I've spent my morning glued to YouTube, watching videos of people exploring abandoned homes and buildings. It all started with a suggestion from The All-Knowing Internet to watch a show about normal people buying and restoring crazy-old properties in Great Britain and has somehow spiraled into this weird experience that, to me, is kind of like walking around a cemetery from the comfort of my couch.
In one of these videos, the couple is walking around a mansion that is looks like a snapshot of 1979. It's a mess, like it's been ransacked, but the books tell the tale of someone in the medical field. There are magazines from the early eighties, a cabbage patch doll's head, and lots of shoes.
What struck me the most is when the camera pans over the room in one shot, and the girl holding the camera finds a stack of photos. They're talking back and forth and speculating about what happened to the owners of this house, and I'm thinking I just found a new way to torture myself.
The YouTubers seem content with speculation, and I am practically SCREAMING at them through my television to go do some research. Why can't these people take a cue from the makers of the program about restoration projects in the UK and go do some research? Why not try to find the owner of the property and get permission to research what happened there? And if it's bank-owned, why not go to the library? Follow the money? Figure out who those people are in the pictures?
It's like getting a sliver of a story, and dreamers like me just need more to go on. It is torture.
It makes you wonder how alone a person would have to be in the world to own a box full of things, and when something happens to them, no one in the world is available to take those things to Goodwill and at the very least pass the junk on. It makes you wonder what compels a person or people to walk out of a home and not even take their underwear and shoes. Did they have to evacuate in the middle of the night for some reason? Was there some kind of SWAT raid and everyone in the house was involved in some kind of diabolical scheme? Did they just run out of money or time or sanity?
The heart of every good story isn't about what gets left behind, but why. I hope some of these YouTubers find a way to tell the rest of the story.
I also can't stop watching because I'm convinced that sooner or later they're going to be walking around a house they think is abandoned and an actual owner and inhabitant is going to show up. #oops