Since the beginnings of civilization, people have been occupying areas and abandoning them. There are a multitude of reasons for leaving a place behind. Some places are erected and utilized with a purpose with the intentions of only being occupied for a certain period of time. Some places may have been in the path of destruction due to natural disasters, war, nuclear radiation outbreak, or other environment or biological hazards. Some places may have just run their course with a dwindling population that eventually leads to abandonment.
No matter what the reason behind why places are abandoned, people are often drawn to explore these vacant places and discover the mysteries that are tucked away. There is something haunting, eerie, and maybe a little bit romantic about being alone in a place that once was thriving and with a purpose, surrounded by the reminders of the potentials and the lives that once were there. Some places are burdened with a tragic history, making a place look eerie accompanied with a haunting feeling or even paranormal activity. Some places are overgrown over years of abandonment, a testimonial to the abilities of nature. Check out these places from around the world that draw the attention of explorers from all over to seek out the mysteries that lie behind the walls.
1. Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea
Completion of this massive 105 story tall hotel was stopped for 16 years due to a famine that hit North Korea. Although construction on the hotel was completed at a later date and is now in operation, there are still many parts of the building that are abandoned.
2. Old Atlanta Prison Farm, Atlanta, Georgia
The Old Atlanta Prison Farm was in operation from 1945-1995, incarcerating low-security inmates who maintained the farms, whose crops and duties were raising livestock, canning vegetables, and maintaining a dairy. Today, no one takes responsibility for the property, so it’s run down, especially after a blazing fire a few years ago that fire fighters wouldn’t address, but still cool. Amongst the people who go to explore and take photos, there is known paranormal activity that thrives there.
3. Ararat County Gaol: J Ward, Ararat, Australia
Ararat County Gaol began its operations in 1861, during Victoria’s gold rush. In 1887, the gold rush had ended and the prison began J Ward, a maximum security psychiatric ward for the criminally insane. Today, it is one of Australia’s most haunted places.
4. Six Flags Jazzland, New Orleans, Louisiana
After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Six Flags Jazzland was one of the many victims of the destruction. With uncertain plans of reopening the park, Jazzland today remains an eerie and haunting reminder of what once was, with some areas that look like it came straight from a horror movie.
5. Aniva Rock Lighthouse, Sakhalinskaya Oblast, Russia
Originally built for use in the 1930’s by Japan, it was later seized by Russians and used during World War II, powered by nuclear power. During the 1990’s and the fall of communism, the lighthouse became vacant and has since been abandoned.
6. Chateau Miranda, Celles, Belgium
Chateau Miranda was commissioned in 1886 by a French man fleeing the revolution, then taken over during World War II by the National Railway Company of Belgium to be used as an orphanage. In 1991, after the owners of the place refused to sell, the property fell abandoned. The property is now left to wayward teenagers, vandals, and ghost hunters.
7. Hashima Island, Japan
This place was once an island that was filled with coal, home to 5,000 workers. Once all the coal had been extracted, there was no more use for the island. Today the island lays barren, nothing more than an eerie place filled with a glimpse of what was once there and shadows.
8. City Hall Station, New York City, New York
City Hall Station was built in 1904, however, due to the lack of people who utilized that line, it was closed and abandoned in 1945.
9. I.M. Cooling Tower, Monceau, Belgium
History behind this plant is scarce, but it doesn’t stop it from being one of the most intriguing and aesthetically stimulating abandoned places. Operations began in the 1930’s and stopped in 2006. It was used to generate electricity and cool water. Today, it looks like a scene from a post apocalyptic sci-fi fantasy.
10.Underwater City, Shicheng, China
Shicheng was a thriving city that began over 1300 years ago. After flooding a river for an electro-hydraulic system 56 years ago, Shicheng found itself completely emerged underwater. Today, this ancient city remains under water as an eerie and haunting reminder of the civilization that once lived there.
11.Military Hospital, Beelitz, Germany
Originally this building was a sanatorium, but was converted into a military hospital during World War I. Regular use of the hospital continued until 1995, when attempts at continuous use of the the buildings proved unsuccessful. There are a few buildings on the grounds that are used for research, but for the most part, this site remains hauntingly unoccupied.
12.Abandoned Church, Europe
Finding the specific history and origins of this place is scarce, but one thing for certain is that it remains one of the most eerie places imaginable. The church was set up for a funeral prior to the abandonment, as evident by the chairs and the baby coffin that have remained.
In the 1980’s, the nuclear plant in Pripyat had a meltdown, causing the entire town to have to evacuate. Today, Pripyat remains almost untouched, since the evacuation occurred, leaving behind a haunting and abandoned city.
14.Glenwood Power Station, New York City, New York
The beautiful architecture of this building was designed by the same architects who built Grand Central Station. Glenwood was in operation between 1908 and 1968. Since it was shut down, the building has remained unused, with the exception of the filming of some zombie and disaster movies.
15.Church of the Nine Ghosts, Lukova, Czech Republic
This medieval church was left to the elements in 1968, however there was resistance from the community to let the church go to waste. A local artist placed nine eerie phantoms in the church to bring attention to the spirit of the church, creating a haunting experience for those who go to visit.
16.Abandoned Doll Factory, Spain
There is not much for recorded history about this place, but one thing for certain is that it is one of the creepiest abandoned places. With disassembled doll parts everywhere, this place is something out of a horror movie.
