In a country as ancient as Russia, there are many examples of mysterious places that have long been forsaken by the locals. Only two decades ago, dozens of small towns and villages were completely abandoned, and are now as lonely as a cloud in the sky. Since the collapse of these places, over hundreds of people have lost their jobs and homes. Well, the truth is that Russia was home to a large number of small-industry towns, but some of them didn't really make it in 2018.
And if you dare to take a step further, you can actually visit such locations and imagine what life was like for those belonging to the past now.
From Cape Aniva's Atomic Lighthouse and Diamond Mine to the abandoned 5-star hotel Northern Crown (which surely looks haunted), get ready for a thrilling ride through 20 of the loneliest and chilling places ever noticed in Russia. Take it all as a unique chance to explore the lands of the people who once resided there. Below is an interesting list of Russia's most bizarre and unwelcoming places where you can hear nothing but your own footsteps.
20 Atomic Lighthouse - Cape Aniva
The Atomic Lighthouse, constructed by the Russian architect Miura Shinobu, was built on the Sakhalin island in the middle 90s. It was a complicated building, a technical one that had to be a unique creation. Cape Aniva's lighthouse used a diesel generator to get going, although it also had some backup batteries.
In the late 90s, the Atomic lighthouse was retrofitted with more power as a way to save more money. Somehow it fell into disuse anyway, so the building now sits lonesome by the sea, hopelessly waiting for a new potential reconstruction.
19 The Diamond Mine - Yakutia
The so-called Diamond Mine, located in Yakutia, used to be a major financial source which provided jobs and revenue for the region and its people. As massive and big as it still is, this open-pit diamond mine would produce an immense amount of high-quality Russian diamonds back in the day. In a nutshell, the town's activities revolved around the production of more and more diamonds to keep the life busy and full of riches.
However, later down the line, the production of these precious rocks became scarcer, which eventually forced the mine to lay off most of the workers. In the end, the Diamond Mine closed down but still remains one of the largest ones in the world. When looked at from above, it probably looks like a black zone in space.
18 Five-Star Hotel “Northern Сrown” - St. Petersburg
There's just something off about such previously lavish hotels that put certain vibes of uneasiness in the air; however, most people still enjoy exploring such mysterious places anyway. This hotel was built in 1990 and was planned to overlook the vast River Karpovski. Soon the elegant walls began to rise and Northern Crown was almost completely finished when suddenly the project ran out of money. Naturally, the construction was ceased due to financial issues and the hotel was eventually left to fall apart. Originally, Northern Crown was planned to offer about 250 deluxe rooms which are now drowning in desolation and oblivion.
17 Dagdizel Plant - Dagestan
Another mysterious location in Russia which appears to be just as spooky as the Diamond Mine is this odd building known as the Dagdizel Plant in Dagestan. Initially, Dagdizel Plant was used as a test center for the military department in Russia. According to the original plan, it had to be put in operation by 1939; however, the idea was actually short-lived since the military needs sort of changed over the years. Well, this Russian test center still resides in the Caspian sea but it's hardly ever used for anything anyway. On top of that, Dagdizel Plant is located almost over two miles from the shore, so getting there isn't really a piece of cake whatsoever. Today, it's only visitors are the birds that have made the land their own.
16 The Formerly Majestic Castle “Zakhluchye” - Moscow Oblast
This formerly beautiful castle, designed and constructed in the 19th century, is nothing more than just an old, dusty memory. There was a time when Zakhluchye used to capture the imagination of many travelers. But now, the castle sits lonely and quietly on the bank of a small lake, surrounded by rolling hills and a quaint tower. What probably strikes us the most about this castle is the fancy exterior and the poor paint job that's badly peeling. But in retrospect, this castle, constructed by the Russian architect A.S. Khrenov, must have been Moscow's pride.
15 Khovrinskaya Hospital - Moscow
Chilling stories always follow deserted places, like schools and hospitals, and Moscow's Khovrinskaya Hospital isn't really an exception on today's list either.
