Salem Evangelical

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The rise and fall of Salem Evangelical Reformed Church was quick and messy, literally. The ceilings cave in on themselves, and the outer brick work just barely holds the structure together anymore.

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In 1873 when the German congregation originally formed, the structure was but a mere wooden shack but in the years to come, change would bring forth new light and new followers. Forty years later, architect Jacob Oberkircher took the wooden structure and rebuilt it into the new church fairly similar to the last, but with a much needed upgrade.

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As of the early 2000’s, the church was still standing, but the stained glass windows started shattering and the floors started caving. Its very unclear as to when the building officially closed, but by 2012, the building was abandoned and the owner at the time managed to hold regular meetings in the house across the street.

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The former minister is nowhere to be found, even after multiple attempts to locate him for his input on the downfall of Salem Evangelical.

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On december 6th of 2011, a New York based investor named Mohammed Kabir purchased the church for $1,000. Some say his only contribution to the church was placing a sign in front reading:

“NOTICE.
Owners name: Mohammed Kabir.
Owners address: xxx East xth Street.
Brooklyn, NY 11218

This sign has been erected by the city of Buffalo as a
public service in the war against slums and blight.”

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We had the pleasure of exploring this church with a good friend of ours, and the creator behind this website: Bill Finan, whom showed us the building. We had visited in March of 2015. (I’m sorry this post has been delayed for so long.)

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As of May 2015, the building is officially marked for demolition. We’ll see how long that takes.

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You know, its very hard to think about a holy place that is thought to protect and save, could kill you at any moment. Structurally, that is.

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We watch as the paint chips, the glass blows around in pieces like a holy sand storm, the lights from the ceiling dip lower with each passing day.

The floors cave and create little sink holes of hymns and church pews, shattered glass and wooden frames.

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It was hard for my camera to focus properly, with rainbow beams shining down from the uppermost corners of the beautifully designed windows.

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I think my favorite part about this building was this little mural behind where the minister would deliver his services. It just has this look of loneliness, knowing its done its part, and will be there until the building collapses.

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A death drop separates the main floor from the basement, and this was one I had no interest in seeing.

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The upper part of the balcony SURPRISINGLY was still in tact, we ventured our way up there, and quickly realized our decision making process was flawed.

In a few short pictures, you will see what lies behind the balcony walls, a room of magnificent beauty.

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The carpet is now paved with shards of stained glass, it gives it character.

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To our surprise, what seems to be an activity room underneath the huge cloth in the middle of the main floor.

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The most notable part of this church is the infamous front doors that are boarded and say “STAY OUT”, well heres a look from right behind the uninviting passage.

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The darkest portions of this church lie behind the front doors, barely even a beam of light illuminate the staircase leading to the balcony.

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At the top of the balcony, the biggest window sheds light on the entire church and the rainbow beams reflect off of the lonesome pews. It’s quite the sight.

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Like earlier stated, behind the balcony walls lies a lonesome room, more like a closet.
Why is there a stained glass window in a closet, but more importantly, why is there a cross thats almost too big for the room?

This building is breathtaking.

Forgotten Farm House

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One of the hardest things to do it determine whether or not a home is abandoned.

There are so many tell-tale signs of life, that it will forever outweigh abandonment. Is the grass well kept? Are windows and entry points intact? Paint peeling? You’d be surprised to find out that these signs of abandonment could mislead you, for we have seen run down homes still being occupied. We have seen homes missing roofs, absolutely no windows, and beat down with people still living inside.. too afraid to let go.

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After our encounter with the College Street Hell House, we had anticipated ending the day with another house that was a little less nerve wracking.

Nothing ever goes as planned.

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After some finesse and skill, we made our way inside. Now, I am clearly a city girl and country houses confuse me for sure, so I ask.. why was there an outside door leading into the bathroom?

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Aside from the very little light peering in through the window, this room was so unbelievably dark and spooky. Along with the rest of the house.

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You can tell that no one has lived here in a long time, but it also looked like whoever left… hung things up to block the windows, locked the doors, and just took off.

