Would You Dare Visit These Incredible Abandoned Sites?

The whole planet is full of spooky abandoned sites that are waiting to be visited, and guess what? Some of them have pretty amazing stories that you should definitely read about. From China to Bolivia, here’s a list of the 21 most amazing worn-down buildings that only the brave will dare visit. From houses to mental hospitals, and from hotels to industrial complexes, you’ll find all sorts of eerie sites on this list, and perhaps, your next trip could include one of them! See #18, #8 and #2, they’re one of our favorites!

Photo: Courtesy of Wolrd Atlas.

#21. Houtouwan Village

This small Chinese village located in Shengshan Island was once the home of thousands of families that made a living out of fishing. The story behind the town is quite curious! Back in the 90s, the small bay started to run out of fish, and as a result, the residents decided to emigrate to other areas of China in search of a better life.

Photo: Courtesy of CNN.

Slowly, Houtouwan became an isolated town as people left their houses behind, but guess what? Over the years, green plants and vines started taking over the former houses, turning this formerly creepy town into a striking tourist landmark. Every year, the Chinese village receives many tourists from around the world and because of this, a few residents still live here.

#20. The Bolivian Train Cemetery

The Bolivian desert of Uyuni is one of the largest salt flats in the world and every year millions of people visit this amazing natural landscape. Also, the salt desert includes one of the most fascinating yet unusual places in the world, the abandoned 20th-century train cemetery.

Photo: Courtesy of Forbes.

Just like most of the trains in South America, these wagons came from England and they were used to transport salt to some of the most isolated regions of Bolivia. In the cemetery, there are now more than 100 rusty trains, some of which are covered by graffitis. So walk around these ancient structures against the backdrop of the Hodaka mountains, and you know what? You can do it for free!

#19. Pripyat

The Ukranian city of Pripyat is one of the most famous ghost towns in the world. Its tragic story started on April 16, 1986, when there was a radioactive explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, ten times more dangerous than the Hiroshima atomic bomb. After that incident, everyone in the town had to leave their homes and scientists say that the area must remain uninhabited for at least 10,000 years.

Photo: Courtesy of Holiday Me. 

If you’ve ever watched any pictures of this abandoned village, you probably remember that creepy abandoned amusement park shown above. Well, it happens to be that this park was about to open when the accident took place. If you’re into dark tourism, you should know that several companies offer tours to Pripyat, and this amusement park is one of the sites they’ll take you to. Walking through these worn-down bumper cars, carousels and rollercoasters will definitely send a few chills down your spine!

#18. The Bobsleigh Track Of Sarajevo

During the Sarajevo’s 1985 Winter Olympic Games, the government built a 1300-meter concrete bobsleigh track. Also, the track was used for other international sports events like the World Cup. But while the Serbian people hoped this track would host many tournaments to come, destiny had other plans.

Photo: Courtesy of Soo Lide. 

In 1991, the Yugoslavian War broke out and caused large-scale destruction throughout the country. Believe it or not, this track was used by the Bosnian army as a fort against the enemies. Nowadays, the place is full of graffitis and covered by plants, but there’s something you should know. The area is full of unexploded mines, so if you visit the site, you’ll put your life at stake.

#17. Netaji Shubash Chandra Bose Island

This abandoned settlement was once called “The Paris of the East” and was home to the British government during India’s colonial period. It was built in 1857 and it also served as a prison. To this day, you can still find a church, many old houses, and a large swimming pool, but everything is covered up with dense vegetation.

Photo: Courtesy of Soo Lide. 

During the Second World War, this site was invaded by Japanese troops, and it remained uninhabited ever since India’s independence in 1947. Nowadays, it’s definitely a must-visit site and especially for history lovers, since you can look into Indian’s colonial past.

#16. Haludovo Palace Hotel

Located on the Croatian island of Krk, the Haludovo Palace Hotel was once a fancy 5-star resort but is now nothing more than an abandoned building. The hotel was built in the early 1970s and was one of the holiday hotspots for many millionaires around the world. Also, Penthouse magazine invested more than $45 million to expand it and it was renamed Penthouse Adriatic Club Casino. But what happened then?

Photo: Courtesy of Reddit. 

Under Josip Broz Tito’s government, the penthouse received thousands of rich tourists, actors, athletes, and dignitaries from around the world. But just like the Sarajevian bobsleigh track, the Haludovo Palace was abandoned because of the Yugoslavian War and has been forgotten ever since.

