Abandoned areas can be spooky. We’re used to seeing places maintained and kept to a high standard. Usually, we travel to places that are made to look as nice as possible through consistent cleaning and maintenance. But what about the places that are left behind?
This article explores some of the most amazing abandoned places in the world. Sometimes, a little neglect can go a long way in adding to the beauty of the world. Would you like to visit these places? Take a look…
Hirta – Scotland
This impressive bit of land was once home to an entire village, back in the 1930s. However, due to political change in the region, the citizens chose to leave and live somewhere else.
In August 1930, the last remaining inhabitants left resulting in this completely deserted village. These stone homes now stand tall, unchanged, after 80 years. Many of them appear to be repairable, so who knows what the future stores for Hirta.
Dome Homes – Florida, USA
These dome homes were built on the coast of Marco Island in 1980. Originally planned as vacation homes, they were hit by hurricanes – shifting coastlines sent them into the water and now suffering from decay. Coastline agencies have determined that they are too expensive to fix, leaving them abandoned.
Today, it is nearly impossible to find one of these dome homes that hasn’t been left to crumble into the ocean. Would you have liked to see these fully operational? We think they would be amazing!
Villa – Lake Como, Italy
The strange thing about this villa in Lake Como is the complete mystery behind it. Locals understand that this villa was constructed in roughly the 1800s, but there are no records to indicate this.
Rumors state that the home was left alone after a gruesome murder or suicide – but still, no one knows. Today, it is left largely alone and visitors are advised to stay away from it. To us, it looks like the scene of a new horror film!
Berlin – Nevada, USA
Berlin – in Nevada, not Germany! –
No one stayed around to maintain it or turn it into something else, so it hasn’t changed all the way up until today. At the
Kolmanskop – Namibia
Upon first glance, you’ll be fooled into thinking it’s a picture painted on a canvas. It’s actually a real photo of Kolmanskop. Founded in 1908, the town was formed after a man found a diamond in the rough. Suddenly, many outsiders flocked to the area hoping to strike it rich.
When no more diamonds turned up, villagers also exhausted all other rare and natural resources. Everyone soon left, leaving the town abandoned by 1954. No one visits it today.
Pripyat – Ukraine
This city opened its doors on February 4, 1970. Pripyat is situated near the Belarus border and is a Soviet nuclear city. At the time, it was home to many of the workers who commuted to Chernobyl.
After the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the entire city was evacuated due to the extremely high levels of radiation. To this day, you are allowed to visit – but only with an escort and you must have your radiation levels checked afterward. You have been warned!
Kilchurn Castle – Scotland
Today, Kilchurn Castle is one of the most photographed castles in the world. It was built in the 1400s and has sadly been left to decay since the 1700s. The untouched estate attracts people from all over the world who marvel at its incredible presence despite being neglected for 300 years.
In its time, it housed some of the most influential families and officials when they visited the country. It’s something we can imagine in the next James Bond film!
Kayakoy – Turkey
This small Turkish town sits 8km south of Fethiye in the Lycia province. According to sources, its entire Indigenous population was moved to Greece after being expelled by the Ottoman Empire. The town today is deserted – leaving 350 buildings completely empty and neglected since 1914.
Moss and ivy have made them home now, with no humans spending time there. It is unsure if Turkey has plans to restore Kayakoy into a new town or to keep it how it is. What do you think they should do with it?
The Floating Island – Australia
The boat, the SS Ayrfield, was constructed in 1911 in the UK. It was registered as an Australian steam collier but became a Navy transport vessel in WWII for American soldiers. It operated until 1972 when it was retired in Sydney along Homebush Bay.
The bay is known specifically as a ‘ship graveyard’ and the SS Ayrfield has a new life as host of a mangrove tree and lush greenery. Visitors can observe it from a distance.
Allerheiligen Monastery – Germany
This monastery is almost 900 years old! It was built in 1192 inside of the Black Forest of Germany and still stands tall today. Sadly, the church was struck by lightning three times in a row during a particularly powerful storm. It was burnt down and no one chose to rebuild it.
If a church was struck three times, we think it should be left alone! We wonder what happened inside it for someone or something to strike it three times!
Ta Prohm Temple – Cambodia
This temple sits 3.5 km northeast of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. After the demise of the 17th-century empire, it was abandoned and has been left alone even to today. Over the hundreds of years since its abandonment, the jungle has engulfed it and claimed the temple as its new territory.
