Geolocating a phony doomsday-prepper mansion

In this video, Carter Banks walks through an abandoned house:

As usual, Carter fabricates an insane backstory so that he can sell a walkthrough of a dilapidated house that likely only contains things the owners no longer wanted.

I spent too much time on this one.

At 2:50, you can see 275 house address on a mailbox:

I had to look at a few frames to settle on 275. The middle number almost looked like a 9.

At 15:04 is a sticky note with a phone number:

749-9300 and a reference to a heating company. That turns up Midland Air, in Lexington, SC, a suburb of Columbia, SC.

Then at 24:03 is this Greater Columbia phone book:

That is another sign I am on the right track. Remember, the heating company is near Lexington, SC.

Now where? I recall photos of Great Value merchandise, such as this oatmeal box at 7:04:

That suggests proximity to Walmart. That didn’t narrow it down much.

Another nice clue, at 37:29, is a newspaper mailbox that has “The State” on the side:

The State is Columbia’s newspaper.

So far, a lot of time spent finding clues that merely point to the Columbia region. The HVAC company suggests the west side since Lexington is a western suburb. Then I have a house with a 275 address that is not too far from a Walmart.

I need better clues.

Back to the start. Aha, found a clue at 3:35:

The house’s location is indicated with the arrow. In the background are high-tension power lines! Beyond them is what appears to be a blue apartment building. Major clue!

Also, 3:42 shows a flat, white roof an odd pattern on right:

I traced the major power-line corridors to look for this aerial pattern. In less than five minutes I found it!

The property is at 275 Weed Lane, Columba, SC, built by Lowell Hayes.

The facts in Lowell’s 2020 obituary–not 2015 as per Carter’s story–and the 2022 obituary of his wife, Martha, suggest that the doomsday-prepper backstory is entirely fake.

Lowell’s obituary provides ordinary explanations for what Carter saw. Lowell was an unconventional tinkerer and serial small-businessman. That explains a good deal of the home’s oddities, such as the basement filled with parts and tools. The obituary also reveals he was quite involved in a fundamentalist Christian church. Part of fundamentalism is a clownish obsession with end-times superstitions. That explains the weird prophetic videos and materials that Carter flipped through.

While the organ didn’t play into Carter’s phony story, it is interesting. Lowell’s obituary says he installed it for his wife, Martha. A 1982 University of Montevallo publication confirms Martha was organist at the same church mentioned in Lowell’s obituary.

The property was listed for sale in 2020 but removed from the market in 2021.

Once again, phony intrigue is used to sell a boring walkthrough of left-behind debris in a rotting house.

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