If someone asks you to spend a night alone in an abandoned town in exchange of a huge sum of money, would you dare to take the challenge?
Of course, I know you won’t. Who would even want to sleep with ghosts? Sometimes just a flying cockroach can make some people lose their minds, you know! But just because you wouldn’t actually go and experience the creepiness yourself, doesn’t mean you can’t find out more about what it’d be like. So here are 50 abandoned towns all over the world that might just give you goosebumps!
1. Hashima, Japan
Hashima is located in the southern part of Japan, in Nagasaki Prefecture. It is also called Gunkanjima, meaning battleship island, because of the island’s resemblance to a Japanese battleship. It was founded in 1810 due to the presence of coal. People began to reside in there in 1887. It had a population of 5,259 in 1959 and many years later, in 1974, all the residents left the island alongside the closure of the coal mine. It turned into a tourist attraction in 2009 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.
2. Garnet, Montana
Garnet can be found on the Garnet Range Road in Granite County, Montana. It was a mining town that was founded in the 1890s. It was first called Mitchell in 1895. In 1898, its population reached 1,000. Eventually, when the mine ran out of gold, people began to leave and move to other places. Years later, in 1912, there was a fire that destroyed half the town, and it hasn’t been restored. To date, about 16,000 curious tourists visit the place every year.
3. Terlingua, Texas
Terlingua is a census-designated place that is located in the southeastern part of Brewster County in Texas. It was occupied by around 2,000 miners in the 1880s, when cinnabar, a mineral essential to the production of mercury, was discovered in the area. In 1903, it had a population of 3,000. In 2010, it went down to 58.
4. Kolmanskop, Namibia
Kolmanskop is located in the southern part of Namibia. It was a small mining village first settled by German miners, who discovered the existence of diamonds in the area in 1908. In the 1950s, shortly after the World War II, when all the diamonds were gone, people began to leave the area. It was officially abandoned in 1956. It then became a tourist attraction, however, because it’s located in a restricted area, tourists now have to purchase a permit to enter.
5. St Elmo, Colorado
St Elmo can be found at the heart of Sawatch Range in Chaffee County, Colorado. It was first called Forest City but was later changed into St Elmo by one of the founders, Griffith Evans. It was a mining town where gold and silver were rampant. The town began to flourish and was at its peak in the 1890s. About 30 years later, it began to decline and is now considered a ghost town. There are still a few people who live there though, although not as many as compared to that of its early years, which was about 2,000.
6. Kayaköy, Turkey
Kayaköy can be found in Lycia, Turkey. It was first settled by Greek Christians ruled by Ottoman rulers in the 14th century up to the early 20th century. The decline of its population began in 1918, during World War I, when numerous Greeks and Christian minorities were killed. To date, there are still people, mostly craftsmen, who live there but it has now turned into a museum village where about 500 Greek houses and churches are found.
7. Plymouth, Montserrat
Plymouth is the capital of Montserrat and is the only capital in the world that is a ghost town. Before it was abandoned in 1997, it had a total population of about 4,000. The reason why the residents left the area was because of the continuous eruptions of the Soufrière Hills volcano, which destroyed almost 80% of the town and killed a number of people.
8. Craco, Italy
Craco can be found in Matera, Basilicata in Italy. It’s said that the area was first settled in the 8th century BC based on the tombs that were found there. Greeks inhabited the area in 540 BC.
Craco has been prone to natural disasters, such as landslides and earthquakes, which is the reason why a lot of people left the area in 1980 and moved to somewhere else, which led to its abandonment. However, Craco is still a popular filming location for movies and TV series – Mel Gibson’s 2004 film, “The Passion of The Christ” was filmed here.
9. Döllersheim, Austria
Döllersheim is located in Waldviertel, Austria. The reason for its abandonment in 1938 was to make it a Wehrmacht training ground for the Wehrmacht troops. In 1945, however, the training ground was subjugated due to the 1945 German Instrument of Surrender. To date, it’s still a military exclusion zone but people are now allowed to enter some parts of the area.
10. Pripyat, Ukraine
Pripyat is a city in the northern part of Ukraine that was founded in 1970. Before it was abandoned in 1986, it had a total population of 49,360. People decided to leave the city because of the nuclear accident involving the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which has been considered as the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history.