The building was constructed in the late 90s but the project was eventually ceased due to the lack of funding. Interestingly though, the construction was inadequately started from the very beginning as it was built on a poor foundation. The site used to be part of a river, making the ground less eligible for supporting such a massive structure anyway. Myths and legends of all kinds have grown up around the building because of its spooky looks and aura.
14 Kadykchan Village - Magadan Oblast
Officially known as a "depopulated community", this Russian Kadykchan village actually looks like a ghost town rather than anything else. Originally, this place was established as a coal mining village, but the corporation shut doors due to numerous incidents there. As a result, the locals soon left the village and settled in other communities without even packing all of their possessions. By the end of 2010, Kadykchan village in Magadan Oblast was almost completely deserted; it virtually had no official residence. This place is rarely visited by travelers since there's not much to see around here anyway.
13 The Submarine Base “Bechevinka” - Kamchatka
Another abandoned place in Kamchatka is the submarine base in the charming Bechevinka Village, and it's kind of sad when you think of the awe-inspiring views of the nearby hilltops. However, the reason for setting the submarine base here in Kamchatka has nothing to do with those pleasant views; it was picked for shelter and privacy, and the surrounding mountains had that in abundance. The facility only survived for about a few decades before finally shutting down. Today the area is no longer used for such purposes but is now left for wildlife to grow.
12 Sanatorium Energy - Moscow Oblast
The old sanatorium was a long-abandoned place that wasn't used for decades until one day when the town decided to transform the building into something else. The former sanatorium would probably be torn down completely but at least the grounds would be used for the construction of something better. What's interesting about this place is that it's located just outside of Moscow, nearby a few ponds that are major hotspots for fishers. So, hopefully, the new buildings will be able to cater to those specific visitors who may spend a night or two here while fishing nearby the lakes and ponds.
11 Maternity Hospital - Vladimir Oblast
Maternity Hospital was a considerably modern building in a time when the township was thriving. The hospital was built in the 18th century and was supposed to take care of soldiers; however, it was transformed into a maternity ward. Later on, though, the hospital and the town were deserted, leaving the building in a ghost-like shape. Now the building resembles haunted hospitals, like those we see in the high-budget movies. That outdated detailing and concrete walls that are falling apart only add an extra "charm" to the place. You see, there are are too many aspects of it that make it look extra spooky and mysterious.
10 The Old Chambers - Chukhloma
When it comes to Russia, there's just one thing that instantly springs to mind: you can surely expect to run into some weird things, starting with these old chambers in Chukhloma. Indeed, if you're really willing to travel off the beaten path, this place will definitely offer a good share of spooky vibes. These oddly shaped chambers are literally in the middle of nowhere. The nearest village, which still appears to be functioning normally, is about 8 km from the Chukhloma. So, if you're really thrilled to come here, be sure to bring a friend along just to calm your nerves when exploring the chambers.
9 The Grain Elevator - Chelyabinsk
Well, now that's an image that can make your heart skip a beat. This grain elevator was built right on the fringe of the Ural city of Chelyabinsk. Once the construction of the railway was completed, Chelyabinsk automatically became a pretty significant trade station between Eastern and Western Russia. The result was a gigantic 8-story building that served as the symbol of the town. It practically resembled a gigantic skyscraper rising high from the ground. In only several years, the other districts of the city developed so much that the grain elevator simply fell into disuse.
8 The Ancient Brusnitsyn Mansion - St. Petersburg
Located along the Karpovka river embankment, the ancient Brusnitsyn Mansion was constructed by Nikolay Brusnitsyn, a wealthy owner of a local tannery in Saint Petersburg. The formerly majestic mansion could be found near the industrial district of the Vailievsky island which is believed to be the hiding-place for Dracula's mirror. According to the locals, who almost seem to support these legends, the mirror was brought here in the 20th century from the Venetian Palazzo aka Dracula's resting place. In any case, such stories and legends about the Brusnitsyn Mansion definitely add a touch of mysteriousness to the location.
