The world seen from the level of the ground is not always the only viewpoint. In fact, there's often an entire world that remains completely unseen, below the surface. A subterranean world where sewer lines run, pipes, access tunnels, subways, roads, trains, parking garages, even virtual cities can lay hidden from view, just under the surface.
One of the coolest examples of this is the underground network of Paris, where history has written over itself time and again, a palimpsest, erasing what was there before, to the point that there are entire areas of subterranean Paris that no one even knew existed. They lie sealed off in wait, whispering for someone to come discover them.
The allure of forgotten things is a strong one, people are drawn to areas abandoned and unknown, never to be remembered, only discovered. For many, this is only amplified by the fact that they are underground. Areas left abandoned under the ground are often harder to find, in a further state of decay, and carry with them even more mystery than the usual kinds of abandoned things many of us are used to seeing. Things like buildings and cars and the usual monoliths of past eras.
It takes a different kind of drive to explore the abandoned underground, a certain amount of fearlessness and unquenchable curiosity. This is why many love exploring them; it truly is fascinating. So let's take a look at some of these underground areas, and in specific 20 eerie underground garages that were left to rot.
20 Abandoned Underground Bus Graveyard
This towering ceiling of darkness held up by an austere and sinister concrete pillar in the center allows for a large open space beneath the earth, a space littered with dozens of abandoned buses.
There are all kinds of buses here, too, different colors and designs, and they've all been put to rest, making this a giant underground burial tomb for buses. Interesting, and no doubt a pretty scary place to be, especially all alone. Best to go, if at all, with a crew of friends, and stick close.
19 Glass Bricks
This underground garage has a stairwell letting light in from above, and a dark corridor that disappears into darkness. The floor and railings are all made of glass bricks, which would let in more light than a normal floor.
Since it was abandoned, though, there is no light to come from below, and this underground ruin is still dark and ominous. The perfect place to go exploring if you feel most at home in a subterranean lair in the darkness. Which, for many, is the case.
18 Analog Abandoned
This film photo really well captures the textures and atmosphere of what it must be like to be at the bottom of a dark, abandoned parking garage. The empty echo of your footsteps amplified back by the wet concrete, the flickering shadows that are just too empty.
This analog photo illustrates all of that, and especially the symmetry of emptiness, the haunting echo of a place deep in the ground that has no need to be inhabited anymore. So the silence and darkness reign king.
17 Beneath These Streets
Certain cities take their infrastructure below ground in some pretty big scale ways like for instance this entire area of space buried and sealed off by the streets running above it. With parking scattered everywhere, there's plenty of unused space.
Yet it's left abandoned, forgotten, to decay in the darkness. This would be a pretty scary place to explore, there's no doubt about that. The dark corners enshrouded in shadow, the decrepit signs of what was once new. This is a taste of what it's like below the city streets.
16 Exiting The Underground Garage
The light at the end of the tunnel has never looked brighter, especially for the person or people coming out of this underground garage after exploring the darkness. The light doesn't get far here, the darkness consumes the abandoned architecture, the rows, and rows of empty parking spaces.
For the chronically adventurous, and the helplessly curious, these black doorways must be incredibly enticing. Who knows what lurks beyond the light, entombed in places that have never seen the light of day.
15 Forgotten Circled Pillars
This photo, taken of an underground garage, is for one thing exquisitely framed. The architecture is great too, a simple design of a circle, where the ramp spirals downwards underground, providing all kinds of parking for, well, no one.
This is entirely empty because it was abandoned, forgotten, left behind, enshrouded in empty echos of silence and lack of light. The concrete stays cold, hard, empty, scarcely illuminated by the potential life of the world above. Perhaps one day it will be reused once again.
14 Grungy Lights
Damp, cold, dank, dark, grungy, dingy, and grimy. These are all words that can be used to describe a cellar, or really anything underground, including an empty, abandoned underground garage, with pale grungy lights illuminating lifeless and damp concrete.
This abandoned garage once was filled with cars and people, but now all that's left of it is the dirt and filth that was put there by the very same ghosts. Soon the cement will crumble, the paint will chip, the lights will burn out, and it will be forgotten.
13 Inside The Car, Under The Ground
This car is a long ways from the light of day, the warmth of the sun, and the joy of an open road. That's because this car has been abandoned in a garage, and not just any garage but one that's deep under the ground.
The car has been forgotten, left behind, to silently become covered in dust underneath the cold pressure of the ground above and all around, far from the reach of the sunshine. Everything inside is coated in thick dust, and everything outside, too. Won't be long before it starts to fall apart completely.
12 Kiev Bus Graveyard Part Two
This photo, taken of an underground bus graveyard, is the same location as our other feature in this list, but just from a different view. This time it's from the top of the column at the center of this strange underground structure, overlooking all of the myriads of buses.
