There are a ton of places in Louisiana that, for various reasons, have been completely abandoned. They look like skeletons of a building, facility, or even park, just sticking up in the middle of the landscape with not a soul around.

Urban exploration, often abbreviated as "urbex," is a subculture involving the exploration of abandoned, forgotten, or off-limits man-made structures in urban environments. And they do love a lot of these places in Louisiana.

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Enthusiasts, known as urban explorers, venture into decaying buildings, industrial facilities, and infrastructure to discover the history, architecture, and often eerie atmospheres of neglected spaces. The practice is driven by a curiosity about the hidden stories behind these structures and a desire to document urban decay before it disappears. Urban explorers may encounter locations such as abandoned factories, hospitals, theaters, and even underground tunnels.

YouTube Via Bright Sun Films
YouTube Via Bright Sun Films

While urban exploration can be a passionate and educational pursuit, it comes with risks, including legal consequences, safety hazards, and potential structural instability.

Many urban explorers emphasize ethical guidelines, such as respecting property, leaving no trace, and prioritizing safety, to ensure the preservation of historical and cultural sites and the well-being of those involved in this unique and sometimes controversial hobby.

If you search for some of the most famous spots in Louisiana, you'll find plenty of videos featuring people exploring them. Here are the very best ones.

1. Jazzland, New Orleans Six Flags Amusement Park

There has recently been movement on re-developing Jazzland, the former Six Flags New Orleans location in the Big Easy. But, until the new development starts, it stands as an eerie reminder of a long-forgotten era.


READ MORE: Developers Ready to Move Ahead With Long-Awaited Revamp of Abandoned Six Flags New Orleans


Jazzland remains one of the most popular abandoned spots for urban explorers, and there are a ton of video online showing them going through the park.

2. EA Conway Memorial Hospital

This one is terrifying.

The EA Conway Memorial Hospital in Monroe, Louisiana, is considered one of the most haunted buildings in the state. Allegedly, the ghosts of patients who died at the facility still reside there, though the building has been abandoned for almost 40 years.

Ghost hunters love to visit and try to find those spirits. Several claim they’ve seen some sort of shadowy beings in the halls there. Other strange noises can be heard at night, they say.

3. Pirates Cove Water Park

There is something about abandoned parks - especially water parks, that are just creepy when you explore them (not that I'm admitting to doing so). They aren't necessarily haunted, but they are still scary in their own right.

This one is close to home: It's on I-10 between Lafayette and Lake Charles, and it stands tall and almost skeletal along the interstate. There are a ton of urban explorers who have visited, climbed, and generally loved being there. But that creepy emptiness is not something most of us wish to discover.

4. Elise Reuss Memorial School

Located in White Castle, Louisiana, this small, abandoned, and eerily silent school building is overgrown and stands like a tombstone over the property. There are folks who love to explore and see all the books and school materials left behind when the school was suddenly closed.

Maybe there are some classic books still on the shelves. Not sure I could be convinced to go explore it.

5. Charles Boldt Paper Mill

This one is located in New Iberia, Louisiana, and the current property owners have tried to deter uninvited visitors in several ways, including by flooding the bottom level in order to keep people from camping out there. However, you'll find that there are plenty of people who still visit and explore the property.

There has been a lot of talk about fixing up the property, and redeveloping it in some way, but so far it hasn't progressed into actual work. Instead, the empty property is riddled with urban explorers and graffiti artists.

6. Market Street Power Plant

The Market Street Power Plant in New Orleans is a historic industrial facility situated along the Mississippi River. Constructed in the early 20th century, it served as a power generation plant until its closure. The building's iconic Art Deco architecture and prominent smokestacks make it a notable landmark.

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Over the years, there have been discussions and plans for redeveloping the site for various purposes, including entertainment and commercial use. It's advisable to check recent sources for any updates on the status or redevelopment plans for the Market Street Power Plant.

And, of course, while we wait for any new plans, there are plenty of people with YouTube channels trying to explore the place.

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Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham

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