Urban Exploration On Youtube
Abandoned places are magnets for the more adventurous, the pledge dare enthusiasts, the desperate in search of shelter, vandals, assorted paranormal or cult meetings, invasive nature and, of course, the numerous YouTube urban explorers.
Urbex is the new trespassing!
This hardy bunch of yomping videographers have allowed people to travel to often remote locations, from the comfort of their own homes and visit the last remnants of life inside a property before being permanently vacated.
There is an odd allure to these documentaries – on one level, it is a detective show attempting to piece together a puzzle as to how the folks lived and why they left and, on another level, there’s the romanticism of disturbing old ghosts or, indeed, capturing them!
Oh, and the golden rule is look but don’t touch.
These shows, usually about 20 minutes or so in length, offer beautiful cameos of gloomy entropy set in crisp halogen torchlight accompanied by often hilarious dialogue designed to ramp up the tension or second guess the scene, often straight out of a horror movie.
There are the curious, history buffs, treasure seekers (remember, look but don’t touch) and the gung ho paranormal hunters.
Much like the many compilation clips videos – Slapped Ham, Chills, Nuke Norway etc – the formula is a quick fire compilation of highlights peppered with reactions, bold graphics and a succession of slow build crescendos. Mind Seed TV, Amy’s Crypt and Dan Bell (no relation) offer the paranormal experience and ramp up the tension with aplomb. This is often given credence by a guest psychic or someone from a rival show and a multitude of “What the hell was that?” Or “Dude, did you f**k’n see that – woah?”
The results are generally inconclusive (or left to you to decide) but entertaining nonetheless.
It’s a frenetic genre chock full of histrionics, blurry sweeps, grainy stills and larger than life characters walking a tightrope between the sublime and ridiculous.
A spoof show, like What We Do in the Shadows, is honestly ripe for the making!
The truth is that we are naturally inquisitive – well, nosey actually – and a look through people’s personal effects without a charge of breaking and entering, is almost irresistible. The strange stories and unearthly possibilities put the viewer firmly in the back seat on a safari of the weird and wonderful.
Viewer discretion is essential.
Richard Bell is a poet and writer with a passion for the horror genre. He has work published by Weasel Press, Carmen Online Theatre, Night Gallery, The Horrorzine and the Fragments of Fear series on YouTube, under the name Rick Nightmare.
He lives in a sleepy hamlet in Northern England with his family and galloping insomnia.