11. Dhanushkodi, India
Dhanushkodi can be found in Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu, India. Dhanushkodi was destroyed in 1964 due to the cyclonic storm known as the Rameswaram Cyclone that killed around 1,800 people.
12. Wittenoom, Australia
Wittenoom was a town located in the western part of Australia. It was a supplier of blue asbestos back in the 1950s to 1960s but it was declared a contaminated site in 1966 due to the negative effects of asbestos in people’s health. In relation to that, the Minister for Regional Development, Jon Ford announced in 2007 that the area was removed from the official maps as well as road signs. In 2013, its closure was finalised. Despite the health threats, as of 2018, there were 3 people who still chose to stay there.
13. Bodie, California
Bodie was a mining camp in Mono County, California. It was in 1859 when a group of scouts discovered the presence of gold in the area. It was named after W. S. Bodey, who was one of the scouts. The town had its peak moments. However, when more promising mines emerged in the areas of Montana, Arizona, and Utah, miners began to leave Bodie and moved to there. In the 1870s, Bodie became a community. It had a population of 698 in 1910, which went down to 120 after 5 years. To date, it’s now a ghost town with 110 buildings still standing.
14. Kennecott, Alaska
Kennecott was settled as a mining camp by Jack Smith and Clarence Warner in 1900, when they found malachite and a chalcocite, both copper ore minerals, in the area. Kennecott had 5 mines. In 1916, the copper ore production flourished. However, in 1929, the mines began to close one by one due to the depletion of the ore. It became a ghost town in 1938.
Kennecott can be found in Alaska and was named after the Kennicott Glacier just below the mines. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
15. Thurmond, West Virginia
Thurmond is a town located in Feyette County, West Virginia, which had a population of 5 in 2012. It was a business area back in the days when New River Gorge was still prosperous due to its coal mines. Today, it’s now just a historic district and a visitor centre. It was named after Capt. W. D. Thurmond, who lived in the area in 1844.
16. Lifta, Israel
Lifta can be found in Jerusalem, Israel. It’s a Palestinian Arab village turned rehabilitation area that housed several Jewish refugees during the first phase of the Palestine War in 1948. Due to the military assault on the settlement, several original Lifta inhabitants decided to leave the place, which led to its depopulation. In 2017, it was declared a nature reserve. To date, there are 55 stone houses still in sight.
17. Goldfield, Arizona
Goldfield was founded in 1892 when gold ore was found in the area. However, 5 years after it was founded, the town began to decline due to the depletion of ore. In 1898, it became a ghost town.
In 1921, there was a man named George Young who tried to make the mining town alive again. He gave a new approach to recover the town and changed the name into Youngsberg. It became successful but the success didn’t last. It became a ghost town once again in 1926.
In 1966, Robert Schoose came to the area and attempted to reconstruct it. He, together with his wife, added a snack bar, a general store, and a museum and made Goldfield a tourist attraction which is still operating today.
18. Calico, California
Calico was a mining town located in the Calico Mountains in San Bernardino County, California. It was a town rich in silver in 1881 and it held the Silver King Mine that was the largest silver producer within California back then. It had inhabitants that came from different parts of the world. However, when its value decreased in 1896, it gradually turned into a ghost town. Today, the town is now a tourist park called Calico Ghost Town.
19. Kłomino, Poland
Kłomino, originally called Westfalenhof, is the only ghost town in Poland. It was the military base and the training ground of the Wehrmacht troops back in the 1930s. When the Red Army captured the area in 1945, it still remained as a military base. However, even though it’s located in Poland, it’s under the sovereignty of the Soviet Union. It was then renamed Grodek. When the Soviet Union crumbled, the name Grodek was changed to Kłomino. It’s now under the civilian authorities up to this day.
20. Cahawba, Alabama
Cahaba was the state capital of Alabama until 1825 and the county seat of Dallas County until 1866. Cahaba is prone to major floods, and that’s basically the reason why its inhabitants chose to leave the area and move to other places. During the 19th and the 20th centuries, it had been the centre of numerous ghost stories. Notable people who were born here include George Henry Craig, Anderson Crenshaw, and Jeremiah Haralson.
21. Pyramiden, Norway
Pyramiden was originally owned by Sweden until 1927, when they sold it to the Soviet Union. Pyramiden was a coal mining area located in Billefjorden and was named after a mountain of the same name. It was abandoned in 1998 but people can still visit it. However, they’re not allowed to enter any buildings there. There are around 30 people who stay there every year to maintain the facilities and to help the tourists.
