New Jersey has its share of sights to see (weird NJ
and all) and i've been to a couple though not as many as i'd like.The Gates of Hell
is basically a big old storm drain where it is rumored there is satanic or cultist activity sometimes, rituals ranging depending on the teller from hooded robes and chanting to human sacrifice. Of course, there are the standard jersey myths about how the devil lives seven levels down or there's a hidden room with a glowing skull and my brother's friend swears to god he knows a guy who went in and never came out - the mythology of it is a big part of what makes this so fun for me. It is a pretty creepy place, it's covered in graffiti some of which is ol' pentagrams or inverted crosses or what have you. We didn't venture terribly far into the tunnel because it's a storm drain and it had rained and there was all rushing water once you got past the first big main part. I think my favorite thing about my trip there really was just the adventure getting there, following a secondhand description down train tracks with no station in sight, jumping and slipping down a gravel hill all giddy, hiding from headlights that just swept over from a turning car. A standard trip, bordering on a rite of passage, for kids in the area.
The WeirdNJ story about albino village
is how the story goes down, but it leaves something out. There was once a sort of a settlement of albinos near the Passaic River in the 1900s or so, in case you don't feel like following that link. The little village sort of stayed around through the fifties and early sixties i think, and sometimes a teen-ager would drive through and get all spooked for a thrill. (A railroad track crosses over the street just before you reach the Village; this makes for a neat stone tunnel which serves as an entrance and a creepy place to drive through with no headlights.) Once the shanties and such were thoroughly abandoned and demolished, the ground was built over with like thirteen generic suburban houses, as it says. There are also two industrial buildings around there, one with offices and another with a few offices and a big garage for loading trucks. Here is the thing though, a couple of years ago the whole place was bought by the state because a new on-ramp to the nearby highway is to be built there (think Hitchhikers Guide.) The people who lived there i guess had a short time to leave, and what remained was a lovely row of somewhat-hastily abandoned houses, free for the pillaging. Some highlights:
There was a bizarre room in the truck-garage building which had one barber's chair in the middle, a pile of things like coat hangers and boots, and a calendar displaying the finest in american sports-cars hanging on the wall. This room was the deadest room, acoustically, i've ever been inside. The same garage had a big open space (the garage part) which was one of the most acoustically live rooms i've ever been in, right outside. Moving from one to the other felt like somebody snuck up behind you and put earmuffs on you while you weren't looking.
The last house at the end of the street had a working upright piano in the garage.
People's lives stopped in their tracks. One house was covered with index cards, written on each of which was the english and polish name of the object the card was stuck to. Somebody was teaching himself english! It felt like walking through the post-apocalypse, a la that one episode of the Twilight Zone. This is the real Urban Explorer kind of stuff, and probably the meat of why i enjoyed this place so much.
Carrying things around like a table leg or a railroad spike, In Case Of Zombies.
The place was colloquially known as The Hole at that point, though i'm not sure if anyone outside of my friends and i called it that. I know we didn't make it up, so we must have gotten it from somewhere. Sadly the on-ramp thing has progressed and now all the buildings have been knocked down and the place leveled. I haven't been back to see what it looks like yet.
I totally want to go to one of those abandoned asylums i hear so much about, but much of what i hear is about the police presence and how people get arrested trying to explore there.