The entire floor of this area is covered with retired buses lined up in rows, all different kinds. That's a lot of machinery there, a lot of wasted resources, and potentially what could become the best retirement community of them all. Joking, of course, but living in a bus is actually a pretty good life, as long as you remodel it well.
11 Lucky Number Seven
These storage garages far beneath the level of the ground in London are covered in graffiti, not just any graffiti but numbers, colored and decorated in a pretty cool way actually. They're faded, and it's very dark, so things take on a sinister tinge for sure.
The railing above is also coated in graffiti and grime, lending to the overall dingy look of the place, the dark scary nooks, and corners, the fear, and adventure of exploring a sinister place in the darkness.
10 No 3 In Fallout
Three levels below the ground is a pretty scary place to be when it is abandoned. The silence is oppressive, earth and concrete absorbing all sound all around. A lone, cold, and likely flickering fluorescent bulb illuminates the elevator and bench area, but it's not far before the darkness takes back over.
Better bring a bright light to explore these abandoned areas, and backup batteries and gear. Otherwise, you might be stranded in the darkness, with no way to find your way out. Not a good scenario.
9 Not Abandoned For Much Longer
In many places, infrastructure goes in as fast as possible in anticipation of the need. While this thinking ahead is almost always a good thing, in this scenario it can lead to empty, unused places due to a complete lack of demand.
The planning was for nothing, and empty shells of underground parking garages remain, or at least that's what's happened in this case, where empty rows of freshly painted spaces stand in silence and emptiness. Without the anticipated need, these become empty odes to overuse and a lack of sustainability.
8 Roof Caving In
This partially underground garage has a lot of light streaming in, and that's because the roof has caved in, allowing not only light in but plenty of rubble and debris as well. The result is a crisscrossed skylight that is a pretty big health hazard.
There won't be any more parking in this garage, clearly, only exploring by the most intrepid of explorers. And those who love graffiti, because the wall behind the rubble has a large signature on it, further adding to the abandoned feel of the area.
7 Scattered Grafitti Light
Water often has a way of finding its way downwards into underground spaces, especially ones that are open to the elements from above, like this one. A lonely stairwell lets in all kinds of water, and it pools on the abandoned cement ground, silently gathering algae year after year.
The lone source of light is bounced off of the endless colors of the graffiti, scattering into space and illuminating it in a surprisingly warm light. With a little bit of sprucing up, this could actually prove to be a pretty awesome and hip industrial space. But that's just me.
6 Shafts Of Cold Light
This partially underground garage is illuminated in cold shafts of algid light, spilling in from a slim window at ground level. The emptiness of the room is extremely tangible, with darkness crawling at the corners.
The choice to render this photo in monochrome was a good one, too, as the lack of color only adds to the textures and contrast that makes this photo so evocative and empty. Exploring these areas would be exciting and adventurous for sure, with a small tinge of danger lurking around every bend.
5 Sinister Pools Of Water
The darkness is tangible in this photo, the scary emptiness of an abandoned place that's entirely industrial. The cement must emanate cold air in spine chilling drafts, and the water only adds to the creepiness.
This abandoned garage has clearly been abandoned for a long time, where the empty echoes of lonely explorer's footsteps are just about the only thing that these walls see and these pillars hear. Who knows how long this place has been abandoned, too, as industrial architecture, especially all cement, lasts quite a long time.
4 Spiraling Downwards
This wide underground tunnel leads far, far off into the distance, where the light from above is just barely shining through. The long tunnel banks in a wide arc, spiraling downwards into the depths of the underground world, the subterranean world for only the bravest souls.
Who knows what kind of things have taken up residency in the depths of this large underground garage, there really could be any number of things lurking in the dark. Being prepared is essential for those intrepid explorers.
3 Stalactites Of Age
Often times things built underground are subject to many more stresses than aboveground. While not always the case, as many things end up being preserved for long amounts of time underground, in this case, it's clear that the underground structures are facing severe stress.
With limestone seeps tearing apart the concrete, it's a wonder that the ceiling is even still intact. The rubble that's gathered is all from the existing architecture, and the car in the background in the shadows looks really quite old.
2 Underground Seep
The pale light from the orbs above cast a lonely light into this underground garage, where water just seeps into the center and follows the center track along, in silence, in the darkness.
The eeriness of this photo is very well demonstrated, due to the framing and the post-processing of it. The darkness seems absolute and the light seems cold, the symmetry of the doors makes the hallway seem to stretch on forever. For the explorers of abandoned places, this is a dream.
1 Underground Specter
This underground hallway leading to an underground garage is lined with graffiti, and the shadowy figure in the center frame adds to the atmosphere of the whole photo, and while it's likely just the photographer's friend, it's fun to imagine.
Fun to imagine it being a lone specter, a ghost, who haunts the abandoned places and spaces that lie empty beneath all of our feet. He watches constantly, wandering, always alone, always in silence. It'd be easy to create a story around this shadowy figure.
Sources: Flickr, Hip Wallpaper & Reddit