Inside an Abandoned House

I have always wondered, what it would be like to go inside an abandoned house. For years, it has been a dream of mine to find a house, go inside and see what happens – and yesterday, that is exactly what my friends and I did. Although the main house is in need of repair, there are still some furniture inside and curtains in the windows, which made me wonder if anyone actually still lived there. Not long ago, however, I had noticed that most of the windows had been smashed and I took that as a sign that the farm was most likely uninhabited.

We sat foot on the property at sunset.  As we walked into the driveway it became apparent that the farm was abandoned and had most likely been so for a long time, as the back door had been kicked in and the windows to the kitchen, living room, and the bathroom were all smashed. On one of the walls someone had spray-painted the name “Bob” and painted a picture of a ghost, which I guess seemed fitting. Whether or not the farm is rumored to be haunted, I do not know. Personally, I was not able to find any information regarding possible hauntings, who used to live in the house or anything at all, which in a way only made it more exciting, since I rarely go into places with what I like to call a ‘completely open mind’. No prior knowledge, no expectations, nothing.

We walked into what I assume once had been a laundry room and crawled through a sawed off door, to get into the kitchen. On the kitchen counter stood beer and vodka bottles bottles, some of which had been opened. There were a pair of car keys, a syringe next to a bottle of some type of poison (which were designed to be used on animals according to the label), a needle and threads, and in the corner we found – believe it or not – a sextoy. The packaging looked like something from the 80s and without going into too much detail, it was the kind of sextoy that a man would use (and we decided not to touch it).

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Things left behind in the kitchen.

The kitchen led into the living room where a dinner table, chairs and a clock still stood. The floor was covered in glass and the carpet smelled like urine. One of the paintings had been taken off the wall and a knife had cut through it in a straight line. A dead plant still stood in one of the windows and a single sock had been thrown on the carpet. In the corner was a large piece of what I assumed was wallpaper which had been torn from one of the walls with a dark substance splattered onto it, but the thing that caught my attention were the photos.

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Wallpaper on the floor of the living room.

On two of the walls still hang a couple of family photos depicting the same little boy. One where he sat alone and one where he was playing with his dog. Smiling. He could not have been more than seven or eight and from the look of what he was wearing and the redish glow of the pictures, I assume they were taken sometime in
the 70s or 80s. I do not know who the boy is, but I wondered if he grew up and moved into the house or if the pictures were hung there by his parents. Why would anyone leave something like that behind?

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Inside the livingroom.

 

 

The entryway was flooded by commercial magazines and newspapers. The floor was completely covered in a small mountain of wasted paper that seemed to have piled up over what must have been years. By the entryway there were stars which led upstairs but we decided not to go up there, because the floor could possibly be unstable and collapse. Instead we headed into a small bathroom where someone had dropped a bush cutter and a large dark brown pool of ‘something’ could be seen on the floor. The brown substance seemed to come from the edge of the bathtub and spread onto the floor with drops leading out into the entryway. The seen looked so much like something out of a horror movie that it was almost hard to take it seriously.

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The bathroom floor.

 

 

In the opposite end of the house there were a bedroom with so much furniture in it that it was almost impossibly to go in there. There was a mattress (again with dark stains on it similar to those we found in the bathroom), an old computer, and children’s toys one of which were a violently tied up doll. The office was right next to that room and again, everything seemed to be in complete chaos. The floor was covered in glass, plastic, papers, everything has just been thrown on the ground and left there. On the desk were a few books (one of which contained hair samples from animals), reading glasses and a handful of handwritten postcards dating back to the 1960s and 1970s. I decided not to look for more than a date on the postcards. For some reason it felt wrong to touch them and to read them. In the window sill were a bottle of vitamins, a notebook and pictures of what may at some point have been someone’s coworkers.

