Vacant New Jersey

Chain Saw House

Status: Region: Type: Gallery:
Demolished New Jersey Residential 50 Photos

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Maybe it's the feeling of loneliness and seclusion, the aura of death, the smell and beauty of decay that attracts me to these places. Or maybe it's something entirely different, perhaps these places attract me, because they allow me to express myself or they allow me to escape from the rest of the world if only for a few minutes, and reflect upon what goes inside my own mind. These places of course are the types of places that have been deemed as unimportant by the rest of society or just all-in-all forgotten by the general public. Simply put, what I am talking about are, abandoned buildings and structures that seem to be forgotten by the average human. How something as odd as an abandoned structure could have such a significant factor in my life I will try to explain that as best as possible within the next few paragraphs.

It was around 2001 that I discovered a little bungalow of a house, directly across the street from our residence. This little white one story house, nestled in a rocky ditch looked like something out of a nightmare. Nature had completely engulfed this structure, vines ran up and down the siding, the yard was overgrown, windows were smashed and an animal caucus lay in the backyard. I recall walking pass this house many times, and wondering to myself what had happened, why it was left to rot and die, what was the story behind this structure? One evening, I decided to fulfill my curiosities, and I walked down the crumbling staircase into the front lawn of the deteriorating house.

The decay proved quite evident that this house had been abandoned for quite sometime now. Still wanting to know more, I made my way up the front stair case and walked through the already opened door which led directly into kitchen of the house. A smell which truly can not be described, but only vaguely compared to the stench of musk, dust, and death engulfed my nose. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I was able to see the mass chaos that lay ahead of me. Belongings were strewn about everywhere, as if a tornado had ripped threw and a rusted chainsaw sat in the middle of the living room, on top of a pile of clothes. Feeling insecure, I quickly exited the abandoned house and made my way back to my home.

For some reason the experience I had just gone through amazed me. I became fascinated with decay and began to notice more and more abandoned structures in the outlying towns. Eventually I made a hobby out of exploring, photographing, and documenting (in pictures and words) these various abandoned structures. This hobby that started out from a curiosity has grown, to an almost unprecedented size. I have since started a website which tells about my experiences in these derelict places, I use the site to post up my pictures and stories. Thousands of people have looked at my work and some can even relate to what I do as a hobby. My website has gotten thousands of hits, and my photos have even been published in local news papers.

I would have never guessed that my interest in abandoned buildings would have unrolled into something like this, and have taken me so far. I have been exploring abandoned sites for about five years now, and each structure has its own personality and story to tell. I often times find myself trying to look up information about these defunct places to see if I can find out what history they at one point possessed. Sometimes the history I stumble upon is very intriguing and interesting, other times it is vapid or simply there is no history to be found, besides the photos I have taken, and the memories embellished in my mind.

In all, the experience of that first house I explored way back in 2001 has greatly affected my life. I am now working on trying to improve my photography skills and perhaps even sell some of my shots over the internet. I even make revenue off of my website, which is an added bonus for me. But as for the house, it was demolished earlier this year in August. Even though the house no longer remains the memories of it do. I still, and maybe more than ever, enjoy exploring vacant structures and photographing what I see reflected in the empty walls of these abandonments, and I hope to continue this hobby for a very long time.