The warm wind blows in from the sea. The sun shines and glistens over the water, luminescent and still. You turn from it and gaze upon the beach. At one time it was teaming with people, men women and children lounging on chairs, sunning themselves, or perhaps even throwing a Frisbee back and forth. But the sight you see now is nothing compared to that. The trash littered across the sand and the toppled over chairs and tables shows you that something has happened. But what? What could have happened to render the place where you spent all your childhood summers into such a derelict and abandoned location? The apocalypse?
No. It was time, decay and the passage of favor. Holiday resorts and even some towns and cities simply pass from the most popular to abandoned simply because people have chosen not to flock to these destinations anymore. Just like the many trends that pass out of favor, so can be the case for a vacation spot. And these places need tourists like they need air to breathe, live and thrive, and if tourists stop coming …well, you’ll soon see the results in this article.
And also, towns and certain cities have also come to be left abandoned because of political unrest and the like, and we’ll explore that too.
We’ve got quite a number of destinations that have indeed fallen out of favor and suffered great losses, and for a plethora of reasons. Some of these locations, you may even remember and have maybe even visited in the past, but it doesn’t change the fact that they have now been rendered ghost towns, no matter how difficult it may be to believe.
25 PLYMOUTH, MONTSERRAT
This once very popular destination is located in the Caribbean, near the Lesser Antilles. The area was booming up until the mid-nineties when the place was evacuated because of the potential eruption of a large volcano.
The Volcano itself, Soufriere Hills, actually finally erupted 2 years after the evacuation, rendering Plymouth a landscape of ash and not much more than abandoned properties like the one pictured here.
It has been reported that tourists can indeed visit the town, but proper care needs to be taken, as the volcano is still quite active.
24 BOKOR HILL STATION, CAMBODIA
With the popularity of the Netflix hit, The Haunting of Hill House, the re-telling of the classic Victorian Horror tale by Shirley Jackson, a place like the one pictured here could give you nightmares for weeks. It sure looks like some haunted manor atop some deserted hill, and maybe in some ways it is.
Back in the 1920's, it was supposed to be dedicated to wealth French Colonials, but a whopping 900 people lost their lives during the construction alone, due to Cambodia's incredibly humid climate. But despite that, it opened up for business in 1925, but later closed during the war of Indochina. It re-opened in 1962, but was closed once again ten years later.
Believe it or not, plans have been made by the Cambodian government to open it once more with some new buildings, as the construction of a highway close by has brought them new hopes of success.
23 KOLMANSKOP, NAMIBIA
Located in Southern Africa, this location was quite popular in the early portion of the 20th century. In fact, as early as 1908, this destination was the destination to travel to and for one very valuable reason: Diamonds, as far as the eye could see.
Not exactly, but the diamonds were definitely in high supply and the mining for them was big business back then.
The city profited largely and many attractions soon developed like casinos, movie theaters and the like, but when the diamonds suddenly were in short supply, so were the flock of people that had been showing up. The town dried out and it sits pretty much abandoned.
22 SANZHI, TAIWAN
You may have come across these UFO-looking structures in a travel magazine such as this one. They are definitely quite peculiar to say the least.
They're located in Taiwan's Northern Coast and the story behind the abandonment of the location is scarier than the pictures themselves of this abandoned location.
Construction of the "hoped to be" resort started in the 1970's, but a series of unfortunate incidents that occurred during the construction led the investors and workers to abandon the project in the 1980's--almost a decade after starting. Locals believe that the "incidents" were of a haunting nature if not worse, and all because the workmen damaged a rather sacred dragon at the start of the construction.
21 MAYA HOTEL, KOBE, JAPAN
You can still visit this site, as it is a rather popular place for thrill seekers and haunted hotel enthusiasts, if we can endearingly call them that. But the only way to this location is a rather arduous walk up a steep hill, or rather by cable car.
It was constructed in 1929 but unfortunately would not survive the Second World War, as most of the hotel was bombed and left damaged. It was then re-opened in 1961 but then was hit by a typhoon.
Again, they re-opened in 1971 and this time was used as a student center, but again was damaged in 1995 by the great Hanshin Earthquake.
Maybe, just maybe, it wasn't meant to be.
20 PRIPYAT, UKRAINE
By now the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion of the mid-eighties is legendary and the story has passed from generation to generation as both an extraordinary story to tell, as well as a cautionary tale for workers of nuclear power plants everywhere.
It was in 1986 that the core in one of the many reactors on site exploded, causing much damage and the sudden evacuation of all the town's citizens, numbering in over 45 000 people. The town of Pripyat now lies abandoned, its structures empty and collecting a nice cropping of vegetation as still, nuclear contamination is still rather prominent in the area.
19 BODIE, CALIFORNIA
It would be the epic site for the next big budget Western Film. Maybe starring the next up and coming star, alongside the likes of a legend like Robert Redford or even Kevin Costner, but no, Bodie was actually a genuine town back in the 1800's and it was rather the place to be as the Gold Rush of the era made the location flourish.
And with a whopping 60 saloons, flourish it did.
