Lost Places: Why Are They So Fascinating To Us? 

Every time that I share some information about one of my old hobbies, I get confused faces. “Why would anyone want to do that?” “Can’t you have a normal hobby?”. 

Nah. That would be boring.

So, what is that strange hobby that not many people can connect with? Exploring lost places

Like the name suggests, you do mainly one thing: exploring a lost place. Read here what exactly that entails and about the experiences that I have made so far. 

What is a lost place?

Everyone stumbles across them every now and then: A lost place. But what is that exactly? Well, a Lost Place (aka “modern ruins”) refers to a building or remains of a building of a recent past. Usually, they can be dated back to the 20th or 19th century.

Put simply: its an old, abandoned building. (Much like what you initially thought when you passed that scary looking thing in the first place.) 

A Lost Place in Brandenburg

A Lost Place could be anything. From an old bakery to an abandoned children’s hospital. After all, people build a lot of things and then either destroy them or simply abandon them. Now, the latter is already one of the main reason these “things” are so interesting. 

Once you destroy something, most memories of that place are gone. You cannot retrieve it. You cannot repair it. You cannot experience it. It is simply gone. Forever.

But a Lost Place is quite the opposite. It still exists. And it does so exactly the way it did a hundred years ago. It experienced most historical events just like you did. It was there before you were. And it encapsulated its own past and that of others and their actions inside its walls.

An original Elton John poster in an abandoned Soviet flat

It’s a piece of the past that is otherwise too distant for us and our grasp. Something that you have learned about in history class is suddenly so close to you. You could touch it. You experience the history of a location first hand. You live its history and you become a part of its history. Basically, connecting the past and the present.

Why Are Lost Places So Amazing? – 6 Good Reasons

I know. Exploring a Lost Place? Sounds more like a scene from a horror movie than a real life hobby. But trust me – it’s pretty cool. And I know a thing or two about being cool. Not that I am, but I have watched a lot of contemporary documentaries. So basically, I have studied being cool.

Anyway, here are good reasons as to why Lost Places are actually amazing. 

Lost Places: Experiencing History First-Hand

As I said earlier, a Lost Place encapsulates it’s history, the actions of people and now your own. It experienced loads of things, some of them might even be connected to you. And it treasures all these memories, experiences and events inside its walls. 

Now you come into play. Once you enter, you become part of its history.

You experience these memories first hand. May it be through a crack in the wall, someone’s graffiti or something else. Stand where people stood before you – without even knowing them or their own history. Be connected to something greater. And create your own footstep.

My friends and me at an abandoned airfield

Exploring The Abandoned Place Like You Are Part Of Scooby Doo

Exploring a Lost Place is like being part of the Scooby Doo Team. Not hunting ghosts though. Rather, you are hunting for the history of a place that seems, at the start, rather uninviting. Like I said, you are exploring something you don’t know, being a part of something greater. Basically, you are following the footsteps of the unknown.

But the mystery doesn’t end there. The planning, the pictures, the preparation – everything is a part of this big mysterious adventure. As such, it is incredibly exciting to explore an abandoned place.

Me at an abandoned military airfield

Lost Places – “I Am Going On An Adventure!”

Remember that meme? “I am going on an adventure!”? That’s exactly how it feels like to explore a Lost Place. It is a big adventure. You never know what to expect, in what state the building is or if you even get in. 

Sometimes you get chased by security. Sometimes you have the best time with your friends. Sometimes you get hurt. Anything can happen!

But that is not all. Things can change any minute. What at first seems like a rather nice experience, can quickly turn into an exciting hell. Once my friend got stung by a bunch of wasps after stepping into a nest. Funny to me – but not to him (as I recall). But that is a story for another day. 

Abandoned Soviet flat in Brandenburg

Abandoned Buildings: Where The Present Meets The Past

An abandoned place seems raw. Dirty, rudimental and everything in between. Well, definitely not new. 

Now see, it’s pretty easy: you live in the present, the lost place is from the past. So, the past meets the present. I don’t think there is much more to say to that. Because that pretty much sums it up.  

Consequently, you have the chance to experience a totally different time. That creates a certain flair. It is totally different than our polished, clean modern world. It’s like that one weird kid in class. You might not immediately see them as a friend – yet they are intriguing. 

Exploring A Lost Place: It’s Just Cool

The 6th reasons, which I find most convincing, is: It is simply cool to explore a lost place. Why? Because of all the above reasons. They make it such a unique experience. The flair, the memories, the stories. Some of the best stories I have experienced in my recent years are related to exploring a lost place. Times that I simply wish back at the moment. 

Call it nostalgia. I just call it unique. Whether you are just in it for the vibes or to photograph some different sceneries every now and then. Everyone can have a good time. Unless you get arrested. So just don’t get arrested. That is not fun. Quite the opposite. 

An abandoned university in Berlin

Aren’t Lost Places Creepy? – Well Yes, But Actually, No. 

Now hear me out. Of course a Lost Place is creepy. That it’s a natural part of it. I mean: why would you want to be some place that other people didn’t want to be at anymore? Fear is just a rational reaction to that. There must be a reason… right?

Well I don’t know. Of course it is somewhat scary. But that is also a fun part of it. Sometimes I lay in bed and I imagine all the places I have visited in the night. How would they look like? How does the atmosphere and scenery change? An exciting thought. 

Now of course, I would never want to visit a place like that during the night. It is already scary it is. The fear of the unknown is enough for me. After all, you never know what might happen during your time there. 

An abandoned university in Berlin

Nonetheless, there is no immediate threat present. I mean: it’s abandoned, right? So what is the big deal? It is not like anything special is going to happen. Or at least I hope so. Maybe I am just telling myself that all the time?

Aaah anyway. I was just debating about this with myself. You know during those long family dinners, while everyone discusses and you are just lost in thought. Well yeah, that’s what I was just thinking about. 

While you are there, your brain constantly tells you to be on high alert. I mean, can’t really blame it though, right? After all, who voluntarily walks down long, empty hallways, interacts with creepy objects left behind and check what is in that empty closet. Danger might be lurking around every corner. Although it is most likely your paranoid friend who saw a wolf and scared you 3 times already.

Abandoned hotel in Brandenburg
Entry hall of an abandoned university in Berlin

Anyway… I am drifting off. 

Yes, of course it is creepy. And trust me, I don’t want to encounter a hungry wolf, a security guard or some homeless man with a knife. Yet, it is all part of the thrill. Exploring the unknown. Going on an adventure. And what is more fun than that?

An abandoned mansion in a forest in Brandenburg

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