They are abandoned for the reason that they are no longer a good place to live in. But if you have the streak of being adventurous and curious, you would most likely wish to visit any of these places. Which among the following ghost towns intrigues you the most?
The area suffered a civil strife and on its aftermath, the town is on its greatest difficulty in rehabilitating itself. In 1963, Craco began to be evacuated due to some geological dangers, which seems to have been caused by works of infrastructure, sewer and water systems. In 1972, a flood worsened the situation further, preventing a possible repopulation. By 1980, it suffered an earthquake, which makes the town completely abandoned. The abandonment has surprisingly made the town a tourist attraction and a popular filming location.
Villa Epecuén, Argentina
Tourism was well developed in Epecuén, as vacationers from Buenos Aires would seek the therapeutic salty waters it is enriched with. But then, on November 6, a tragic incident caused by a rare weather pattern, damaged a nearby dam. The water rose progressively, flooding the area with a peak of 10 meters. The village became uninhabitable, and was never rebuilt. But The town is loved by a nostalgic man. He is Pablo Novak – the villa’s lone resident. Born in 1930, he returned to his home in 2009 when the waters receded after covering the town for 25 years.
Built by gulag prisoners during World War II, its main livelihood is greatly reliant on coal mining. But after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, such an industry became increasingly unprofitable. An explosion at the mine in 1996 killed six people, which led to a decision to close the mines altogether and for the government to mandate the residents to move elsewhere. As of 2010, the settlement was officially completely depopulated. Although travelers reported to have seen some people mysteriously living there, 2010 Census declares Kadykchan had no recorded population.
Named after the nearby Pripyat River, it was founded on 1970 as the ninth nuclear city in the Soviet Union, to serve the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It was a fairly progressive place. But then, something happened on April 27, 1986 – a reactor of the nuke plant exploded which resulted into gruesome deaths and an immediate evacuation. On that same year, the city of Slavutych was constructed to replace Pripyat. Such a replacement has indeed made the town a ghost, in the truest sense of the word.
In pursuit of a promising livelihood of an ensuing gold rush, thousands of gold-seekers, developers and miners flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District during the early 1900s. Many settled in Rhyolite, which rests near the region’s biggest gold producer. But the town declined almost as rapidly as it rose. After the richest ore was exhausted and also due to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the extravagant way of living within the town took its toll which resulted into collapsing businesses, destroyed livelihoods and ruined lives.
By early 1900, this town was superbly rich, with its diamond-mining industry giving enormous wealth to the first inhabitants. The residents built the village in impressive architectural styles that include hospitals, power stations, theaters and casinos. But the town started to decline after World War I when the diamond field slowly started to run out of its pricey resources. By the early 30s, the area was on a complete downturn, which gradually led the residents fleeing into other towns.
The village and its 7,500 acres of surrounding heathland and chalk downland were taken over by military forces just before Christmas of 1943. This was just supposed to be only temporary for the duration of World War II but in 1948, the Army placed a compulsory purchase order on the land and it has remained in use for military training ever since. Tyneham is a ghost village due to the fierceness of wars and is now one of a handful of parishes in England with a population of zero.
When the Turkish Army gained control of the area during their invasion of Cyprus in 1970, they fenced it off and have since prevented admittance to anyone except Turkish military and some selected United Nations personnel. This escalated into even greater conflicts which eventually forced its inhabitants to abandon the place. In the absence of human habitation and maintenance, buildings continue to decay. On the upside, nature is reclaiming the area. As metal corrodes and windows break, plants work their roots into the walls and pavement. This gives Varosha a distinct appeal for tourists.
Humberstone and Santa Laura Works, Chile
These are two former saltpeter refineries — establishments that produces Potassium Nitrate, a natural solid source of nitrogen. The tandem became one of the most successful saltpeter works in 1940, producing great wealth for Chile. But both establishments were deserted in 1960 after a rapid decline in 1958. In 1970, they were officially called towns and were regarded as national monuments open for tourism. In 2005 they were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong
Most ghost towns are either abandoned by their residents due to natural disasters or to economical collapse. This one is triggered by something else – It has a crime rate that is just too tough to handle which eventually led to its own implosion. From the 1950s to the 1970s, it was controlled by local triads and had high rates of prostitution, gambling and drug abuse. Kowloon has been featured heavily in a lot of movies, video games, and documentaries… where it is depicted as a place where human decadence could be far worse than natural destruction.
Which among these should be ranked as No. 1?