Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

The Top 5 Abandoned Places of 2021

Posted: December 22, 2021 by kingleser in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Airport, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Boston, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Cars, Abandoned Connecticut, Abandoned Drive-In, Abandoned Farm, Abandoned Forts, Abandoned Golf Course, Abandoned House, Abandoned Massachusetts, abandoned military bases, abandoned new england, Abandoned New Hampshire, Abandoned New York, Abandoned Park, Abandoned Pennsylvania, Abandoned Places, Abandoned Railway, Abandoned Rhode Island, Abandoned Road, Abandoned Statues, Abandoned Theaters, Abandoned Tower, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Vermont, Abandoned Wonders, Broken, Cedar Hill, Christmas, Cinema, Closed, commercial, Connecticut, darkness, Death, Destruction, Disney, Exploration, fantasy, Forgotten, Forts, Ghosts, Graveyard, Haunting, Hiking, History, Information, Massachusetts, Military, Military Forts, Movies, Mystery, nature, Navy, new england, New Hampshire, New Haven, New York, Pennsylvania, photography, Public Parks, Rhode Island, Ruins, Searching, Stories, Trains, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex, writing
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The Top 5 Abandoned Places of 2021

By: Lassie and Wilk

It’s been another rough year for all of us. But it has also been a time for healing. We have all been through so much, and we’re not out of the storm yet. To everyone following Abandoned Wonders, thank you for being a part of our adventures and staying strong. We’ve covered a lot of cool abandoned places this year. But only five can make it onto our annual list. So please enjoy our new video covering the Top 5 Abandoned Places of 2021.

Happy Holidays to all, Happy New Year, and we’ll see you in Spring 2022.

Dark Fairy Tales – The Abandoned Highland Statues

Posted: October 20, 2021 by kingleser in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Amusement Park, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Boston, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Connecticut, Abandoned Golf Course, Abandoned Massachusetts, abandoned new england, Abandoned New Hampshire, Abandoned New York, Abandoned Park, Abandoned Pennsylvania, Abandoned Places, Abandoned Rhode Island, Abandoned Statues, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Vermont, Abandoned Wonders, Broken, Closed, commercial, darkness, Death, Destruction, Disney, dreams, empty, Exploration, fantasy, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, Ghosts, Graveyard, Haunting, Hiking, History, Information, left behind, lost, Love, Magic, Massachusetts, Movies, Mystery, nature, new england, overgrown, photography, Public Parks, Ruins, Safety First, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex, writing
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Dark Fairy Tales

The Abandoned Highland Statues

Written by: Wilk

Photographs by: Lassie

We all know a fairy tale or two. Especially us kids who grew up in the “Golden Age” of Disney movies. The Emperor’s New Groove was my favorite. What was yours? They were always stories of far off places, with brave heroes and beautiful princesses. They would face evil, conquer darkness, and always live happily ever after. Why did we love to hear them so much? Was it comforting to think that if Prince Charming could rise to the occasion and conquer the day, then so could we? Did we see ourselves in these characters and their struggles? Or perhaps they just provided a brief distraction from the mundane comings and goings of everyday life. We all wished we could be those heroes. Honest, brave, and true. And that if we just kept believing and kept going, everything would always be alright. We liked that. Some of us even loved it. But the older we got, the more we came to realize that it wasn’t real. Prince Charming doesn’t always save the day. Our heroes don’t live happily ever after. And even if you never stop believing in yourself, you can still lose everything. You slowly begin to realize that these stories are exactly that. Just stories. Make believe. Lies. Innocence is lost. Evil prevails. Life is not a fantasy for most us. And even though we wish we could live in a fairy tale, our world can actually be a much colder and scarier place than you’d find in any storybook.