While I was there, I measured EMF, took pictures, shot video, and while the house does feel eerie, I was not able to capture any evidence of the paranormal. I was not able to conduct a thorough investigation in the time I was there but in all honesty, I have a feeling that even if I did spend an entire night investigating the house, I would not capture anything. The house is chilling and looks like something out of a horror movie but it feels quiet. Personally, I do not sense any bad energy or a presence while being inside the house and while that is not a scientific way or putting it, I know some of you will understand what I mean. You feel calm and relaxed while being there. Your body is not reacting to anything.

The house looked like something out of a nightmare but experiencing how it feels to walk into an abandoned house was a dream come true. While I do not recommend that anyone wanders onto an abandoned property by themselves, I must say that it is something you will never forget – but again, remember to always be carful and never to do something like this if you are underage. Old houses can fall apart and you never know who you might run into.

In this post I have attached pictures that I took while at the house. If you want to see the video that I shot, then let me know.

 

Pictures:

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Pictures of former coworkers(?)

 

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Syringe and a bottle of poison.

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Book of hair samples.

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Beer cans that someone left behind.

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Looking from the kitchen into the bedroom.

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Large knife found inside the house.

 

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Another snapshot from the video of the bathroom.

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Old cages found at the farm.

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A tied up doll.

 

Original photo (featured image): Jason Wood.

 

 

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The Suicide Forest

The tree’s thick branches and leaves shields the ground from almost all sunlight. On the ground, between thick roots and exposed dirt, lies a body. Flesh and organs have rotted and there is nothing left but bones. A skeleton still dressed in dark pants, a green T-shirt, and hiking shoes, all lying there completely untouched except for the skull which seems to have rolled a few inches away from the rest of the body.

For a number of years, the Aokigahara Forest has been one of the most popular sites for suicides in Japan. The large forest is flooded with trees and exposed roots, which in some places makes it hard to move forward. At one of the entrances to the forest, there is a sign set up by the suicide prevention association. Each year 50 to 100 people come to the forest and take their own life. Most hang themselves, some try to overdose on sleeping pills, while a few may have wondered off the path, contemplating suicide and then have become lost. Whether they regretted their decision is unknown.

“I’m curious why people kill themselves in such a beautiful forest. I still haven’t found the answer to that.”

The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis but some bodies are not found for years. Others are found but by the homeless who have snuck into the forest to rob the diseased of their belongings. Abandoned tents can sometimes be found, as well as items which has either been accidentally dropped or abandoned. Clothing, maps, small mirrors, water bottles, notebooks, and suicide letters.

If you are interested in learning more about the Suicide Forest, I recommend you watch ‘Suicide Forest in Japan’ by Vice. A brilliant documentary from 2012, which tells you more about the forest, the people who come there and whose who find the bodies.

 

Remember, if you are in need of help then there is always someone who is ready to listen and give you the help you need. Everyone deserves to be happy, it is never too late and suicide is never the answer. Visit International Suicide Hotlines or post in the comments below, if you need someone to talk to.

 

Resources:

Vice. “Suicide Forest in Japan”. Online video clip. YouTube. May 9. 2012.

 

Original photo: Cyril Bez

 

Selling Your Soul (Murderabilia)

When does something cross the line and become an unhealthy obsession – and where should we draw the line for what can be sold online?  

For those who do not know, murderabilia is collectables relating to serial killers, murders, and other violent crimes. For instance, it could be letters written by a murderer, drawings, a car that once belonged to a murderer, etc. Some of the more questionable collectables would include a lock of hair, crime scene photos, dirt from the grave of a diseased murderer, and in some cases possible murder weapons. Someone once told me that if you are determined then you can find anything on the internet and for the right price you can most certainly get your hands on it. Although disturbing, I think this is true in this case.

