In this world of ours with 7 billion people, it’s hard to imagine that there are some places that could be abandoned. And yet, they exist. Each one of them has its own fair share of story and charm. Beneath all the rust and cracks, it’s hard to believe that these abandoned places were once where people used to live, pray, have fun and make a living. It’s as if those people just picked up and left. Each one makes us think that it’s just natural circle of life and existence, the things that used to belong to people are slowly being reclaimed by nature again.
Here are the tales of 40 abandoned places most people would have otherwise never seen and how come they came to be deserted. Don’t these pictures give you goosebumps?
1. Uninhabited Island in Southwest Florida, USA
These abandoned dome homes that sit majestically in the sea on Cape Romano off the coast of Florida in the U.S were built in 80s from the brilliant mind of a retired oil producer, Bob Lee. The ever changing cape, still standing from numerous storms and hurricanes over the years, keeps boaters mesmerized into thinking how was it back in the past. What their fate will be today is still uncertain.
Next is the haunting image of the 76-ft Mar Sem Fin sunken remains. The Brazilian boat, once used for scientific and educational expeditions, sunk on 2012 in Ardley Bay, Antarctica when strong winds and stormy seas forced the crew to abandon the ship. The boat lay in about 30 ft of water, preserved and visible from above, for almost a year until it was salvaged in early 2013.
In the west side of Sydney Australia, near where the Sydney Olympic Games were held, there’s a 102-years-old ship, which has turned into what is now known as a Floating Forest. Homebush Bay used to be a ship-breaking yard that dismantled warships in WWII. The SS Ayrfield, previously a transport ship, was supposed to be dismantled but ended up becoming a famous attraction instead. The ship was left abandoned by people, but not by nature.
Kolmanskop, an eerie ghost town in Southern Namib Desert, was once a home to hundreds of German Miners during the diamond boom in the early 1900s. When it was abandoned 40 years later, the desert is slowly taking it back. The creepy remains of the town have made it a magnet to ghost hunters and was featured on a number of paranormal films.
5. The Church of the Ghosts, Czech Republic
St. George’s church in the Czech Village of Lukova was left to rot after part of the roof collapsed during a funeral service in 1968. The locals abandoned the medieval church believing it was cursed. Jakub Hadrava, an art student, managed to draw in visitors from all over the word with an artistic, yet spooky, installation featuring white ghostly figures in robes.
Abandoned churches are a rare find in Ontario, Canada. Out of this rarity, this amazing church in snow was discovered
This trumpet-like structure is a part of a cooling tower in an old power station in Monceau, Belgium. While in use, the tower cooled about 480,000 gallons of incoming hot water per minute by simply using wind. The cool wind would enter the structure and by the time it reached the bottom, the hot water was already cooled.
The Maunsell Army Forts in the Thames Estuary are decaying reminders of the darkest days of WWII. These forts were built in 1942 by a British Engineer Guy Maunsell as a clever strategy against some serious attacks from Luftwaffe aircrafts. Though now defunct, they are still standing out at sea, and serve as incredible relics of WWII history.
This house was part of what was once a fairly successful small island colony in Chesapeake Bay in the U.S. But over the decades, rising bay waters and sinking of the land ate away the island until it was nothing but a blotch of land in the sea. This last and only house stood defiantly before it too collapsed in October, 2010.
10. Pripyat Ghost Town, Ukraine
Twenty eight years ago, the worst nuclear accident in history engulfed the cities of Chernobyl in Pripyat, Ukraine which was once a home to many workers of the nearby nuclear power plant. When a reactor exploded, an extensive radioactive contamination was released into the atmosphere where 64 people died and long-term health problems were generated for those caught in the zone of exclusion. The radioactive ghost town remains untouched since the disaster and will linger on for many years to come.
11. Nara Dreamland Park, Japan
The Nara Dreamland park is an epitome of many haikyo dreams; an abandoned theme park with all its rides and roller coasters still standing. With Disneyland California as an inspiration, the park opened in 1961 and pulled in the big crowds. Not until the Universal Studios Japan opened in 2001 which brought Nara Dreamland to its slow death. The park closed it doors permanently in 2006.
