We are completely screwed. After a few minutes we all agree this is it. Squad cars must be coming. Life is over. We just trespassed into some federal facility we only thought was abandoned. We are getting arrested. We all agree we might as well just come out.
So we all walk out, into the spotlight. Show ourselves, set our camera and tripod down. Chopper hovers there. Nothing on the loudspeaker. They’re just looking at us. And then it turns and flies away. Uh… what does this mean? I don’t know just get in the freaking truck!!! So we haul it out of there, as fast as we can drive, and never saw a sign of the police again.
101. Getting The Boot
I was in an awesome, old, abandoned hospital with a couple of buddies at night. It was hauntingly beautiful and incredibly intense. We were up on the second floor and I went ahead a bit. I was just scanning each individual room as I passed them, and at some point, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. As I peeked into one of the rooms, a pair of legs was laying on the ground.
The hairs on the back of my neck started sticking up. I was about to run away, but then I suddenly got the urge to check whether the person was alive. So, I slowly continued to peek further into the room. I then realized it was just a pair of super long boots that someone had left there as a prank. I laughed my head off as the epic tension was released all in an instant.
I walked back to my buddies and told them to go check out that room, not telling them what was in there.
102. Enemies Made
It was in the forest behind the neighborhood I lived in as a child. It was called the abandoned grease factory…a pretty spooky place for kids in the neighborhood to visit. Me and a buddy get asked by two kids who are about three or four years older than us to go check it out. We agree because we thought it would be cool.
The two older guys after arriving begin making a crap ton of noise, like banging on walls, shouting, climbing to the top of the building and throwing crap off. Me and my buddy think nothing of it. Well, out of nowhere the two disappear. Me and my buddy begin swearing trying to figure out where to go. Lo and behold three cops walk out from around the corner and grab us…
I guess the two older kids knew that cops come to check the place often and they were causing a scene to attract the cops and get us in trouble… We were in fifth grade I believe, my parents were not happy to see us arrive at the house in the back of the cop car.
103. Don’t Stop The Party
I was driving down an abandoned country road once. I looked down the road to the left and spotted about a hundred people having what looked like a family-type gathering. But they were in the forest. They all started to glare at me aggressively as I drove by them. We just kept going and didn’t slow down. No idea what those people were up to.
104. Strike, Scream, Run
There was a man living in the last abandoned place I explored. It was something ripped straight out of a horror movie. He just saw us, rose to his feet and bolted at us, screaming his head off.
105. Echoing The Sentiment
My friend and I were exploring an abandoned insane asylum. We were in the underground tunnels that stretched as far as our flashlights could shine. The echoing is unreal down there, so we would stop every thirty feet or so to let the echoes fizzle down, just so we knew we were alone. One time, when the echoes stopped, we heard what sounded like an elevator coming to the ground floor.
There were no elevators in the building, and no power anyway. We looked at each other and instantly bailed. No idea what it was to this day.
106. Dreamless Sleep
I was 16 and a couple friend of mine wanted to check out this abandoned train station. When we got there everything seemed to be normal for an abandoned site (graffiti, trash etc.) but there was this one little building there that looked weirdly clean and well preserved. So we decided to go in through the window since the door was locked.
Inside we found this big piece of metal. When we looked closer, we saw that an utterly chilling sentence was carved in it: “Our dream is wakefulness, our enemy is dreamless sleep.” There were a bunch of Barbie doll heads hanging from the ceiling. Then we heard a noise (when I look back it was probably a rat) and ran away as quick as we could.
I think I still have a photo of that metal piece. Still creeps me out.
107. Animal Farm
When I was in high school, I worked at my county’s museum. Out in the back, there was an abandoned house that had been set up to resemble a turn-of-the-century home. It was only opened for special events. Since one of these events was coming up, I got sent there to take down the curtains for cleaning. Keep in mind, it was very quiet in there.
It was far enough back from the highway that you couldn’t even hear the cars going by. Since it was out of the sun, it was always a bit chilly. There were creepy dolls and old pictures all over the place. All of these combined gave a bit of an uneasy feeling for whoever entered. As I was taking down the curtains, there suddenly was a horrible, bone-chilling scream coming from the outside.
Naturally, I sprinted right out of there… only to discover that the screaming was coming from two of the alpacas next door, who were getting intimate at the time…
108. Paper Man
So in my town there is an abandoned paper mill. As dumb teenagers do my friends and I decided to explore it. We knew of some other kids in our high school who go there regularly so we thought nothing of it. So we had been there for maybe 20 minutes or so and we just see a dark figure and hear a loud, “Hey.” Knowing that we were busted we started to run into a dead end.
Turns out it was the owner of the mill. He was a really nice guy and he gave us a tour. His vision was to turn that place into a five-star restaurant but until then he would rent out the space for film crews; a few horror movies had been filmed there. He was there just checking up on the place and sectioning off the places the floor was weakening.
He honestly probably saved one of us a trip to the ER because the floors looked fine till you put any pressure on them. We felt bad so we showed him where the hole in the fence was so he could seal it later.
109. A Splitting Headache
I went into this old bunker and found that someone had gutted a raccoon in there. Its body was completely ripped open. Usually, I just find burned books and graffiti or candles or whatever. But a split-open raccoon is sort of next level. I guess I was just super grossed out, and I immediately left the premises.
110. Duck Season
A guy with a shotgun camped out by my car, and when I came back he told me he had called the law on me for trespassing. He let me go, though. He just told me not to come back during hunting season because he almost shot me.
111. What Beautiful Eyes You Have
I was in the basement of an abandoned factory once with a friend and it was pitch black. All we had were tiny flashlights. That was scary enough already, but then we heard clicking sounds. My friend’s flashlight quickly spotted something moving—and then a pair of greenish glowing eyes. Seconds later, we saw even more eyes and they all started coming towards us.
