Ghost Towns: Abandoned Places With A Dark Past

Abandoned places are interesting whether they’re in your own backyard or halfway around the world. There’s something about exploring a place that has been left behind by people, animals, or both that’s just thrilling. 

Some of these ghost towns have dark pasts, while others simply fell out of favor with time. 

Abandoned towns and ghost towns offer a glimpse into the past and are a subject of fascination for many people.
The histories and stories behind abandoned towns and ghost towns are often unique and worth exploring.
Exploring abandoned towns and ghost towns can provide a sense of adventure and thrill for those who enjoy urban exploration.
When exploring abandoned towns and ghost towns, it is important to take safety precautions such as wearing appropriate clothing and avoiding unsafe structures.
Many abandoned towns and ghost towns around the world are open for visitors, but it is important to check their accessibility and safety before embarking on any exploration.

Here are 10 abandoned places around the world that you won’t want to miss:

Shaytown, Manitoba

Shaytown was a mining town in Manitoba founded by Shay Askin in 1907. The town had a population of about 500 people at its peak, and the mine operated until 1961 when it closed down due to poor productivity. 

At that point, the residents moved away from Shaytown and the mine collapsed into itself.

Today, you can still see many remnants of this abandoned town if you look hard enough. There are collapsed buildings, mineshafts full of water and even an old cemetery where some of the former inhabitants were buried (though some bodies have been moved).

“The wild west was a place of adventure, lawlessness, and opportunities, and its abandoned ghost towns offer a glimpse into its fascinating history. Learn more about the stories behind these deserted towns in our article on the fascinating history of ghost towns in the wild west.”

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia is a town in Pennsylvania that was once home to over 2,000 people. Then, in 1962, an underground coal fire started and has since been burning for more than five decades. This led to the evacuation of Centralia as well as its surrounding areas. 

The area is now a tourist attraction because of this unique history, but there are still some residents who refuse to leave their homes behind.

Top 5 Ghost Towns Too Terrifying To Visit Alone

Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni is a city in Bolivia, located in the west of the country. It is the capital of the department of Potosi and has an estimated population of 9,000 inhabitants.

The town was founded on May 1, 1899 by President Andrés Córdova and named after him until December 3, 1917 when it was renamed Uyuni as part of a campaign to change all towns’ names that had “C” at their beginning (for example: Carlos Gardel).

Bodie, California

One of the most picturesque towns in California, Bodie was a gold rush town that dates back to 1859. The town was abandoned in 1942, and now stands as a state park and tourist destination. It’s also been used as a filming location for movies and television shows, including Gunsmoke and Django Unchained.

Namie, Japan

Located along the coast of Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan, Namie was once home to over 20,000 people. 

However, following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and subsequent evacuation order, Namie became a ghost town and is now completely abandoned. 

Once an active fishing village with vibrant markets and popular restaurants, today it is desolate and almost completely devoid of life. In fact, many believe that if you enter the town limits after dark with no official reason for being there (such as working on cleanup efforts), you will be arrested by police or military personnel patrolling the area.

“Exploring abandoned buildings can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for urban adventurers. Discover the treasures and mysteries hidden in these forgotten places with our guide on exploring abandoned buildings in search of lost treasures.”

Pyramiden, Norway

If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, Pyramiden might not be the best choice. It’s not just an empty village it’s an empty town. Located on Svalbard Island in Norway, this one-time mining camp was founded by Sweden in 1910 and now sits abandoned as a tourist attraction.

The island was once home to over 1,000 people who were employed by two coal mines operated by Sweden and Russia during the Cold War era (1946-1994). 

After the Soviets sold their share of the mines in 1992, however, no one had much need for Pyramiden anymore. By 1998 all residents had left the town and it has been uninhabited ever since…except for tourists who visit every summer season (May through September).

Varosha, Northern Cyprus

Varosha is a ghost town in Northern Cyprus. It was once a popular tourist destination, but it has been abandoned since 1974. 

The reason for its abandonment is the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. As a result, Varosha’s population dropped from 40,000 to 300 by the end of 1974. Today, there are only two inhabitants: one Turkish Cypriot and one Greek Cypriot (who lives in his mother’s house).

The capital city of Nicosia has been divided into two parts since 1960: Northern Cyprus and Southern Cyprus. 

The border between them runs through Nicosia’s center street and separates the divided cities into northern part (North Nicosia) and southern part (South Nicosia). 

Varosha lies within North Nicosia on what used to be called Green Line before 1975 war broke out due to Greek-Turkish tension over sovereignty over island nation called Republic Of Cyprus which resulted into bloody civil war known as “Cyprus Conflict” that lasted till year 2004 when United Nations stepped in order resolve dispute peacefully but failed miserably due to stubbornness both sides had towards each other – they didn’t listen what UN wanted done so UN withdrew from negotiations process which led…”

“The ruins of a once-thriving town can hold a lot of secrets and tell a unique story of its rise and fall. Join us in exploring the abandoned ruins of a once-thriving town and discover the history behind its deserted buildings and streets.”