12. The Shipwreck Capital of the World, Bermuda
Bermuda is shrouded in mystery with captivating stories of unexplained disappearances and strange happenings. So it is no wonder the shipwreck capital in the world. Due to its position in the Atlantic Ocean, there are more than 300 identified wrecks off its coast. Some remains remarkably intact despite the rough Bermuda weather and today serves as playground of diving enthusiasts.
This flying-saucer-like building is the inside of the former headquarters of Bulgaria’s Communist Party.It was in use from 1981 to 1991 until the fall of the Soviet Union.
14. The Haunting New Bedford Orpheum, USA
This hauntingly beautiful abandoned theater is located in Massachusetts, USA. It was opened in 1912 and closed in 1959. It reopened several times after that for special events but was eventually sold in 1962 and was then used as a tobacco warehouse. Now an organization is trying to raise money to revitalize the building.
In the town of Sorrento in Southern Italy, there’s a deep canyon also known as “The Valley of the Mills”. The mill ground wheat and a sawmill operated nearby as well. However, the mill was isolated from the sea when the Tasso square was created which raised the humidity in the area and caused it to be abandoned in 1866.
16. Michigan Central Station in Detroit, USA
Nothing symbolizes Detroit’s grandiose rise as spectacular fall like Michigan Central Station. The station was built in 1913 and was intended to be a key gateway to the Midwest. However in late 1970s, it had fallen into disrepair and led to its gradual decline and closing in 1988.
17. Medieval Wooden Houses, Russia
These Russian medieval wooden masterpieces are isolated inside the Russian forests yet they are remarkably intact and in good condition. Even some furniture stays where it was placed.
18. 1341-years-old Underwater City in Shicheng, China
The Shicheng city was once once a center of politics and economics, however, during the construction of the Xin’an River Hydropower Station in 1959, the city was submerged under 131 ft of water and was ever since then forgotten. Protected from wind, rain and sun, the lost city was found and miraculously remained relatively intact. Looks like China intentionally flooded the city to preserve one of their magnificent cultural heritage.
19. City Hall Subway Stop in New York, USA
This majestic subway station underneath city hall has been inactive for nearly 70 years and has been hidden from the public eye. It opened in 1904 to be a showpiece of the IRT new subway line. However, it closed for a few decades later because of its curved platform wasn’t able to accommodate newer and longer IRT cars.
20. Salto Hotel, Colombia
Just southwest of Bogota is Hotel del Salto, a luxurious hotel frequented by wealthy travellers to admire the 157 meter tall waterfall and the surrounding nature. But when the river was contaminated, tourists lost their interest in the area until the hotel finally closed down in the early 90s and was left abandoned ever since. Many believes that the hotel is haunted due to fact that many people committed suicide in that spot.
21. Subway Tunnel in Kiev, Ukraine
This abandoned place is amazing yet they are now in very dangerous conditions and it’s strictly prohibited to be there.
22. Abandoned Submarine Base in Balaklava, Ukraine
This old submarine dock was one of the most famous nuclear submarine base and was said to be able to surpass a direct nuclear strike due to its underground construction. It housed amazing docks and was functional until 1996 when the last Russian submarine left.
23. Military Hospital in Beelitz, Germany
These eerie pictures are not taken from a horror film but are part of a real life military hospital in Beelitz, Germany. The Beelitz-Heilstätten hospital complex was built in late 1800s and was ever since then filled with memories of sickness, misery and death.
24. UFO Houses in San Zhi, Taiwan
These futuristic looking pod city was built as luxury vacation resort for US military officers from their positions in Asia. During the construction, workers mysteriously began dying and they believed it was because they moved a Chinese dragon sculpture that was originally placed in the front gate for extra space. By 1980, there was no investment capital and the project left uncompleted that forced the site to close down and were later then demolished.