While there are few laws restricting the sale of murderabilia and it in itself is not illegal, it has been the subject of some controversy over the last decade. In 2001, Ebay banned the sale of offensive items including murderabilia on it’s website and since then, more and more websites have been created to cater to this specific demand. Perhaps what some might find the most disturbing is that these websites are not exactly hidden and hard to access, but actually just a mouse click away – in fact, I was able to find a good handful of them just by doing a quick google search. Some of the websites did look somewhat questionable mostly due to the gory designs and how each item was presented, while others just looked like any other online store.

The reason why many are calling for a ban on murderabilia is because: “Murderabilia has a profitable market that has made millions off mundane items like dirt from the Cleveland strangler’s home or even a half-eaten bag of Reese’s Pieces from Charles Manson” (HLNtv.com, 2013). In other words, the people who are selling these items are making a profit off of crime – or criminals who committed horrific crimes. Others argue that this business is causing victims’ families immense pain, others say that the demand for murderabilia and selling of such, is glorifying murderers and lastly, many wonder who would go to these websites, purchase an item, and what their intent are.

Last year, I went to and purchased something from a murderabilia website. I purchased the psychological profile of Ed Gein which was written in 1957. The twenty-five-page document was fairly cheap compared to many of the other items and in my opinion, it was one of the less ‘gruesome’ items for sale. I purchased it out of curiosity, interest, and for research purposes, although the latter may be more of an excuse rather than a reason. I do not consider myself a sick and twisted person, although that is how the media portrays people, who buy murderabilia. Furthermore, the thought how this business affects the families of the victims pains me, it was not something I had considered, before I made my purchase and honestly, it is the main reason why, I am not sure exactly where I stand on murderabilia. Should it be illegal to sell something that once belonged to, or something closely related to, a person who committed a murder? Should we draw a line and where should the line be drawn? Or would something like this actually just target harmless people with a dark interest and determine that they are not allowed to have a certain interest and cannot spend their own money on an item because of it’s association to a certain person?

I am very interested in hearing what you think, so please leave a comment below, telling me your thoughts on the subject.

 

Original photo: Paul Murphy.

Bott, M. (2015). ‘Murderabilia’ collector defends hobby, website in spite of criticism by victims’ families. ABC10. Retrieved from http://legacy.abc10.com/story/news/investigations/2015/04/03/murderabilia-collector-sells-true-crime-items-from-serial-killers/25274359/

HLNtv.com. (2013). The fight against murderabilia. Retrieved from http://www.hlntv.com/video/2013/05/31/murder-memorabilia-serial-killers-andy-kahan

 

Fox Hollow Farm

I am going to die. The thought runs through your head as he tightens the grip around your neck and pushes you down below the surface of the water. You reach back and try to hit him, scratch him, do something to get him off of you and although, you are almost the same size, it is not a fair battle. He had seemed nice and charming, bought you drinks and eventually invited you back to his house to see his mansion and the indoor pool. He seemed successful, he seemed like the kind of guy you wanted to meet.

In the early 1990s, multiple men started disappearing in the state of Indiana. They were all young, openly gay, and seem to vanish without a trace. Little did anyone know, they were all hidden in the same place.

On the outskirts of Indianapolis there is a mansion. Behind the main house, you will find the woods and in between the trees, hundreds of bones were found scattered. Each victim had been strangled and carried outside to the edge of the woods, where their bodies were set on fire and their bones were scattered throughout the woods behind the farm. By the driveway there is a sign that reads: “Fox Hollow Farm”.

The mansion on the 18-acrer estate is breathtaking but despite the beauty of the million-dollar home, the feeling you get when you look at it is strange. Although it is daylight and you can faintly hear birds singing, you know something is just not right. You feel like someone is watching you, like someone is standing in each of the dark windows, looking out at you.