Well, like anything else, when the gold ran out, so did the popularity of the place, and finally, the post office closed back in the 1940's and the state of California decided to shut the place down, rendering it a national historic park rather than a place full of civilians to live and work in.
18 NORTH BROTHER ISLAND, NEW YORK
Now many of you probably wouldn't expect a deserted island to be situated so close to the metropolis that is the great city of New York, but a deserted isle there definitely lay nearby and maybe even you New Yorkers had no idea it was there, and if you did, you've probably heard all the rumors of hauntings and the such since the time you were small children.
In this rather unsettling shot of the morgue, a feeling of abandonment comes through, and if you guessed at a rich history, you've got that right. It was the location in which Typhoid Mary spent her remaining hours (she was the first to ever be diagnosed with Typhoid Fever), and the location was also where people inflicted from smallpox were treated.
The hospital was abandoned in the 1960's.
17 HASHIMA ISLAND, JAPAN
This island is located East of mainland Japan. In the days when coal was the preferred choice for fueling machinery, the island was a hotbed of activity. It has been reported that up to 5 000 miners worked and dug for coal on the island, where they also lived and raised their families.
Many lodgings and buildings were erected for this and a lot of money was put into the island.
But all of this was for naught, as petroleum soon began to be favored over coal in mainland Japan and the use of mines such as that one were left abandoned. It was deserted in the 1970's.
Interestingly enough, visits to this location are available.
16 KENNECOTT, ALASKA
The popularity of a lot of these locations, as you've probably already deduced, was based on what he locations could garner for the citizens that so happened to live and/or go there in search of a decent life. And a lot of these locations reached the height of their popularity at the end of the 19th century and the beginning to mid portion of the 20th century.
At those times, natural resources were mined in excess and that was also the case for this place, pictured here.
Kennecott, Alaska was the place to be if your business was centered on the mining of copper ore. Interestingly enough, 200 million dollars worth of the stuff was mined from approximately 1910 to 1940. But when that resource dried up, the people disappeared.
15 GLENRIO, NEW MEXICO/TEXAS
Hey! Where do you get your kicks?
It used to be on Route 66, eh? Well, not since the inception of Interstate 40, and let's be honest, it's hard to get any kicks at all on an Interstate of all places.
But back in the day, Glenario, which is situated right on the Texas and New Mexican border was the place to stop off for gas and any other necessities, but, since the Interstate was developed the town and the local businesses have seen quite the loss. As you can see, it looks pretty much like a ghost town, although there are still residents of the area.
14 ORADOUR-SU-GLANE, FRANCE
This town was situated in Western France and as far as European towns in the area went in the early portion of the 20th century, it was sizeable enough. I mean about 600 citizens isn't that large to North American standards, but it was quite the population for such a small town.
That was until the Second World War that was, when Germany came through and ultimately decimated the town and all its buildings, thus resulting in evacuation.
But the gallant people of France never gave up and they moved the town and started over, and with the same name, as well. The toppled over buildings at the old site has been rendered a historic location that can still be visited today.
13 TEXOLA, OKLAHOMA
For years, this town had no true location, as residents and officials of both Texas and Oklahoma didn't know to which state it belonged. That makes for some very confusing times indeed. It was located smack-dab in the middle of both Route 66 and The 100th Meridian.
Well, in the end, it looks like Oklahoma won out, if you can consider it a win, that is.
Like Route 66, the town suffered immensely with the construction of the I-40 and it became the epitome of ghost towns everywhere. Back in 2010, a census was done and it showed that only 36 people still lived in Texola.
12 HACHIJO ROYAL HOTEL, JAPAN
Hachijo-Jima is considered a semi-tropical island near Tokyo, Japan. It was after World War Two that the location became popular and tourists started flocking to the area after the Japanese government proclaimed the location could be considered the "Hawaii of Japan."
But as Japanese riches reached an all-time high with their very own industrial revolution, residents sought out Okinawa and the actual Hawaii as vacation destinations instead.
The Royal Hotel opened in the 1960's, but after tourism declined, they suffered immensely, holding out until over a decade ago, when they finally closed up shop. The place now lies abandoned.
11 PENN HILLS RESORT, PENNSYLVANIA
Do you remember the heart-shaped bathtubs and beds of the 1980s? Now, they've been rendered cliches, but at the time, this place featured those comforts with pride, as nothing was more romantic for a couple at the start of a loving relationship.
But just like the 1980's the styles of the era are now gone and buried, the place falling out of favor with one and all.
The owner of the resort, Frances Paolillo, passed on in 2009 and the doors soon closed behind his departure, rendering the place the derelict location worthy of a couple's nightmare and not their honeymoon.
10 EAGLE LAKE BIRCHWOOD RESORT
As is the case with many pursuits in this world of ours, vacation spots, or should I say the "ideal" vacation spots come into favor and pass out of favor at the speed of a strong wind passing through our lives. These days, going to some resort in the Poconos with the family is a little hard to do, as spending the weekend with Mom and Dad is a little boring, to say the least.
Such was the case for The Birchwood Resort, as it quickly passed out of favor among the rich families that once flocked to its quaint location.
I've got to say, locations like this one always reminded me of the iconic classic film, Dirty Dancing. Don't these places look like the resort where "Baby" and her family went to spend the summer?