17.Chris McCandless’s Bus, Alaska
Chris McCandless hitch hiked in the summer of 1992 and lived in this abandoned bus until he starved to death. The bus, left behind since the 1960’s, remains with an eerie reminder of Chris’s fate.
18.Spreepark, Berlin, Germany
In Germany during Soviet rule in the 1960’s, Spreepark was the only amusement park on the East German side. Once the walls were taken down, everyone flooded to the modern designed amusement parks, leaving Spreepark an abandoned wasteland.
19.Abandoned Movie Theatre, Detroit, Michigan
Detroit was once a thriving city, but after the fall of the motor industry, Detroit was left in shambles. This beautifully designed movie theatre was one of many places that were left to abandonment, leaving behind a chilling reminder of how great this city once was.
20.Old Masonic Lodge, Bannack, Montana
During the Gold Rush in Montana, many towns were built for those looking to strike it rich. Once the God Rush ended, many buildings were left behind and entire towns were abandoned.
21.Unoccupied Irish Homes, Ireland
At first glance, this looks like a nice and quiet neighborhood that any family would love to live in. When you look a bit closer, you’ll see that these houses are not occupied, nor have they ever been. Ireland has lots of neighborhoods that were built up, but after the housing collapse in 2008, these homes were never sold. Although no one has ever lived here, it is creepy to walk these empty streets.
22.Abandoned Estate, Kiev, Ukraine
After protests in Ukraine reached a peak in February 2014, former president, Viktor Yanukovych, and his security abandoned this estate. Protestors took to the home, wandering from room to room, taking pictures of its grandeur, and hanging around. Although the property itself is not creepy looking, the reason behind its abandonment is eerie enough.
23.Abandoned Mining Town, Kolmanskop, Namib Desert
In the 1900’s, this small mining town was created by Germans looking to find diamonds and precious gems. The town was abandoned in the 1950’s, left to the elements. Due to curiosity and wonderment, this became a popular place for tourists to go exploring, making this one of the most well-known ghost towns.
24.Isla de las Munecas, Mexico City, Mexico
This is definitely one of the creepiest and eeriest abandoned places. The story is said that the former caretaker of the area found a young dead girl, and to appease her spirit, he began placing dolls in the trees, on the fences, and anywhere else. What is even more eerie is that the caretaker is said to have been found dead in the same spot he found the girl.
Craco began as an outpost city in 1000, but people began residing there more permanently about 500 years later. Unfortunately, due to natural disasters due to its location, it became dangerous to continue to reside in Craco. By the 1990’s, Craco was completely abandoned.
26.Hotel de Salto, San Antonio del Tequendama, Columbia
Hotel de Salto opened its doors to guests in 1923. However, due to contamination in the near-by river, operations were cut short just a few decades after welcoming their first guests. Today, the hotel has been restored and converted to a museum, but it is rumored that there are hauntings on the property due to past suicides.
27.Ross Island, India
This island has a mix of natural beauty mixed with architectural beauty. Ross Island was the administrative headquarters when India was under British rule. In the 1940’s the island was abandoned because of earthquakes and Japanese invasion.
28.Floating Forests, Sydney, Australia
The SS Ayrfield, a large steam ship, was set to be dismantled at the ship yard following World War II. However, when the yard shut down, the SS Ayrfield, along with lots of other ships, were left to sit, untouched. Nature has stepped in and showed us its capability by growing these mesmerizing forests on the hulls of these ships.
29.Orpheum, New Bedford, Massachusetts
Opened in 1912, this theatre and entertainment venue was a gem. In 1959, the doors shut down, and since then, it has been completely abandoned with the exception of being utilized as a storage facility for tobacco and groceries. Today there are efforts to raise money to restore this back to its original state and begin operations once again.
30.Abandoned Train Station, Abkhazia, Georgia
This train station, which connected Georgia to Russia, was abandoned after the Abkhazia War in 1992 and 1993. Since then, it has been left to the elements. However, there are parts of the station that have remained in great condition, with intricate plaster work and mahogany furniture.
31.The Domes, Arizona
Built in 1982 by an electronics company, this site has a lot of rumors about the odd structures and placement. The project was abandoned in 1983 after the company failed and contaminated groundwater was discovered on the site. Although there are new owners of the property, the area remains abandoned, left to those looking to explore.
In 1944, the entire town, made up of 642 men, women, and children, was slaughtered by Nazi German soldiers after mistakenly believing an officer was being held captive there. After the slaughter, the matter was brought to the attention of the officers that they had, indeed, been in the wrong village. Today, a new village was erected near-by, but the remnants of the aftermath of this tragedy remain as a reminder to never forget those who had lived there.
33.Discover Hut, Antarctica
Built by the Antarctic exploration team in 1904, this place is left in an untouched state. In most cases, the building would have completely deteriorated, but due to the freezing conditions, the building along with everything inside has been left in immaculate condition.
34.Anderlecht Veterinary School, Brussels
Appropriately nicknamed the Lab of Horrors, this school is the last of nineteen buildings on this campus to be renovated after its abandonment in the 1990’s. Some believe that renovators are too terrified to go near the school, which is packed full of rusted out medical equipment, animals stuffed into jars, and even various animal parts that have been sewn together.
While people may come to explore this abandoned city during the day, the Indian government strictly forbids anyone to enter after sunset. Legend has it that the city is cursed by a 16th century musician who got rejected by a princess, and he bestowed death without the possibility of rebirth on everyone. Whether or not there is truth behind this tale, no one seems to be taking any chances.