For those of you who enjoy (you lil creep!) watching horror movies, you most likely dream about visiting or at least getting to know real-life ghost towns around the world. These thrillingly formidable places do actually exist in real life, not just in movies. They are turned into ghost towns for various reasons, such as emigration, natural disasters, floods, wars or economic recession.
These abounded towns, so-called ghost towns, aren’t always completely lifeless. Some of them do have a small number of population living nearby, some are used as touristic spots, and some others are strictly forbidden to enter.
Here we are showing you some of these intimidating towns to give you some chills! 😀
1. Bodie, California
Back in the 19th century, after the discovery of a profitable line of gold, Bodie was a booming town. At its best times, the town had 5,000 to 7,000 residents along with 2,000 buildings. The town started to decline at the beginning of the 20th century, showing the first signs with the dropping profits and a few years later, abandoned railway track. Today, Bodie is an authentic Wild West ghost town that has just 110 buildings standing. Visitors can freely walk the deserted town streets and see the interior remains as they were left, shelves still stocked with goods or occasional litter on the ground, but removing it is against the rules of the park. – Mike McBey<
2. Oradour-Sur-Glane, France
Oradour-sur-Glane was a village in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in west-central France. It was destroyed on 10 June 1944, when 642 of its inhabitants including women and children were massacred by a German Nazi soldier company. Out of the entire village’s population, only around 30 survived the massacre with 20 escaping the village before the SS unit arrived. The unit, led by Adolf Diekmann, sealed the city and forced everyone out of their houses. Men were led into the sheds where they were shot by machine guns and later set ablaze. Only 6 men escaped, although one was later shot dead. Women and children were locked in a church where the soldiers set off an incendiary device. As victims were trying to escape through the windows, they were met with machine-gun fire. Out of 247 women and 205 children in the church, only one 47-year-old woman managed to survive. She escaped through a window, was non-fatally shot and managed to crawl into the bushes where she hid overnight. After the war, the then French president, Charles de Gaulle, decided that the village should be turned into a memorial. A new village of the same name was built nearby. – Dna-Dennis
3. Pripyat, Ukraine
Perhaps one of the best-known ghost cities in the world, Pripyat in Ukraine was founded in 1970 as the ninth nuclear city in the Soviet Union to support the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. By the time it was evacuated a day after the Chernobyl disaster, on the afternoon of April 27, 1986, the city had a population of 49,360. Naturally, after the disaster, the city was abandoned and soon became a ghost city. Nowadays, as radiation levels declined, more and more tourists visit the location and various Ukrainian companies offer guided tours around the area.-Jorge Franganillo
4. Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus
An abandoned southern quarter of the Cypriot city of Famagusta, Varosha was once a modern tourist area. It was so popular that by the 1970s, Varosha was the number-one tourist destination in the entire Cyprus. This led to a rise in new buildings, mostly hotels and various tourist attractions. At its peak, Varosha was the number one tourist destination in the world and saw guests such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Brigitte Bardot. It all changed with the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 when the area came under Turkish control. The residents of Varosha fled and the area has remained abandoned and under the occupation of the Turkish Armed Forces. To this day, Varosha is uninhabited and entry is forbidden to the public. – TomasNY
5. Hashima Island, Japan
Hashima Island, also known as Gunkanjima, is an island located about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the city of Nagasaki, southern Japan. There are undersea coal mines, established in 1887, almost 80 years after coal was originally discovered on the island. It had its peak population in 1959 with 5,259 residents living on the island. In 1974, as the coal reserves slowly depleted, the mines were closed and people left.
