Eerie pictures of abandoned homes show stocked kitchens and old prams

Forgotten lives remembered: Eerie pictures of long-abandoned homes show stocked kitchens, unmade beds and old prams amid the bric-a-brac of rural life

  • Urban explorer Unseen Decay has been searching properties in Northern Ireland for the past five years
  • Photographer, from County Antrim, believes many of the houses were abandoned by farming families 
  • Finds include a wedding photo, 90th birthday card, wardrobes full of clothes, old bed and dusty hairbrush
  • He also visited an abandoned young offender’s institute and saw an old dentist’s chair and row of broken sinks

These haunting images capture abandoned homes that have been untouched for decades – complete with forgotten old prams, uneaten food tins, and dusty wedding photographs.

Captured by an urban explorer known as Unseen Decay they show rural houses in Northern Ireland that have been empty for up to 30 years.

Atmospheric images show old wooden beds, wardrobes full of clothes, birthday cards and religious texts surrounded by rubble and dust.

The urban explorer, who likes to keep the locations of the homes secret, said: ‘You could be the first person who has been in there for 20 or 30 years.

An abandoned pram gathers dust inside one of the homes where wallpaper has peeled off the walls and leaves cover the floor

Old picture frames and newspapers are scattered around the room and forgotten jumpers still hang on the wall in this home which was photographed by urban explorer Unseen Decay in Northern Ireland

Religious paintings in broken wooden frames rest against a rusty metal bed inside an abandoned rural house. Unseen Decay believes that farming families left some of their belongings behind when they built new homes

‘You see bits and pieces of people’s lives. It’s special because you feel a personal connection to whoever has lived there.

‘Not just through obvious stuff like letters but things like hairbrushes – small things that have been part of something living.

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‘There could be something as simple as a cup sitting there and you think when was the last time that was put down? When was the last time someone drank out of it?

‘You’ll see a wedding photo and a 90th birthday card in the same place. There was another with a last rites cabinet that a priest would have used before someone died.

‘It’s sad in a way because you see that’s what you leave behind. Without sounding morbid it hits you with the inevitability of death.’

The explorer found a dusty pair of spectacles and a 90th birthday card inside one of the long-forgotten homes. He said he feels a ‘connection’ to some of the personal items which may not have been touched for 30 years

A television and kettle are just two of the items left behind to sit among the broken furniture and rubble of another property

The photographer also found a beautiful Singer sewing machine (left) abandoned in the hallway of one of the homes and newspapers spilling out of a wardrobe (right) which still has some clothes left inside 

The photographer, from County Antrim, comes across the homes as he drives through the countryside or through recommendations.

He believes a lot of them are rural properties abandoned by farming families who built new houses.

He said: ‘Sometimes it’s the ones that look really unassuming. It will be a little shell of a cottage and you’ll find these amazing things inside.

‘What I like about it is the not knowing. Because a lot of them are empty shells you don’t know what you’re going to find.

‘It’s mainly rural places. If there’s a house nearby we will ask permission to go in. What we photograph is always accessible. We never break in.

Religious objects including crucifixes and a candle were found left behind along with a picture of an elderly gentleman 

A typewriter sits on a stool in front of a fully stocked kitchen shelf (left) while what appears to be a model of the famous steam liner The Titanic (right) was found gathering dust in another room

The past owners of this home left two pairs of shoes behind and mugs on the kitchen table. Unseen Decay said: ‘You think when was the last time that was put down? When was the last time someone drank out of it?’ when he sees cups in the houses

‘I treat the locations and belongings with respect and that I never remove items.’

He has also visited an abandoned young offender’s institute – coming across endless corridors, rows of broken sinks and unsettlingly – an old dentist’s chair.

He said: ‘I’ve been doing this for five years. I was always into photography. My first was an old gothic style building and that gave me the bug for it.

‘I usually head out on a Sunday morning. Often it’s alone but there’s also a couple of other people I do it with. It’s a curiosity.

‘It’s just the not knowing that I like. You walk into a place and you can see in your head what it must have been like when people first moved in.

‘You get a sense of it and you feel such a connection to them.’ 

The explorer also visited an abandoned young offenders institute in Northern Ireland where plants were growing by the sinks

A creepy old dentists chair (left) was discovered in the young offenders institute with the light still positioned over it and graffiti covers the inside of an abandoned church (right) which the photographer went into in Northern Ireland

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