Even though it is unused, locals to maintain it to make sure the powerful jungle doesn’t completely destroy it. Today, it is kept as a monument where people can explore it.
Maunsell Army Sea Forts – UK
These sea forts were designed by Guy Maunsell and constructed in 1942. Originally, they were situated on the Thames and Mersey, intended to protect the UK during WWII. It was less than 10 years until all of these forts were shut down and decommissioned.
For a while, they were used by people to broadcast illegal radio stations, but that also stopped in time. Today, they are entirely empty – or is that what they want us to think?
Bodiam Castle – UK
During the Hundred Year War, a soldier built Bodiam Castle to protect East Sussex from the French. It served as a defensive castle throughout the medieval times, but soldiers eventually left the castle. Today, it reminds visitors of the rich history in Britain.
Tourists simply cross a moat – yes, a moat – and can journey through the building and witness the history. Although not ‘abandoned’, it is no longer used to protect the British from the French.
Methodist Church – Indiana, USA
This Methodist Church once had 3,000 members when it was used in 1926. This property was originally worth $1 million at the time ($13 million today), making it one of the most valuable buildings at the time.
Over time, employment in the area started to decline and crime rate rose – causing people to flock the town of Gary. Now, it is largely deserted – with it being totally abandoned in the 1980s. Who knows, it might be bought by another religion soon.
The Kyiv River Boat – Kyiv, Ukraine
This hydrofoil has been left abandoned and is a reminder of the Soviet era. The boat was designed to take trips along the Dnieper, in Kyiv, toward the Kyiv Sea. Today, it remains the only single-deck high-speed passenger ship.
At its peak, it is estimated that the rocket, named ‘Sunrise’, could travel at speeds reaching 60km per hour. The boat has since been abandoned and is left to nature. Adventurous explorers can go and visit it, although government officials don’t recommend it.
Hotel Del Salto – Colombia
This hotel was built to overlook the Bogota River. Constructed in 1928, it gave tourists the opportunity to get close to the waterfalls and mother nature. Due to a number of safety concerns over time, the building was closed in 1991.
Today, locals believe that the property is haunted! Visitors often journey to the property but hear weird noises all throughout the night. It is not recommended to visit the Hotel Del Salto after dark! Would you go?
Michigan Central Train Station – USA
This train station once had everything going for it. Built in 1913, it promised to bring in talent from all the surrounding areas in the Midwest. But as the city’s economy began to crumble, so too did the station itself.
It was closed in 1988 and still stands tall but empty today. It has become a staple in Michigan, with rapper Eminem using it in his film, 8 Mile. Rumors are swirling around that car company FORD is planning to buy it.
I.M Cooling Tower – Belgium
This incredible site is home to a cooling tower. Located in an old power station in Monceau, Belgium, the structure is largely abandoned today. It was used in the 1900s but the government shut it down and has no plans to reopen it.
Perhaps in the future, officials or private companies will decide what to do with the massive space it takes up. For now, it rests unused and alone.
Last House on Holland Island – USA
Here sits a house that was once a pretty successful island colony! It was located in the Chesapeake Bay, which suffered from the
For a while, this was the
House of the Bulgarian Communist Party – Bulgaria
This is a view of the former headquarters for Bulgaria’s Communist Party. It looks just like a James Bond villain lair from the outside, and the inside isn’t much different! The building is literally in the shape of a flying saucer.
The building itself was in use for 10 years between 1981 and 1991. When the party collapsed after the fall of the Soviet Union, no one took control of the site. It is now an empty and hollow room, although there are plans to restore it.
Nara Dreamland – Japan
The Nara Dreamland Park was inspired by Disneyland. It opened its doors to the public in 1961, but by 2006 had already shut down. Perhaps Disney’s venture into Japan had an effect on the sales and popularity.
Today, it remains the perfect spot for tourists and travelers to explore the ruins. But look out: security guards still sometimes patrol the area. While you won’t get in too much trouble if you’re caught on the site, you might get a fine.
Abandoned Mill – Italy
Deep in Sorrento, Italy, sits this mill in the valley. According to reports, it was abandoned in 1866 and has been largely untouched ever since. At the time, it ground wheat and operated near a sawmill, too.