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The air is heavy, and the floor begins to cave. From every which corner of the room, a spider web was woven so thick you could knit a really gross sweater.

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The kitchen cabinets are still wide open and stocked with cooking necessities, who could just leave that behind?!

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When I say the floor begins to cave, I mean it. At one point when I was in the other room, I hear my husband yell and when I ask what happened he responds with
“I don’t think this place is safe.”
Come to find out he only got startled because he walked into a spider web. How foolish of me to have believed he could have fallen or perhaps put his foot through the ground?

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Onto my favorite room of this house, the living quarters. I guess when I stepped into this room I truly felt what it was like to live a country life. From where I stood to take this picture, you could hear every critter in the woods chatting it up and the cows mooing down the hill. Something about it leads me to believe this is a comfortable life to live, relaxing at that.

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Again with the old school TV’s that will forever freak me out…

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This house gave me the creeps, but nothing will ever top the College St. house. Nothing. Country homes are so interesting, to find lost belongings and simplistic lifestyles.. it knocks you back a little bit.

“We have about 10 minutes in here before we have to leave.”

Sometimes putting yourself in dangerous situations is what keeps you alive inside.

College Street Hell House

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Now I usually don’t work myself up over situations I put myself in… this being one of them, but my god, I was convinced this was the end for me.

Last night, my husband and I were taking a drive around the neighborhood to see what kind of trouble we could get ourselves into, and on our way home, we made a list. Coming down the block closer to our street, he slaps my leg and begins to point out of my passenger window excitedly at what seemed to be grass… and a whole lot of it. Confused, he starts telling me about how if I look past the bushes, theres actually a house buried in there, not aware of it being abandoned or just…. gross.

Today we went to check it out and, I have never left a building shaking as bad as I did.

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After parking halfway down the street, only to not draw unwanted attention to ourselves, we make our way to the back side of this house. Upon arrival, abandonment becomes more prevalent. Caution tape lines the lower porch, and the windows all shattered, no way someone could live here.

The backyard stands wildly overgrown, and the forgotten shed is still open, who would have known… an abandoned truck. We jokingly make remarks about finding a get-a-way car had we decided to partake in some crime (ironic.)

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Wondering which way would be the best entrance, we blindly grabbed the door handle and to our surprise.. unlocked. The moment we walk in, a dark eerie feeling falls onto your shoulders and just sits there the entire time.

Two steps in and here we are, standing among a pile of old school pornography. Weird.

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So I look to my right, and theres a bathroom, simple enough. Past the bathroom on the right appeared to be another room or some sort of living section. Here’s where things start to get scary.

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Have you ever seen an abandoned house equipped with A MADE BED? Unless there had been some sort of natural devastation, this is something you would RARELY find. Could it be that someone could possibly be living here? Perhaps a group of people? Could that be why all of the porn is in one section of the house? Or maybe why theres beer cans littered all over the basement floor?

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Normally the idea of a squatter is not that terrible.

I have met people in buildings that think you’re crazy for being somewhere abandoned. I have met squatters in buildings that want to show you cool things to take pictures of. I have met some of the most harmless and gentle people inside abandoned buildings… but something about this house made me think that this was NOT the case.

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Maybe it was the fact that I am from the North, where no one cares about what you’re doing, or even if you’re in a dangerous situation. They just do not care. I am now living in the south where every home owns a gun, and people do not like you on their land or the idea of you doing something stupid and dangerous.

Or maybe it was the fact that this house was almost pitch black in the basement, and still had functioning beds? The first thing that occurred to me was “wow, this very well may be a rape dungeon if I have ever seen one.”

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In what circumstance could you imagine that there would be clothes hanging up neatly… not dusty or dirty at all? Especially in a basement like this…. in an abandoned house at that.

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We had our fun in the basement. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I was looking up to the staircase, a light beaming into this crusty dungeon. What could be on the other side of this door? Could there be someone upstairs waiting for us? My heart sunk a little.

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Would you look at that! The door swung open and no one was there, it was safe. I get up the stairs and to my left is a kitchen.

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The porch hangs off to the right, covered with a bunch of just… stuff.

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The windows have previously been busted, allowing easy access for any and everything that can make nests.