9 GROSSINGER, NEW YORK
I know it looks horrible now, but that pool had some of the most iconic people swimming within and lounging around in chars and sipping at drinks as they talked about business and gossiped well into the night.
Grossinger opened its doors for business in 1958, and the first woman to wade in the indoor pool was none other than Florence Chadwick, the first woman to ever swim the English Channel, across and back. And also in attendance at hotel's opening was the famed icon herself, Elizabeth Taylor.
Can you imagine the conversations that took place? Oh, to be but a fly on the wall.
8 HOMOWACK LODGE, NEW YORK
The bowling alley at the famed Homowack Lodge now sits abandoned and almost forgotten amidst the trees and other vegetation that have overtaken the location. But there was a time when the lanes were indeed some of the most popular in all of New York State.
The adjoining cocktail lounge looks just as bad. The creepiness is definitely felt through the images, but also, at the same time a sadness can definitely be felt, as seeing this place at its height and then seeing it in its current state is the perfect example of how quickly the hand of time moves and destroys all in its path.
7 VILLA EPECUEN, ARGENTINA
Lago Epecuen in Argentina was known to have therapeutic powers. That's right. Wading in the crystalline-like waters of that lake was known to heal what ailed you, therefore it was natural that many flocked to the area.
The township known as Villa Epecuen was built in the 1970's right on the shores of this lake.
The Villa enjoyed some prominence and popularity until the very waters that surrounded it and were known to be therapeutic flooded the town after a nearby dam broke, causing irreparable damage. The water finally started to clear away in 2009 and now, the damage done can clearly be seen as some of the buildings are now visible.
6 GRAND-BASSAM, IVORY COAST
It looks like the perfect getaway, even now after years of abandonment. Well, maybe not for all of you reading, but for those looking for a lonely far-off destination, it should still do the trick.
This one sure is old however. It's abandonment came not in the 20th century but in the 19th, or at least abandonment from the Colonial government that is. It was abandoned by the Colonials in 1896, despite that at one time the city was considered the capital of the French Cote D'Ivoire.
However, it took a long time for the town to be almost completely abandoned, as this occurred only in the 1960's and believe it or not, the site is indeed a large tourist attraction to this day.
5 DALLOL, ETHIOPIA
This is known as one of the lowest points of the earth. It has the hottest and driest climate. It also receives the lowest amount of rain anywhere in the world. To say that life in the area isn't ideal world be putting it rather mildly.
Despite that at one time, the location enjoyed quite the popularity because of the mining done there, it now remains a desolate part of Ethiopia where not many dare to venture, as can be definitely understood. Not even the wildlife can be seen that much there.
However, as terrible as the conditions are, many tourists have been known to go to snap shots such as the one here. And despite the desolation, it sure is beautiful, isn't it? Ah ... Mother Nature and all her wondrous states of being.
4 KILAMBA, NEW CITY, ANGOLA
It sure is a large area to be left abandoned, but yet abandoned it is.
The area was built by the Chinese firms of Angola and was supposed to house over 500 000 inhabitants. It had countless apartment buildings, schools and the like, but it has an incredible 0 residents. That's right ... none!
And what's more incredible, is that it cost over 3 billion dollars to build!
The reason for the abandonment: it was located 18 miles outside of Angola's capital city and the isolation of the area drew no citizens whatsoever. Many have speculated that there is more to it than that, but no proof has yet been found.
3 PYRAMIDEN, NORWAY
Little is known about the mysterious abandonment of this little town in Norway. The town still looks as though people dwell there, but as it turns out, the whole town was abandoned in one night, or at least that's the way it now looks. Many animals have overtaken the town and no plans to re-construct of re-populate the area have been commenced in all these years since its abandonment, and that's rather peculiar, to say the least.
Talk about adding on to an already creepy story!
The only way to reach this location is by boat from May until October, but judging by the mysterious abandonment why would anyone want to go there?
2 VAROSHA, CYPRUS
Perhaps there is no greater place to travel to than the absolutely beautiful array of little islands known as the gorgeous country known as Greece.
But Cyprus constitutes its very own little country, although it is culturally Greek--with the exception of the North which is under Turkish regime.
And it is because of the Turkish occupation of the North that this once very popular vacation spot lies abandoned and empty. All the hotels are deserted and sand fills the lobbies and stairwells. And it's been this way for a whopping 40 plus years.
1 GOLDFIELD, ARIZONA
And as is the case in many old and small towns in America, the formerly booming Goldfield, Arizona, it is now a historic location where many still flock to get a taste of what once was.
The town was a definite hotbed of activity in 1892 and the few years before and after, as it was an area rich in gold--hence the name. And surprise, surprise, when the gold ran out, so did the citizens. This has been a common theme with these abandoned towns, hasn't it?
But the good thing about locations like this, is no matter how long they've been abandoned for or how bad they look, they live on in our interests and our collective curiosity, and as traveling enthusiasts, I'd say we're deeply interested and curious. Wouldn't you?
Sources: skyscanner.net ; nationalgeographic.com ; msn.com; wikipedia.org