Slab City, California

The Slabs is a former military camp located in the Sonoran Desert near Niland, California. It was founded in World War II as Camp Dunlap and later became a Marine Corps Air Station. 

After the war ended, it was abandoned until the 1950s when it became a private landowner’s property. 

The landowner sold off parcels of land to those looking for cheap places to live in peace and solitude.

The residents at Slab City are mostly retired military servicemen who like camping out on this desolate piece of land where there is no electricity or water supply; just them, their RVs, vans and campers with everything they need including food and gas generators for electricity.

St. Thomas, Nevada

In 1857, a group of silver prospectors established St. Thomas as a camp for mining operations. The town grew to about 1,000 residents by the mid-1880s and boasted its own newspaper and post office. 

The population dwindled after the silver mines closed around 1900 and St. Thomas was abandoned in the 1960s except briefly re-inhabited by hippies in the 1970s until it became a ghost town once again today.

Panjin Red Beach, Liaoning Province, China

Panjin Red Beach is a beach in Panjin, Liaoning Province, China. It’s located near the city of Panjin and has been abandoned since the early 2000s. 

The red colour of this beach comes from a mixture of sand and algae. There are many abandoned buildings around the beach which have been left over from different times throughout history. 

“Ghost towns have long been a subject of fascination, and their mysteries and legends have intrigued people for generations. Take an in-depth look into the mystery and legend of ghost towns with our comprehensive article on the myths and stories behind these abandoned places.”

Craco, Italy

Craco is a ghost town in the Italian region of Basilicata. The town was abandoned in 1963 after being buried by a landslide. It was first inhabited as early as 1000 BC and flourished during Roman times when it was an important centre for the production of ceramics. 

In 1657, as part of a local feud between noble families, Craco was destroyed by fire and subsequently rebuilt using stone from nearby slopes. 

Over time, however, residents began to leave due to frequent earthquakes that caused landslides from surrounding hills onto town streets (and sometimes into buildings). 

By 1963 when it was finally abandoned due to one such landslide which buried almost half its houses under mud only around 300 people remained there. 

Since then only 15 people have lived there year-round; they mainly make their living growing olives and olive oil but also offer guided tours through their homes so visitors can see what life would’ve been like had they never left this eerie place!

Ordos Kangbashi – Ordos City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China

Ordos Kangbashi is a new city in Inner Mongolia, China. It was planned to have one million residents but only has around 50,000 residents now. Ordos Kangbashi is one of the most famous ghost cities in China.

The construction of Ordos Kangbashi began in 2003 and the city was completed in 2009 with the aim to create a new urban area full with modern buildings and skyscrapers that would attract wealthy people from other areas of China. 

The government built infrastructure like schools, hospitals and shopping malls as well as residential buildings which were sold for large amounts of money to investors who wanted to move there from big cities such as Beijing or Shanghai where there were more opportunities for employment compared to smaller towns like Ordos (which didn’t have any industry).

“Exploring the abandoned buildings of a ghost town can be a thrilling adventure, but it can also be a dangerous one. Learn about the precautions you need to take before embarking on such an adventure in our guide on exploring the abandoned buildings of a ghost town – a first-hand account. Stay safe while satisfying your curiosity.”


Now, you know some of the most eerie and fascinating ghost towns in the world. There are so many more that we could have included on this list, but we wanted to focus on places that had interesting stories behind them. We hope you enjoyed reading about these places as much as we did researching them!

Further Reading

For more information on abandoned towns and ghost towns, check out these articles:

CNN Travel – 10 of the world’s most fascinating abandoned towns – Explore abandoned towns from around the world and learn about their fascinating histories.

Reader’s Digest – 13 Real-Life Ghost Towns Around the World You Can Actually Visit – Discover ghost towns from all over the world that you can visit and explore for a spine-tingling adventure.

Country Living – The Spookiest Ghost Towns in America – Get to know some of the spookiest and eeriest ghost towns in America that are sure to send shivers down your spine.


What is an abandoned town?

An abandoned town is a place that was once inhabited but has been deserted or left to decay due to various reasons such as natural disasters, economic decline, or human-made disasters.

What is a ghost town?

A ghost town is a town that has been abandoned and left to decay or ruin. Often, ghost towns are associated with legends, myths, and eerie stories that have made them popular among explorers and adventure seekers.

Why do people explore abandoned towns and ghost towns?

Exploring abandoned towns and ghost towns can provide a sense of adventure and thrill for those who enjoy urban exploration. Additionally, abandoned towns and ghost towns often have unique histories and stories that are worth learning about.

What are some safety precautions to take when exploring abandoned towns and ghost towns?

When exploring abandoned towns and ghost towns, it is important to take safety precautions such as wearing appropriate clothing, carrying necessary gear, and avoiding unsafe structures. It is also recommended to explore with a group and inform someone of your plans.

Are there any abandoned towns or ghost towns that are open for visitors?

Yes, many abandoned towns and ghost towns around the world are open for visitors. However, it is important to check if they are accessible and safe to visit before embarking on any exploration.