FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG Booth's Blog: Abandoned hotels, houses and hospitals! Why do we love them so much..?
By Emily Booth, Tuesday 4th March 2014 As a child I was (without my knowing it) an avid urban explorer. I got the biggest thrill from breaking into huge Victorian derelict houses, of which there were tons in Hastings back in the 80s. I’d even spend the night in them for a cheap thrill with my mates. Luckily nothing remotely nasty ever happened like in the movies. Damn!
But now it’s become a huge scene with ‘urban explorers’ effectively breaking the law as they break into fascinating places that have fallen into disrepair and facing demolition, then posting amazingly creepy photos online of the echoes of life once seen there.
This has, as all horror fans know, become a fertile theme for horror films. Chernobyl Diaries for example sees tourists head to the abandoned doomed town only to discover it’s not as abandoned as they thought! And here on Horror Channel we regularly show After following hardcore urban explorers take to the abandoned metro lines in Moscow! Then there’s Closed For The Season set in a disused theme park. But why do we love these strange places of urban decay, burnt out theatres and rusty forgotten fairgrounds?
A new exhibition called Ruin Lust at London’s Tate Britain aims to explore this; apparently there are times in life when ‘lust for ruins’ spikes and right now the fascination for the dilapidated, of a time gone by is at its peak. Some think it’s an obsession with the fall of society, economy, or the echoes of disaster. I think its just empowering being the only one to walk through a place of faded beauty, imagining the lives that lived there, seeing greatness in all its eerie stillness. It’s the closest thing to seeing ghosts. And while these places serve no active purpose now I feel such sadness when they are demolished or turned into flats.
Take the beloved Bray Studios where many of the Hammer horror movies were filmed, they are now to be demolished and turned into boring flats. It seems even the famous landmark of Universal Studios the Psycho house is under threat! I had a real scare when I read that they may plan to demolish this building under a huge multi million dollar renovation project, but fear not Psychofans it looks like they only plan to move the iconic building for now. But still there are facebook pressure groups you can join including Save Bray Studios and Save The Psycho House that you can join if you want to find out more, here you go.
Of all the strange spooky abandoned places just SCREAMING out to become a movie location the best by far are the derelict theme parks! Fancy a treacherous ride on a wooden rollercoaster interwoven with weeds now that Mother Nature has claimed it? Check out these amazing photos of abandoned ghostly theme parks from around the world here, you will be so inspired.
If you want to head to the art exhibition Ruin Lust it runs until May 18th at Tate Britain. You can also follow the immensely popular twitter feed where people post photos of the disused and abandoned @DerelictPlace.
I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings about this week’s blog. Have you ever done it? Do you have any photos? Why do you think we are so amazed, in awe of and frightened of these now silent places? Twitter me here
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