Vacant New Jersey

Delaware Generating Station

Status: Region: Type: Gallery:
Abandoned Pennsylvania Industrial 55 Photos

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The clanging of steel pipes as they smashed into the ground from above followed by an explosion of sparks spraying out from behind a massive hulk of extinct industrial machinery proved quite clearly that we were not alone. Illegal scrappers were working diligently removing hunks of heavy steel and poaching the last bits of the precious valuable copper remaining within the ransacked building. The cavernous cement structure was built like one large fall-out shelter, thus in a way serving as a sarcophagus, which allowed the scrappers to work unnoticed and to be as loud as possible while doing so, without being detected or heard by the authoritative eyes and ears always present within the outside world.

Not to worry about the scrappers, they are no issue, I told Julie, as I saw a frightened glaze crystalize over her eyes. "Honestly scrappers are a normal occurrence here and especially so within most abandoned buildings in a city like Philadelphia" I reassured her. "We'll just mind our own business and try to stay out of their way, we'll be able to hear them regardless and it seems to me they are sticking to the basement, so we'll stay to the upper floors." My remarks seemed to quell Julie's nerves some for she still agreed to stick around, despite the unwelcome visitors. I told her that to be safe it would be best she not wander off too far on her own. However I doubted she would make it too far anyway for she had the most bizarre gait to her walk that slowed her pace down greatly, it was as if she had super stiff knees and walked without bending them; certainly something was wrong. But as not to pass judgement so soon, I ignored it, for she did manage to squeeze in through the tiny broken window to get into this power plant in the first place nor was she complaining.

Since this was not my first foray into the bowels of the defunct Delaware Generating Station I decided to reassure Julie with a harmless white lie that if shit hit the fan, I'd know how to get out before the first strip of bacon even figured out how to bust in. In reality however, I was just as lost inside the abandoned power plant as she; for memories stemming from my initial adventure inside some years ago were largely hazy from a Four Loko induced hangover. But that was not the situation this time around. Today I was set for an adventure to remember.

Initially I had met Julie on, a well known online discussion forum popular of course within the exploring community. I suppose in heart the site serves to curate together various aspect of Urban Exploration, thus creating a world-wide Internet community. Yet as reality tells, it's more of an antiquated web-forum dedicated to trolls and terrible HDR photos. Supposedly the site is even run by an administrator who dresses up as a coyote for fun or some shit like that, or so the rumors have it; but such is all cool with me. Despite the website's dated look and clunky layout within an era of Web 2.0 social media domination, its allure still somehow manages to bring in new people to the hobby of Urban Exploration. Albeit these days the newcomers are primarily a plethora Russian Internet spam-bots sprinkled in between by real life doofuses by the dozens. Often it seems senior members of the forum have more fun trolling these newbie idiots online than they do physically getting out to explore. And honestly I must admit, Julie initially seemed like one of these doofuses.

Her first post on the forum consisted of a lazily typed statement and odd request asking if there was anything cool to explore in Philadelphia as well as specifically requesting to explore the active electrical substation which still produces electric for the City of Philadelphia which can be accessed through entering the defunct Delaware Generating Station. Of course the topic was initially met with troll responses typical to someone who asks a question with no past forum posting history. One particular snide remark stated that everything abandoned in Philly had been demolished three years ago upon the city receiving a federal grant. I must say that remark evoked a smirk across my face, if only for its believability rather than flat out obvious trolling. Other responses included the more classic memes and flaming, which proceeded on for a few dozens posts before the topic was locked by some killjoy website administrator.

However I think the fact that because Julie's screen name on the site was simply Julie777, a lot of the typical flaming and cyberbullying was deflected merely because it was assumed she was a female. And such a gender existing within the urban exploration community is comparative to finding a lack of corruption in U.S. politics. Anyway, I decided to directly contact Julie, for I so happened to be headed down to Philadelphia in the coming weeks for a job interview at some federal office just outside of Center City. Thus the possibility of meeting up with a female explorer afterwards to check out the power plant existed as more of an exciting opportunity then doing the aforementioned solo.