The reason for its abandonment is clear: it was isolated from the sea when Tasso Square was built. This meant the humidity rose to extra high levels and it became unsustainable.
Sunken Yacht – Antarctica
This spooky ship sits under the water in Antarctica – frozen in time forever. The Brazillian ship, called Mar Sem Fim, was shipwrecked near Ardley Cove. Rumor has it that the crew traveled south to film a documentary, but plans quickly turned south – much like their ship.
Stormy winds meant that the team had to abandon their ship in order to protect their lives. The water washed over and quickly froze it. Recently, trekkers rescued the ship.
The Haunting New Bedford Orpheum – MA, USA
This old theater and entertainment building can be found in Massachusetts. It opened its doors in 1912 and operated all the way through to 1959. Now 60 years later, it has been left largely alone.
Recently, non-profits have gathered in New Bedford to try and raise money to renovate the building, which is taking up space in the community. We would love to see it turned into something new!
Abandoned Train Station – Abkhazia, Georgia
During the War in Abkhazia, this train station was left abandoned. The war took place across 1992 and 1993 and was a dispute between Russia and Georgia over the region and who owned it.
Since then, the dispute left the area largely derelict. Even though it has been abandoned, we can still see the intricate work from the architects. Sadly, there are no plans to renew or renovate the station.
Wooden Homes – Russia
Here are some truly amazing buildings found deep in the Russian forests. They have some intricate designs and authentic woodworks that make them a beauty to admire.
These buildings were largely left alone by the original builders due to the cold temperatures. Over time, they left their wooden homes for brick-made ones in town. Now, visitors can explore these historic houses.
Underwater City – Shicheng, China
Fans of Aquaman will be amazed to see that China has its very own Atlantis! This underwater city has been trapped in time since 1959 when the construction of the Xin’an River Hydropower Station caused it to deliberately flood.
Strangely, the water protects the city from the usual erosion that can occur through rain and wind, so it remains in fairly good condition 60 years later. As you can see, divers can go and explore the site. Would you go down and visit it?
A Subway Station – New York, USA
This secret subway station lies under the City Hall in New York City. It was a highly anticipated project due to its ‘prime real estate’ location, and so much effort was put into its initial designs. Perhaps this is why it looks so much nicer than the ones we see today!
Unfortunately, its twists and turns made it unsafe for newer trains to navigate. The station was subsequently closed in 1945 and is left alone today. Occasionally, it is opened for walking tours.
Military Hospital – Beelitz, Germany
This photo shows the Beelitz-Heilstatten hospital. It was built at the end of the 1800s and even helped Adolf Hitler when his leg was damaged in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.
Today, parts of the complex remain open to the public. However, most areas (like the one above!) were abandoned after the Soviets withdrew in 1995. Today, it is largely left alone and doesn’t serve patients.
San Zhi – Taiwan
These homes look like something out of a sci-fi film, which is maybe why they weren’t as popular as anticipated! They were designed to be a vacation home, with US military officers in mind.
The site was burdened with bad luck, including lost investments and an unusually high amount of car accidents. Interest in the development was lost and the site closed down in 1980. San Zhi was a popular trekking spot until the buildings were knocked down in 2010.
Subway Tunnel – Kyiv, Ukraine
This abandoned subway tunnel lies below Kyiv, Ukraine. Its subway system was constructed during the Soviet time but poor planning
Today, it is basically prohibited to visit the sites due to the dangers surrounding it. Some people sneak in and snap some shots, including this one. We can see it is still flooded with electrical cables hanging from the top. Stay away!
Church In The Snow – Canada
This Canadian church stood high in the countryside for 100 years before it was abandoned. It served as the congregation area for Catholics who would meet weekly. Unfortunately, due to a changing climate, citizens relocated and left the building largely empty.
Since no one wants to be the person responsible for knocking down a church, the building still stands today. It has been left alone and can be admired by passersby who can see how it rests in the white snow.
Submarine Base – Balaklava, Ukraine
Technically, this submarine dock in Ukraine isn’t actually abandoned. The submarine base was fully operational until 1993 when it was decommissioned. At the time, it was one of the most secret bases in the world belonging to the Soviets.
Today, its doors have been opened to the public where the site is now a national naval museum. Visitors can explore what was once a clandestine location full of mystery.
