Often referred to as ghost malls or, even more morbid, 'dead' malls, they hold a certain allure to lovers of all things abandoned. Another way they can be described is as 'creepy,' considering they're essentially enormous structures that should be filled with eager shoppers and giddy high school students, but they're just... not.
What is it about these malls that bring so many to their deserted halls? It could be the fact that everything remains at a standstill as though one day, poof, all humanity was sucked right out of them. Or, it could be that illusions play on our imaginations, making us feel as though these structures are far more wicked than they really are. Here are ten malls that are known for their barren grandeur, so readers can decide for themselves: Empty mall or a scene from Dawn of the Dead?
10 Lincoln Mall In Illinois
Surprisingly, Lincoln Mall was open until January of 2015, when it was promptly closed down. Many have photographed its decaying interior, which still holds the essence of what a shopping mall truly is. Though the plant life inside has seen better days, its frozen escalators and glass ceiling makes it appear as though there's still some life left inside this abandoned building.
Most recently, photographer Seph Lawless took on the challenge of capturing stills of this eerie mall as part of her "Autopsy of America" project. She also has a video of the modern mall which people can watch for some extra creepy feels.
9 New World Shopping Mall In Bangkok, Thailand
Even though we often associate shopping malls with the US, they can be found all over the world. This one, in particular, is in Thailand and has quite an interesting story to accompany it. You might be wondering why there's a massive school of Koi fish on the first floor of this mall and that's because they are the latest inhabitants of this structure.
This mall may very well be cursed, as it has a history of collapse, fire, and unauthorized construction, leading to fatalities as well as flooding. Hence, the mall-turned-Koi pond. So, what is up with all the fish? Locals began introducing them to the collapsed lower floor to combat the hefty mosquito problem surrounding the area.
8 Euclid Square Mall In Ohio
Euclid Square Mall was built in 1977 and began slowly going out of business as the mall continued through the 90s. As major business left, the mall was forced to shut its doors permanently. Though things such as a worship center and a salon remained for a time, the mall remained closed off to the public, lest they wanted to walk by empty storefronts.
While the interior of the mall isn't dilapidated or falling apart like some others, some would argue it gives off even more of an eerie vibe. It's almost as if the mall simply forgot to open one morning and remained that way...forever.
7 Rolling Acres Mall In Ohio
Rolling Acres Mall is well-known for its underground nature, as it's been closed since 2013, although only a Sears and J. C. Penny survived the last few years. The surprising thing is that this mall had a lengthy run, opening its doors for the first time back in 1975. With over 140 stores, the mall was well-visited and popular with the locals but sadly, as times change, so does business.
Since this mall's closing, it has fallen into significant disarray, unable to combat harsh Ohio winters and falling subject to nature's elements. The glass ceiling doesn't help this at all, but it does make for some eerie photo opts. In 2018, rumors spread of Amazon revitalizing the mall.
6 Hawthorne Plaza Mall In California
Hawthorne Plaza Mall is one which has seen plenty of visitors, post-closing, that is. This mall was intended to be the great hope of the city of Hawthorne in an attempt to bring some life back into a town that desperately needed it. While the mall was first opened in 1977, it barely lasted more than two decades.
The doors were eventually closed in 1999. Since then, the mall has been recognized for its abandoned state and has seen many a photographer. This mall captures the true essence that is abandoned commerce, as it still holds echoes of a time when 'hitting the mall' was a way of life.
5 Cloverleaf Mall In Virginia
While Cloverleaf was a fairly small mall compared to many others on this list, it was fairly popular back in its heyday. First opened in 1972, this mall was home to a respectable number of stores including two major department store chains. The problem wasn't the stores themselves, however; it was the quality of people who moved into the mall's social scene.
When the 90s came around, the sudden change in fashion was obvious and people became uncomfortable with teens in baggy pants and pocket chains. The majority of the demographic, which was young moms at the time, began abandoning their shopping, leading to the downfall of Cloverleaf.
4 The New South China Mall In China
One would probably never think that there would be an abandoned mall in China, of all places, given their population and rate of tourism. However, contrary to that notion, the New South China Mall lie dormant in wait for someone, anyone, to enter its halls. What began as a massive undertaking with the intention of becoming one of the greatest malls in the country, if not in the world, remained empty.
In 2005, it actually was the largest mall and gained the title as the largest ghost mall as well. Despite the fact that there was space for well over 2,000 stores, the location of the mall is what ruined it -- no public transportation, set far from the city center. Recently, the mall has experienced somewhat of a resurgence, so it seems like ghosts can actually be brought back from the dead.
3 Crestwood Court In Missouri
The Crestwood Mall in St. Louis had quite the run when it was formally open, lasting almost six decades before it eventually closed its doors. Just as any mall during a significant generational change, it began to fail as far as business and commerce went.
The stores - of which there were about 90 - began to see less business and eventually couldn't afford to remain in the mall. Between a significant decline in sales and a poor location, as there was no major route to the mall, its doors were eventually closed and put up for sale in 2013.
2 Acropolis Mall In Mexico
Though there are not many photos of this outdated and slightly out of place mall in Mexico City, it remains today as a haunting reminder of what could have been. The Acropolis - more like the A-nope-olis - was brought to fruition in the town of Ciudad Satelite with the intention of being a home shopping base for those who commuted to Mexico City.
However, the mall did not succeed due to the significant air pollution in the area, making for a less than pleasant shopping experience. Though the mall itself was designed to be attractive, the area around it was not.
1 Dixie Square Mall In Illinois
Surprisingly, the Dixie Square Mall had some decent exposure due to the Blues Brothers, which utilized the mall for a scene in the movie. Aside from this, though, the mall had an extremely short run and was only kept open for 13 years. Despite its claim to fame with the iconic movie scene, there simply wasn't enough momentum to keep this location open. The lack of momentum wasn't due to a drop in business, however. The mall eventually shut down due to a dramatic increase in its crime rate.