20 American Ghost Towns You Should Visit (But Not Alone)

While some people can't watch horror movies because they genuinely get scared, others are all about spooky stories, especially around Halloween. There's nothing like sitting on the couch with a blanket, some popcorn, and a hot drink and watching something that features a creepy plotline.

Even if you don't believe in ghosts, you might love a good ghost story. But did you know that there are actual ghost towns in the United States?

These are places that have long since been abandoned and no longer have anyone living there, or if they do, they have an incredibly small population. They definitely have a high creep factor, and you might want to bring a friend (or five) if you decide to go there.

Here are 20 American ghost towns you should visit... but never alone.

20 Why Did People Run Out Of Boston Mills/Helltown, Ohio Back In The 1970s?

via Photos.Clevelandscene and Atlas Obscura

As Only In Your State says, "The people of the former town of Boston Mills were mysteriously ordered by the US government to leave the town in the early '70s."

Want to learn more? Head to this ghost town. The fact that it's also called "Helltown" indicates that this isn't a trip that you want to make alone.

19 Santa Claus, Arizona Isn't Very Merry Or Bright

via The Daily Advertiser and Pinterest

How could a town called Santa Claus be a ghost town? Shouldn't this be a sunny land of Christmas cheer and holiday spirit?

According to Atlas Obscura, "It’s just two boarded-up, graffitied buildings." That sounds pretty depressing, especially when you consider the name of the town. There were some tourist stores but everything has been gone since 1995.

18 St. Elmo, Colorado Has Tons Of Broken Wooden Buildings

via Out There Colorado

Thanks to Mental Floss, we know about the ghost town of St. Elmo, Colorado. People haven't lived here since the '20s, which is definitely a long time.

If you're brave enough, visit it by yourself and see these creepy buildings for yourself... but chances are, you'll want to bring some people along.

17 Thurmond, West Virginia Has Only Five People Living There

via Wikipedia

Mental Floss says that this ghost town has a population of five, and you can go to the center for tourists, which used to be a train station.

It would be pretty strange to go somewhere and know that it used to have trains running through it all the time... but now there's just no one around.

16 Kennecott, Alaska Has Been A Ghost Town Since The 1930s

via Connie and Christian's Summer 2010

This ghost town in Alaska is a National Historic Landmark, according to Orbitz, and has held that title since 1938.

There's something pretty cool about the red buildings... but when you look at this photo closely, you can tell that the place looks pretty empty. It would give you the chills, that's for sure.

15 Don't Go To Avilla, Missouri By Yourself

via Pinterest

Only In Your State says that although 100 people live here, it's called one of the “living ghost towns of Historic Route 66."

It sounds like Avilla is literally a ghost town, as people say that they see spirits everywhere. Yeah, maybe not a place to go on a solo vacation...

14 Visit Animas Forks, Colorado, Which Once Had A Bad Fire

via Pinterest

Tasting Table says that Animas Forks, Colorado has been empty and abandoned since 1891, when there was a fire.

Do you think that any spirits haunt the town? Maybe some people who experienced that fire? Hey, it is a ghost town, after all, so you never know... Either way, maybe bring a friend on your trip.

13 Stay At A Hotel In Silver City, Idaho... If You Dare

via Seduced by History

According to Orbitzthis ghost town actually has a hotel, so if visiting a US ghost town is on your to-do list, then you can come and sleep here.

Based on this picture alone, the place does look like it's super empty, with some very old buildings dotting the landscape.

12 Calico, California Is Pretty Creepy

via Pinterest

Do you want to visit this California town and go to a store and buy some souvenirs? If yes, then this is the place for you, as Orbitz says that it has a shop to buy some objects that will remind you of this ghost town.

It was once part of the mining industry, but now it's just empty.

11 Rhyolite, Nevada Reminds People Of The Gold Rush

via Trip Savvy

Travel and Leisure notes that Rhyolite, Nevada is an American ghost town that began in 1905 because of everyone looking for gold. Its location is close to Death Valley National Park.