#15. Chilean Humberstone And Santa Laura Saltpeter Plant

Some abandoned cities have an interesting story behind them, and such is the case of the Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter plants in Northern Chile. Located amid the Atacama desert, this town flourished when a nearby Salpeter mine was discovered during the early 19th century.

Photo: Courtesy of Amusing Planet. 

However, in the 1920s, two German scientists discovered how to create synthetic nitrate, which meant the Salpeter mines were no longer necessary. From then onwards, people gradually started abandoning the town until the mine shut down in the early 50s. Nowadays, the saltpeter plant is a UNESCO World Heritage site and receives many visitors throughout the year.

#14. Olympic Village In Athens

The original building was built in the early 1980s and it was known as the Athens Olympic Sports Complex. In 2004, it underwent its biggest renovation for the summer Olympics. The stadium and complex are stunning and elegant, but currently, nobody is using it.

Photo: Courtesy of Soo Lide. 

Most of the structure reminds us of Athens’s Acropolis and Byzantine styles, and it’s most famous for its modern swimming pools and stadiums. There is no clear reason as to why this amazing complex isn’t being used, but hey, at least you can visit it! If you don’t mind the place being covered by vegetation and dirt, you’ll definitely have some fun.

#13. Prora

Located at the German island of Rugen on the Baltic Sea, Prora used to be a three-mile seaside resort. Believe it or not, this resort was built as a summer getaway for Gestapo members. It’s said that dictator Adolf Hitler wanted to go there but never found the time to do so.

Photo: Courtesy of CNBC.com

The Prora resort was built in 1930 and consists of eight identical buildings. As you can see in the image, every one of its rooms overlooks the Baltic Sea. The construction of the resort was interrupted due to the outbreak of World War II. Nowadays, most parts of the complex are still empty but many halls are used as art galleries and museums.

#12. Bodie’s Ghost Town

Knowing for being the most important ghost town in America, Bodie in California receives many visitors every year. Not only is it a worthy tourist spot because of this well-preserved town, but also because it is home to a beautiful state park. Visiting this town is like traveling back to the 19th century, to the times of the California Gold Rush.

Photo: Courtesy of Soo Lide. 

Bodie used to be a goldmine town that thrived during the mid and late 19th century. In 1920, the Standard Mining Company closed down and many families were forced to abandon the town. Nowadays, nobody lives there, but you can still take a tour and visit the town and see how people used to live back then.

#11. Teufelsberg, Berlin

If you want to relive the Cold War, you have to visit Teufelsberg in Berlin, Germany. This is an abandoned NSA American station on an 80-meter artificial hill, located in the middle of the Grunewald forest. It was abandoned shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, just like many other military buildings.

Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest. 

If you decide to visit this place, you need to be cautious, because the paths that lead to it are dangerous. Also, bear in mind that access to the station is prohibited, so all you can do is take a few photos from the outside. But it’s still worth it, cause from the top of the hill, you’ll get one of the most beautiful views of Berlin.

#10. Hashima Island

Located very close to the coast of Nagasaki in Japan, Hashima Island is known as the “Battleship Island”. During the early 1900s, the Mitsubishi Corporation claimed that under the island laid an enormous submarine coal deposit, and that’s why hundreds of mining families settled there.

Photo: Courtesy of The Independent. 

During the 1940s, the island produced more tonnes of coal than any other Japanese industry. All the families lived crammed in these ten-story apartment complexes, though the island also housed schools, restaurants, and gaming houses. In the 1950s, the island ran out of coal, so the families quickly left the island. The island was closed to visitors from 1974 to 2009, but recently the Japanese government decided to open it for tourism.

#9. Moynaq Shipyard Cemetery

Located in the middle of the Uzbek desert, this ghost town is a place that you must visit at least once in your life. Believe it or not, Moynaq used to be a fishing port! Considering that these ships are now surrounded by a vast sand desert, it’s hard to imagine where the water came from.

Photo: Courtesy of Soo Lide. 

Moynaq used to be home to one of the four largest lakes in the world, the Aral Sea, with more than 26,300 square miles. The evaporation of this giant mass of water was one of the most terrible ecological disasters ever to take place. The port city of Moynaq was the most affected by the sea’s disappearance. It was abandoned in a matter of years, and now all you can find are a couple of wrecked ships and the former government palace.

