I have this thing with haunted places. It’s strange because I feel anxious at the thought of sitting through a horror movie but I could stay up all night exploring eerie locations and forgotten cities. Their history and once inhabited walls provoke a sense of wonder and mystery that is just so compelling. Here’s 10 of the most creepy, abandoned places on earth.
1. Pripyat – Ukraine
In the 1980’s, the nuclear plant in Pripyat had a meltdown, causing the entire town to have to evacuate. Today, Pripyat remains almost untouched, since the evacuation occurred, leaving behind a haunting and abandoned city.
2. Kolmanskop, Namibia
Kolmanskop is a slowly sinking city in the desert of southern Namibia, Africa, a ghost town called Kolmanskop. Founded in the early 1900s by German settlers looking for precious gems, the town of Kolmanskop in the Namib Desert has been left to the elements after being abandoned in the 1950s. At its peak, it was home to 700 families.
2. Nara Dreamland – Japan
Nara Dreamland was a theme park near Nara, Japan which was built in 1961 and inspired by Disneyland in California. On August 31, 2006, Nara Dreamland closed permanently due to low visitor numbers, possibly due to the popularity of Tokyo Disney Resort.
3. Hashima Island – Japan
Hashima Island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility and home to 5,000 workers. The tiny island had apartment buildings, a school, hospital, shrine, retail stores and restaurants. When coal mining declined, operations at the facility ceased and the island was abandoned in 1974.
4. El Hotel del Salto – Colombia
The luxurious Hotel del Salto opened in 1928 to welcome wealthy travelers visiting the Tequendama Falls area, in Colombia. Due to regulations of Colombian authorities, the Bogota river around the hotel was allowed to become contaminated by industrial waste. The reputation of the area as a tourist destination was badly damaged as a result, and tourists quickly stopped visiting. The hotel closed down in the early 90’s and was left abandoned ever since.
5. Military Hospital – Beelitz, Germany
Originally designed as a sanatorium – with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, it was converted into a military hospital for the German Army. During the months of October and November of 1916, a young Adolf Hitler recuperated here after being wounded in the leg at the Battle of the Somme. At the close of World War II in 1945, Beelitz-Heilstätten was occupied by Soviet forces. Since the late 1990’s however, the complex has been left abandoned.
6. Willard Asylum – Willard, New York
Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane was built in 1869 and closed in 1995. Housing 4000 patients at its peak, more than half of the 50,000 patients who called Willard Asylum their home died within its walls.
7. Ryugyong Hotel – Pyongyang, North Korea
Work started on this 105 story hotel only a few years before a massive famine plagued the country. Abandoned for 16 years, work once again began in 2008, when it was coated in $150 million worth of glass.
8. Building complex, Zhongzheng district – Keelung, Taiwan
This abandoned building complex used to stand in the Zhongzheng district of Keelung city in northeastern Taiwan. The residential buildings were left unfinished and had been slowly overtaken by nature.
9. Chateau Miranda, Belgium
The castle was originally built by French aristocrats fleeing the revolution. During and after World War II, Miranda Castle was used as an orphanage. It was abandoned in 1980, with the family refusing to allow authorities to care for the structure.
10. House of the Bulgarian Communist Party — Mount Buzludzha, Bulgaria
Opening in 1981, the House of the Bulgarian Communist Party was the center of Bulgarian politics during the Soviet Era, but with the fall of the Iron Curtain less than a decade later came the abandonment of the building that symbolized that regime.