It is truly a wonder what happens to abandoned towns and how they get that way in the first place. There are hundreds of abandoned towns worldwide; each one has their own story as to how they wound up that way. Some might have been abandoned due to natural causes or some could have been abandoned because they no longer offered anything the people needed.
Here is a list of some of the most fascinating abandoned sites.
Chaiten, Chile; South America
The town of Chaiten was wiped out by a volcano that erupted in 2008. To make matters worse, the Blanco River flooded the entire town, making it so the townspeople could never return. Almost 9,000 years before this destruction, the town was in the way of another eruption of the volcano. The government managed to rebuild the town a few miles away from the old site, but this still proved to be too close to the volcano. There are demolished homes along with tangled telephone wires; other than that there are few indications that anyone ever lived there.
While some other abandoned places were natural, others were man-made. This French village was destroyed when over 600 townspeople were massacred in 1944 by a German Waffen-SS company.
A lot of towns in the American West were abandoned after the miners extracted all of the gold they could find; leaving for the next city that offered a gold mine opportunity. Many of the towns still stand today, making them popular tourist attractions.
Many people have heard of the Chernobyl disaster. After the nuclear disaster of 1986, the people were forced to abandon the town of over 5,000 due to the large amounts of radiation present. Scientists say that it will take thousands of years until it is even remotely safe to walk around the area.
Mirny Diamond Mine, Eastern Siberia, Russia
Once again, this abandoned site was created by man. The hole was constructed by Stalin in order to satisfy the Soviet Union’s demand for diamonds. The endeavor and its process were eventually abandoned after it was found to be too difficult to dig such a massive hole.A farmhouse, Seneca Lake, New York
A farmhouse, Seneca Lake, New York
Although it is not too creepy, the farmhouse acts as a make-shift cemetery for old cars and car parts.
Ryugyong Hotel Pyongyang, North Korea
Work on the hotel proved to be a bit more difficult than the workers thought. It was supposed to be a 105-story building but, due to the famine ravaging the country, construction was abandoned just a few years after it began. It was halted for 16 years until in 2008 construction started back up. The outside is now finished and people stay there, but the inside is still partially abandoned.Willard Asylum Willard, New York
Willard Asylum Willard, New York
It’s not surprising that an insane asylum ends up on this list. Along with being abandoned, it looks haunted as well. The building was constructed in 1869 and finally closed down in 1955. It housed nearly 4,000 patients at one time, and the more than 50,000 people who never left the asylum were buried there. The morgue is one of the creepiest places in the building.
Sanzhi UFO houses, San Zhi, Taiwan
The UFO houses were intended to be sold to the U.S. military when construction started in 1978. However, by 1980 they were abandoned due to lack of interest and funding.
Six Flags Jazzland, New Orleans
After Hurricane Katrina blew through New Orleans, Six Flags was abandoned and never re-opened. Several of the rides are still standing and there is a talk of a new park being re-built, but right now it remains broken and empty.
Gulliver’s Travels Park Kawaguchi, Japan
This park was built right in the shadow of Mount Fuji. The tourist attraction opened up in 1997, but due to financial woes, it lasted only 10 years before being forced to close.
Bannerman Castle – Pollepel Island, New York
The castle’s owner, Francis Bannerman VI, had built the place for storage after having bought American military surplus from the war with the Spanish. In 1920, about 200 pounds of ammunition blew up a good part of the castle, leaving the owner to walk away from it.
Disney’s Discovery Island, Buena Vista, Florida
Thankfully, this island attraction was abandoned. After finding out that the water surrounding the area contained bacteria capable of killing humans, the site was forever left alone and still hasn’t been touched.