Exploring abandoned mansions on YouTube will fulfill the explorer in you

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Exploring abandoned mansions on YouTube will fulfill the explorer in you
An abandoned holiday resort in Racha, Georgia.
An abandoned holiday resort in Racha, Georgia.

Image: Barcroft Media via Getty Images

This post is part of Hard Refresh, a soothing weekly column where we try to cleanse your brain of whatever terrible thing you just witnessed on Twitter.


There’s something about going through someone’s old belongings that is at once fascinating and eerie. However, there’s certainly a fine line between rummaging through postcards at a flea market in Brooklyn and stepping foot into a rotting mansion on Long Island. 

You can cross that line of invasion on YouTube. There, you’ll find the corner of lively urban explorers sharing their findings as they explore decaying structures they may or may not have permission to do so. 

Growing up I was fascinated with history, so watching people investigate these crumbling mansions and all they contain is strangely soothing. Witnessing others take risks we’d never take ourselves provides a chaotically zen experience. 

Watching mansion after decaying mansion, all massive and unkempt, I couldn’t help but find myself glued to the screen. My imagination kicking into high gear: Who lived here? Why did they leave? What would it have been like to live in a house in the middle of the woods with multiple skylights? 

While I certainly wouldn’t want to go into any of these places alone, the brave souls that do provide the world some amazing footage. Without speaking, they navigate dark, shuttered houses while shuffling over debris in order to get the perfect shot for those of us who’d rather gaze from non-moldy environments. 

Some of the homes have alleged backstories that involve crime, tragedy, or a combination of both. Some have simply outlived their owners and haven’t found new ones, left to their own defenses on lonely acres. 

Often the explorers don’t know the whole story of what happened to the owners of the house, or aren’t willing to share details for privacy concerns. While most YouTube comment sections are places where curiosity and intellect go to die, the people commenting on these videos are, for the most part, curious and passionate. 

Many commenters also want to make it known that they despise vandalism, which isn’t difficult to comprehend after seeing these vacant spaces drenched in spray-painted swear words and broken glass. Others are detectives and storytellers, rehashing details from the home in question or mentioning a personal link they may have to it. 

Privately owned homes are not the only places to be left behind. There’s also videos of resorts, motels, and malls that have seen better days. For example, this forlorn honeymoon resort in the Poconos will have you feeling incredibly strange:

Plenty of these clips likely constitute as trespassing, so we suggest not accessing any property that you don’t have permission to do so. Aside from being illegal, exploring these dilapidated homes can also be extremely dangerous. That being said, we’re grateful for these brave souls that allow us to see places that we otherwise wouldn’t. 

If you’re in the mood for reliving the past while remaining fully in the present, these videos are the perfect things to uncover. 

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