Finally got back out to this place after nearly three months. Unfortunately abatement has started on two of the buildings, including the one we weren't able to explore fully last time. So if you're reading this and have plans to go, might want to get a move on. But I'm sure many of you have been here before.
Also if whomever shouted "Hello?!" into one of the buildings around 6PM on Oct 28th is reading this, you scared the daylights out of us and we snuck out while avoiding your flashlight. 01: O.T. Building
It's impossible to take a photo of this building without exposing a PoE because the entire building is a PoE. There are no walls left. 02: Leaving the Light Behind 03: Pipedoor 04: Locked In
Not only were the bathroom stalls incredibly sturdy and well built, the doors could also be locked from the outside. 05: Laundrite
A big washer for a big building. All of its moving parts still moved, and given power this machine would probably still work. 06: Vintage Power Control
This outdated electrical equipment all seemed to be hooked up and ready. The two massive transformers at the bottom, according to my friend, likely had some variant of highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyl [PCB] inside for their insulating oil. PCB oils were outlawed in the 1970's due to their negative traits and all transformer manufacturers switched to mineral oil. 07: Westinghouse
A big control panel in the same room with satisfying buttons. It's protective glass door even still had its glass. 08: Elevator to Hell
This elevator's entire floor is missing, instead opening to a drop of around ten feet into disgusting rust water and metal parts. 09: Green Hall
Light from the side windows illuminated a part of this steam tunnel. Unfortunately the end of the tunnel had caved in. 10: The Lanes
Our first real surprised was the discovery of a bowling alley (we did zero research of the place besides find a map of the campus). Unlike many closed bowling alleys, the administration here chose not to sell the flooring; many do, since the wood is valuable. 11: Long Hall 12: Solarium
We found the label of "Solarium" posted in the second floor of the pictured structure. Looks more like an overwatch post to me. 13: Lighting Controls
These levers all controlled various elements of the stage lights. The huge one is the master dimmer, and there are several sub-masters and a bunch of individual levers. All of them were still working, and my friend forlornly noted how he would absolutely salvage them if he could. 14: Asymmetric Ceiling 15: Solarium Kitchen
The cabinets that hadn't been pulled off the wall were still in pretty good shape. With a sandblasting and repainting, they could make a nice retro feature. Oh well. 16: Abatement
The door we used last time (not pictured) was completely sealed. We managed to get into the basement again, but the only staircase up into the rest of the building was also sealed. 17: Next Building
A short walk down the road and past the also-sealed Ray building got us to one of two buildings on this side of the campus not yet undergoing abatement. The following photos compensate for the low light, but darkness was beginning to set on the campus by this point.
18: Bare Metal
This is a rare neutral fusebox, found inside the Mitchell building. Depending on which fuse blew, either the neutral or the hot fuse, the line could still be very much live. To loosely quote my friend, "they had different ideas about electricity back then. The idea here is that you just don't touch the bare metal when flipping the knife switches." 19: Tree Security
Just like the last building pre-abatement, this building also had entire trees shoved into its windows for security. This building was in far worse condition though. 20: For His Majesty
A claw-foot bathtub corrodes in the middle of the bathroom. The drain was clogged and the tub housed a pool of water. This room was very dark by the time I took the photo - some hot pixel artifacts are visible in the photos past this point due to the long exposure times 21: Ghosts of the Twins
This was not a room for beds so I imagine some previous explorer staged the shot. But it's a nice shot. It was difficult to see my way around without a flashlight by this point; it was much darker outside than the windows make it seem. 22: Lonely Chair in the Black
The twisted iron bars have done well with keeping nature at bay. But if nature is anything it's relentless; they can only hold on for so long. 23: Lonely Chair in the Red
My headlamp-turned-handlight had a red setting, so I decided to play with it a bit and see what kind of effect it would have on the photos. Mildly interesting at best. This area of the building had some significant fire damage. Most of the floor past the chair was just piles of compressed charcoal instead of wood. 24: Red Alert
It was maybe thirty seconds after I took this failure of a photo that I heard someone shout an unsure "Hello?!" from outside the building, followed shortly by at least two people talking. I jumped straight to DEFCON 2 - my friend was missing after he ventured further into the building while I lagged behind taking photos. We were not alone and I wasn't sure if he'd been caught. Epilogue
The DEFCON dialed back to 3 after about a minute, when my friend slunk back to me from around a corner. He'd heard that unsure greeting as well and we knew it was time to move.
Folding a tripod in the pitch dark while walking through a burnt corridor with fallen doors in the way isn't easy, but I managed to do it and my friend and I both returned to our point of entry. We weren't sure where the new people were, so we lingered a bit to see if anyone came by. Seeing nobody, my friend [REDACTED], then I quickly passed him my camera equipment and [REDACTED]. Not knowing were the voice came from, we elected to go around the front of the building, which is where we'd come from originally. This plan worked for all of 15 seconds until I spotted an LED flashlight in the bushes ahead.
I halted my friend and pointed it out, and we turned right around and began walking the other way. The flashlight vanished shortly after. Several minutes of determined walking got us away from Mitchell, past Ray, past O.T., and out of the campus. More walking got us back to our cars, where we looked up a pizza place and got pizza.
We're still not sure if the voices belonged to other explorers, construction workers who came in on Saturday for some reason, or police. The voice didn't seem authoritative, but on our way out we also saw a squad car parked in the driveway of the road leading into the O.T. demolition site, much farther away from the main road than would've made sense if he was running a speed trap.
We might've lost out on meeting another explorer or two, but we both decided it was better safe than sorry in the end. P.S.
In the right light, caution tape looks almost exactly like the beam of a flashlight bouncing along the ground. Just a fun fact that perhaps someday will stop your heart too!