And so after a couple days of messaging back and fourth with Julie online through UER, we agreed to meet up in Philly the afternoon of my interview sometime in the late morning after it were to let out. Upon exchanging contact information and aquatinting further over text messages I learned she was actually from New Jersey as well, but living down south out towards the Alabama section of what apparently is still the State. Despite her being seven years older than myself, she was also quite attractive which is always a welcomed bonus, yet her personality was honestly pretty robotic and bland. Plus that fact that a thirty-three year old woman had no car was a bit of a red-flag. However her rebuttal did add up for apparently she was forced to move back in with her parents in South Jersey after just getting out of a bitter divorce and separating from her ex-husband whom Julie described as a dip-shit prick who took everything from her. But the bad news continued, for also off-putting was her obsession with constantly bringing up politics specifically in regard to Russian influence within the United States Government and how she thought it was all going to Hell. Now I have no interest in politics, hell I don't even vote, so I'd let her rant over text messages while paying little attention. My mistake though was reluctantly agreeing to still meet up with her, ultimately because she seemed pretty and I was a dumb boy.

Fortunately, Julie mentioned that she knew how to take NJ Transhit into the city, thus I agreed to meet her at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and from there we'd make a short drive in my car a few miles East to check out the abandoned Delaware Generation Station that she had her curiosity set on. The generating station has been decaying just along the bank of the Delaware River, nestled in the tiny industrial neighborhood of Fishtown for decades and was relatively easy to access. I passed on the information to Julie and ultimately she seemed quite content with the plan. And so the adventure was set in stone for the following week.

The buzzing from power tools and clanging of metal pipes being cut loose and thrown to the ground continued at a steady pace. I continued to reassure Julie that all would be fine and we would stay clear of the scrappers presence. Yet as time passed I could tell she just wasn't feeling it, she was a nervous wreck, pacing back and forth, all-the-while I unaffected, occupied and content with snapping pictures of the massive yet empty turbine hall that every stupid urbex-kid winds up capturing the same picture of. "You still good?" I yelled down to Julie who was still pacing steadily just a few dozen feet across the hall from me. "Yea I'm fine, I'm good." she said back. "Okay if you say so, but you still seem a little nervous to me. If you don't feel comfortable and want to leave, it's no problem, there are plenty of other spots to check out in the City." I said back. "No, no this is really amazing. It's everything I was hoping to see and plus I'm really excited to try to check out that active sub-station section if possible" Julie yelled back as she pulled out her phone to presumably take some stupid Instagram pictures.

And so I shrugged off my predisposed beliefs about her being uncomfortable or scared and continued further into the wreckage of the power plant. "Hey I'm gonna head over to the control panel room, it's kinda dark inside but pretty fuckin' neat, you wanna tag along?" I asked. "Wow that sounds wild, absolutely, lets go!" Julie excitedly responded. As we headed toward the control room I mentioned that we'd be getting closer to the active electrical sub-station, so as not to be alarmed if she were to hear any additional strange sounds or beeping.

Immediately upon entering the dark control room I noticed Julie froze, her body became tense and rigid; she was having some type of spasm attack it seemed as she was shaking and rather violently so. Fearing she was about to collapse and faint in front of me I grabbed her beneath her arms and shoulders. Together we were able to walk toward this enclosed balcony overlooking the turbine hall at which point she immediately snapped back to her normal self. "Oh my god, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry" she repeated to me." "No need to be sorry Julie. What happened, are you good, should we leave?", I shakily responded. "No it's fine, it's fine it really is", I just sometimes get panic attacks when I'm in unfamiliar dark places." "Okay, well you're definitely not going back into that room then" I said. Julie nodded in agreement. "I mean I did tell you it was gonna be dark, you should have told me and we would not have gone in, no need to push your fears here" I responded back to Julie with a bit of an annoyance to my tone this time around. She said nothing.

At this point I realized I was pretty much done dealing with this chick, as god-forbid the sun set and we got stuck in her after dark, she'd straight up have a panic attacked and wind up falling or worse. Plus who knew if she told anyone she was going with some random guy into an abandoned building. Regardless of how I thought over the situation in my mind, it didn't bode well for me. "Hey Julie, if you feel comfortable can you stay put for a second, I'm gonna go back into the control room to grab my camera, take one last shot, and then we'll head out. Anyway I'm getting kinda hungry", well the latter part was a lie, I was full as fuck, but it was an excuse to get going.