Ross Island – India
Ross Island was built to be the British administrative center for the Indian Penal Settlement. Since its independence, the area has been largely deserted and left for nature to take control.
Over time, vines and leaves have made themselves at home and the site is now completely void of human visits. No one looks after the region or cares for the animals that have found a home there, making it quite the site! What do you think?
Miranda Castle – Belgium
Miranda Castle was built in 1866, but the designer had died before the castle could be completed. This resulted in a confused next step for the construction workers since no one knew the next stage! Construction halted and the projected was ultimately abandoned.
Aside from being used briefly by the Nazis in WWII, the site has been left forgotten. There are no plans to resurrect the castle for modern use – all proposals have been called too expensive.
Hashima Island – Japan
This Japanese island goes by many nicknames, including Battleship Island and Ghost Island. In the 19th century, the island was populated with people because of its access to coal mines under the water.
Over time, the country shifted from coal to petroleum, causing the mines to close down. Eventually, the island’s population departed the island and have left it pretty much deserted.
Gougi Island – China
This forgotten fishing village can be found on the Yangtze River. Amazingly, ever since its citizens abandoned the location, moss and ivy have surrounded all of the buildings – giving this green pop.
Photos started circulating online of the lost village that had finally been photographed and shared to millions of people. One website called it ‘Wizard of Oz’s Dream’.
Saint Nicholas Church – Macedonia
Today, this church sits flooded a few feet underneath the Mavrovo Lake in Macedonia. Once upon a time, people would travel to visit and pray in the spiritual site.
Unfortunately, a local power plant was built nearby and it caused flooding to take place, affecting the church. Not a good omen if you ask us! Today, it is visited by the occasional cow.
Craco – Italy
Ever since the year 540, Craco has sat comfortably on top of a mountain in Italy. In fact, it was a thriving city for 1400 years! It was in full force all through until 1972 when it’s citizens got up to leave.
There were a few reasons why Craco became unsustainable. The main cause of its downfall was an unfortunate rock slide in 1963, of which the citizens never recovered.
Temple of Santiago – Mexico
This abandoned Roman Catholic church opened its doors in 1564. Originally, it could fit the entire congregation and was even prepared for planned population growth for the neighboring regions.
Sadly, the city was surrounded by a Smallpox epidemic in 1773-1776 and everyone eventually died out. Ever since the construction of the Malpaso Dam, it occasionally suffers from flooding (pictured here).
Bodie – California, USA
This spooky ghost town is one of the most famous of its kind on the west coast, bordering Nevada. What was once a budding gold mining town next to the mountains is practically stuck in time after everyone abandoned it.
It has remained untouched for decades, meaning its relics can still be found in several of the buildings spread across the small town. It reminds us of Radiator Springs in Pixar’s Cars.
Aniva Rock Lighthouse – Russia
This Russian Lighthouse was actually built by the Japanese in 1939 during the war. It looks like somewhere that Luke Skywalker would hide out – or not, depending on your Star Wars preference!
After the war, the lighthouse was annexed since its entire existence was full of conflict. Today, it stands tall as a reminder of the war and the battles fought on its coastal lines.
Canfranc Rail Station – Spain
This abandoned, international, train station can be found in the Spanish Pyrenees. Way back in WW2, the Nazis overtook it and ran it themselves. It continued to operate after the
Destiny would not be kind to the Canfranc Rail Station. A tragic train accident in 1970 would ultimately lead to the entire station being shut down. Today, it rests alone.
Bannerman Castle – New York, USA
Bannerman Castle is situated on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River. It was erected in 1901 with the intention to store military supplies after the Spanish war.
Unfortunately, in 1920, 200 pounds of ammunition accidentally went off and destroyed most of the castle. No plans were made to restore it and the Bannerman castle has been largely left alone ever since.
Abandoned Mine – San Juan Mountains, Colorado, USA
Located in the San Juan Mountains, this abandoned mine was once the site for thousands of workers. It was part of the Red Mountain Mining District, which extended over five miles and had 40 mins.
Over time, miners left the region to focus on more profitable parts of the mountains and the place was left alone. Today, all that sits is the mementos of previous generations who would spend their days searching for gold or diamonds.
