A cautionary tale about Urban Exploration

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Hi, big fan and I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to do this but I suppose I’ll just tell you everything and leave it to you to work your magic on making it a interesting as possible like you always seem to. I’ll start now.

My name is Vito. I travel around a lot for work and I was in New Jersey for the absolute least amount of time out of everywhere else because of some reasons I won’t discuss. While I was in New Jersey however, I did what I normally do when I get into another town for work. I drove around and asked if there were any places of interest. I got the usual responses of shopping malls, parks, movie theaters, but nobody really had anything to say when I asked about any creepy, old or abandoned buildings.

It wasn’t till the next day at work that I heard about a place that would interest me because one of my co-workers, Bethane, was complaining about how her daughter and her friends wanted to go and explore some abandoned old shit hole that was probably about to collapse on itself. If I would have been a dog my ears would have perked up like a couple of knives. So I asked,” So what shit hole are we talking about, the bar I had a drink at last night or the west side of town?” She fired back,” Oh my daughter and her friends want to go down to the old County Jail for God knows why. She’s into this goth phase and I wish she would just grow out of it.” I was hooked. A creepy old abandoned Jail that a bunch of Goth kids wanted to check out sounded perfect. You see, I’ve always liked old building architecture and have had a merit in the supernatural stuff since the first time me and my friends played with a Ouija board when we were five.

I told her that I would go and check the place out and let her know if the place was really dangerous or not. “You know, to get your daughter off of your back,” I said. She told me where the Jail was and I told her that I would check it out Friday after work.

Friday morning I packed my parkour bag and through it in my car so I could go straight to the Jail after work. Three O’clock came and I made my way to the old Essex County Jail. I found a place about half a mile away to park and opened my bag and started to get geared up. I strapped my elbow and knee pads on. Next I did a battery check on my flashlight. Made sure I had a few bottles of water and a protein bar. Never know when you might get stuck somewhere right? I checked my tools (screwdrivers, small crowbar, Leather Gloves, chalk, and a Leatherman multi-tool) and lastly, I checked my gun to make sure it was loaded and had a few spare mags. This might seem a little over excessive but I have been frustrated when I have had to come back to place when I was locked out and I have seen all kinds of wildlife in old abandoned buildings and compounds.

The reason I parked a good bit away so I could limber up on the way and plan things out as best I could. You see, the old Essex County Jail was a two-story square building attached to a cell block wing, crafted from brick. It had garden pathways, courtyards, and even a greenhouse. The place was pretty big too, 300 cells are nothing to sneeze at so I knew was going to be there for a while.

I came to the entrance and it was everything I wanted. It was sturdy for sure and it wasn’t going to fall in on itself. Brick usually lasts forever unless an earthquake comes around. It was sun worn on the outside and it looked even more twisted the further I went inside the old beast. I was all right in some places while just out right mangled in others. It was really quiet too. I could make some cool acoustics in some places but I immediately decided that I would refrain from that when a piece of the roof fell in close by me. Guess it wasn’t as sturdy as I initially thought.

Eventually, I came across a bunch of used drugs, you know, needles and bottles. From then on I walked around with my crowbar. I never found anyone in my ascent to the roof. It was a great view. Problem was that while the view was great, so was the sunset. I guess I lost track of time while I was walking through the place. I took a swig of water and put the crowbar up and started down the steps.

As I was walking down the steps I heard a loud scream from what sounded like a man in serious pain. It made me miss a step so I fell forward. I tried to use the rail to catch myself but my luck was in full swing today because the damn section of rail I grabbed broke off with me. Good thing I was wearing my pads. When I got up, I immediately took my flashlight from out of my bag and drew my gun from the shoulder holster. I carry a Desert Eagle in 50 action express. No it isn’t a practical concealed carry gun, but then again what I was doing wasn’t practical, Remember the “wildlife” I mentioned before? I was in an abandoned campsite once and I saw a bear go around a corner. Not to mention that sometimes there are some not so friendly people that take refuge in these place.

I quickly made my way through the place until I realized I was lost, I was standing in front of cell 104 when I could swear I heard a soft whimpering coming from inside of it. I turned my light and gun to the cell and saw nothing. I did see a small teddy bear on the bed though. I said out-loud to myself that the walls must be talking to me because I’m the only one here. I heard what sounded like metal scraping against itself. From then on I kept my mouth shut and moved at a walking pace.

After slowing down I realized why I was lost. I made marks on the wall with chalk, (blue meant it leads to the exit and green meant it was a dead end) it was an navigation technique I use every time I do something like this. My markings were gone. All of them were gone. This put me on edge as I kept an eye on my back from then on out. Every time I would relax something would happen to put me back on alert. I was going down a corridor and fucking light bulb busted when I walked under it. The place hasn’t had electricity for at least 50 years so it has just been sitting there. That and the very inconsistent rambling, crying, or even growling I would hear from the place made me paranoid. I hadn’t lost my cool yet. The place could drop bottles from nowhere and the metal could screech at me all it wanted but it wasn’t going to get the best of me.

Until I started to hear footsteps behind me, I looked behind me and I saw an empty hall. I turned around and I heard it again so I swung around and saw nothing. I turned back around and heard it again only it was picking up speed. I ignored it as it sounded like it was getting closer. I passed a leaky pipe and it stopped. I felt foolish realizing that I was walking by a leaky pipe. It made sense to me since it rained pretty hard the day before and I saw wet spots in the building. The acoustics in the place were pretty remarkable as I had mentioned and sound traveled all around you. Until a few minutes later when I swear to God I felt breathing on my neck and heard a whisper from an old raspy voice saying, “you don’t belong.” I turned on my heel and fired a shot. At nothing. After I regained my composure I saw a blue arrow on the wall. I walked to the entrance in complete silence. No noises. Nothing.

I left the building and didn’t look back. When I got back to my car I took a minute to breath and then drove to Beth’s. I knocked on the door and she let me in. I told her and her daughter that the place is way too dangerous to go into. Get lost easy, the metal isn’t holding up well, glass and used drugs all over the place. She reluctantly agreed not to go there. I didn’t tell her about the voices I heard because I wasn’t entirely sure if I was alone or not.

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