Sunday, November 25, 2012

Inside the abandoned Forest Park hospital

Forest Park Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri shut down in May 2011 after struggling financially for years. The 52,670-square-metre (567,000 square feet) building housed a nursing school, an emergency room, a psychiatric wing, and a maternity ward. Recently, the hospital's site was bought by Saint Louis Zoo and the land will be used for its expansion.

Photographer and urban explorer Nick Zulauf entered the abandoned building recently and captured these photos.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Hashima, the ghost island of Japan


Hashima, also known as Gunkajima or Battleship Island due to its shape, is an abandoned island an hour away from the port of Nagasaki in Japan.



Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 to use it as a base for an underwater coal mining facility. There, they built Japan's first concrete building (9 stories high) in 1917 to accomodate the workers. In the following decades, Hashima became the most densely populated place on earth, with a population of over 5,200 people, or 83,500 people per square kilometre of the whole island.


During the Second Sino-Japanese War, between 1943 and 1945,  the Japanese government and Mitsubishi transported Korean and Chinese prisoners to the island on Mitsubishi-owned ships known as "hellships," and then forced them to handle the most dangerous work in the coal mines. Hundreds or thousands of the prisoners died to to the poor living conditions and coal mining accidents. Eventually, captives were freed in 1945 when the atomic bomb shook the windows of the island's apartment blocks.

The island shut down in 1974 as a result of the decline in coal industry during the previous years. Since then, it was left abandoned before it was reopened for travel again in 2009. Hashima is also featured in the 2012 James Bond movie, Skyfall. Today, a process is underway to designate the island as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

An abandoned Russian mansion

An abandoned mansion in the Russian countryside. Once inhabited by rich, it became a school for kids with disabilities after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Today, it remains an abandoned reminder of the past. 

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A statue of the unknown guardian of the estate 

The old kitchen






Monday, November 5, 2012

A deserted hotel on Parnitha mountain


If there is one building in Greece that keeps attracting the attention of paranormal enthusiasts and urban explorers, that is the abandoned Xenia hotel, over mount Parnitha.

Xenia was built in 1912 as a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. Its location, 30 km away from the city of Athens, inside a forested area was ideal for the sufferers of the disease. In the following decades though, with the use of penicillin and other antibiotics to cure TB, there were fewer patients and the sanatorium shut down in 1960.

Greek National Tourism Organisation bought the building next,  and operated it as a member of the -now defunct- Xenia state-run hotel chain. The hotel, with a capacity of 200 beds, couldn't withstand competition from the nearby Mont Parnes hotel and casino and eventually shut down a few years later. It continued to operate though as a School of Tourism Professions from 1967 to 1984.

Then, the building was left abandoned and over the years has been heavily vandalised. Due to its remote, isolated location it has become the center of attention for urban explorers and paranormal phenomena researchers.

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