Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

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Plymouth, Montserrat, Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom

Kowloon Walled City, China

The town of Kowloon began as a military outpost, which served as a refugee city following World War II. The settlement was overcrowded and the authorities refused to take charge of it. The city became a lawless, crime-ridden and overpopulated settlement. In 1993, British and Chinese authorities had finally reached a mutual decision to tear down the anarchic city for good.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Deception Island, Antarctica

The reason why Deception Island is considered a rather popular tourist destination is because it hosts one of the safest harbors in Antarctica. But all efforts to build a permanent settlement there failed, mainly because of the fact that the island is nothing more than a caldera of a volcano. And this volcano is an active one. The small whaling station, which had previously been the only settlement on the island, was destroyed in 1969 following a volcano eruption.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Craco, Italy

The city of Craco, Italy, was constructed on a rocky peak to serve as a fortress. But it later turned out that building a settlement on a rock wasn’t such a good idea. Its location posed some serious threat to the city’s existence, because of the frequent earthquakes and landslides, which occurred in this area. Following one of the natural disasters, the locals abandoned Craco, descending to a lower land.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Grytviken, South Georgia Island

Grytviken is an isolated settlement located some 1,000 miles east of South America. The village is also known as “The Pot Cove.” In the early 20th century whalers established a whaling station there. However, in December 1966, the station was closed because of low whale stocks. The settlement was abandoned and now serves only as an attraction for tourists.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Oradour-sur-Glane, France

On June 10, 1944, the Nazi soldiers invaded the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane, seeking to punish the members of the French Resistance. The German soldiers massacred the locals and burned the village to the ground. It later appeared that the Germans were initially planning to invade the nearby settlement of Oradour-sur-Vayres, but apparently there was some confusion among them, and they invaded Oradour-sur-Glane by mistake.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Centralia, Pennsylvania, USA

Centralia used to be a prosperous city until 1962 when a fire broke out in a local landfill. The fire then spread to a coal mine, located beneath the city, and has been burning there ever since. The vast majority of locals abandoned the city and only 10 residents stay there till this day. Their life is definitely not an easy one, as the road that leads to the city was blocked off, and the city’s zip code was revoked.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Bodie, California, USA

During the gold rush in the 1870s the town of Bodie was home to 8,500 people. But by 1881 all local gold mines were depleted and residents started leaving the town for good. But it wasn’t the ending of Bodie’s sad story. In the beginning of the 20th century the fire destroyed half of the town, and in 1932 another fire destroyed what was left.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Chaitén, Chile

Natural disasters often possess a capability of destroying entire communities. In May 2008, the town of Chaitén in Chile was evacuated following the eruption of the nearby Chaitén Volcano. The volcano eruption brought about a massive flooding, which destroyed the town and made it completely uninhabitable.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Chinguetti, Mauritania

If you’re looking for an example of how a frenetic trading center can regress into a ghost town in just a few centuries, then look no further. In the 13th century, the town of Chinguetti was regarded as an important educational site and, moreover, the seventh holiest city in the Islamic world. But with time the city lost its significance as a trading center and was slowly smothered by the desert.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Humberstone, Chile

The town of Humberstone, located in Chile, used to host a bustling saltpeter refinery. It was one of a few outposts that were home to Pampino miners who worked on the factories. Their heroic efforts in extracting nitrates from the world’s largest saltpeter deposit really transformed farming in the Americas and in Europe. This particular mining settlement was abandoned in 1960.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Varosha, Cyprus

The Varosha quarter in the town of Famagusta, Cyprus, hosted numerous luxurious hotels and houses. The fabulous quarter, lined with palm trees, was fenced off in 1974 after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The locals abandoned the settlement and the tourists weren’t allowed inside, making Varosha a creepy ghost town.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, India

The famous ancient city of Mandu is featured prominently in ancient Sanskrit inscriptions. This remarkable city was continuously feuded throughout history and frequently change hands in the clashes between Islamic and Hindu dynasties. The ghost city now serves as a popular tourist attraction.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Wittenoom, Australia

Wittenoom is yet another example of a mining community, which became abandoned. But unlike many other similar towns, Wittenoom was abandoned due to environmental and health-related concerns. In the 1960s, the scientists revealed the health risks of asbestos mining and the local mine was shut down. The town of Wittenoom now has a population of 8 people who refused to leave the town.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Kayaköy, Fethiye District, Turkey

Historically, the population of Kayaköy was almost exclusively Greek Christian. Following the Greco-Turkish War in 1919 – 1922 as many as 2,000 locals were sent back to Greece making the entire settlement deserted. Some hope that people will eventually come back to this town, but the area remains abandoned till this day in spite of efforts to redesign several houses.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World

Plymouth, Montserrat, Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom

The entire southern region of the Montserrat Island was covered in ash following the eruption of the Soufrière Hills Volcano in 1995. The eruption decimated the former capital of this British Overseas Territory, Plymouth. The island lost over half of its population and the town of Plymouth was abandoned. As the volcano continues to terrorize the island community, doubts remain of whether the island will ever recover.

Amazing Ghost Towns from around the World


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