So please allow me to introduce our subject for October: the abandoned Highland Statues. Quite fitting for this month, aren’t they? These spooky relics reside in what is now known as Highland Park in Attleboro, Massachusetts. But this isn’t the way things used to be. This area was once known as Highland Country Club. First opening in 1901, this was a traditional club for private members. The club came to be when a member of the local community donated his farm for its creation. It was one of the largest and most successful venues in the area. Features included a nine-hole course, a driving range, a pro-shop, clubhouse, and practice area. Members enjoyed the golf course. Lavish events were held at the clubhouse. And the wealthy elite did whatever it is that the wealthy elite do at country clubs. I imagine drinking brandy, smoking cigars, and congratulating each other on being Masters of the Universe. Hopefully somebody got that reference. Anyway…the club unfortunately was forced to close its doors for good in 2018, ending a historic 117 years in business. Due to undisclosed financial troubles, the club’s owners filed for bankruptcy. The land sat empty and forgotten for a couple of years. Waiting for something, or anything to happen. But then, the town of Attleboro purchased the former country club and turned it into the park that we see today.

The history of the statues themselves has been a little murky. I have scoured the internet looking for any sort of information on them. But all searches have come up empty. If anyone reading this has any information, memories, or even stories about these statues please do share them. We’d love to hear from you. If I were to guess, I would bet they were once apart of some sort of family friendly mini-golf course within the country club. They certainly look like something of that sort. The park is quiet and placid. We arrived on a chilly Sunday afternoon, and we were pretty much the only people there. Though the park is vast, it still very much feels like a golf course. There are random sand traps lost amongst the vegetation. A couple of unkempt ponds stand at the corners. There is a paved cart path that meanders along throughout the weeds. Lonely benches peak out through the tall grass. But it is at the farthest point that the park’s most unique feature resides. Off the beaten path and through the wild weeds, we came upon the group of forlorn statues. They are all made of wood. Each one once representing some character from children’s cartoons and fairy tales. Some stand together. Others stand alone. Their appearances range from hauntingly beautiful to absolute unholy nightmare fuel. Most of them are Disney. Some are even downright unidentifiable.

The Beauty and the Beast gang is up first. The Beast has completely broken apart. As if the final pedal of his rose had finally fallen. Chip lies beside him. A large crack splits down the face of Mrs. Pots. Belle’s skin is now a mute grey. Next comes the main cast of Sesame Street. They are all waving and friendly. But the color and warmth has all but faded from their rotting carcasses. Miss Piggy stands alone. Popeye is here. Olive Oil by his side. And the Small World crew. Barney the Purple Dinosaur lies in a splintered ruin. Next comes the Wizard of Oz brigade. The Wicked Witch of the West stands tall, though several pieces of her have broken off. The others have collapsed. Someone has placed Toto on top of the fallen statue of Dorothy. As if he were innocently trying to revive her. Poor sweet Paddington is down for the count. The Flintstones characters have been all but lost to the ever growing brush. The rotting corpses of Smee and Peter Pan lie with them. Last but certainly not least was my personal favorite, Captain Hook. Though he now looks much more like a decaying figurehead adorning the bow of The Jolly Roger. A large dead rabbit lies alongside the statues. Not a victim of some sort of predatory kill. But just an innocent animal frozen in death. It is eerily silent here, and the gang of decaying statues are all quite creepy in their own unique way.

There are several other statues that are being maintained at a neighboring house. These include Pinocchio, Bambi, and Pocahontas. Though we are still having trouble figuring out exactly what that building is. It is fenced off all around and made of stern brick. There are security cameras, NO TRESPASSING signs, and the property is clearly being taken care of. Curious, indeed. Again, if anyone has some info they’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. It was interesting to see the statues on one side of the fence so vibrant with life and on the other side being completely devoid of it. As we drove home, we passed by a woven doll lying face down on the side of the highway. She must’ve been lost by some poor young child. Or perhaps she was cast aside by someone who once loved and cherished her. For whatever reason that may be. It reminded me very much of the Highland Statues. This once beautiful and beloved artifact left behind to the mercy of the cold world. Seeing such innocence lost can just make everything feel so hopeless. We can believe our fairy tales and our stories. We can believe in our heroes and far off lands. But some things are simply darker than we would ever wish for. This lost doll, the dead rabbit, and our rotting statues are all examples of this. But then again, maybe believing in something is better than believing in nothing.

Haven of the Outcasts

The Abandoned Talcottville Mill

Written by: Sean L.

Photographs by: Amanda H.

