Top 25: Horrifying ghost towns to avoid
Ghost towns are surprisingly appealing. Their existence raises many questions, such as why are they abandoned, or, are they really cursed? The mystery and danger surrounding them arouse curiosity and create intrigue that we simply cannot ignore. While many ghost towns are perfectly safe to visit and probably boring, it’s still best never to enter the territory of the ones we’re about to tell you about. They are frightening, creepy, and frankly, some of them are dangerous and unsettling. Here are 25 terrifying ghost towns you should avoid.
25. North Browther Island, New York City
Uninhabited until 1885, North Brether Island in New York City has the infamous reputation of being the quarantine home of Typhoid Mary, the woman who triggered several typhoid outbreaks in the area. People with infectious diseases were sent to the island to be quarantined from Riverside Hospital. Up until her death in 1938, Mary believed she was being held in the hospital by mistake. The hospital was closed and reopened after World War II, but is now abandoned. The island is not accessible to the public and is the largest nesting site for the common squaw.
24. Tawarga, Libya
Because some 30,000 people were expelled from the small town of Tawarga in Libya, it remains a desolate and eerie ghost today, with residents unlikely to return. What caused it? The residents of Tawarga are believed to have been complicit in murder, rape and sexual torture, supporting the Gaddafi regime.
23. Ross Island, India
Ross Island originally belonged to the British and was founded in 1788. It was named after Sir Daniel Ross and was a settlement, but the weather conditions were too harsh to live on and the inhabitants abandoned it. It was later used as a penal colony until the Japanese captured the island during World War II. Today it is completely uninhabited, with no one there except brave tourists.
22. Dallol, Ethiopia
A former potassium mine near one of the hottest places on Earth, Dallol in Ethiopia has seen better days. Given its remote location and lack of roads, it’s not surprising that they have passed. The only way to reach the town is on camelback, and people go there exclusively for salt.
21. Tarmond, West Virginia
In its heyday, West Virginia’s Thurmond boasted 500 residents and, according to Ripley’s Believe It or Not attraction museum, it was the site of the longest poker game. For a long time, the only way to reach the city was by rail. When one of its famous hotels, the Dun Glen, burned down, Tarmond fell into oblivion, never to be revived again. Today it is home to five people who are state park officials, as the town is owned by the National Park Service.
20. Oradour-sur-Glan, France
In 1944, Nazi SS troops entered the French town of Oradour-sur-Glan and took men, women and children prisoners. They killed 642 of them, shot the men, and herded the women and children into a church to be burned. The abandoned ghost town now stands as a monument to the dead.
19. terlingua, Texas
A classic Wild West ghost town, Terlingua, Texas, was also a mining settlement that eventually went bankrupt. The town provided most of the country’s mercury needs until the mine flooded and mineral prices plummeted. The town’s inhabitants abandoned it, leaving it to rot.
18. Cahaba, Alabama.
It’s hard to believe, but Cahaba, Alabama, was once the state capital, but because the land here is swampy and easily flooded, after a major flood in 1825 the capital was moved. The city’s situation worsened when the Civil War broke out. The blockade and Confederate soldiers squeezed all resources out of the city, forcing residents to flee and the city to suffer. In 1865, the city was finally destroyed by a flood.
17. Essex County Jail, New Jersey
Built in 1837, the old Essex County Jail building in New Jersey is one of the oldest buildings in the county and is rapidly deteriorating. The building was so dangerous that its occupants were forced to abandon it overnight, so many confidential documents remained in it. Later, the old jail became home to homeless drug addicts who painted it with graffiti.
16. Kennicott, Alaska.
Kennicott, Alaska is another mining town that gained its fame by discovering copper here in 1903. Because the location was inconvenient, the mine owners paid the workers high wages. The men worked seven days a week for long hours and sent money home to their families. The town’s prosperity did not last long. By 1938, Kennicott had become a ghost town, and you can see copper already mined from the ground in its streets.
15. Kilamba New City, Angola
Built by the Chinese in exchange for oil, Kilamba New City in Angola grew to get people out of slums, but once the city was built, prices were too high and no one could get a mortgage. Thus it remains a modern, colorful, and well-designed ghost town.
14. Pyramid, Arctic Circle
Pyramid is an old Soviet mining settlement beyond the Arctic Circle. It is technically located in the Svalbard Archipelago in Norway. The settlement was first owned by Sweden until it was sold to the Soviets in 1927, who mined there for 70 years. When word came that the mining colony would be closed, the people left so quickly that today they seem to have simply disappeared. Because of the extreme cold, the ghost town would stand for at least another 500 years.
13. Rhyolite, Nevada
Beginning in 1904 with the discovery of quartz, the town of Riolita, Nevada began to grow rapidly as word spread that ore could be mined nearby. It went from a small town to a thriving town with churches, schools, hotels, and everything in town. But in 1907, because of the financial panic, things got worse, and the town quickly went into a tailspin as people began to leave en masse as quickly as they had once come here. The forces dried up in 1916, and the city never rose again.
12. Virginia City, Montana
Once home to 10,000 people, Virginia City, Montana, like many other towns, was a mining town, and people left as soon as the gold ran out. Now it’s a popular tourist spot to breathe in the Old West, but that doesn’t make the town any less creepy. Many people believe that some parts of the town are haunted.
11. Govan, WA.
Govan, Washington State was a modest farming community of 114 people. But a fire that consumed the local business center and US Route 2 road caused the town’s population to dwindle rapidly. When the post office closed in 1967, the town died.