22. Ross Island, India
Ross Island was named after Capt. Daniel Ross, who was a marine surveyor. It served as a base for 85 years until an earthquake struck the area in 1941. Since then, several people have decided to leave the area for safety purposes. It was abandoned in 1945 and then in 1979 was entrusted to the Navy. The name was changed to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island in 2018 after the Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose. It is now under the Indian sovereignty with a total population of 10 in 2011.
23. Bulowville, Florida
Bullowville can be found in Bunnell, Florida. It was rich in plantations and sugar mills back in the day and was named after Charles Bulow, who founded the area in 1821. When Charles died, the place was then handed to his son, John. John made the place alive, with parties attracting visitors. In 1835, during the Second Seminole Indian War, a group of people held John as a prisoner and made the place their headquarters. When the militia left, they took John with them. Bullowville then was abandoned.
24. Arltunga, Australia
Arltunga was first settled by East Aranda people for around 20,000 years before it became a mining town in 1887, when an Australian explorer named David Lindsay spotted gold in the area. Upon hearing the news, numerous European miners went to Arltunga, which led it to be the first European settlement in Central Australia. The area flourished especially in 1898 when the Government Battery and Cyanide Works was built. However, in 1916, when it closed down, the population declined. In 1933, it had 25 inhabitants, but it’s now completely deserted.
25. Imber Village, England
Imber is located in Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire in England. It was a village before the residents were forced to leave the area in 1943 to make it a field for American troops to train and exercise as a preparation for World War II. The then-inhabitants weren’t allowed to return to the village even after the war. It has been under the control of the Ministry of Defence since, and civilians can only visit the area on certain days with permission.
26. Al Jazirah Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah
Al Jazirah Al Hamra is a town in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates that is known for being haunted. It was first occupied in 1830 by about 200 people and it had been called different names, such as Jourat Al Kamra (Sheikh) and Jazirah Al Zaab (Zaab). In 1914, the town became a part of Ras Al Khaimah. However, the people were often in disagreement with their new ruler, so they moved to Abu Dhabi. Al Jazirah Al Hamra was then left with no inhabitants at all and was abandoned.
27. Varosha, Cyprus
Varosha was once a popular tourist destination during the 1970s in Famagusta, Cyprus. However, when the Turks invaded Cyprus in 1974, the residents left the area and it has been left abandoned until now. It’s not open to the public.
28. Picher, Oklahoma
Picher was rich in lead and zinc back then before it was hit by a tornado in 2008. It was a city in Ottawa County, Oklahoma and was named after O. S. Picher, the owner of the Picher Lead Company. It became a city in 1918 and had a population of 9,726 in 1920, which increased to 14,252 in 1926. Nonetheless, when the mining activity decreased, the number of population also decreased. In 1960, it only had 2,553 inhabitants.
Years after, in 2008, there was a tornado that hurt and killed many people in the area. From then, the town’s becoming quiet and empty. Establishments were closing down, people were leaving. It eventually became a ghost town in 2015 when Gary Linderman, the last resident, died.
29. Oradour-sur-Glane, France
Oradour-sur-Glane can be found in France. It was a small farming village with a bloody history. In 1944, the Das Reich soldiers murdered almost all of the people in the village and burned the village itself for the reason of eliminating the partisans from the society. There were 15 who were able to escape before the massacre. There were, on the other hand, 7 that survived.
30. Rhyolite, Nevada
Rhyolite is located in Bullfrog Hills in Nye County, Nevada. It was named after rhyolite, an igneous rock. The town was discovered by Cross and Harris in 1904, when gold was found in the area. When other people heard the news, numerous people, specifically miners, moved to the area and it was then called the Bullfrog Mining District. In 1905, it had a population of 1,200, which rose to 2,500 just 2 weeks later. Nonetheless, beginning from 1908, when it was found that the ore wasn’t high-grade and was almost all gone, the town declined. In 1922, it only had 1 resident.
