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A mining town reclaimed by the desert, the site of a World War II massacre, and the legendary city of Pripyat: The creepiest ghost towns that you can still visit.

Ian Harvey

Here at The Vintage News we just can’t get enough of deserted places and abandoned buildings, so here is another list of the creepiest ghost towns around that world that you can still visit.

Pripyat, Ukraine

Pripyat panorama Photo Credit

Pripyat panorama Photo Credit

Near Ukraine’s northern border with Belarus is the abandoned city of Pripyat, one of the most famous of ghost towns in the world. In April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown in what is still today the world’s worst nuclear disaster. The residents had to flee immediately and had time to take only a few of their belongings with them. In the once thriving Soviet town of 50,000 people, photographers now come from across the globe to take photos of the abandoned homes, the frozen Ferris wheel, empty hospitals, and all the scattered possessions.

To protect people from the lingering radiation, an exclusion area of more than 1,000 square miles around the power plant was created. Anyone that wants to visit the site has to obtain a day pass, while for a few limited hours per month, workers that are rebuilding parts of the site are allowed in.

 

 

Oradour-sur-Glane, France

Oradour-sur-Glane

Oradour-sur-Glane

In June of 1944, 642, including around 400 women and children, of Oradour-sur-Glane’s residents were massacred by the Waffen SS. The village was razed to the ground by the Nazis. The ruins stand as they were as a memorial to the villagers. A new village was erected nearby and is home to over 2,000 people.

 

Varosha, Cyprus

 Varosha Photo Credit

Varosha Photo Credit

At a distance, this place looks like any other bustling beachside resort, and for a while it was. Once upon a time, the shores of Varosha were graced by stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Bridget Bardot. But in the summer of 1974, Turkish troops invaded and the 40,000 locals evactuated the city. Now, the resort has been fenced off and is occupied by the Turkish military, while its abandoned hotels are being overrun by nature.

 

 

 

Kolmanskop, Namibia

 Kolmanskop Photo Credit

Kolmanskop Photo Credit

Deep in the Namib Desert, this once prosperous mining town lies abandoned, its German-style homes filled with sand. Kolmanskop blossomed and grew after the discovery of diamonds there in 1908, but once the mines were exhausted, the town was deserted. By 1954, the last of its inhabitants were gone and Kolmanskop’s buildings were left to the mercy of the desert. Today, the area is said to be haunted.

 

 

Fordlandia, Brazil

Fordlandia, Brazil Photo Credit

Fordlandia, Brazil Photo Credit

Fordlandia, which was created by Henry Ford in 1928 as a rubber plantation to feed his tire factories in Michigan, is located deep in the Brazilian rainforest and is now in ruins. Ford hoped to instill the American way of life to the Brazilian workers, but the project was halted by the mid-1940’s due to many problems, including leaf diseases and mounting tensions between the natives and the American managers. Henry Ford II, Ford’s grandson, sold the land at a loss in 1945.

 

Pyramiden, Norway

Pyramiden, Norway Photo Credit

Pyramiden, Norway Photo Credit

Abandoned in 1998, Pyramiden, Norway, was a Soviet-era coal mining town and is now inhabited only by Polar bears. The majority of the buildings are still intact, and it is currently owned by a Russian company which has made efforts to transform it into an official tourist attraction. The community was named after the pyramid-shaped mountain nearby. In 1927, the Soviets bought the town from Sweden, and it was home to around 1,200 people at its peak.

 

Spinalonga, Greece

Spinalonga Photo Credit

Spinalonga Photo Credit

This desolate, rocky island once held the lepers from Crete and the rest Greece, who were to be kept in isolation. It functioned as a leper colony until 1957, five years before it was deserted. Spinalonga has now been left to the elements and is completely dilapidated. Visitors can walk around the island and take in the spectacular sea views.