 

Herb Baumeister

The house was owned by Herb Baumeister, who used to live in the house with his wife and three small children. Baumeister was the founder of the thrift store chain Sav-a-Lot in Indiana, was well-liked and respected in the community. He seemed to have come a long way, considering the troubles he had as a child. The young Baumeister had been antisocial, had been caught playing with dead animals, and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. However, as he grew older, he developed a strong work ethic and although he still was exhibiting bizarre behavior, no one seemed worried. In the early 90s, Baumister began visiting gay bars in the area, using the alias “Brian Smart” when he introduced himself to other men. Around the same time, men began disappearing and although no bodies had been found, the police suspected that a serial killer could be at work. It would be years, before it was finally discovered that Baumister was “Brian Smart” and before the police finally gained access to Baumister’s home, where the remains of eleven men were discovered.

 

The Killings

Baumeister’s preferred method of killing was strangulation. After having lured his victims back to his home, he showed them the indoor pool and encouraged them to jump in. When in the water, he would start talking about erotic strangulation.  Police suspected that Baumeister committed most, if not all, of his murders in the pool room by strangling his victims, before disposing of their bodies in the woods behind the house. Although he was married and had a family, Baumeister was able to commit the murders while his wife and children were away on summer vacation – Baumeister himself stayed behind to take care of their family business.

The bones of eleven men were found on Fox Hollow farm in 1996. However, before police could arrest Baumeister, he had already fled the country. He was found in Canada shortly after, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In addition to the eleven found on Fox Hollow Farm, it is also suspected that Baumeister could have been the “I-70 Killer”, who murdered nine other victims (also gay men) and left their bodies on the interstate highway between Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis.

 

The Hauntings

Fox Hollow still stands as it did back in 1996. The pool where the murders most likely took place is still there, the woods behind the farm are still there – and even though it has been years, bones are still being found, which may explain why it is said to be haunted. The current owners have reported seeing a man, wearing a red T-shirt, who is walking towards the woods, even though he has no legs. They have also seen objects move my themselves, a full-body apparition, they have been touched, and EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon or ‘the voices of ghosts’) have been recorded in the house and out in the woods. In 2014, Ghost Adventures investigated the house (Season 9, episode 9) and found evidence of ghosts. Other paranormal groups have also collected evidence at the house and these videos can be found on YouTube. Most of the evidence indicates that Fox Hollow is haunted by the victims but it has also been rumored that Baumeister himself haunts the property.

No matter if you believe in ghosts or not, everyone can probably agree that Fox Hollow Farm is one of the most chilling places in America. If you are interested in learning about Baumeister then I suggest you visit: http://murderpedia.org/male.B/b/baumeister-herbert.htm.

 

Original photo: Cat Sanchez.

A Certain Kind of Death

At some point, many of us have probably thought about our own death. How it is going to happen, when it is going to happen and so on – but I imagine it is only a rare few, who thinks about the point between when death occurs and our funeral takes place. What will happen to us? Who will find us? What happens if we are all alone, when we die?

Personally, I had never given it any thought, until I stumbled upon the documentary “A Certain Kind of Death”. The description of the documentary reads as follows: “Unblinking and unsettling, this documentary lays bare a mysterious process that goes on all around us – what happens to people who die with no next of kin. Dead bodies in various stages of decomposition are seen, but not played for shock factor. Instead, you learn a little about each person, both what they were before death and what will happen to them afterward. They are followed from the discovery of the body to the final disposition of the remains, and each step in between” (Havoctrend, 2012).

The documentary is shocking, mostly because of how quiet and real it is. It is uncensored, without any sort of background music or gory images intended to shock and horrify – and although it is hard to watch, I definitely recommend it. As mentioned in the description, the documentary shows a series of people who were found dead in the early 2000s, most of whom had no next of kin. It shows the bodies, the homes, the burials, and puts everything into perspective. Anyone who is interested in watching the documentary can do it online, I will leave the link for you at the bottom of this post, and for those who have seen it, what did you think? Warning: The documentary is not for the faint-hearted.

Havoctrend. 22 Oct. 2012. A Certain Kind Of Death – Documentary. Video. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErooOhzE268

 

Original photo: Space Ritual.