What is Urbex?
If you hang around the Decay Devils long enough, you’ll likely hear us talk about our adventures across the country and around the world. We love to share photographs of our travels and tell stories about our trips to must-see locations. And while you’re likely to see us animated as we talk about visiting donut shops, functioning historical landmarks, and public art installations, we really come to life when we share about our Urbex adventures. But what is “Urbex”?
According to Wikipedia, “urban exploration (often shortened as UE, Urbex and sometimes known as roof-and-tunnel hacking) is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment.”
There are a variety of places in which one can explore while on an Urbex trip, including:
· Abandoned structures: schools, hospitals, amusement parks, asylums, factories, train stations, churches, mansions
· Active buildings: areas that are off-limits to the public, abandoned floors, roofs
· Tunnels: Sewers and storm drains, active and abandoned transit tunnels, utility tunnels
What are the Intentions Behind Urbex?
Urban explorers are generally interested in the beauty, history, relevance, and historical importance of these structures. Usually, these locations are treated with the respect they deserve. Oftentimes an urban explorer’s intention is to:
· Find inspiration for art, poetry, or storytelling
· Connect with history
· Document history
· Raise awareness
What are the Hazards of Urbex?
More often than not, the places visited during Urbex trips call for extreme vigilance and care. Buildings that have been abandoned and left to the elements aren’t always structurally sound. Sometimes Urbexers encounter people in the structures who’ve made the location their home. Sometimes the locations aren’t in the safest part of town, and sometimes the locations are far from help. Robberies, injuries, and bizarre encounters are always a possibility, and Urbexers must always be prepared for the unexpected. For these reasons, we highly recommend that you do not embark on an Urbex adventure alone.
What About Trespassing?
Sometimes a really great location sits right behind a giant No Trespassing sign. Whether it’s an abandoned hotel, a closed-off tunnel, or a dilapidated house, Urbexers commonly encounter the heart drop behind these legal warnings. Depending on the lore and popularity of the structure, certain locations may have a higher police presence. Should Urbexers decide to take the risk and venture past a No Trespassing sign, the risks of arrest and punishment are real. Using discretion and common sense are important on any Urbex trip. If you really want to see a certain off-limits location, it’s sometimes possible to obtain permission.
If you have any questions about the Decay Devils or any of our Urbex adventures, feel free to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you!