Upon returning from the control room Julie was still standing in the corner of the balcony where I momentarily left her. "Ready to go" I asked, "Well I really wanna see that sub-station" she answered back. "Yea well it's locked up pretty tight and honestly not worth the risk as its very much still active, so I think it's best we try and head on out, plus it's gonna get dark soon" I told her. She reluctantly agreed then mentioned she wanted to come back when we'd have more day light". "Now in order to avoid the scrappers below we're going to have to walk across the upper floors of the turbine hall and up toward the coal shoot before making our way back out". "You don't have any issues with heights do you?" I asked of her. "No I'm fine with heights, so long as it's not dark" Julie responded. "Excellent you'll be fine then, just follow closely behind." We both made our way across the the rusty catwalks dangling over the massive coal bins high above the power plant and well out of sight from the scrappers still working loudly below. Then again and without warning Julie froze up, but this time she scrunched her hand over her face as if in great agony. She murmured something but it was nearly unrecognizable, it was like a code, it sounded as if she said "zero, one, zero, zero, one, one, zero" super fast, with no pauses in-between the words, which to me made absolutely no sense. Thus I tossed the entire event up to misunderstanding or some type of crazy stroke side effect. Then as quickly as it overcame her she snapped back out of it. "What's happening, are you sure you're alright?" I asked alarmingly. "What are you talking about?" she responded back. "You, you just had another panic attacked it seemed and you murmured something I couldn't quite make-out" I said. "No I didn't I'm fine" she said back to me. I began to think to myself that this woman was bat-shit crazy. Fortunately we were close to the exit, yet unfortunately we we about one hundred fifty feet above it.

"Hey Julie, so here's the deal, we just have to walk down this staircase toward the ground floor and then we'll pop out from the same window we entered from." I exclaimed. "Okay that's no problem, I can do that, I'll be fine" she answered. "Just stay behind me please" I stated, "and take your time walking down the stairs as the steps are less than desirable." About three-quarters of the way down my phone began buzzing like crazy. It was jammed in my pocked so I couldn't answer, but I could already tell from the sporadic vibration pattern that it was one of those annoying emergency alerts you can't opt out of. Probably an amber alert or something similar I figured.

"Julie you still good" I yelled up. "Yep I'm about ten feet behind you, I'm doing just fi--." Then THUMP, it came from directly behind me. It was Julie and she had completely collapsed and fell to the floor. Her body posture was again rigid and I could see she had fell face first into the metal railing on the steps; then again THUMP, as her body hit the metal landing of the staircase just behind me. Immediately I ran up to her, but she was out cold, yet her fingers were completely spread apart and rigid as if from shock. I rolled her over onto her back, she was stiff as a plank and worse yet, completely unconscious. The top of her forehead had a small gouge in it from smashing against the iron railing. The gash look strange though for it appeared more as a dent and miraculously there was absolutely no blood. With difficulty I was able to lean Julie's body up against the steps to a bit of a sitting position, but her legs and arms were so stiff and it was very difficult to get her to stay sitting without plopping over.

"Julie, Julie, Julie" I repeated her name over and over again. Still no response. At this point I was truly beginning to panic as I wasn't confident I'd even be able to get her out of the broken window all on my own and this was not the place I wanted to call the police on myself from. Then suddenly her eyes shot open, but her pupils were rolled back into her skull, it were just the ghostly lifeless whites of her eyes showing. Than her jaw slow began to drop open followed by a plume of this white smoke that exited like some type of foul death burp from her mouth. It was not human I swear, for it smelt like burning electronics; a fried motherboard from a computer, melted plastic. I decided to inspect the bizarre gash on her forehead more closely. Still no blood. I reached for my flashlight and shined the beam across the wound at which point I could see what looked to be colorful frayed wires just beneath her sliced skin. I grabbed my bottle and poured a handful of water over her forehead. At contact the water steamed up, fizzed, and sparked upon percolating into her laceration.

All the while my phone began buzzing, vibrating, and going crazy again, but this time non stop. "Fuck, this is not the time for these god damn alerts to drain my battery." Now however, I was out of ideas, panicked, and exhausted. I didn't know what the fuck I was even looking at or dealing with, I had no choice left but to call 9-1-1. Grabbing for my phone I saw the screen was plastered with alerts:

EMERGENCY ALERT. CIVIL EMERGENCY. The President has issued the following emergency message: A grounds attack on vital U.S. infrastructure has been initiated by human-like Russian robots. Electromagnetic bomb drop in effect. Seek fallout shelter immediately. Stay indoors. Electronic contact may be severed.