31. Consonno, Italy
Consonno would’ve been the Las Vegas of and the City of Toys in Italy if only the population didn’t go down. Consonno was a medieval town whose economy was based in agriculture. In the beginning of the 20th century, the place had about 300 inhabitants. In the 1960s, when an entrepreneur named Count Mario Bagno found the city, he thought of converting it into a resort town and an entertainment complex. He built casinos, hotels, clubs, and the likes and it costed him around 22.5 million lire, the official unit of currency in Italy until 1999. That time, the residents were supportive of his plan because they thought it would be an opportunity for them to gain customers for their agricultural products. Nonetheless, when they realized that wasn’t what’s going to happen, they decided to leave the area. In the 1970s, there were no residents left. Due to the decrease in the population and in the number of visitors, Count Mario Bagno decided to stop the construction of his plan. To date, many buildings are unfinished and the road to Consonno is almost nonexistent.
32. Salisbury Plain, England
Salisbury Plain is popular because of its landmarks, like the Stonehenge, and its history. It is located in England and it holds an indefinite area of the land. It was occupied by people from the Neolithic period until 600 BC. In 1898, it was used as a military training area for the World War II. Today, it’s now the largest military training area in the whole United Kingdom, having a total area of 150 square miles or 390 square kilometres. About 3/4 of the area is open for the public.
33. Bokor Hill Station, Cambodia
Bokor Hills Station can be found in Cambodia. It was a mountain converted into a resort by the colonial French settlers from Phnom Penh. In 1925, several establishments, such as the Bokor Palace Hotel and the Résident Supérieur villa, were built in the area. In the 1940s, however, during the First Indochina War, it was abandoned. Nonetheless, in 1962, it was reopened again. But it didn’t last until 1972, when the Khmer Rouge, the Communist Party of Kampuchea followers, invaded it.
34. Waiuta, New Zealand
Waiuta, which was founded in 1905, was a mining town located in New Zealand. It was popular for its gold mines, and thus several miners decided to settle in the area. It then turned from a mere mining camp to a small town with 601 people in 1936. Nonetheless, during the World War II, the town began to decline. The amount of gold decreased and the number of miners fell. Due to the absence of employment opportunities, other residents decided to leave the area. In 1951, it became a ghost town.
35. Agdam, Azerbaijan
Agdam, meaning ‘white house’ or ‘small fortress’, is the capital of Agdam District in Azerbaijan. It was founded in the 18th century and its main economic source was butter, alcohol, its factories, and its railway station. In the 1880s to the 1990s, during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, it was the base for attacks of the Azerbaijani forces. It is used as a buffer zone for the Armed Forces of Armenia today.
In its early years, it had a population of about 40,000. It is a ghost town now.
36. Pegrema, Russia
Pegrema is a village located in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. In the 1700s, the inhabitants of the area suffered from the lack of transportation means and electricity. It was therefore abandoned shortly after the Russian Revolution. Pegrema is known for its richness in wooden architecture. There are several peasant houses that can be seen there today. There’s also one building there, called the Varlaam Khutynsky chapel, that still remains intact after 3 centuries.
37. Thames Town, China
Thames Town is one of the ‘imitated’ towns in China. It was built following the classic British market town, which has cobbled streets, red telephone boxes, and Victorian terraces. It was named after the River Thames in London. The construction of the town was completed in 2006 and since then, it still hasn’t reached the expected population of 10,000. The number of permanent residents, in fact, is very low. It isn’t abandoned yet but, as per the Business Insider, it’s a ‘virtual ghost town’.
38. Chaitén, Chile
Chaitén was the capital of Palena Province in Chile. It was founded in 1933 and it has a total area of 3,270.5 square miles or 8,470.5 square kilometres. The place is located near the Chaitén volcano and that was the reason for its abandonment. Chaitén volcano had been an inactive volcano for more than 9,000 years, that’s why when it erupted in 2008, it was violent to the point that it destroyed a huge part of the area. The residents then were relocated and the capital of Palena Province was moved to Futaleufú.
39. Rodalquilar, Spain
Rodalquilar was a mining town located in Almería, Spain. The beginning of mining operations in the area is unknown but according to some references, it was in 1864. It’s also said that the miners in the area at that time were using different methods of ore extraction, which led for Rodalquilar to become one of the largest gold mines in Western Europe in 1956, having about 2,500 tonnes of ore. That time the population of the town was at 1,400. However, during the World War I, the town began to decline. In 1990, the Rodalquilar mines closed and alongside it was the dramatic decrease in its population.
