Urbex Debate #4: Even More Unpopular Opinions

Dick Riders vs Grifters

Whether you call it dick riding or swaggerjacking, it’s part of the culture and it’s fine. Same thing as the alleged “Flavor of the Month Club”, it’s all about trying to see these places before they’re gone, and the best way to do that is for everyone to go at the same time. The only reason you see a problem here is because you’ve been indoctrinated that sharing spots is bad, and to glorify making people redo your research. Not all of us have the resources, or the reliable people to go with, to waste on research spots, and at this point I’m not even sure originality should be respected as much as taking the same photos someone else has.

Whatever Happened to UrbexCon?

My thought is they never really explained the what or the why of it… all they claimed to have is an A-list roster of youtubers (?) we actually never heard of. If you’re expecting people to go to a con for explorers, you should probably have it where people can explore.

The idea of bringing all the explorers together is already covered. If you want to go to UrbexCon, go to Mouser Week, an actual urbex convention that’s been around since the 90s. Assuming you can get invited, anyway… But at least that’s a good inspiration for how to get started.

Anyway, if you want to hear the rest of the story from their side, the UrbexCon organizers were on That Other Podcast a few months ago. Apparently it happened and they think they have a reason to exist.

Lynnewood Hall: Worst Tour Ever?

Talk about not knowing how to read the room… even if the strategy is to cater to high-dollar donors, we’ve already seen that the Cresson model was a spectacular success (ownership issues aside) in sharing a beautiful abandoned location and raising funds toward the restoration.

Would the people who could afford a Lynnewood tour even want to go to Lynnewood? And if they could afford it, why didn’t they do anything about it yet? A few dog treats, a trespass ticket and a lawyer would have been far cheaper…

The Conflict at Cresson

I don’t know enough about either of the sides in the lawsuit to know who was right or wrong there. But if it’s between a child molester and a Nazi, and the whole thing was only on a lease, why can’t the owners just be like both of you have to go, can we find someone new to run the prison tours? It’s too unique of a place to be wasted on such morally questionable management.

I do know some of the volunteers at Cresson, and I’ve been there myself on the very first day of tours in 2021. Maybe I’m over-simplifying this but I don’t think it’s fair to boycott or cancel Cresson as a whole, its volunteers, Big House, or the location itself just because its landowner is problematic, if we did that half the real estate in the country would be canceled.

Caught at an Abandoned House

This is why I don’t do houses.

I’d maybe consider exploring a house if it was already run through by the flavor of the month club, but it’s just so wrong to research houses and try to get in them without knowing if there’s an owner — or even an occupant — whose life you’re poking around in.

Keeper Again?

This was such a total waste of time. Awful episode with no progress or resolution, and Keeper just repeated all the same lies as always. I think Nick was probably right that the whole point of Keeper wanting to be there was to make fun of me, especially the way I got led on for weeks without any real information about where or when I needed to be, and then their insistence that somehow I was especially special for not having a car, when half or more of the people attending, including Keeper himself, were flying in for the fight. But if he admitted to anything like that, I was quite willing to look past it and move on. Instead he gaslit me twice: first saying I was always invited, then that I never was.

Anyway, Keeper did reach out to me after this debate episode and is interested in finally meeting me in Texas this spring, and I’m willing to give him a chance. Maybe it all was a misunderstanding about Detroit, and maybe without the whole spectacle of a fight, or hassle of planning a whole event, it’ll work out better this time.

I think you’re kind of right about exploring with “Bilph” the character last spring. Especially in that one church when the whole all-star team showed up, which I did NOT plan or have any idea was coming, and was totally awkward. I’m not trying to be a celebrity, I’m just in it for the adventure, and I didn’t like that kind of attention either. I’ve always been asking to just be treated like another explorer, and to make friends in the community, and I’m glad I’m finally having that chance after so many years of being nothing but a meme.

Discord Cards

I’ll admit the sheer number of them is annoying. But it worked to bring the urbex community together… at least until I got banned from my own server! I’m still distributing them, somewhat, but I think we need another way to grow. Maybe single larger posters in some of the easier abandoned buildings in the northeast?

Keeper vs Ronnie

I’m not Ronnie Walker. I have never been Ronnie Walker. I don’t even know who he is except the dude who challenged Keeper to a fight last year. He still shows up on my facebook every once in a while.

I think you’re confusing Ronnie with the other fighter/jailbird burner account Donnie Martin. They’re not the same person. (And is it coincidence that there used to be another explorer Don Martino back in the 2000s?)

Unfortunately I’ve been to Kensington… and accidentally brought another explorer there, totally lost, at 3am. I’m amazed he even still talks to me.

Given the choice of a fence or Kenzombies? I think I’d go to Southwark and explore with the scrappers instead.

Nick’s Stalker

I thought I was annoying and pushy… but this takes it too far. Even I wouldn’t do that to find someone to explore with. There’s drama, and there’s being a shitty human.

Is it exploring to go somewhere for the clout shots?

Absolutely. This shouldn’t even be a question. If you take this to its logical conclusion, a “real explorer” would have to go to places and specifically avoid the most interesting parts because someone else already had that photo, since there’s only a finite number of abandoned buildings.

Where I do have a problem is the people who go ONLY for the clout shot, and don’t care about looking around the rest of the building. At that point you might as well just watch the thing on tiktok and see the highlight reel because you’ll have the same picture everyone else does, and not much of an experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll only post the clout shot, but you’ll also get to see the whole thing and maybe find something you didn’t know about, or an even better detail shot someone else missed.

Symmetry Demons?

This is why I like 45 and 60 degree angles so much. It’s a lot harder to see a 44 or 61 degree angle than it is a straight shot plus or minus one degree.

Locking up locations?

Dave, this is the way it’s supposed to be. The flavor of the month system is the best thing that’s happened to urbex in years. The only problem I have with it is that even though it’s all but public I feel like I’m left out a lot of the time.

I will always be that girl you mentioned. You might think you’re being clever or helpful but making locations difficult leaves people like me out. What if the one entrance you leave is too much of a climb for some people? Or what if it needs tools to get in? It’s already hard enough to find someone to go with once I find out where a place is, and it’s usually going to be gone by then.

And then there’s that infamous Rochester hotel. Everyone last spring was getting in by climbing some janky rope climb, and people in the discord were inviting me to go and I kept saying no I can’t do that climb. They kept telling me it was easy, and I kept saying no I can’t do this, and they just called me a complainer and a fake explorer and didn’t really care. Finally in June someone busted one of the front doors, and I got a chance to see it, even though it probably cost me my whole server that I’d been in for 16 years. There shouldn’t be so much disrespect for people who need the easier entrance.

Also, everyone posting the same spot at the same time is a GOOD thing. It’s better to have an all out rush on the spot while it’s open because who knows how long it’ll last. The crowds and damage are happening in real time, and all you’re doing by waiting to post after you’re already piling in there is making it harder for newer explorers or outsiders to get to spots because by the time we see the post and figure out where it is it’s already sealed up or demolished.

Can we just try to make the flavor of the month club a thing? If a place is open, make it known, and bring anyone you can, while it’s still there. Especially if it’s already getting run through and the scrappers and vandals already know about it.

I’d love to see another power plant someday, but they’re all too difficult, and people keep them too secret until too late. What am I supposed to do?

Meg’s Discord

If it’s so dead, send me an invite? I can bring the drama.


He’s above my level. He’s above everyone’s level. Have you seen where he’s been? I explored with him once and it wasn’t bad. I’ve also heard some pretty horrendous stories from his ex.

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