It remained abandoned until early 2000s when interest in the island’s undisturbed historic ruins emerged. The government restored some of the buildings and tourists were allowed to visit Hashima since 2009. In 2015, the island was approved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. – kntrty
6. Kennecott, Alaska
Kennecott was once the central mining camp that connected several copper mines nearby. It all started back in 1900 when two prospectors spotted “a green patch far above them in an improbable location for a grass-green meadow.” What it turned out to be was the richest concentration of copper ore ever discovered which had up to 70% concentration of pure chalcocite. During these times, Copper became an extremely valuable mineral due to the invention of electricity, automobiles, and telephones, therefore hundreds of people came to this place to work 7 days a week to send the money home to their families. During its active years from 1909 till 1938, Kennecott mines produced over 4.6 million tons of ore that had made a profit greater than 100 million dollars. Unfortunately, in the mid ’20s, a local geologist predicted that the end of the high-grade ore bodies was inevitable. Most of the high-grade ores were depleted in the early ’30s and the five mines closed one after another. The last train left Kennecott on November 10, 1938, marking the end of its time and leaving the place a ghost town. – Sewtex
7. Glenrio, Texas/New Mexico
Located on the Texas-New Mexico state line, Glenrio was originally a railroad town. It was a popular stop for motorists on U.S. Route 66. As the town was on a border between two states, there were some interesting business practices. At one point, all gasoline was dispensed in Texas because New Mexico had higher taxes on gas. A local bar and motel were built on the New Mexico side because Deaf Smith County, Texas, was dry at the time and prohibited alcohol. After Interstate 40 was built, the masses who used to travel by Route 66 bypassed Glenrio leading to its decline. Today, Glenrio is a ghost town with only the memory of its former glory and spirit of Route 66. – Renelibrary
8. Lifta, Israel
The village dates back to ancient times, as archaeological remains dating as far back as the Second Iron Age have been discovered on site. In 1945, there were 2,250 people living in Lifta, 2,230 of which were Muslims and the remaining 20 were Christian. During the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine, Lifta was depopulated as part of the 1948 Palestinian exodus.
After war, Jewish families lived on site, although most of the Jewish community left in 1971. After that, some of the area was used as drug rehabilitation clinic and a high school. The last residents left Lifta in 2017 and since then the government declared the village an Israeli nature reserve. – Yehudit Alayoff
9. Dhanushkodi, India
Dhanushkodi was once a simple Indian city, full of life and laughter. People could come and go by passenger trains, enjoy the sights of the Laccadive Sea on one side and Palk Strait on the other. However, everything changed when the 1964 Rameswaram cyclone hit the city. With winds as strong as 280 kilometres per hour (170 mph) and tidal waves 7 metres (23 ft) high, the cyclone hit the city on the night of 22–23 December 1964. Around 1,800 people died in the cyclonic storm and the town was marooned. The Government of Madras declared Dhanushkodi as a ghost town, unfit for living. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination where people can see the ruins left behind as well as take scenic photos at Dhanushkodi Beach Point.
– D Kartikeyan
10. Kolmanskop, Namibia
In 1908, in southern Namibia, 10 kilometers inland from the port town of Lüderitz, a worker found a diamond and showed it to his supervisor, the German railway inspector, August Stauch. This led to German miners moving in and settling in the area to mine diamonds. Not long after, the German Empire declared a large area as a “Sperrgebiet”, starting to exploit the diamond field. People, roused by the enormous wealth of the first diamond miners, flocked to the area and built a village in the style of a German town with amenities such as a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theatre and sports-hall, casino, ice factory and the first X-ray station in the southern hemisphere. The diamond-field slowly started to deplete soon after the Second World War leading to a decrease in the population of Kolmanskop. It was completely abandoned in 1956. Nowadays, the desert has partly reclaimed the city and tourists visiting the buildings walk knee-deep in sand. It is a popular location for tourists, especially photographers, seeking to experience or capture settings of the desert sands reclaiming the once-thriving town. Though, since Kolmanskop is within the restricted area (Sperrgebiet), tourists need a permit to enter the town. – SkyPixels
11. St. Elmo, Colorado