#8. Centralia, Pennsylvania

Once the most important Pennsylvanian mining town, Centralia is nothing but a completely abandoned village. In 1962, a small fire started a few kilometers away and razed with the entire town. But the crazy part is that this accident unleashed a coal mine fire underneath the ground, and since there is no way of putting it out, the fire is still burning to this day!

Photo: Courtesy of Soo Lide. 

Most of the families that lived in Centralia were relocated in 1984 and the town has been completely abandoned since the 90s. Actually, to be fair, the town still has 9 residents, who live out of tourism. It seems that these nostalgic residents don’t mind the dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide generated by the underground fire!

#7. Thurmond’s Rail Town

While Thurmond used to be a boomtown rail town during the early 19th century, today it is nothing but an abandoned ghost town. This town is well-known for the long railway that used to connect it with West Virginia’s main urban centers. Today, it is a very popular place for locals and tourists alike.

Photo: Courtesy of Wolrd Atlas.

Some of Thurmond’s most important buildings of that time are still standing, like the railway station itself and the National Bank of Thurmond. In 2013, the census claimed that only 5 people lived there. I wonder what they see in that place!

#6. Kennecott

Like many cities from our list, Kennecott is a reflection of mining’s golden age in America. Located in Alaska, people fled from the city once the mines ran out of minerals. Kennecott became famous in 1911 when copper was discovered in the area, and it thrived until 1938.

Photo: Courtesy of Wolrd Atlas.

Since then, this has been nothing but a ghost town and nobody lives there any longer. However, many people visit the town, helped by the fact that it’s located right in the middle of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Visit these giant reddish structures against the backdrop of the Wrangell Volcanic Field!

#5. Grossinger’s Resort

Although it may be hard to believe, this place used to be the luxurious Catskills resort during the 1950s. The resort was mostly visited by wealthy New Yorkers that wanted to spend a lavish holiday near their homes. It was located in the small town of Liberty and many famous people visited it, like Eddie Fisher, Jerry Lewis, and Milton Berle.

Photo: Courtesy of Abandoned Playgrounds. 

In 1972, the resort’s owner passed away and gradually the place went into ruins until it was finally closed in 1986. The tennis courts, swimming pool, and hotel rooms are still standing, however. In September 2018 the place was definitely closed, and apparently, the site will be demolished to pave the way for new investment.

#4. Craco

If you were thinking that all ghost towns date from the 20th century, then wait until you hear about the Italian hillside city of Craco! This town was founded in the 8th century, back in the Medieval days. From that time, it has resisted several natural disasters, but in 1991, all the families that lived there were forced to abandon the island.

Photo: Courtesy of Italian Notes. 

The city was built on a cliff 400 meters off the ground, thus offering amazing panoramic views of the island and the sea. Although nobody lives there any longer, the island is famous for its beautiful castle and church which houses a stunning statue of the Virgin Mary. You should visit Crac from May to October as six festivals are celebrated during these months.

#3. Garnet

Like many American cities, Montana has its own town from the Gold Rush period. Located in western Montana, you can visit this amazing site throughout the year. Most of the houses from Garnet are humble and precarious, mostly made out of wood.

Photo: Courtesy of Soo Lide. 

Like many other mining cities, Garnet was closed during the 1930s and the more than 1,000 mining families that lived there had no choice but to leave the town. Most of the log cabins are still standing, so it’s really worth the visit!

#2. Letchworth Village

Located in Rockland County in New York, Letchworth Village is the perfect description of a ghost town. If you go there, perhaps you will feel the spooky atmosphere of the former mental hospital, which was one of the first places to experiment with the polio vaccine to its patients. Enter the building if you dare!

Photo: Courtesy of Hudson Valley Magazine.

The village is also known for its 2,000-acre complex full of residential buildings, synagogues, and stores. Nowadays this place it’s a must-visit for people who like to witness paranormal events. For those history lovers out there, you should know that this town served as the architectural inspiration for Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

#1. Maunsell Sea & Air Forts

If you’re into history, you can’t miss the opportunity of visiting the Maunsell Army Forts in the Thames Estuary. The fortress reminds us of the toughest times of World War II. It was built by an English engineer to protect the English troops from the German invasions.

Photo: Courtesy of Soo Lide. 

After the end of the war, the sea forts were abandoned. In 2005, the artist Stephen Turner occupied the fort for 36 days for an experiment. Nowadays, entering these forts is illegal, but you can go on a boat tour and see them from the outside. The tours start from Shoeburyness East Beach, don’t miss it!

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