I loved the game Myst. The feeling that you were exploring a lost world was compelling, and the stories that the places and artifacts told was addictive. I played the entire game in a weekend, and then the sequel, Riven, in about a week. I nearly lost my job...

This site brought back fond memories of those explorations... but with the added element of danger. The sites these folks explore have that same creepy "time in a bottle" kind of feel, and the risk of falling, being crushed, drowned, electrocuted, or just arrested is quite real. Consider this advice from the article on the Buffalo Central Terminal:
"The basement is usually flooded, and can only be explored during the coldest part of the year, when one can crawl around on top of six-foot-thick (you hope) ice."
Or this, from the write-up of the Canada Malting Plant:
"The whole place is like the wreck of the Titanic — early 1900s industrial technology encrusted with rust. Plan to spend several hours there, and play safe — maybe get a Tetanus shot beforehand."

In addition to pictures from these and other explored sites, has section on the ethics of urban exploration, links and resource pages, and a brief history of urban exploration, which begins with this:
"Philibert Aspairt, considered by some the first cataphile, becomes lost while exploring the Parisian catacombs by candlelight. His body is found 11 years later."

The timeline is worth perusing. It features interesting info on famous people who liked to crawl around in abandoned sites, like Walt Whitman, Andre Breton, and even our own beloved Sloth. Apparently, Sloth has been holding out on us - says here that she and two others named named Doug and Woody formed the Cave Clan, a club dedicated to urban exploration, in Melbourne, Australia back in January of '86...

I don't want to live in a huge city with derelict buildings on every block, but these guys do make Toronto, Buffalo, or New York sound like a good vacation idea.


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