The air was dry and stifling as motes of dust floated in the beam of our flashlights. I had set out several hours earlier with my cousins, JF and DB, on an evening of adventure. We picked up a camera at DB’s studio and hit up downtown Houston filled with anticipation for the night that lay ahead of us. We canvassed a seemingly abandoned, shadow-filled parking garage and crept into the abyss of its depths. An hour later we returned to the ground level after seeing sights of long-forgotten tools, dismal creepy old vans, ancient petrol pumps, all rusting amidst the silt lined walls where past hurricane waters had left their mark. We agreed on exploring upward and trekked up the sloping driveways until we reached the top. Bathed in the glow of streetlights, we emerged onto a flat rooftop.
Pushed up against the parking garage to us was a rather decrepit, 1950s-esque hotel, long since abandoned. With but a sliver of a ledge jutting out about 10 feet above us, we decided to climb using a ladder that we had seen conveniently lying several parking floors below us into the foreboding building.
Our first discovery in the hotel was a room containing a life-sized R2-D2 Pepsi cooler. Yes, it was as intriguing as it sounds.
We pressed onward down the constricting hallways, leaving footprints in the dust. The dust caked everything, and made it tough to breathe were it not for the dust masks that DB had in his SUV.
Each room was completely different than the others, with the only commonality shared among them being that each door had been either smashed, broken, or altogether destroyed.
We came to a suite at the end of the long hallway that was filled with the twinkling street light as dust particles floated around. The first thing that drew our attention was that there was something hanging from the ceiling. A skeleton of some sort. Closer inspection revealed some type of bird or bat skeleton.
A glance onto the bed hinted that more was not right in this chilling abode. A cross made of wood planks, painted with red paint and handprints, and children’s toy parts glued along it caused a nauseating feeling among us.
I stepped back and investigated the bathroom. It had chest-high swinging saloon doors and, upon entry, the light from my flashlight shone upon a blood-like substance glistening on the door as it swung shut behind me. Needless to say, I got the heck out of there and back into the main room.
JF and I begged DB to take a picture of the cross and hesitantly, he took one. Just as we all heard the audible click from the shutter, the windows began rattling hard. I figured it was just a large truck driving on the street below us, but a quick peek through the window told me otherwise. Needless to say, we hurriedly rushed from that room! We ventured on, expecting to meet another living human dwelling in this building… but no one was to be found. Instead, we were met with stashes of abandoned, vagrant items.
The piles of food we found had expiration dates 4 years prior to our visit.
The lack of footprints gave more proof to the total abandonness of the hotel. That is, until we reached the 14th floor and came to room 1401:
This room, unlike all of the others in the 26-story building, had a door in pristine condition. Not smashed in, no hinges blown out, just solid and shut. Figuring that maybe a bergie was asleep inside, but nonetheless wanting to go in, we paused by the door and whooped and hollered like wildmen for a few seconds (to prevent startling anyone inside). I banged on the smooth woodwork and turned the dusty, stale doorknob as a bead of sweat began to form on my brow. The door was about halfway open when we all heard tremendously massive footsteps from the otherside of the room stomping…crunching…treading towards the door. We screamed like little schoolgirls and dove down the hallway, slid down two flights of stairs before realizing we were being childish and after putting on a faux guffaw of manliness, we nervously crept back up, clutching two foot long pieces of broken rebar. We went back to the now tightly shut door, and tried opening it. It was locked.
We continuously heard weird noises (screams from a room that had a smashed window and a breeze blowing the curtains around, as well as a mattress with strange blood-like stains on it), inhuman grunts and whisperings, and our own sweaty, nervous breathing. We always climbed up and down the stairs (we took the emergency stairs because the elevators were not working) and like juveniles in horror movies, we strove to quench our curiosities.
Eventually, after seven hours of urbexing, we ascended a ladder to the roof where we were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief in the early pre-dawn hours.
Adventure awaits. So go out and explore! – JC
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