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Heres a real head scratcher.. why was there a TV in a box in the kitchen?
It fit so perfectly and snug. Why a TV though? Was this a failed attempt to move?

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The kitchen cabinets are gone, but the counter is littered with beer cans, family photos, and a half empty bottle of pepsi. Had it ever been opened? Did someone drink it? Had it evaporated? These are things that will forever rack my brain.

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Now previously when I had mentioned going up the stairs, turning left led me to the kitchen, this time we had taken a right.

We are now in the living room.

Straight behind where I was standing to take this photo was what appeared to be another living room. Two living rooms? Was one a TV room and one a living room? Or was one maybe a dining room and the other a living room? Ah, who knows. The house had such an old feel to it that it quite possibly could have been anything.

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The room is cluttered with hangers, nick nacks, glass and blankets. It is now more than apparent that this is squatters territory.

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One of the many things that freaked me out about this place was the fact that there was a blanket laid out, with a doll laying face down. Why? Who has been here?

What is the story?

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In the next room over… the room that I could not identify. Like I said, was this a TV room? Or was this a living room? I’m just not entirely sure.

These old style TV’s will forever give me the creeps. It’s like, when you were younger and you would watch Courage The Cowardly Dog, this is what it felt like to be courage. Everything around me at this moment is older than my husband and I combined, although we are brave, we turned into huge babies in this house.

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Now, we had not seen the front of this house due to it being so overgrown, but we found the front door and it was boarded up. Surprise surprise. My goal was to make it to the porch, but I was not going to walk through the jungle, and I was not going to break anything to get there. Oh well.

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The next room led us to two bedrooms (which I have no photos of) and a bathroom.

The story is about to liven up, and I’m hoping you get the chills with me.

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We walk on into the bathroom, and from this point to the corner of the furthest bedroom is just absolutely trashed. Junk is piled a foot high, and walking becomes impossible. We’re looking around and find a bunch of autographed pictures of Baywatch actresses, signed wrestling photos and a box of old Atari games.

And just in that moment, I peak my head up and look at my husband and ask..

“Did you hear that?”

It sounded like there was a car next to the house.. This house is on a corner street, however, so I was hoping that was enough justification. At this point, I’m nervous that someone is either around the house, in the house with us, or going to be heading up the stairs.

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I saved this photo for last for a reason.

The previous photo of the eerie curtains was taken in this room.

As we are getting ready to leave, I walk back to the living room and notice my husband isn’t behind me.. okay.. he’s a little adventurous. I walk back to this room and he says to me..

“Babe look!!!” as he pulls out some weird dungeons and dragons booklet.

In this moment he makes his way to the closet pictured above and he jumps back. This loud rolling noise echoes through these walls and sounds like there was someone hidden in the back of this closet. He and I both stop in our tracks and look at one another..

“What was that..”
“I don’t know.. Is someone in this house?”
“Is…. someone in the closet?”
“I have no idea.. lets go.”

As we’re heading out, the noise gets louder and my heart sinks to my lower intestines. The only way out now is to go back into the creepy basement. Who knows if someone is waiting downstairs for us now… who knows what was in that closet.

We make our way outside again, and all is well once more. Circling the house, a man on a golf cart pulls up and asks us what we were doing, after a 20 minute conversation it is really time to go. As we are walking back to the car, we had to pass two sides of this creepy house, and it sounded like there was something in the bushes, following us along the property line. About 20 feet away from the house, I turn and can’t shake the feeling that there is something watching us. I hear branches crack and leaves getting kicked around. Maybe I’m just paranoid.

It is safe to say I have no business returning to that house.

New York Public School

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Everyone in the urbex community has their favorite type of abandonment, mine just so happens to be schools. Right next to Cooley High School in Detroit, this school blew me away. As much as I would like to give the locations real name away, I have made a promise not to, I would also love to thank the fellow explorer who showed us this building! (You know who you are!)

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Something about finding high school relics and memories really makes my heart happy and my curiosity sky rocket.

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As you enter, the first room you encounter is the gymnasium, wooden floors still intact. The bell still sits patiently inside its cover and the clocks are stopped, boxes are stacked height high in every which corner.

