About several years ago, before I had settled into cripplingly expensive London rent prices and student loan repayments, I lived in Asia for a few years as a way to see a bit of the world and… sort out some of those student loan repayments actually.
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During this time, I decided to spend the year in Seoul, South Korea. I know you should never base your entire migration choice on movies, but I did it anyway (you can’t deny that South Korean films are the one). Despite the spontaneous decision, Seoul actually turned out to be one of the sickest places I’ve ever experienced so far and I can’t talk enough about how welcoming and friendly the people there are.
Before I had arrived, I wrote a couple of stories on haunted places in South Korea and one of the sites that kept popping up was the Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital in Gwangju – an abandoned mental institute that looks like it was plucked straight off of the set from a fucked up horror movie. The story behind it goes that the insidious reason for its closure was the mysterious deaths of patients occurring during the mid 90s. The clinically insane owner kept the tormented there as his prisoners until he fled to America in 1996. Since then the remaining structure has been left to let nature take its course although the rooms are still filled with furniture, clothing and medical records.
I decided during my year there that I had to visit this place, even if it was the death of me. Luckily I didn’t die, but I did get some pretty sick pictures. Check them out:
Creepy shit right? It’s definitely not a day out for the faint hearted. Funnily enough while I was fully prepared to be driven out of the place by an old Korean apparition I was not equipped to be dealing with the hundreds of giant leaping spiders and ten-inch caterpillars. If you ever find yourself at that corner of the globe, definitely bring your bug spray with you – or some serious balls.
For more of the same, check out these photos taken from the inside of the eerie abandoned city of Fukushima.