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Interviewing an Urban Explorer

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While working as a freelance writer several years ago, I interviewed my friend David for a magazine. David was an urban explorer, he would go into abandoned buildings and take photos then turn around and sell the photos. The interview was originally supposed to be posted in the photography magazine called "HDR One". But the interview took a strange turn that wasn't appropriate for a magazine article, so I kept the transcript stored away on a hard drive. It wasn't until earlier last month, when I stumbled upon a wikia site for this thing called creepypasta. After reading a few dozen stories, my mind went to that old interview I did. It took me about two weeks to actually find the hard drive in which I kept the interview on, but now that I have it, I might as well post it here. Now, I may warn you that this may be pretty graphic and disturbing to some readers. Continue at your own discretion.

Do you have any statements to make before we get to the questions?

David: Don't explore abandoned buildings?

Alright… I hope you'll elaborate on that later. Anyways let's get to the questions, could you please tell me what you do for a living?

David: I find and explore buildings that have been either condemned or abandoned, sometimes I will take photographs of them and sell the photos.

What kind of camera do you use?

David: Nikon D70 SLR

Wow, pretty top notch equipment.

David: It better be, I spent over a thousand on it back in '04. Two years old and it hasn't failed me.

[I'm omitting all the boring photography talk. I'll just jump to where it gets more interesting.]

So, abandoned buildings seem like they would have some creepy environments to explore. Do you have any stories to tell?

David: Well, I was really hoping you wouldn't ask that question.

Why is that?

David: It's just a long story.

Go ahead, I have plenty of tape.

David: Alright. Well, it was 2003. Me and my friend Gregory found this post on some forum about an abandoned school in southern Michigan, since we were in Detroit we decided we would drive down there and check it out. The town it was in was named Niles, if I remember right. Well, we got a motel room and contacted the owners of the building. They were fine with us exploring it, and told us where the key to the padlock was. Me and Greg set our alarms for 6 AM and called it a night.

Why go there so early in the morning?

David: So I could get some sunrise shots of the locations. Those types of shots had become sort of a trademark of mine.

Oh, okay, that makes sense. So you get up at 6 and presumably arrive at the location, what happens next?

David: After finding the key in the location they described to us, we unlocked the little rusty padlock that was on the door. Before entering, we put our gas masks on, due to the ever present threat of asbestos in this places. We were greeted by a little lobby area, which has been stripped clean of everything. The only thing that was left in the small area was the depictions of genitalia left on the walls by immature idiots. I'll spare you the details of us walking around, taking pictures of random things. Things took a turn for the worse when we found a door labeled "Faculty only", we tried opening it, but of course it was locked. I was ready to just take a few more pictures elsewhere and leave, but Greg was determined to get this door open. He pulled out his crowbar that he keeps in his bag and began to pry open the door. Now, this went against the standard urban explorers code, which is to "leave only footsteps" but I guess Greg didn't care at this point. He pried for a few more minutes until it finally popped open.

We learned that it wasn't locked- It was boarded from the inside. When we walked in, it was pitch black. The only light was the small amount coming in through the open doorway we just went through. There was a stench in the room that was the most god-awful thing I've ever experienced, at that moment. We searched around the room looking for a reason this was shut away, but there was nothing, it was literally just a teacher’s lounge that looks like it’s gone untouched since the 80's. While we were searching, Greg brought up a good point, he said something along the lines of: "You know, if this was boarded up from the inside, which means that whoever did it would still be in here." I contemplated that idea for a while, but I figured the person found another exit. I was just about to leave the room when I heard Greg yelling "Oh my god! I found something!" When I looked behind me, I saw him crouched in front of a vent in the wall. "I see an opening on the other side!" he shouted, I remember thinking his excitement was pretty disturbing. Greg quickly tossed the vent aside (apparently it wasn't bolted in) and he crawled through the little hole. When I yelled at him, asking if he saw anything, he said nothing. I decided crawl in there, out of curiosity. I wish I never did. When I crawled out of the other side, I realized why Greg wasn't speaking.

[David goes silent for about two minutes]

David: I...I was horrified. We stumbled into a nightmare.

[Another long pause]

David: On one wall there sat six small rotting bodies, shoulder to shoulder, each with slashes across their throats. They were all facing the other wall across from them. On that wall sat one adult female body, a little bit less decomposed. The woman's hands were wrapped around a rusted knife that was stabbed in her stomach. The way she was positioned it looked like she had stabbed herself, perhaps it was a murder suicide? I don't know. We didn't really stay long to think, Greg and I were out of the building in less than a minute. I…I'm sorry, but I would really prefer this interview to be over.

I understand. I'm so sorry I brought back such bad memories. Thanks for letting me ask you these questions.

[David stays mute, his face is pale and emotionless.]

[End of interview]

As of right now, I'm trying to find out more on the story behind the school. I will update this page if I find anything worthwhile. I might also try to track down David, which may be hard after all these years, but I'll try anyways.

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