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An Abandoned Military Base... On Acid!

For the second installment of our new "...On Acid!" series, we thought it would be nice to make someone on acid spend the night in an abandoned building. Well, nice for us, not nice for the person doing the acid.
Jamie Lee Curtis Taete
Κείμενο Jamie Lee Curtis Taete
11.8.11

For the second installment of our new "…On Acid!" series, we thought it would be nice to make someone on acid spend the night in an abandoned building. Well, nice for us, not nice for the person doing the acid.

We decided to go to the abandoned RAF Upwood in Cambridgeshire. And before you hardcore urban explorers call me out for visiting such an n00by site, let me remind you that you're a hardcore urban explorer, why the fuck should anyone care what you think?Also, I'd read that this place has no security, and thought it would be nice to not have to worry about dealing with the police on top of the internal ethics freakout I was already having over intentionally trying to scare the shit out of someone on acid.

Here's our test subject, Rich, eating one of the two acid-infused sugar cubes he had on the way there.

It was still kind of light when we arrived.

And we saw evidence that a well-trained dog had passed through the area recently.

Right off the bat, Rich turned into a fearless explorer. "I do feel slightly scared, but my sense of adventure is overriding it."

Pretty soon it became apparent that the acid wasn't going to have its intended effect (terrifying hallucinations, running, screaming, that thing in that film where Helen Hunt jumps out of a window). For instance, this is Rich disappearing, alone, through a hatch in the roof to go and explore. This is something I wouldn't do sober.

In one of the buildings, Rich nearly stepped on this dead sheep. Which still didn't scare him, he was just fascinated by it. Now would be a good time to mention that I gave him a flashlight in the shape of a Lego man because I thought it would make the pictures funnier.

While walking down this corridor, we started to hear a metallic scraping sound.

As it got closer and closer, we realized it was coming from above our heads. While I was huddled in a ball of fear with the girl who drove us there whispering, "Oh my fucking God, it's right above us!", Rich just kept on walking. And when the super loud pigeons finally revealed themselves and we were waving our arms around frantically screaming "HOLY SHIT!", Rich calmly walked by them like, "it was never going to be anything that could hurt us anyway."

See? Not even a man-eating oven phased him.

Eugh, I don't know. We walked around for a few hours. Explored a bunch of rooms, climbed some towers, walked down the landing strip. I'm not going to post that here. This isn't Flickr. Rich was disappointingly brave throughout, though.

Just as I started to think Rich would be totally unflappable for the whole night, he turned to me and said, "I'm starting to get these intense waves of fear. Everything sounds really loud to me. I don't feel good about this place…" Then things got scary. We were exploring a building when we saw somebody else's flashlight shine on the wall. We turned ours off and ran through the shadows to the building next door to hide.

I could see them walking. Three guys dressed in black, one of them using a bat or a stick to smash stuff as he walked. In retrospect, I guess they were either security or urban explorers, so the worst thing that could have happened would have been getting thrown off site/forced to talk to urban explorers. But at the time it was fucking terrifying.

My fear level also wasn't helped by the fact that Rich was in full-on panic mode and was saying stuff like: "You see that shadow? Doesn't it look like a skull? Like, a lady's skull that's decomposing and rotten and still has the hair attached. Or maybe a dead dog. Something bad. Something rotting and dead." I even heard him gulp at one point. Like, a full-on, audible Scooby Doo gulp. I didn't realize people actually did that.

After hiding for a while, it became apparent that the people weren't going anywhere, so we decided to try to stealthily make our way back to the car. I'm not sure if it was the acid or if Rich is just naturally nimble, but he somehow managed to move twice as fast as all of us without making any sound. There was one time where, despite the fact that he had been right next to me, I managed to lose him. I found him crouched behind a tree, wide-eyed and going "shhhhh!" Just as we were approaching the exit, two cars pulled in. We all hid in the bushes, where Rich accidentally sat on his flashlight and turned it on (which is exactly what caused all those problems in Jurassic Park).

We were all whisper-screaming "TURN IT OFF!", but he didn't hear us until it was too late. The cars pulled up and shined their headlights right in our faces. I couldn't see who was in the car because I was blinded by the headlights, but I decided to man up and go talk to them. I walked up to the car and, I swear I'm not making this up, they threw it into reverse, stopped, then started playing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" really, really loud. We decided to just get out of there and started walking toward the exit.

As we were walking out, the cars drove around us in a loop a couple of times, still playing Bonnie Tyler, and still shining their headlights in our faces so that we couldn't see them. When we reached the gate, the music stopped and they drove away.

Once we got back in the car I spoke to Rich (pictured above, admiring a street light) about the experience. Turns out he was the only person in our group who hadn't been scared during the Bonnie Tyler episode. He said he was trying not to laugh the whole time, which basically means this article backfired in the most direct way possible. But even if we were the idiots who made a ten-hour round-trip to scare someone on drugs, only to end up scaring ourselves, the thought of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" triggering acid flashbacks in Rich for the rest of his life served as some consolation.

Conclusion: Taking acid makes you immune to the attempts of bored suburban teenagers who try to scare you in spooky places.

WORDS AND SOME PHOTOS: JAMIE LEE CURTIS TAETE
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS: JIM CLARKE

Previously: This Theme Park is a Real Trip