The Great Wall – China
Famously, the Great Wall of China is made of stone, brick, wood, and Chinese workers. Of course, we all know there are parts of the wall (that was built in the 7th century) is open to the public. There are rumors that the 13,000-mile wall can be seen from space, although this is untrue!
However, there are many parts of the wall that are completely left alone and are therefore void of any and all maintenance. If you can, avoid the crowds and see these parts.
The Jet Star Roller Coaster – New Jersey, USA
The Jet Star Coaster was a popular part of Seaside Heights in New Jersey. Built in the 1970s, it was operational all the way until 2012 when it faced off against Superstorm Sandy.
After that, the owners tried to refurbish it but it was deemed too expensive and burdensome. It was left alone for a few years but was eventually demolished to make room for future projects.
The SS America – Canary Islands
The last recorded use of SS America was in 1994. It was 54 years earlier, in 1940, that the US ship first hit the waters. After more than half a century, it met its fate when it wrecked on the Playa de Garcey in the Canary Islands.
In the 25 years since it rested along the rocks, visitors can look at her resting peacefully and being gently rocked by the waves. Sadly, most of her shell has been eroded and destroyed.
Mirny Diamond Mine – Eastern Siberia, Russia
You’re looking at the second largest man-made hole, built by Joseph Stalin to make sure the Soviets could reach the demand for industrial diamonds. One day, he demanded they dig and dig until they found what they were looking for.
Eventually, the plan was abandoned and so was the hole. Today, it simply exists and attracts visitors who can look down into the abyss. No one travels down there so we are unsure what lies beneath.
Ryugyong Hotel – Pyongyang, North Korea
This huge tower is an example of some of the oddities that exist in one of the world’s most secretive countries. Ryugyong Hotel is 105 stories high and has been totally abandoned for 17 years.
Work started again 10 years ago and it appears to be completed – but only on the outside. Reports have suggested that it is completely empty on the outside, existing only to give the appearance of infrastructure. Spooky.
Gulliver’s Travels Park – Kawaguchi, Japan
Another example of a failed Theme Park in Japan that has been left to rest in peace. Supposedly opened to compete against Disneyland, the park was opened in 2007 but closed its gates 10 years later.
Today, Gulliver is still left lying across the floor, making for an eerie experience. Visitors can climb and pose on him for a bizarre photograph. There are no plans to remove him.
Domino Sugar Factory – New York City, USA
The Domino Sugar Factory opened its doors in 1856 and is one of the city’s most iconic pieces of architecture. It closed in 2004 but still sits along the East River in Brooklyn.
After it closed, people attempted to work out what to do with
Dadipark – Dadizel, Belgium
Dadipark was another theme park that couldn’t quite capture the imagination of its visitors. It opened in the 1950s but ultimately closed 50 years later in 2002.
Today, the Belgian park is left largely derelict. Travelers can explore the site if they bypass security and sneak through the gates. Overall, there are 13 hectares of space to explore.
Bijlmerbajes Prison Complex – Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The Bijlmerbajes prison complex in Amsterdam was opened in 1978. It was designed to be a ‘humane’ penitentiary and consists of six high-rise buildings, with each one of them acting as a separate prison. Originally, there weren’t even bars on the windows. However, guards quickly added some after finding out the glass was
The prison shut down in 2016 and was closed partly due to the country’s low crime rate and short prison sentences. Today, it houses refugees and there are plans to turn it into a newly renovated village.
Flintstone Theme Park – Arizona, USA
The 1970s and ’80s were strangely full of Flintstones theme parks all across the United States. Today, they are all shut down – with only one still standing in Arizona.
The site is located on the corner of Route 64 and Route 180, in Bedrock City of course! Even though it is completely abandoned, the site attracts visitors who are driving to the Grand Canyon which is only 30 miles away.
Częstochowa Train Depot, Poland
Częstochowa was a small city that was part of the Kingdom of Prussia and the expanding Russian empire from the 18th century. This train station opened in 1846 and linked the city to other parts of Europe.
Today, Częstochowa has six train stations – leaving this one unfortunately abandoned over time. While visitors can still explore the region and it’s open to the public, the railways are shut down and no trains depart or enter.
Western Village Park – Japan
This strange theme park is based in Japan and was designed to highlight American culture. It opened in the 1970s and sits just outside of Tokyo. It included ‘American’ attractions like a Barbershop, a Sheriff’s Office, and a Bank.