25. Hashima Ghost Island, Japan
This tiny Hashima island in Japan was once a thriving community with the highest population density on earth due to its accessibility to undersea coal mines. However, it closed down when Japan switched their main source of fuel from coal to petroleum leaving the island forgotten.
26. The Piano Tree, California
27. Mirny Diamond Mine in Eastern Siberia, Russia
Due to the Soviet Union’s increased demand for industrial diamond, Stalin constructed Mirny which happened to be the world’s second largest man-made hole. It was abandoned when it became to difficult to continue digging further.
This grand palace was once a home for Polish Royalty. The palace was deserted following the fall of the USSR.
The Jet Star roller coaster was submerged in the Atlantic Ocean when part of the Casino Pier was washed away by Superstorm Sandy. Casino Pier is being rebuilt and will include at least 18 rides including a new pendulum ride called The Superstorm, in defiance of Sandy.
30. Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California
In the western edge of the City of Vallejo, there lies an island called Mare. It was established by the Navy in 1854 as a shipyard to maintain, overhaul and refuel ships until it was abandoned in 1990s.
Somewhere in Spain lies a porcelain doll factory that was abandoned decades ago. A place that was once a home for childhood dreams is now a house that will give them nightmares.
32.Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture, France
A 20 miles long, abandoned belt railroad in the Heart of Paris was originally a commercial transportation during the nineteenth century. This urban phenomenal railway’s future, that once connected the city’s five main lines, remains uncertain.
33. Gulliver’s Travel
In Japan’s abandoned theme park, there (literally) lies a giant Lemuel Gulliver’s lanky, 147.5-foot-long frame. The park’s theme was based on Jonathan Swift’s classic tale – Gulliver’s Travel. However, the park only lasted for less than 10 years due to its rather unfortunate location. Although located at the foot of Mt. Fuji, the park was adjacent to Aokigahara – Japan’s famous “suicide forest”, and close to the former headquarters of a religious cult.
In 1969, Spreepark was one of Berlin’s most beloved former GDR-era amusement park. It had attracted up to million and a half visitors yearly until the fall of the Berlin wall happened. The park was sold off to an Austrian financier, Norbert White. Ever since, large debts had piled up and the number of visitors kept dropping. This forced Spreepark to close down in 2002.
35. Chris McCandless’ magic bus, Stampede Trail, Alaska
In 1992, an American hitchhiker Christopher McCandless was found dead in an abandoned bus (aka Bus 142) deep inside the wilderness along the Stampede Trail in Alaska. His story was told through the movie “Into The Wild” that led to an increase in hikers and tourists along the trail.
36. Staircase To Nowhere in Pismo Beach, California
This staircase that seems to lead nowhere was a passageway for beachcombers down to the ocean. However, the bridge that connected the stairwell to the cliff got rotten in time and was since then left abandoned.
37. Methodist Chuch, Gary Indiana
This Gothic Methodist Church was a result from the mind of an ambitious priest during the US Steel in 1925. However, due to high maintenance costs and decrease in Gary’s population the church was forced to close down.
This island is known as the most haunted island in the world and it’s found in the Venice Lagoon. According to travel guides, getting to the island isn’t as easy as it sounds, in fact they said that it is “not visitable”. it’s location was perfect in serving many unpleasant purposes over the years such as a quarantine station for patients with plague and other communicable diseases and more recently a mental hospital.
39. Six Flags Jazzland, Louisiana
40. The Titanic Wreck
Who wouldn’t forget the Titanic’s catastrophic end? The sinking of ship, that was touted to be the largest and safest ship ever built, shocked the world. Together with its demise, 1500 souls were devoured by the sea and this will forever remain unforgotten in history.
Does this list of abandoned places make you think that change, indeed, is the only permanent thing in this world? Though maybe these tales were just invented to explain the unexplainable and sometimes scary aspects of the world, these real-life monuments speak of the past better than history books do. And they make you realize, that what is left out-of-vision, including suicides, possible disasters and ghosts, could possibly be true.