Vacant New Jersey

Hurstmont Estate

Status: Region: Type: Gallery:
Abandoned New Jersey Historical 45 Photos

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A crisp Autumn breeze swiftly meandered through the naked tree branches scratching at the cold blue sky above. Gnarly, skinny twigs extended into the blue like long boney fingers reaching out from a ghoulish aspiration. The wind acted ever so perfectly violent, so as to only merely rattle the bare tree limbs together, providing one last purge, ridding the last of any helplessly clinging leaves before Winter would soon tuck the forest to sleep under a frozen blanket. Unlike the appealing orange, yellow, and red foliage associated with early Fall, which carelessly glide and tumble about the air before reaching the ground, the leaves falling before my eyes had managed to hold on way past expiration. Dropping gracelessly to the ground like little brown turds excreted from some magical flying reindeer hovering above, suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, rather than from tall Oak trees shedding before winter. The homely dead leaves plummeted down, seemingly followed with a thud.

Admiring nature reminded me that following the woods line would have made for a much more concealed approach up to the rotting mansion. However in retrospect, running up the rutted gravel driveway in view of every passing car speeding along the busy street was much more of a rush; the sudden jolt of energy required to run kept my heart pumping and blood flowing, my body warm and mind awake. Out of view I carelessly staggered around the exterior of the property, moving towards the rear of the mansion, where I'd mostly likely stumble upon a point of entry.

A small but loose window pane presented itself as the least of the worst in terms of a method of entry, for nothing had to be broken and I could easily replace the glass upon exiting, creating the illusion that one was ever inside. Earlier, I had also spotted a basement door slightly ajar which would certainly be easier to squeeze though, but the possible risk of being assaulted by a gang of beastly jumping cave crickets hiding behind the wooden door made me decide on the more direct but tighter window entry. Head and shoulders successfully through, I was almost inside and what a treasure of adventure and decay appeared before my eyes, I was jolly with curiosity! Just about fully in, my ass managed to become snagged, I tried to pull myself through, but it was as if some sort of rump grabbing pervert was yanking me back through the window. Looking behind, at my own behind, I could see that a belt loop on my jeans had gotten caught on the wooden frame above the window. I was relieved, for I knew I'd be able to pinch through the opening upon freeing by pants. But also in a strange way this meant that my ass was no wider than shoulder width, a comforting and irrelevant self discovery.

Inside, I regained my wits, immersed myself about the new surroundings, and immediately noticed two motion sensors positioned about the ceiling corners; no doubt they had been tripped during my moseying around! With such a discovery my heart immediately sunk into the depths of my stomach, floating around within a stinging pool of half digested pizza chunks and bile. Sweat began to drip down from my forehead and my vision tunneled. "For sure I'd have enough time to shimmy back though the window and hide out in the woods before any pigs would soon arrive", I thought. I quickly prepared myself mentally and physically to rocket back out the window in record time, but I stopped myself before making the hasty decision. I took a moment to think things through and instead rationalize the situation. "Dead, the alarms must be dead", I began to assure myself, for the amount of fallen plaster chunks originating from the ceiling now covering the floor would no doubt have triggered the alarms long ago. I took a closer inspection and noticed an ancient layer of dust laden cobwebs obscuring the front of the sensors.

Calming my fears with positive assumptions, a new sound began to alert my senses. A faint humming seemed to originate from a detached room around a corner. I followed the sound by ear, to where I was able to pin point it to a series of electrical wires leading to a circuit box attached to the wall. This discovery of electricity made me second guess my motion alarm assumption, but by this point some time had passed since my foolish entry and I wasn't in cuffs nor talking my way out of a bad situation. "Fuck it" I thought, I'd have plenty of places to hide inside if shit hit the fan and it didn't look like anyone had been in here for years, decades even. Nerves slightly on edge, I explored on, discovering room after room filled with antiques and furnishings covered in decades worth of dust and decay. I spent hours inside investigating all the hidden nooks and snapping pictures of my finds.

Years have past since first discovering and venturing into the Hurstmont Estate. More recently I've read that the mansion has been purchased and the interior cleared out, perhaps in lieu of demolition, or maybe restoration, or just to be left to rot yet again. However looking back at it all is where an important lesson originates from. The scares of the adventure spark a first in terms of pushing my limits, limits of comfort and boundaries, staying put instead of running off and missing out on something cool because of fear. While not the most amazing discovery in reflection, it built a mental foundation for future expeditions where I've had to push my limits way further edge-ward and have come face to face with active security measures and obstacles.

I've learned that if you want to see cool shit, you have to take risks; your heart may race, palms sweat, pants may even become blotted with piss or bogged down by a rogue turd, hell, you might even wind up in jail or die. But all those scenarios result in an endgame which is ultimately better than sitting at home too scared to have accomplished something others managed to talk you out of or deemed as crazy and not worth the risk, opting instead to fictitiously live though technology, and societal approved entertainment, slowly dying in a world of illusion where everything is peaches and cream. Adventure will take you to real places where security is often a fabricated illusion, but the experience of it all is a reality that will never be forgotten, instead recounted and told as a memento of ones own risk taking and self discovery. Adventure at its least will invigorate ones own life but has the power to save the masses of boring people living lives dominated by sitting at desks, staring at pixels, tapping at keyboards, and sipping Starbucks.