Seemingly just like every abandoned place in the USA, St. Elmo was a gold and silver mining town. Back in 1880, the town was named “Forest City”, but since every other town was named the same way, it was changed to St. Elmo by one of the founding fathers, Griffith Evans, who was reading a novel with the same title. The town was at its peak in 1890 but the mining industry started to decline in the early 1920s. In 1922, the railroad discontinued service and once the mining industry was shut down, the town population started to decrease dramatically. Nowadays, St. Elmo is considered a ghost town (although the town is still inhabited) and is mostly a tourist destination. St. Elmo is also considered to be one of Colorado’s best-preserved ghost towns. – KBOutdoors
12. Plymouth, Montserrat
Located in an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, the island of Montserrat, Plymouth was once a capital city. It was built on historical lava deposits near the Soufrière Hills volcano, that was then thought to be long-inactive. In 1995, the volcano resumed erupting, forcing people of Plymouth and surrounding areas to evacuate. It was completely abandoned 2 years later after the city was mostly destroyed by fire and covered in dust and debris. As volcanic activity continued, the entire southern half of the island was declared an exclusion zone. Despite being abandoned and in the exclusion zone, Plymouth still remains the de jure capital city of Montserrat which makes it the only ghost town that serves as the capital of a political territory. – Xb-70
13. Kayaköy, Turkey
Located 8 km south of Fethiye in southwestern Turkey in the old Lycia province, Kayaköy is a city full of ruins of the building that were mostly constructed in the 18th century (though people lived in this area as early as antiquity). Before World War I, Kayaköy had around 6,500 Greek inhabitants, almost all of which were gone after the massacres of Greeks and other Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire during the war. As the Treaty of Lausanne was signed in 1923 after Greece lost the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922, the Greek Orthodox population was forced to move out of the now-Turkish territory. In exchange, Turkish government tried to settle Greek Muslims in the area, but they refused to move in in fear of ghosts of the Greeks killed there.
Today, Kayaköy is uninhabited and serves as a museum village to attract tourists. – wiki
14. Goldfield, Arizona
Located between the Superstition Mountains and the Goldfield Mountains, Goldfield was once a flourishing mine camp. It was established in 1892 after very rich, high-grade gold ore was found in the area. In the following years, the town grew and an official post office, three saloons, a boarding house, a general store, brewery, blacksmith shop, butcher shop, and a school sprang up one after another. At its peak, Goldfield had around 1,500 people living there. Five years after Goldfield appeared, it was abandoned due to gold ore in the mines running out. Today, Goldfield (that was renamed to Youngberg and then back to Goldfield by new owners) is a tourist attraction, full of authentic looking buildings and includes underground mine tours. – werner22brigitte
15. Pyramiden, Norway
Sweden founded Pyramiden in 1910 and then sold it to the Soviet Union in 1927. The soviets used to mine coal in the surrounding areas and at its peak Pyramiden had over 1,000 inhabitants, a cultural center with a theater, a library, art and music studios; a sports complex; and a cantina that was open 24 hours a day. The settlement also has some of the world’s northernmost objects, like a grand piano “Red October”, monument to Vladimir Lenin and the northernmost swimming pool.
As the coal in the last mine run out, the last resident left Pyramiden in 1998, leaving the settlement a ghost town.
Nowadays, Pyramiden is a tourist destination, with a museum and hotel running year-round. – Bjoertvedt
16. Rhyolite, Nevada
Named after an igneous rock composed of light-colored silicates, Rhyolite saw its start in early 1905. As people were rapidly moving to Bullfrog Hills where a prospecting discovery was made, all the gold-seekers, developers, miners and service providers settled in Rhyolite, one of the surrounding mining camps. After industrialist Charles M. Schwab bought the Montgomery Shoshone Mine in 1906, he invested in infrastructure, providing piped water, electric lines and railroad transportation that served both, the mine and the town. However, Rhyolite declined as rapidly as it rose, with mines starting to run at a loss by the end of 1910. As the mines closed completely in 1911, the population of the town decreased rapidly and within a decade, it was virtually non-existent. – wiki
17. Bulowville, Florida
More ruins of what once was a traditional ghost town, Bulowville was once a developing plantation with antebellum style buildings. The owners of the plantation, the Bulow family, used the labor of enslaved Africans to clear 2,200 acres for the cultivation of commodity crops such as cotton, rice, and sugarcane. The plantation was destroyed during the Seminole War of 1836. It was turned into a Florida State Park in 1957 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park offers many activities nowadays for its visitors including hiking, fishing, kayaking, and picnicking. – Ebyabe