By the time it closed in 2006, the park had expanded to include Ghost Towns and an entire replica of Mount Rushmore. However, visitors weren’t drawn to the site and it closed, largely left alone today.
Christ of the Abyss – San Fruttuoso, Italy
This is one of the spookiest underwater statues we’ve seen. Built by Guido Galletti, this statue of Christ was submerged into water and rests 55 feet deep.
It was built in 1954 and was actually designed to rest underwater – so no sad story here. Over time, repairers have adjusted some of the bronze that has eroded over time. The statue featured in Netflix’s show Bloodline.
Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, USA
This prison was operational between 1829 and 1971, until it ultimately closed its doors. Technically not ‘abandoned’, visitors can visit the landmark and take a tour of its cells.
The site is protected as a national landmark and is considered an architectural marvel for its design. In fact, many new prisons being built today use this original design.
The Duke of Lancaster – Wales, UK
The TSS Duke of Lancaster is a ship in Wales that was actually one of the last passenger-only ships built for British Railways. Construction finished in 1956 and it replaced an existing ship with the same name.
She originally acted as a route to connect Wales to Belfast, Northern Ireland, but quickly lost out to competition from ferries. For a while, she was transformed into a ‘Fun Ship’ but was slapped with 10 Safety Enforcement notices. With no way to pay for the fines, the ship was left alone and rests on the coast today.
Koga Family Land – Japan
Another Japanese theme park to be left abandoned over the years. Koga Family Land was a small amusement park built alongside Biwa Lake. The park shut down in 1996 and has been left alone for more than 20 years.
Until 2008, the park was left exactly how it was on closing day. Officials came to remove all of the equipment except for the large Ferris wheel which still stands tall today.
Steinert Hall – Boston, USA
In Boston, there’s a specific district called Piano Row – an area known for piano showrooms. One building, 162 Boylston Street, is a six-story building with a secret, but abandoned, secret.
Four floors beneath the ground lies a completely derelict concert hall. In the 1900s, the ‘Little Jewel’ was a hub for pianists and artists around Boston. The last performance was in 1942 but was shut down for breaching fire code laws. There are plans to restore it.
Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital – New Jersey, USA
This recently abandoned hospital was shut down in 2011 and remains closed today. The building’s history dates back to 1907 when it opened to serve mentally ill patients. In its first 20 years, it served more than 10,000 people.
Until 1977 it helped patients with TB, mental illness, and other causes depending on their ‘curability’. In 2011, Governor Chris Christie shut it down to save $9 million a year.
Airplane Graveyard – Bangkok, Thailand
In Bangkok, Thailand, lies a graveyard for old planes that are no longer being flown. One of them, Orient Thai Airlines, was involved in a tragic 89-person crash which killed everyone on board.
Today, many of the planes remain empty since people often take the seats and other items from inside. Plans to turn the site into a Bar were rejected, but visitors can see the site for a small fee.
Fantasy World – Philippines
Oh, what a shame. It was supposed to be the next big thing. They didn’t expect it to fail the way it did. This ‘Disneyland’ of the Philippines ran out of money halfway through construction and was left abandoned.
Owned by a Japanese businessman, construction started in 2001 as a direct competition to Disneyland. The park never opened since it never actually finished. Travelers can explore the site for a small fee, but rides are forbidden.
Ellis Island Isolation Hospital – New York / New Jersey, USA
Ellis Island is the famous port where immigrants who entered the United States would engage in health and visa checks. Even though most were allowed into the country, the hospital on the island served millions of immigrants who weren’t allowed into New York.
Millions of people visit the island each year, but few people get to see inside these now-derelict hospitals. This is a picture of one of its morgues that would store the dying people who weren’t allowed into the city.
Herschel Island – Canada
This island rests in north Canada, three miles from the main shore. It was inhabited by the Thule People for at least 1,000 years (according to historians). That all changed when Europeans discovered that it would be a perfect place to fish for whales.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, a number of people would visit the island to fish and hunt. Over time, the whales moved and the island became purposeless. The last citizens of the island left in 1987 and now no one is on it. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lake Shawnee Amusement Park – West Virginia, USA
No one can explain all the death and suffering that occurs in the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park. It used to be the site of the Clay Family Massacre in 1783 and the deaths only continued for 200 straight years.
