I‘m always looking for snackable video content that I can watch while I eat lunch at my desk, and I’ve just found something to keep me going for many meals of sweet solitude ahead. I’d like to think I haven’t been living under a rock, especially when it comes to things on the internet, but how did I not find the Youtube channel of Dan Bell earlier?
From behind the safety of our screens, Dan takes us along with him and his partner William on their frequent explorations of dead or dying malls and motels in America. The Youtuber from Baltimore, Maryland is the creator behind an extensive archive of video tours called the “Dead Motel Series” and the “Dead Mall Series“.
Dan will also visit pretty much anything abandoned, eerie, kitschy and nostalgic– and it’s hypnotising stuff. But what I like most about it is that no matter how many of these urban and abandoned explorations Dan Bell goes on, he doesn’t act like this stuff doesn’t still scare the absolute **** out of him.
And I risk offending some folks when I say this, but I sometimes feel the urban exploration community has a tendency to portray a certain fearlessness that can probably be a little alienating for the audience.
Our guide has no problem letting his viewers know when he’s creeped out, grossed out and wants to get the job over with as quickly as possible so he can get the heck out of those abandoned places. He allows you to be right there with him, debating whether or not he should risk entering a dingy and deserted motel room or venture down that dark, dripping hallway.
Perhaps this is something easier to portray through video content, but as someone that dabbles in the world of abandoned exploration myself, I’m particularly inspired by the way he documents it all.
I haven’t even had a chance to obsessively watch all the videos yet, but here are two samples to get you started from the “Dead Motels” and “Dead Malls” series…
Dan’s instagram account is a pretty fascinating place too, and there’s usually a full video tour and background story on Youtube waiting behind any of the photographs you’re interested in. For example, watch how he discovered this ↑ deserted filling station here.