Do you love creepy old buildings? Have you ever wanted to explore a ghost town? Whether you’re looking for the scare factor or you simply have a passion for history, you would probably enjoy visiting some of the interesting abandoned places in the world.
Picture yourself standing in the halls of an abandoned hospital, a cool breeze rushing past with moans that make you wonder if it’s haunted. Imagine driving along a quiet back road and coming across a town — once bustling, now crumbling like the dreams of the workers who have long since gone. See the remnants of a castle built centuries ago, now being reclaimed by Mother Nature herself.
What you might find in abandoned places in the world is beauty. Or sadness. Or a chill that runs up your spine. Because although these places might be deserted, they are far from dead. They live on in our memories and our imagination.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to have interesting abandoned places near you to explore, you might enjoy our original list below. Here are some of the world’s most impressive abandoned places. But don’t leave it at that. There might be more right in your own backyard. Feel free to tell us about your favorite abandoned places in the comments.
Update: Here are two more very interesting links for everyone.
When starting on this post for some reason I was thinking that there are not many abandoned places in the world, at least the cities. I knew there are many villages, farms and just lonely houses all around the world but when thousands of people leave, leaving the whole city dead that’s a real tragedy. There are mainly two reasons why people suddenly or little by little leave the place where they used to live for years or even generations: that’s the danger and economic factors. The biggest number of abandoned villages and farms can be found in Unites States and the countries of the former USSR.
Visiting abandoned places is getting more and more popular these days and many tourist agencies offer special tours where people can meet the ghost cities and villages face to face. I have never been to any of these and frankly speaking I don’t want to. I thinks we should leave the ghosts in peace, especially in the places like Pripyat where the horrible tragedy took place.
The abandoned places can look charming or they can look frightening, we tried to present it all. The abandoned cities of the former USSR look almost like clones and they resemble the concentration camps from the times of the World War II.
In any case, that’s the history we should know about, so le’ts get started.
Hashima Island, commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning “Battleship Island”) is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility.
Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began the project, the aim of which was retrieving coal from the bottom of the sea. They built Japan’s first large concrete building, a block of apartments in 1916 to accommodate their burgeoning ranks of workers (many of whom were forcibly recruited labourers from other parts of Asia), and to protect against typhoon destruction.
As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima’s mines were no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974, and today it is empty and bare, which is why it’s called the Ghost Island. Travel to Hashima was re-opened on April 22, 2009 after more than 20 years of closure.
Credits: Photos by Artsyken on Flickr
San Zhi, Taiwan
San Zhi is an abandoned vacation resort on the northern coast of Taiwan. It was built in the early 1980s, but construction of the futuristic resort ceased after a series of fatal accidents. Even though it never opened as a vacation resort, San Zhi can still be toured. The strange pod-like buildings act as a tourist attraction. The colors of the pod-like buildings depend on their location. The buildings in the west are green, in the east pink, in the south blue, and in the north white.
Credits: Photos byNoelas on Flickr
Pripyat is an abandoned city in the zone of alienation in northern Ukraine. The city was founded in 1970 to house the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers, and was abandoned in 1986 following the Chernobyl disaster. Its population had been around 50,000 prior to the accident. The city of was evacuated in two days.
The city and the Exclusion Zone are now bordered with guards and police, but obtaining the necessary documents to enter the zone is not considered particularly difficult. A guide will accompany visitors to ensure nothing is vandalized or taken from the zone. The doors of most of the buildings are open to reduce the risk to visitors, and almost all of them can be visited when accompanied by a guide. The city of Chernobyl, located a few miles from Prypyat, has some accommodations including a hotel, many apartment buildings, and a local lodge, which are maintained as a permanent residence for watch-standing crew, and visitors.
Kadykchan is a ghost town that was built during the World War II for the workers of the coal mines and their families. In 1996, 6 men died as a result of explosion in a coal mine and the mines were closed. 12000 inhabitants were evacuated to other places leaving the town empty and silent.
Centralia, United States
Centralia is a ghost town in Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005 and 9 in 2007, as a result of a mine fire burning beneath the borough since 1962.
One theory asserts that in May 1962, Centralia Borough Council hired five members of the volunteer fire company to clean up the town landfill, located in an abandoned strip mine pit next to the Odd Fellows Cemetery. This had been done in previous years, when the landfill was in a different location. The firefighters set the dump on fire, and let it burn for a time. Unlike in previous years, however, the fire was not extinguished.
The fire remained burning underground and spread through a hole in the rock pit into the abandoned coal mines beneath Centralia. Attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful and it continued to burn throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Adverse health effects were reported by several people due to the byproducts of the fire, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and lack of healthy oxygen levels.
In 1984, Congress allocated more than $42 million for relocation efforts. Most of the residents accepted buyout offers and moved to the nearby communities of Mount Carmel and Ashland. A few families opted to stay despite warnings from state officials.
Credits: Photo by Thisisbossi on Flickr
Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong
Kowloon used to be one of the areas of Hong Kong city. By the end of 1970s Walled City began to grow. Square buildings folded up into one another as thousands of modifications were made, virtually none by architects or engineers, until the entire City became monolithic. Labyrinthine corridors ran through the City, some former streets (at the ground level, and often clogged up with refuse), and some running through upper floors, through and between buildings. The streets were illuminated by fluorescent lights, as sunlight rarely reached the lower levels. There were only two rules for construction: electricity had to be provided to avoid fire, and the buildings could be no more than fourteen stories high, because of the nearby airport. Eight municipal pipes provided water to the entire structure (although more could have come from wells).
By the early 1980s, Kowloon Walled City had an estimated population of 35,000. The City was notorious for its excess of brothels, casinos, opium dens, cocaine parlours, food courts serving dog meat, and secret factories.
In 1984 the Walled city was demolished and its inhabitants resettleed. At that time, it had 50,000 inhabitants on 26 000 m² (31 000 sq. yards), and therefore a very high population density of 1,923,077/km², making it one of the most densely populated urban areas on Earth.
After the demolition, a park was built in its place with construction starting in May 1994.
Credits: Photo by Jetsetcd on Flickr