“God help the outcasts, hungry from birth. Show them the mercy they didn’t find on Earth. God help my people, we look to you still. God help the outcasts, or nobody will.” The gypsy princess Esmeralda sings this haunting lullaby while walking through the streets of Paris in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The people she speaks of, the gypsies, were the lost and persecuted souls who found refuge in the abandoned tunnels beneath an old graveyard. They escaped the hate and suspicion they faced by hiding together from the world above. Today, the outcasts still dwell in these dark and troubled places. Much like the tunnels of Paris, they may not be easy to find, even when they are hiding in plain sight. In our travels, we have covered many of these havens. But the largest and most grim of them all has been this one: The Talcottville Mill.

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For centuries, the Talcottville area was known for its production of cotton and wool. The first mills in the area first appeared in the late eighteenth century. The Talcottville Mill was first established in 1795, not receiving its official name until 1856 when it was purchased by the wealthy Talcott brothers. A raging fire destroyed the original mill in 1869, but it was shortly rebuilt. For years, the mill was a prospering staple of the local community. But as the times continued to change, the mill slowly began to outlive its uses. The Talcott brothers closed up shop in the 1940’s. The property was sold off and used for other manufacturing purposes. For several years, it limped on before finally closing for good.

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We had seen the Talcottville Mill many times whilst driving around the area. It stands ominously silent, just begging for attention that it never receives. Though she stands in plain sight, none of the people in all of their comings and goings ever seem to notice it. In fact it took us awhile to actually go have a look at this place for ourselves. The building is huge, undoubtedly one of the largest abandoned mills we have ever investigated. She is a large rectangular building, with a brick foundation with rotting bone white wooden siding. Judging from the tall spire from the back of the mill, we almost mistook it for a church. There is plenty of grass and overgrown weeds all along the outside. Most of the windows on the upper levels have been smashed, while those on the lower levels have been boarded up.

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Inside the mill is an echoing labyrinth of darkness. Plenty of stuff from the mill’s heyday has been left behind: old barrels, machinery, metals, tools. Even an old television lay shattered outside the main entrance. Many of the walls have been tagged with graffiti. There was also plenty of evidence of the homeless living here. Due to the boarded up windows and doors, the lower level lies in near complete shadow. But the upper levels are much brighter and open. Vibrant beams of sunlight stab through the cracks under doors and illuminate the upper halls of this empty mill. You cannot really get a feel of the size of this place until you are inside. Though a busy street lies just beside the grounds, the cavernous insides of the mill are eerily silent. The place was so big, we didn’t realize another group of explorers was inside until we had already exited the building.

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The Talcottville Mill is certainly one of our favorites. While exploring the grounds, we didn’t come across a single NO TRESPASSING or KEEP SIGN. It’s as if this place has just been completely forgotten. Sadly, it was once a cornerstone of the local community. Now it is nothing more than a haven for the homeless, the mischievous, and the lost. It is a haven of the outcasts, as the old mill seems to be just as much of an outcast as her now current occupants. “God help the outcasts, the tattered, the torn. Seeking an answer to why they were born. Winds of misfortune have blown them about. You made the outcasts. Don’t cast them out.”

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If you could visit one abandoned place anywhere in the world this summer, what would it be? For us, it would be Disney’s abandoned Discovery Island.

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First opened to the public in 1974, Discovery Island is located in the heart of Walt Disney World. During its heyday, the island offered visitors a chance to see and interact with all kinds of exotic animals. The island was a hit for over twenty years, until it was mysteriously closed in 1999. To this day, nobody really knows for sure why. One theory states that it was closed due to the discovery of hazardous bacteria inhabiting the waters around the island. Another theory suggests that the park was closed down because of an ongoing investigation into the improper care of the animals that were housed there. And even others believe that the island was shut down because of the recent opening of Disney’s new Animal Kingdom park. After its closing, many of the animals were moved to other parks or allegedly left to roam free on the deserted island. Today, it is completely abandoned and heavily guarded by Disney. It leaves us all to wonder just what happened here, and what has become of the island since man’s departure.

Read about another explorer’s journey here – http://shaneperez.blogspot.hu/2009/12/discovery-island.html