7 The Gothic Castle - St. Petersburg
This forgotten castle sits in Vladimir Khrapovitsky's region, a Russian lumberman, who had a liking for gothic architecture and traveling. During one of his French adventures in 1880, Vladimir promised himself that he would help the town built a similar mansion like the ones he saw while exploring France. A few years later, he accomplished his goal and built a beautiful mansion in the French Gothic architectural style, with ponds, gorgeous gardens and cascades scatted all over the place. Sadly, though, the castle was doomed to loneliness after the man passed away.
6 The Unseen Side Of Leningrad
Saying that the scenery isn't at all spooky would be the biggest lie ever. This jaw-dropping site was built near the village of Saperny and is considered the largest decoration for a military movie. In fact, the entire town was built on an abandoned military base. The movie project engaged over hundreds of builders to set up the scene and the whole process took between 4 - 6 months and over 5 million dollars to complete. It's not hard to see that the decoration is filled to the brim with bizarre details, and the one you're looking at right now is probably just a small example of that.
5 St. Petersburg Is Running Short On Amusement Parks
This odd place happens to be located in Saint Petersburg nearby the Catherinehof Park, and nobody seems to care about it. This unique park that used to attract so many kids with its rides and swings is now slowly fading away. There are no longer kids that can be seen swinging back and forth. There's no laughter anymore here. This place has surely become overlooked by the world. Traditionally, such spooky locations feed people's imagination like crazy. Therefore, you can hear many legends and myths about such abandoned spots. But once you look at these photos, you'll clearly understand what made the locals come up with such chilling bedtime stories.
4 The Affected Region of Bryansk After Chernobyl
It's no secret that the Chernobyl Power Plant was the epicenter of one of the biggest tragedies in the world. It only takes a single look at the whole region of Bryansk to realize that this place is unwelcoming and quite dangerous. Even to this date, some parts of Bryansk are off-limits due to the critical levels of radiation. To prevent it from spreading further into the nearby cities, the inactive power plant is getting a new sarcophagus. Well, this will definitely keep people out while holding the unhealthy waves in. Apparently, the region is still badly affected although it's been decades since that Chernobyl accident.
3 The Abandoned And Forgotten Soviet Circus
Well, if the idea of running into clowns make you feel uneasy, then you'll surely want to avoid coming here. Much like the rest of the places on today's list, this bizarre-looking circus is certainly not the most pleasant thing you'll ever see around here. Only the thought of seeing clown-shaped figures, carved into the walls, will probably give you a stomach ache. Actually, the architecture of this abandoned circus is quite unique, but even this isn't enough to make us go there and have a look at what's really going on the inside.
2 The Infamous Beslan School
This odd and spooky Beslan school stretches as far back as the former Soviet Union. Beslan School is located in Southern Russia and suffered lots of accidents in the Russian history. Naturally, the school was eventually abandoned, and there's a slim chance that it's ever going to get a new facade. Apart from the annual memorials that take place just outside the school, there's not much to see or do around here. This location has become quite useless for any kind of activities anyway, and given its spooky looks, that's completely understandable. Besides, this place looks quite unfriendly for newcomers, so you'd best avoid coming here.
1 Lake Karachay Was Also Affected By The Accident In Chernobyl
Once known as a gorgeous lake and a perfect place for quiet walks, Lake Karachay is now just as deserted and dangerous as the entire region of Chernobyl. In 1950, the country used the lake as a dumping terrain for radioactive waste. As a consequence, the lake had gained great amounts of toxic chemicals, and by the end of 1960, it was already heavily polluted due to the toxicity. Even 50 years later, the Russian lake Karachay is still considered one of the most polluted lakes in the country. Therefore, some parts of it are even off-limits to the public.
References: bbc.co.uk, russianblogger.me, rbth.com, guff.com