While it reminds people of the days of the gold rush, it's abandoned now and is pretty creepy. People take pictures here... so you might want to do that, too (if you're not too scared, that is).

10 Terlingua, Texas Is Still Around... But There's Not Much Left

via viajerosamigos.com

Country Living says that while this is a ghost town, it's one that you can actually visit and do some activities. You can go to the prison that still exists, there's a saloon, and you can even grab some lunch or dinner.

Of course, you want to bring your friends here, too. Just look at that spooky picture...

9 Old Trail Town In Cody, Wyoming Is Like The Abandoned Wild West

via Pinterest

Do you want to go to a ghost town that is like stepping back in time to the Wild West? If yes, then definitely check out Old Trail Town... but like the other ghost towns on this list, you don't want to go by yourself.

As Where Traveler says, "Though the buildings are not original to their current site, they are authentic and the spirit of the past lives on."

8 Don't Visit Bombay Beach, Salton Sea, California Alone

via California Curiosities

When you go to California, you think beaches, the ocean, and nice weather. You don't exactly expect to find a ghost town... but that's exactly what Bombay Beach is.

As The Daily Mail puts it, "The once-bustling hotels are derelict, broken wooden frames of buildings stand in some spots." Yikes.

7 Does It Get Creepier Than Bulowville, Florida?

via Flickr and My Little Life's Journey

Country Living notes that this Florida ghost town has a dark past, as it's a reminder of sugar mills, a plantation that once existed here, and slaves.

Based on these pictures, it doesn't seem like the kind of place that you want to visit alone. Those walls look like they're about to come crashing down at any moment.

6 Cahawba, Alabama Is The Most Known Spooky Town In The State

via Only In Your State

You might want to skip this place, too, unless you can bring some pals along when you're visiting. Imagine seeing this wooden cabin in real life... all alone. There are some seriously creepy vibes.

Mental Floss says of Cahawba, "Today it’s Alabama’s best-known ghost town and an archeological park where visitors can see the abandoned streets, cemeteries, and other historic ruins."

5 Why Not Go On A Ghost Tour In Bannack State Park, Montana?

via Road Trips With Tom

According to Tasting Table, you could visit this ghost town and take a tour.

That would be a really great idea if you want to see it but are a bit nervous about being alone in a ghost town. After all, you'd be on a tour with other people, right? That should help... but you might still get creeped out.

4 Elks Falls, Kansas Has A Population Of 100 And Is Not For The Faint Of Heart


This photo feels like the set of a horror movie, so it's no wonder that this is another snapshot of a ghost town.

According to Thrillist, it's called "the world’s largest living ghost town." It has 100 residents, but that's still not very many,

3 Hague In Alachua County, Florida Is Said To Be Haunted

via Flickr

You wouldn't really expect Florida to have ghost towns, either, since it's a place where you go for a nice vacation. But it does, and this particular one seems to be haunted as well.

According to Backpacker Versepeople say that they hear voices from the cotton mills. That sounds... unpleasant.

2 Grafton, Utah Is Super Empty, Too

via Wikipedia

Another ghost town that literally has a ghost story as part of its history, Grafton might not be a great destination when you're road-tripping solo. A lot of people come here to snap photos.

Only In Your State says, "Grafton is reportedly haunted by a ghost called The White Lady of Latuda."

1 No One Has Lived In Ashcroft, Colorado Since Forever

via Stavros

Thrillist says that this Colorado town had 100 people living there back in 1885, so it seems like it's been a ghost town for quite a while.

It could be fun to visit, though, but like the other towns on this list, you might not want to make the trek there alone.

Sources: Mentalfloss.com, Orbitz.com, Tastingtable.com, Countryliving.com, Travelandleisure.com, Dailymail.co.uk, Backpackerverse.com, Wheretraveler.com, Atlasobscura.com, Thrillist.comOnly In Your State

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