Creeping around abandoned churches, graveyards, and mental asylums wouldn’t exactly be our idea of a fun Friday night, but it's an urban explorer's bread and butter! These intrepid adventurers love nothing more than sneaking into dilapidated, decaying places to soak in the atmosphere and become one with their spooky histories. But when you enter a long-abandoned space, you run the risk of disturbing whatever — and whoever — is still there. These urban explorers shared their unsettling experiences of abandoned places and the strangest discoveries they’ve made, and we doubt they'll be returning anytime soon.
1. The ghost church
Would you go to an abandoned church in a small Czech town that's “haunted” by 32 ghosts? The eerie, white-sheeted specters sit in the pews and stand in the aisles of St. George’s in Lukova, put there by a local artist to encourage tourism. Caretaker Petr Koukl told Insider, “We had two or three visitors that refused to enter. They peeked through the door but didn't enter because they didn't feel well about it.” We totally get why. This just may be as unsettling as it gets.
2. A "bowling" alley in an empty mining town
Kolmanskop is currently a tourist attraction in the Namibian desert, but in the ‘20s it was a booming diamond-mining town. By 1956, when no more riches could be found, the town was abandoned. All the homes are covered in sand dunes, despite their interiors and furnishings, like this bowling sign, being perfectly preserved due to the arid desert heat. The skittle alley — similar to a bowling alley — is bizarrely untouched by these sand dunes, though.
3. The crane mirror
Ireland’s Connacht District Lunatic Asylum opened in 1830 and closed in 2013 under the more modern monicker St. Brigid’s Hospital. It has been abandoned since then and the strangest thing urban explorers have found is the 12 foot tall crane mirror in one of the rooms. It’s more suited to a ballet school, rather than a mental facility. Even stranger, it’s considerably bigger than the doors and windows, which begs the question - how did it get in the room?
4. An army of possessive geese
When Redditor u/VitaminRmademefat was checking out a long abandoned hotel, they sensed something lurking in one of the empty rooms. Sure enough, they supposedly found hundreds of geese living in the guest rooms. The angered animals gave chase, and even gathered in the lobby as if trying to trap the intruder. VitaminR added, “I got out to find the exterior of the hotel swarming…There was one lone sentinel standing on the roof, honking out a shrill command as if the perimeter had been breached.” Crazy!