A mansion tucked away in the wilds of Tennessee stands empty. Its isolated location has no roads leading to it, and no signs of any infrastructure surrounding it. There isn’t even a visible driveway, any pavement having long reverted to dense grasses and underbrush. This would suggest that the house has been abandoned a long time, but that is belied by the fact that it’s in remarkably good shape. Though mostly bare, the gorgeous woodwork throughout is intact and there are no broken windows or noticeable roof leaks. There is even a fully made bed in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
This mysterious dichotomy between the house and its surroundings begs the question: what happened here? Did a cranky loner live out a hardscrabble life here for decades off the grid? Did pranksters or squatters bring in the bed long after the rest of the place was abandoned? I’ll likely never find out, and I’m surprisingly content with that.
Urban explorers are regularly confronted with baffling scenarios and incongruities. In the long stories of abandoned places, the remains of the old habitants, squatters, scrappers, and other explorers are overlaid many times over, often creating puzzles in their wakes. They are something like urbex koans, something to photograph, puzzle over, or dread, but not to solve. Sometimes, we don’t need the answer. In itself, the mystery can be enough.