The park was opened in the 1950s but tragically saw six people die in its short life. The park was quickly abandoned in 1966 and has been called haunted for the last 50 years. Rumors have circulated around little ghosts that haunt the area. You can pay for a guided tour.
Railways – Brazil
These tracks lie a few miles outside of Sao Paulo in a village called Paranapiacaba. They are part of the British-owned Sao Paulo Railway Company and designed to export coffee beans. For 30 years, the system had 4,000 workers.
The 1970s saw the beginning of automation and these folks quickly lost their jobs to machines. The last steam train was decommissioned in 1982 and the tracks remain unused to this day.
Željava Air Base – Croatia / Bosnia
Known as the code name ‘Objekat 505’, this used to be one of the biggest military complexes across the whole of Europe. It was built by Yugoslavia’s communist government in 1948 and built over 20 years.
In 1991, the base was destroyed following the Yugoslav Wars. Unfortunately, its destruction caused terrible environmental problems and there are still undetonated explosives in the area. Today, illegal immigrants use one of the runways to fly into Europe.
The Bärenquell Brewery – Berlin, Germany
Once upon a time, this brewery made some of the most beloved beers in Germany. The Bärenquell Brewery was opened in 1882 and operated fairly well for the first few years. It even expanded and bought more land and machinery.
After WWII, the brewery was nationalized and it suffered after the fall of the Berlin Wall. When East Germany turned its back on local products the beer lost popularity. It closed its doors in 1994 and has been left to rot.
Church – Sant Romà de Sau, Spain
Similar to the Temple of Santiago, this church in the town of Sant Romà de Sau is abandoned due to a flood nearby. Before that, it stood proudly for more than 1,000 years for people to use as a place of worship.
In the 1960s, the government created a reservoir and deliberately submerged the entire town. The residents left and took everything with them. The entire Sant Romà de Sau is underwater except for the tip of the church, leaving an eerie reminder of what once was.
This Soviet Village – Siberia
Built in 1968, this Soviet village is found near Anadyr Bay on the Bering Sea. The village was a military settlement that guarded eastern borders of the USSR opposite Alaska, USA.
After the fall of the USSR, most of the place was abandoned. In 2013, local authorities moved the remaining 30% of citizens to a nearby district. Today, there are no plans to renovate the site and it remains a derelict place.
Adak Island – Alaska, USA
The other side of the Bering Sea is home to Adak Island. Intense winds and freezing temperatures make this place completely inhospitable to humans. That doesn’t stop the Aleut People from making it their home for thousands of years.
Due to its location, the US military built a base there during WWII. At its peak, 6,000 soldiers were living there. After the Cold War, everyone left and only 300 people remain. What’s more, it’s practically abandoned with only some sites still standing.
Whitchurch Hospital – Cardiff, Wales
Whitchurch Hospital opened in 1908 and immediately made it the city’s largest mental health hospital. It was built over a ten year period and covered five acres of land. At its busiest, it could hold 750 patients.
Over time, the country decided that it was too old and no longer suitable to hold mentally ill people. It closed its doors in 2016 and is currently being turned into a residential development with more than 330 properties.
Hachijo Royal Hotel in Japan
In the 1960s, locals in Japan weren’t allowed to travel overseas. As a consequence, the country tried to compensate by building resorts that were closer to home and where citizens could go on ‘staycations’. Hence, the island of Hachijo-Jima was born!
The island initially saw a lot of attention, but once tourism opened up again interest started to wane. Eventually, the hotel closed in 2006 and the only guests now are extreme vegetation.
Istvántelek Train Yard – Budapest, Hungary
This abandoned yard is also known as the Red Star Train Graveyard. It acts as the resting place for more than 100 trains and cars that have been left to rot. They are all in varying degrees of disrepair.
Many of these cars were used in the 20th century to carry out some of the most heinous crimes imaginable, including transporting Jewish children to Auschwitz. The site is left alone and is rarely visited by people today.
Cottontail Ranch – Las Vegas, USA
Located only a few hours from Las Vegas lies the Cottontail Ranch in Nevada. It was home to the legendary brothel that rested inside. The Brothel opened its doors in 1967 and hosted the famous Howard Hughes – who was said to be a regular customer of the services.
