Somewhere in the Midwest, down an old road that leads across a washed out and crumbling bridge, in a stand of overgrown trees and in what appears to be a field on the edge of an industrial tract of land, sits a house that’s seen better days.
The abandoned house, filmed in December 2016 by urban explorer and ghost hunter, Tony Alton, yielded some creepy sights for sure. But among the loads of trash, cast off clothes and personal photographs, the real “lost souls“ of the house were found in the basement.
Left abandoned and to rot in a damp and filthy space, in what has to be the worst possible environment for classic arcade games to be stored in, old favorites like Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man, Star Castle, Popeye, Battlezone and others met an unfortunate ending to a life that had given so many pleasure.
Compounding this tragedy in my eyes, a rare Tunnel Hunt by Centauri was discovered gutted but with its side art still intact and the cabinet in surprisingly good condition given the circumstances. I get the feeling it was the game that was in the moldering basement the shortest amount of time.
These games, abused and forgotten in this crumbling, trash-strewn house shouldn’t have met such a disastrous ending after spending 30+ years in what must have been a relatively good environment. Makes you wonder how this happened? It’s clear that someone cared about them not that long ago. What made him or her stop?
You can tell from the video that the basement was once a home arcade, complete with its own personalized racing emblem on the wall. But what isn’t clear is why the games –and the home– were abandoned in what appears to have been an exodus that happened all of a sudden.
Was it the scene of a violent crime and sealed by police only to be broken into by squatters looking for a convenient place to crash and get high? Did they strip and gut the games?
Was the renter evicted and just never came back for his/her stuff? Or did the owner die with no next of kin, so the home was forfeited to the State, who in turn allowed the home to be swallowed by urban decay, a fate that many homes in lesser desirable neighborhoods in many US cities have faced?
We may never know. The reasons are endless. But whatever the reason, some real treasures have been lost forever here. Ones that could have been so easily saved and relocated in just an afternoon. I really hope someone saved what was left of that Tunnel Hunt.
I would have.
*Photos and Video courtesy of TattooTonyAlton