10. Centrailia, Pennsylvania.
There is probably no longer a ghost town like Centrailia, Pennsylvania. Once home to 1,000 people, it is now an abandoned, endlessly flaming pit. In 1962, the town’s residents purposely set fire to the landfill, which was connected to an elaborate network of coal tunnels. The fire above ground was extinguished, but underground it continued to rage and reached the center of town, driving out all residents. People are now warned not to go near the city because of the danger of death by suffocation or the possibility of falling underground. Experts believe the fire could last for 250 years.
9. Port Arthur, Tasmania
Considered the most violent prison in Australia, Port Arthur in Tasmania was built in 1833 but was abandoned by 1877. In 1996, one of the worst massacres in Australia occurred here, when a man killed 35 people and wounded 23 others. It is a popular tourist destination and is believed to be haunted.
8. Boston Mills, Ohio
Boston Mills, Ohio, which some call “Hell Town,” is full of folklore and myths, including satanic cults, serial killers, and child spirits roaming the woods. Founded in 1806, the town was taken over by the government and turned into a National Park. The houses were boarded up and the town itself abandoned. In addition, in 1985, when toxic contents leaked from rusty barrels in the Krejci landfill, making one tourist sick, another myth emerged in the “city of hell,” claiming that the government had taken control of the land to cover up the chemical contamination.
7. St. Mary’s College, Maryland
Returning to Hell, the ruins of St. Mary’s College of Maryland bear another name, “Hell House.” Opened in 1890 to prepare boys for seminary, the college closed its doors in the 1950s and quickly became a popular place for teenagers to explore and spoil everything. There were many ghost stories about the place until a fire burned down most of the abandoned buildings in 1997, adding new stories to the legend.
6. Humberston, Chile
Humberston is another mining town that went under. Located in Chile, Hamberston was the largest city for saltpeter (sodium nitrate) mining. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is slowly rusting and falling apart due to the harsh conditions of the Atacama Desert.
5. Varosha, Cyprus
Formerly a popular Mediterranean resort in the 1970s, the town of Varosha in Cyprus quickly became deserted when the Turkish army invaded, causing 40,000 people to flee. The town never revived again and remains an eerie and quietly crumbling beach town.
4. Pripyat, Ukraine
Pripyat was unlucky to be the closest town to Chernobyl during the 1986 nuclear accident. With a population of 49,000 people, Pripyat effectively became a ghost town overnight as a result of the evacuation, remaining forever frozen in time as a Soviet city. Decades later, the city found itself overrun by the surrounding forest and likely to be completely swallowed up by it in the near future.
3. Colmanskop, Namibia
The German mining colony of Kolmanskop in Namibia began in the early 20th century with the discovery of diamonds. The town prospered, attracting families dreaming of wealth and burst just as quickly. Today, its unique European architecture is littered with sand dunes.
2. Agdam, Azerbaijan
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the city of Agdam in Azerbaijan, was plunged into chaos by the emergence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. War broke out and the city was shelled. It used to be home to 40,000 people, but then the town was completely abandoned and Armenian soldiers destroyed it out of spite. It is now a rubble-filled ghost town, which the Armenian military uses as a buffer zone.
1. Isla de Las Munecas
Leaving his wife and child behind, Don Julian Santana moved to an island on Teshuilo Lake and claimed he once saw a girl drowned there. To honor her memory, he hung dolls all over the island. Today, there are hundreds of dolls all over the island. The weather and time have not spared the dolls, turning them into creepy creatures. Ironically, in 2001 Julian Santana was found drowned in the same spot where he claimed the little girl drowned.
Ghost Worlds: 7 Ghost Towns on Six Continents
Seven ghost towns on six continents – would you dare to visit them?
Ghost Worlds: 7 Ghost Towns on Six Continents
The Old Ghost Trail, New Zealand
The long 85-kilometer trail on New Zealand’s southern island is for those who like to tickle their nerves. It begins in Lyell, an abandoned mining town . Along the way you can see fragments of settlements: schools, hotels and cemeteries. This was gold diggers country, and the relics of those days are now left to nature.
Some places were left empty for a reason. After the Allied landings in France, German soldiers stormed this village in central France and massacred its people, apparently as revenge for the local resistance. After World War II, the government decided to leave the burned remains as a monument.
This medieval town is located in the mountainous part of southern Italy in the Basilicata region. Its history is instructive. In the 1960s, over-expansion caused landslides that displaced 1,800 residents. Now guided tours are available. Visitors don helmets and wander through the ruins and cave houses, gazing at the curved clay hills.
By the 20th century, an isolated part of the Skeleton Coast was causing a stir. Overnight, the place became a rich piece of land after the discovery of a diamond formation. By the end of 1950, the diamond mining structures were destroyed and the tiny German town built around the site was abandoned in the sands.
Villa Epecuen, Argentina.
The popular resort town disappeared without a trace in the mid-1980s. Consumed by a flood, it remained lost until 2009, but after the salty waters receded, relics of this lost city resurfaced. It is 540 km from Buenos Aires, in the southwest, and can be reached by a rough road with petrified trees.
Villa Epecuen, Argentina.
Rhyolite, Nevada, USA
In this town, life has only been boiling for 12 years: given the standards of cities that survived the gold rush, that wasn’t long. The paint was still dry on the new stock market when the financial meltdown left the settlement in Death Valley. Empty banks and stores have since been joined by art shows, making the place unusual.
Rhyolite, Nevada, USA
Hashima Island, Japan
Only part of this ghostly, fortress-like island is open to the public. The place is known as the villains’ base in the Bond movie Skyfall. The town, surrounded by an enormous seawall, is densely packed with tall buildings for the workers running the underwater mine at the time . After it closed, 45 years ago, everyone left the place. Now visitors can only visit the town on an official tour from nearby Nagasaki, but this eerie metropolis, where 5,000 people lived, is worth it.