Photographer Dan Marbaix is what is known as an “urban explorer.” He travels from city to city, exploring abandoned houses, asylums, churches, state buildings and much, much more. He has been arrested over 20 times for his trespassing – and even held at gunpoint – but he refuses to give up his search for things that exist outside of the mundane.

You’ll see why.

Dan wasn’t supposed to be in ANY of these places, but you’ll be glad he was. Above is an abandoned house in Germany.

Dan wasn't supposed to be in ANY of these places, but you'll be glad he was. Above is an abandoned house in Germany.

It’s hard to define what exactly makes these pictures so beautiful.

It's hard to define what exactly makes these pictures so beautiful.

Is it the fact that humans have abandoned their dwellings?

Is it the fact that humans have abandoned their dwellings?

Or because it seems that life goes on, even when people aren’t present?

Or because it seems that life goes on, even when people aren't present?

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Some places are left in the state they were abandoned in. As you can see from this Belgian house, the radio and stuffed pheasant decorations were still placed on the mantle.

Some places are left in the state they were abandoned in. As you can see from this Belgian house, the radio and stuffed pheasant decorations were still placed on the mantle.

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No matter how many times he has been threatened or arrested, Dan thinks it’s all worth it. These haunting photos from an abandoned asylum prove his point.

No matter how many times he has been threatened or arrested, Dan thinks it's all worth it. These haunting photos from an abandoned asylum prove his point.

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The Chambre du Commerce in Antwep, Belgium, was erected in 1872 as a reconstruction of a 1531 Stock Exchange. It stopped being used because it didn’t meet safety regulations and it is a HUGE draw for urban explorers.

The Chambre du Commerce in Antwep, Belgium, was erected in 1872 as a reconstruction of a 1531 Stock Exchange. It stopped being used because it didn’t meet safety regulations and it is a HUGE draw for urban explorers.

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Most of his photos look like they could be part of any high-budget horror film.

Most of his photos look like they could be part of any high-budget horror film.

Europe Urbex

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But they aren’t fiction. These are chilling, real-life locations.

But they aren't fiction. These are chilling, real-life locations.

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It’s hard to explain why, but the sight of an abandoned fireplace in a house with peeling paint and wallpaper is so unsettling…

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