Local adventurer talks urban exploration

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – From abandoned buildings in the metro to the downright creepy ghost towns scattered throughout the southwest, New Mexico is well on its way to becoming the prime destination for urban exploration.

It’s a phenomenon that has been increasing in popularity these last 15 years or so—despite how dangerous these abandoned places may be. And urban exploration isn’t just for tourists, no, it’s also attracting our state residents to go out and explore the unknown.  

Local adventurer Roberto Villa has been exploring all of his life. 

“That’s the only entrance to get there,” he chuckled upon crawling through a hole in the fence. “You can see the cement blocks there. All this was buildings. Obviously with time, things fall apart.” 

The precipice is giving way to nature, as Villa watches his step carefully. 

“There’s a lot of stuff left behind. Things that are worth a lot of value, and that’s just the one thing us urban explorers don’t touch. Leave it and go on with your business,” said Villa.

An old TV is among the debris. 

“Yeah, I’m not walking in there. That floor does not look stable at all.” Villa peaks inside the large graffitied metal door. “Oh lookie here. The door’s open. Hello? You’re coming into a place where there was action, people were here, people were working or living. It’s a place you can come in and step back into time. They turned this place into a slaughterhouse, you know this is where they raised a lot of their cattle and where we got our meat. How active this place was, and now it’s alone. Getting taken over by nature.” 

A crow flies through the hole in the ceiling and out another hole.

“It’s always something different. Always, always. That’s why I like to record and upload to my YouTube channel so that other people that aren’t able to do it but are curious, they can see the videos and live through my eyes and my lens,” Villa said. 

Villa has been chronicling his adventures on the Exploring The Unknown channel. On his second visit to the abandoned slaughterhouse, he claims to have captured footage of a “shadow person.”

“I’m more afraid of people than I am with the paranormal. If it is a haunted location, that to me that’s what I’m looking for. People—no. If I see that there’s somebody in there, I’ll just make my way out,” Villa says. “I see beauty. I see the graffiti, I see the abandoned, the rusted, the old. To some people it’s like: why come to this dirty place? To me, it’s like: let’s go. I wanna go, I wanna see it.”

Motorboats sit out in the now vacant warehouse. A rusted industrial grade incinerator is out of reach. Frayed wires jet out of the walls.

“You don’t know what’s in here. You don’t know what to expect, and I think that’s where the thrill comes from urban exploring,” said Villa.