We ran away from there before we could figure out who the eyes belonged to.
112. Homeless Home
Explored an abandoned cheese factory with a friend in eighth grade, found a slew of homeless people huddled in one of the old offices around a space heater which we later realized was running off an extension cord from outside the building. It was run under the snow (I’m assuming to go undetected) and was plugged into an outlet at a park pavilion nearby.
We got the weirdest looks from them, and got the heck out. No time for exchanges. Come to think of it, I wish I would have brought back some food, blankets, etc. I was naive and immature.
113. American Graffiti
When my friends and I were young, we lived in a trailer park community in a bad part of Phoenix. But we loved exploring anyway. We found a large old storm drain behind our community covered in graffiti and weeds. We decided to explore it, walking in with mini flashlights. We kept seeing spots of blood and more strange graffiti.
After about thirty minutes, we started hearing tapping sounds. We got scared and started to walk back out, but then we noticed that the sounds seemed to be following us. We ran like our lives depended on it. A few weeks after that, our community manager made a shocking discovery near the entrance of the storm drain. It was a dead body. That was the last of our exploring.
114. The Other End of Urban Exploration
Everyone here seems to have found cool stuff. I literally just saw a lot of trash and poo. Where are you guys exploring at?
115. I Got A Feeling
This applies to multiple places that I’ve explored before. Some places don’t feel empty. Even at the times when I knew I was alone, it still felt like I wasn’t. It’s hard to describe. Whenever I get that feeling, I have to leave right away.
The worst is when the house spontaneously breaks down. In one house, the first-floor ceilings collapsed, bringing the second floor downstairs. It was really scary. I’ve also been inside houses that still had all of the last occupant’s belongings. It really makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a place you shouldn’t be in. It’s very personal.
116. True Believers
Church Road. The abandoned house with religious pamphlets strewn about all over the place. We were in the middle of exploring it when we suddenly decided to turn around. There was an old man casually standing behind us and it spooked us out. He wasn’t shouting at us to leave; he was just staring at us. Needless to say, we did not waste a single second getting the heck out of there.
117. You’ll Float Too!
One summer when I was a kid it somehow got popular to explore the storm drainage system underneath our neighborhood. Yes, like the ones in It, but just boring concrete. These were the round tunnels made from pre-made pieces. Getting into the pipes required crawling through a tight fit for 15 feet, but after that you could stand.
As you explored the system you’d find areas that were big enough to drive a golf cart through. Occasionally there would be odd structures, like grates that looked like prison bars. And it was pitch-black. We could only see if we shone our flashlights. Every single sound was nerve-wracking because technically there shouldn’t have been any sounds other than running water.
Well, one day my brother and some friends decided to explore a tunnel none of us had ever ventured to. I admit it, I was too scared, so I stayed on the street level. After my brother and his pals were gone for 10 minutes we heard terrified shouting. I kept hearing one word, again and again: they were absolutely screaming “Go!”
When my brother got out of the manhole, he was white as a sheet. He insisted that we all go home. That night, he revealed the awful truth. There was a pile of trash and debris built up around one of those half-pipe prison bar grates. And laying within that pile of trash, they saw a man, who upon hearing them, raised his head, reached out towards them, and started crawling out of the trash in their direction. So they ran.
My mother called the police. They asked my brother to guide them to the location in the pipes where this happened. They found exactly what he described, but the man was gone. Within minutes there were at least a dozen police cars around our neighborhood with people and dogs searching that drainage system. They wouldn’t tell us any details, but we do know that they never found the man.
None of us ever went into the storm drains again.
118. Against The Grain
My friends and I explored an abandoned grain factory in Johnson City, Tennessee. It’s torn down now, but when it was still up, it was massive. Stories upon stories. It was around 11:00 p.m. and pitch black, so we brought a couple of little flashlights with us. We were picking up this horrible smell but we still kept exploring like idiots. We went all the way to the top floor and discovered it was a substance den, complete with spoons and needles. Definitely scrammed after that.
I work as an asbestos surveyor. I regularly have to go through entire derelict buildings. One time I had to do a survey of an old nunnery, the foundations dated back over 300 years I think. I was down in the basement and I found a well with a ladder going all the way down, probably about 20ft. Descended all the way down and there was this tiny door at the bottom.
I realized that things were far more sinister than we thought. This obviously wasn’t a well hole. The door lead to a tiny room with no lighting. Inside the room there was a large cross, similar to a crucifix with restraints on it, I can only guess as it was used for some kind of religious exorcism stuff. There were scratches on the walls. The building owner had no idea it was there.
I was exploring the basement of this really cool old Victorian mansion and I came across an alarmingly large den of snakes. I doubt they were anything dangerous, but they started looking at me and slithering around. I politely apologized for having invaded their home and noped the heck out of there as fast as I possibly could.
121. An Organ and Nostalgia
Broke into an abandoned insane asylum years ago. We walked into a random room and shined our flashlights around. On the floor in the middle of the room was a white and red box with a medical cross on it sitting on top of a broken record. Part of the box was busted out and there was some sort of organ inside. Red ooze had leaked out and was just starting to congeal around the edges.
The last room of our excursion was a file room. Thousands of patient files had been left inside. Needless to say, we took some. We also took a page from a photo album. They were the only pictures we found in there. We had no idea what we had stumbled upon. Later on we were at a diner pouring over the crazy stuff we found and my friend takes a look at the pictures only to find that her mom was in three out of the six.
Apparently she worked there a few decades prior. She said it was the worst job she ever had and refused to tell us anything else about it.