40. Tawargha, Libya
Tawargha, which means ‘the green island’, can be found in Libya. In 2006, its population was 24,223. However, 5 years later, after the Libyan Civil War in 2011, the town became deserted. The Libyan Civil War was a war involving the cities of Sirte and Misrata, which were located on either side of Tawargha. Due to its location, Tawargha was used as the centre of their military activities.
41. Bannack, Montana
Bannack was a mining town located in Beaverhead County, Montana. It was founded in 1862 by Dr Erasmus Darwin Leavitt, a physician who left his job to be a miner, and was the capital of Montana in 1864. It was rich in gold back then and during those times it was still at its peak, it had a total population of about 10,000. However, the peakness didn’t last. A few months after, Dr Leavitt realised he should go back to being a physician, so he went to Butte. From then, numerous murders had occurred in the area. In the 1970s, the population went down to 0.
42. Sitio Song Song, Philippines
Sitio Song Song can be found in the northernmost province of the Philippines, Batanes. It was a tiny village that was established under the American rule. It’s located near the Pacific Ocean, making it a peaceful place to live in. However, when it was hit by a tsunami back in the 1950s, people evacuated from the area and Sitio Song Song became a ghost town. There were a lot of stone houses that can be found there, although they’re all just remains. People aren’t allowed to enter some parts of the area for safety purposes.
43. Six Flags New Orleans, Louisiana
Six Flags New Orleans is located in New Orleans, Luisiana. It wasn’t actually a town but a theme park with a total of 21 attractions. It started operating in 2000 under the name Jazzland. However, when Alpha Smart Parks, the owner, noticed it wasn’t profitable, the park was put on sale. In 2003, Six Flags bought the theme park. From Jazzland, it was renamed to Six Flags New Orleans. There were plans already laid out for the park. However, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Six Flags decided to just cancel its re-opening. Until now, it remains closed.
44. Centralia, Pennsylvania
Centralia began to be a mining area in 1856, focusing on coal. It became a borough in 1866. It was founded by Alexander Rae, who was murdered by some members of the Molly Maguires, an Irish secret society during the 19th century, in 1868. From then on, murder and arson cases emerged in the area, making it a place of violence. In 1890, it had a population of 2,761. However, when it was discovered in 1981 that there was a lethal level of carbon monoxide in the area, the residents decided to leave. In 2002, Centralia’s ZIP code was removed from the record.
45. Tianducheng, China
Tianducheng is located in China. It’s a housing estate in Zheijiang Province that was constructed following the Parisian style architecture, which involves the famous Eiffel Tower. However, although Paris is such a beautiful place to be in, Tianducheng has never been successful in making its place as alive. It is, as they say, due to its location, which is in a rural countryside. There were about 2,000 residents there in 2013.
46. Whalers Bay, Antartica
Whalers Bay is a small bay in Antarctica wherein remains from and of the early whaling period, the Norwegian Hektor Whaling Station, and the British mapping activities can be found. There are also a cemetery and a memorial there, which are for the people who died there.
47. South Pass City, Wyoming
South Pass City is located in Fremont County, Wyoming. It was discovered in 1866 when gold was spotted in the area. The mine then became known as the Carissa mine. When the news spread, people began to arrive in the area until it reached a population of about 2,000 in 1867. However, after 10 years of mining operations, the city began to decline due to the depletion of gold ores. In the 1870s, the population decreased to 100. In 1949, South Pass City was left abandoned.
48. Dallol, Ethiopia
Dallol was a mining area located in Ethiopia. It was said to have a temperature of 35°C, making it one of the hottest inhabited locations on Earth. Its mining operations stopped after World War I. After World War II, moreover, the Dallol railway was dismantled. The residents then left the area. You can find several houses that were built with salt blocks as well as hot springs in Dallol.
49. Great Blasket Island, Ireland
Great Blasket Island is an island that can be found in Ireland. It has a total area of 1.66 square miles or 4.29 square kilometres and since 1956, the population has been 0. Residents began to evacuate the area in 1953 when a certain resident named Seánín Ó Cearnaigh died because doctors couldn’t go there due to the place’s poor weather condition.
50. Okpo Land, South Korea
Okpo Land wasn’t also a town but a theme park located in South Korea. It was one of the amusement parks that were popular in Asia back then. However, today, it’s labeled as the most horrible one. Okpo Land was built in the 1990s, attracting many tourists from all over the world. But years later, it faced a tragic occurrence that led to its closure in 2011. Within the course of 10 years, the theme park had claimed two lives.