There is perhaps no physical structure creepier than an abandoned shopping mall.
What was once a symbol of togetherness, vibrancy, economic vitality, and joyousness – is slowly transformed into a empty, decaying wasteland. Yet because the physical structures and signage linger behind – the abandoned structures represent much more than emptiness, loneliness and decay. They also represent failure, miscalculation, impermanence and danger.
So basically, they’re just really creepy.
The website Mashable.com has put forth another series of images of an abandoned mall – this time a partially snow-covered abandoned structure in Arkon, Ohio.
It’s just really creepy.
Is there a city that stands for urban decay more than Akron, Ohio?
Memphians shouldn’t snicker though.
Memphis has malls – Hickory Ridge, Raleigh Springs, Oak Court among others – that are in varying states of decay. I haven’t been inside the Raleigh Springs Mall since my mother took my siblings and I there in the mid-1980’s to buy house pets and various other knick knacks, but every time I drive by I’m thoroughly creeped out and slightly intrigued.
Why does that still exist?
What’s in there?
Is everything the same as it was in the 1980’s?
Why am I crying?
In researching this post – I came across a website for the Mall of Memphis. An active website. Which is amazing, because the Mall of Memphis closed on Christmas Eve, 2003 and was demolished in 2005. Apparently someone – a guy by the name of Doug Force – feels as intrigued (and maybe not quite as creeped out) by old malls as I do. Force’s Mall of Memphis tribute website is complete with an extensive timeline.
The Mall of Memphis website made me want to curl up in a ball and be held firmly.
Here are 4 consecutive entries on the Mall of Memphis timeline, which offer some insight as to why the mall no longer exists – and a basis for my future nightmares:
- 2002 – A Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. unit takes control of the mall property through a foreclosure.
- October 7, 2002 – A Mall of Memphis employee, who was taking a shortcut to work, found the body of a man on a small bridge over a ditch in the 4400 block of American Way early Sunday. The victim, who had not been identified by police late Sunday afternoon, was shot in the head, homicide Lt. Walter Norris said. The victim was believed to be in his early 20s. A neighbor told police he heard a gunshot about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Norris said. Police had no motive for the shooting and were investigating.
- October 8, 2002 – A 14-year-old boy was charged Monday in Juvenile Court in the shooting death of a 15-year-old boy whose body was found near a ditch south of the Mall of Memphis. Deandre Kendall was charged with first-degree murder in the death of William Hall. Kendall is scheduled for a detention hearing today in Juvenile Court.
- November 7, 2002 – A 14-year-old gang member who allegedly boasted last month he was ready to get his first “187” or homicide will face murder charges as an adult in the shooting death of another teenager. Deandre Kendall was transferred from Juvenile Court to the County Jail Wednesday. He is charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 5 shotgun slaying of William Hall, 15, whose body was found the next day near the Mall of Memphis. Kendall was ordered held on $100,000 bond.
Yep, pretty creepy.
Here are some pictures of the Mall of Memphis right as it closed, and as it was being demolished – courtesy of the aforementioned site: