Archives for: January 2005, 25

01/25/05

Permalink 06:26:48 pm, Categories: Urban Exploration, 573 words   English (US)

hell's church? not quite

I met up with Sertile the night before last outside a huge drain in Springfield. We were there to check out a place inside the drain, nicknamed Hell's Church, where you could go from the tunnel into a chamber underneath some nearby buildings. It didn't quite live up to its spooky name.

When we met up, Sertile took me to the canal that led into the drain tunnel and showed me a smaller branch of the canal that I'd never noticed before. It led under a nearby building to a couple of drains I hadn't known were there. While there, Sertile showed me a manhole you could open that went down into a sanitary sewer.

For those of you that don't know, a sanitary sewer is the kind that carries human waste. And this thing was flowing like nobody's business. It was about a foot deep, stinky as hell with pieces of feces hanging off the sides, and running so swiftly that it would've knocked you off your feet if you tried to stand in it. Not that either of us is crazy enough to do that.

After that, we headed into the tunnel, which was a relief because it was freezing outside. We walked about half a mile into the tunnel before we reached the spot. It was a bare ledge set about head high and a dusty chamber beyond that. I boosted Sertile up, handed him my gear, and then crawled up after him.

We were in the cramped crawlspace of a building above us. There was supposed to be a hole knocked in one wall leading to "hell's church," a chamber that was supposed to have stirrups or shackles hanging inside. Sure enough, the hole was there, although it hadn't been necessary for someone to create the hole since they could've just walked farther down the tunnel and climbed up the ledge. The chamber, which was supposed to have "shackles" or "stirrups" hanging inside, was just another crawlspace, although much bigger than the first one. The shackles were actually some type of fixture hanging from the ceiling, probably to support pipes that weren't there any more. There was plenty of graffiti, litter, and other evidence that kids went down there frequently.

Sertile had been here before and had found a window in the crawlspace that led into the basement of a nearby building. We found the window again and slipped into the basement. It was mostly abandoned, except that someone was apparently using it for storage. We spent some time poking around the building, even finding a manhole in the building that led to one of the crawlspaces we'd just been in.

After that, we found that there was a ladder in the elavator shaft above the elavator that led to a small room at roof level. We climbed up the elavator doors, headed up the ladder (with Sertile dropping his flashlight down the elavator shaft in the process), and climbed out a window in the room onto the roof. Sertile and I climbed out different windows, and somehow there was electricity touching the window sill that kept shocking him as he struggled out.

We spent a little time taking pictures from the roof, but it was too cold to stay up there for long. When we'd taken what pictures we wanted, we crawled back down into the building, retrieved Sertile's flashlight, and made our way back out the tunnel.

Underground Ozarks Blog

Here you can read about White Rabbit's day-to-day explorations and adventures.

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