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Across the hall, a lonely room stands very well preserved. Was it a nurse office or was this the principles? We stood there for a good half hour trying to figure it out, only thing we found was a package of crackers in the drawer.

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Hallway panels fall to the ground, the ceiling crumbles and the floor tiles curl.

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Information boards still up, clouded classroom doors still propped open.

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As the sun falls, the ambiance shifts. The light reflecting off of the school walls in the courtyard gives off a orange-ish-yellow hue, lighting up our paths.

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We stood on the stage and looked into the non-existent crowd once more. Boxes upon boxes of paperwork and miscellaneous papers cluttered the floor and the stage. Much like a storage facility.

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Now this is something you dont see too often, classrooms still intact. WHATTTT. Chalkboards still up, books still in cabinets, writing still on the chalkboards. Absolutely beautiful.

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Very minimal graffiti covers the premises, thankfully.

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This room was my favorite. If you know me in real life, you know how video savvy I am.
This room is an abandoned film room, and this just adds to one of the many reasons I LOVE schools. Old film projects were safely secured in film cases and cabinets, names/ ages/ class numbers were labeled on little slips inside film pouches. It was such a treat for a videographer to find.

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The most eerie part of this story, is the writing still left on the chalkboards.

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Names, dates and assignments were neatly written from end to end, and of course I added my website to one board. Gotta get your name out there somehow!

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I wish I had more photos of this building to show you, but I guess we’ll have to wait until my next visit to the North. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think about this explore/ post. If you have local abandonment, feel free to email me or leave a comment…

For all whom don’t know, I just moved to the south and am still looking to venture.
Lets discuss the south!
xoxo Planet Perish

Rayco “Rayon” Factory

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After being escorted out as soon as we got in, I was not able to capture too many photos of the factory. Thank you to Ryan from The Ancient Future and Alexis Ziemski for the photos to complete this photo set.

Above photo was taken by Ryan.

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Above five photos taken by Alexis Ziemski.

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Old Cleveland Aquarium

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Western New York. Monastery (Nunnery)

Previously stated in my last post, I am now introducing photo-sets from random explores that came up with little to no information. I would rather share these photos than have them live in folders without a story, plus… I’ve been told before that my stories don’t get read fully, but are more for the visual experience.

So here we have it, Planet Perishes’ first post after implementing this new addition.

While in New York a few weeks ago, we were very lucky to have had a local explorer escort us through a few of her favorite buildings.

One of the first buildings she took us to was this monastery in the outskirts of the city, this was by far one of my favorite explores… ever. This building gave off one of the most eerie yet humble feelings, much like I’ve been here before. The light came through the windows in such a way that it made everything you saw look like a painting. A camera will never do this building its justice.

There is currently no information on the building, or even a name, but if I find anything I will be more than willing to let everyone know. Enjoy, let me know what you think.

xx

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**NEW**

Due to the lack of information on buildings we have been visiting lately, or the lack of names on said buildings.. I will now be posting photo-sets with personal experiences along with as much information as I have. I am now introducing this to Planet Perish because I have noticed my desktop folders piling up with awesome photos… WITH NO STORIES! Instead of leaving these great photos in folders, why not share them even if they have no history? I hope this new addition will go over well with all of the fans of this website, if not.. we will reevaluate in a few weeks.

Thank you for understanding,
Chellsea x Planet Perish

Rayco Factory

There is a story to be told.
We will find it.

Willson Elementary (Follow up)

In my most recent post, I had shared with you my thoughts and feelings about a Cleveland school called Willson. I am not new to drawing attention to historic sites and inevitably getting them boarded up, but this goes to show how much of an impact Planet Perish has on the urbex community. I am not sure whether to thank everyone for paying attention to my ridiculous antics, or whether to sob at the fact that I got this building locked down. One way or the other, Willson will NEVER die.

Here is a photo I took of Willson about 3 hours ago.

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About Planet Perish

Ohio urban explorers documenting forgotten structures. Tell us about your local abandonment at planetperish@yahoo.com
 
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