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10 Eerie Abandoned Sites from around the World

Neil Patrick

Gunkanjima-Japan-2Quiet and eerie, these ghost towns were once filled with life and activity. Abandoned, these towns can give you nasty goosebumps. Here are some of the most interesting and bizarre ghost towns from around the world.

PRIPYAT, UKRAINE

(Chernobyl worker’s home)

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Formerly a home to workers and employees of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Prypiat, the place hosted a population of around 50,000. Today, the place is a ghost town. The residents fled after a nuclear accident in 1986. Some who were pigheaded to leave the place were forced to evacuate. It can now be visited by tourists after years of abandonment. Although radiation levels have lowered down significantly, the place remains unsafe for general residence. So the place was pretty much left how the residents left it.

GUNKANJIMA, JAPAN

(The forbidden Island)

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The Nagasaki Prefecture of Japan was originally composed of 505 uninhabited islands about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The place is a fortress made of high and strong sea walls. It was also called Battleship Island or “Gunkanjima”. It was built in 1890 by Mitsubishi Company. The company bought the island and started mining for coal in the area and built apartments in the island to house the workers in 1916. The concrete buildings and high sea walls was strong enough to protect the residents from hurricane. The coal mine was closed in 1974 after the petroleum surge in the 60’s and the island was abandoned. This island would be familiar to gamers being featured in Battle Royale II film and the final level of videogame Killer 7.

KOLMANSKOP, NAMIBIA

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Kolmanskop would be make a very fitting picture for a ghost town. Located in Namibia, the place once teemed with people caught in the diamond rush. The Namibian dessert became filled with treasure hunters and Kolmanskop bloomed. It had a school, hospital, casino and residential structures. After World War I, diamond sales dropped and the people went on to find other means to make fortune. And the town was deserted in the 1950’s. Nature took over and the ghost town is what it is today — a site of slow decay.

BODIE, CALIFORNIA

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Bodie hosted a population of 10,000 and a number of saloons during the gold rush in the 1800’s. The town was named after WS Bodey who was said to have found deposits of gold in the area. Thousands wanted to strike their luck mining for the precious metal. However, the rush for gold declined in 1913. And the place was slowly abandoned until 1942. The state of California saw opportunity and turned the ghost town into a historic park in the 60’s. Tourists can go see the abandoned buildings still left standing after all these years.

 

ST. ElMO, COLORADO (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)

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Time seems to have ceased in one of Colorado’s famous ghost towns, St. Elmo. The place is another site once built during the gold rush in the 1880’s to the early 1900’s. The town was originally known as Forest City being in the center of a dense forested area. After a few structures were stood, the residents named the place St. Elmo. It was left at the mercy of the forces after the dwindling of the mining industry. Now, the town could hosts a row of old wooden houses lining down a street.

KOWLOON WALLED CITY, CHINA

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At first look, the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong looks like some people still live in the place. However, this property of Japan during World War II was overran by informal residents. It was a lawless city after the war. And structures after structures were built on top of another that sunlight could not reach the bottom interior of the place. The city had to be lit up with florescent 24/7. Brothels, casinos, and gambling places filled the city. Illegal activities became a normal fare for many years. In 1993, Britain and China finally put an end to the lawlessness and cleared the place of residents.

CRACO, ITALY

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Craco in the Italian Province of Matera now looks like the ruins. It was once a place shared by residence who built lovely stone houses in the hillside. It was abandoned after continuous landslides took toll of the place. In 1963, it was a ghost town.

ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE (France): the horror of WWII

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The once Oradour Sur Glane in France is a witness to the horrors of World War II. A small village, the eerie ghost town was historically known as a site of a massacre by Nazis in 1944 in retribution of the French Resistance. As recorded, 642 lives were claimed during that horrific time on site. The residents were shot and killed and the place was razed. Some structures barely survived to tell the tale of tragedy.  The place was abandoned and preserved as a memorial.

 

PLYMOUTH, MONTSERRAT

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There was good reason why residents of Plymouth, Montserrat chose to flee. The city was vacated in 1995 due to threat of volcanic eruption. Two years after, Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted and covered Plymouth with 40 feet of ash. Today, tourists can take a peak at the abandoned site depending on safety advisories.

SAN ZHI, TAIWAN 

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San Zhi in Taiwan was created as vacation retreat for the rich. The houses were built with futuristic pod designs. However, the luxurious village was not meant to be. Money and controversy rocked the project that it was eventually stopped. The site today is eerie like a post apocalyptic scene following an alien invasion. But it is also believed that ghosts of workers who died in construction accidents continue to roam the area.