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Abandoned Houses

Updated on January 19, 2013

Visit my blog at where you can see more pictures of abandoned places.

Recently on my trip to Georgia I noticed a lot of abandoned houses. This is nothing new, there are plenty of them in South Carolina so this was not a new sight. What was new was the fact that a lot of these houses were up for sale even the very dilapidated ones. This surprised me as I've been taking pictures and exploring abandoned houses, buildings, businesses and structures for awhile now and this is the first time I've seen a number of them for sale. I haven't had a chance to explore in SC to see if the same trend is occurring. North Carolina tends to have fewer of them possibly due to stricter zoning regulations, etc. Although Rutherford county NC has quite a few abandoned structures.

Unfortunately, many of these abandoned places have been made home by the homeless needing shelter. You won't see them during the day. That's why it makes it dangerous to explore at night because you never know you you might encounter after dark in these places.

It is not wise to explore them at night for this reason. There is no way of knowing who might be encountered and they might not be too friendly or happy that someone is encroaching on their territory.

Granted it is not theirs. It belongs to someone and that someone could show up at anytime and that is why you will not see them during the day. They know it is unlikely the owner is coming around at night especially late.

I developed an interest in these places a couple of years ago when I ran out of haunted places to photograph and started photographing anything that appeared to be abandoned. It can be an old house, car, barn, tractor, anything that is just sitting and falling down or rusting.

Over time I developed a deeper interest for another reason. That reason being that I met someone who lived in an abandoned house and before that this person lived in an abandoned garage. She claimed the garage belonged to a family member but I've no way of knowing if this is true or not.

Most people don't make abandoned houses a permanent place to live but there are some due to circumstances beyond their control who make this type of living their way of life for awhile. Some settle into it for a long time.

There are many reasons, the most obvious one being they can't afford to buy a place of their own or rent a place and they need a place to live. After living on friends or trying to live in a car becomes more than they can stand taking up residence in an abandoned building becomes far more attractive.

I can't begin to tell you how one chooses a place. I would fear moving into any abandoned house constantly fearing the owner would show up and possibly shoot me for trespassing.

Fortunately, most people are of the law abiding variety who would just call the police and let them handle it. Nevertheless, going to jail would be quite unappealing to me. But there are people out there who must overcome that fear to find a place to live, a place of their own.

This is a hard way to live and not one I recommend due to the danger and the sheer lack of knowledge regarding the place and the owners.

Most of these places do not have running water, some can get it however. Many don't have power and that is somewhat easier to obtain. Some are not structurally safe and that is the biggest hindrance of all especially if you know nothing about carpentry, building maintenance, wiring, plumbing or anything similar. Many of the abandoned houses I photograph are not not only not structurally safe they are very old making their wiring also very unsafe and most do not meet current building codes. Yet many people still brave these elements to have a place to live.

We don't know who these people are, we know nothing about them. They could be neighbors, coworkers, church members, acquaintances, even friends. You would never know. You would not know because they keep their living situation very quiet and there are two reasons for this. One they don't want anyone knowing how they live, it is an embarrassment, and second they don't want anyone making trouble, getting them kicked out of their digs should that person get bent out of shape about something.

Don't ever assume you don't know anyone like this and you never will because you are too good and don't assume you will never be in this place.

My advice is to be grateful for what you have even if seems like you have nothing. Look around you, there is always someone less fortunate.

Okay I got a little off subject just like I usually do.

Abandoned houses are interesting. Photographing them is even more interesting. There are a lot of them out there. Some are empty and have fallen into disrepair because the owner has died and the kids can't decide on what to do with the property so they squabble for years over what to do. I found out this is more common than I first believed. Sometimes the owner simply dies and leaves no to inherit. Other times the owner ends up in a nursing home and no one takes care of the property so it falls into disrepair.

One of the most interesting factors regarding abandoned buildings of any kind is the history surrounding the place and each and every one of these places has a history. Some more colorful than others.


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