Madame Beverly Harrell died in 1995 and the brothel was finally closed in 2004. In the last 15 years, no one has touched the land making it completely abandoned.
Esqueleto Hotel – Brazil
The original name of this hotel was Gavea Tourist Hotel, but its name changed to be known as ‘Skelton Hotel’. Built in 1953, it is located between two neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro. Constructors completed 16 floors before they ran out of money and the project halted.
19 years went by before the building was officially deserted – making it the eerie place it is today. You can find travelers visit the area through a secret path.
Marine Hospital of Memphis – Tennessee, USA
The marine hospital opened in 1884 in the French Fort district. It had six buildings each dedicated to different parts of medicine. Ultimately, construction finished in 1937. What started as a place to help Civil War soldiers evolved to more common ailments.
It closed in the 1960s and has been leased to many businessmen who are unsure what to do with it. Some want to turn it into a residential block, others want a boutique hotel.
San Haven Sanatorium – North Dakota, USA
This sanatorium was built in the early 20th century and officially opened in 1909. It was designed to help treat TB patients in the state. Soon, the epidemic died down in the 1940s due to improved antibiotics.
In the ‘50s, it was converted to home the mentally and physically disabled but ultimately shut down in the 1980s. Since then, it has remained all but neglected. Locals are still upset about the turn of events today.
Penn Hills Resort – Pennsylvania, USA
This once-popular honeymoon resort was founded in 1944 right by the Pocono mountains, outside Stroudsburg. In the 1960s, the 500-acre property had an entire ski resort and golf course. The ‘Paradise of Pocono Pleasure’ showed no signs of slowing down.
It appeared unstoppable until the turn of the century. Years of slow decline put a financial strain on the property. Soon enough, it was announced that the 102-year-old owner owed more than $1 million in unpaid taxes but died in 2004 before she could pay them. The resort was shut soon after.
Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers – France
This castle is surrounded by a huge moat, making traveling to it rather difficult! Originally called Motte Baussay, it was built in the 13th century and taken twice by the English. Sadly, it was devastated during the French Revolution.
Wealthy businessmen bought the Château in 1809, but it has been largely abandoned ever since 1932 when investors gave up on its restoration. Today it sits on its own little island, separated from the rest of the world.
Balestrino – Italy
This is one of Italy’s most bizarre ghost towns with very little knowledge about its history. Apparently, Balestrino dates back to the 11th century and the Middle Ages.
The town once flourished, but there were many battles around it during the occupation of Napoleon. Its population ultimately fled the town in 1953 after an earthquake and no one has returned. It is 1.5 hectares wide and full of interesting buildings – none of which are fulfilling their destiny. Find out about other Italian places here.
MV Kalakala – Seattle, USA
This now-abandoned ship was once the second most photographed structure in the world – second only to the Eiffel Tower. She was docked in the US State of Washington from 1935 up until her retirement in 1967.
She was built in 1926 and named Kalakala, a jargon word for ‘Bird’. Sadly, she was left abandoned in the 1970s and all attempts to rescue her have failed, leaving her to rot until she was destroyed in 2015. Rest in pieces, Kalakala.
Beijing Film Academy – China
What could be more creepy than a deserted film set? The 12-acre site has been the backlot to some of China’s biggest hit films in recent years. Among them, Chinese versions of Hollywood blockbusters and communist propaganda films.
The studio went out of business and the backlot was abandoned 10 years ago. Some parts burnt down or have simply eroded with nature. Most of the sets and props still remain, making for an eerie sight for travelers who wish to visit it.
Six Flags – New Orleans, USA
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many parts of New Orleans were left damaged beyond repair. At the time of the storm, Six Flags had six feet of water surrounding it. Eventually, the park was shut indefinitely and all that remains is the derelict tracks for some of its rides.
Perhaps in a few years, it will be restored back to what it once was, but it seems unlikely for now. 80% of the park’s rides were deemed ruined and unable to be repaired.
Tiki Palace – Chattanooga, Tennessee
This creepy pool used to belong to a strip club built in 1972. The home was a massive 5,600 square foot property and the host of hundreds of parties in the swinging seventies. Unfortunately, the place was shut down after only a year when its owner hired a hitman to kill his wife’s lover.
For years, the place was largely left alone, earning the respect of locals who would enter and explore the property. Finally, in 2017, the site was demolished.