10 Ghost Towns That Turned Into Tourist Destination But Are Still Spooky

Haunted place, stark night, and frightening stories are enough to make you scared. But check these ghost towns that are scary but now turned into a tourist destination and featured in movies.

4 years ago
10 Ghost Towns That Turned Into Tourist Destination But Are Still Spooky

Every place you visit has some story to tell: be it a museum, palace or haunted place. Their existence raises several questions in mind like, when the place was established, who built it, and so on. But there’s nothing more haunting than the place which was once the busiest town and now abandoned for several reasons. The mystery about the Ghost towns can’t be ignored.

Several ghost towns are now turned into tourist destinations, but still, have those creepy sites and dark secrets. While ghost towns have some spooky stories about why they got abandoned, these strange houses are haunted but have beautiful interiors and luxurious bathrooms in case, if you are looking for a new home to move into.

Take a look at a few ghost towns that are creepy, unstable, but are worth visiting (only if you are daring enough).

1. North Brother Island

Source = Independent

Uninhabited until 1885, the island is located in New York City’s East River between Rikers Island and mainland Bronx. The site was once a hospital but has now turned into a bird sanctuary. Unfortunately, the island has a fascinating but tragic history. It was purchased to build Riverside hospital for people suffering from diseases like typhus, smallpox, and other severe diseases.

The island’s most famous person was Mary Mallon, called Typhoid Mary. The woman who caused typhoid outbreaks in the area. She was quarantined at Riverside hospital in 1907. After an investigation by medical experts, it was revealed that 7-8 families for whom she worked suffered from typhoid fever.

Later it was revealed that she carried bacteria, but she appeared to be in good health. Mallon refused to believe that she was infected and left her work. She was sent to the island in 1915 after sickening over 20 people at Sloan Hospital for Women. She remained quarantined until her last breath in 1938, believing that she was not infected.

The hospital was closed and reopened after WWII, but isn’t accessible to the public (limited access). Today, it is a bird sanctuary for the colonies of Black-Crowned Herons.

2. Bodie, California

Source = Kqed

Bodie is a popular ghost town located in the Bodie Hills, east of the Sierra Nevada Mountain in California. The ghost town was established officially as Bodie State Historic Park back in 1962. It became known when miners discovered the deposits of silver and gold in its hillsides. It was home to over 10,000 gold seekers in 1880. It was in 1859 when William S Bodey discovered gold near Bodie Bluff. But he died in a snowstorm and never saw the town that would be called after him.

A mill was opened, and the town started gaining popularity. The town of Bodie was filled with miners, prostitutes, miners, and people from around the world. Like many mining camps, Bodie earned a reputation for lawlessness and violence. While some continued mining, there were no companies left to make money by extracting gold from old tailings. Only a few people continued living in Bodie after WWII.

By the 1880s, most locals moved to another location. In the end, only six people were left in the area that had an untimely death. The man shot his wife. After she died, three men killed him. It is still believed that the ghost of the man visits three men shaking his fist. By 1940, Bodie turned into a ghost town and is visited by tourists interested in knowing the story.

Today it has over 200 structures standing. The town hasn't repaired anything and has kept everything as it is. The church, museum and a few buildings are accessible to the public. Make a plan to visit the place in summers for the best pictures.

3. Kolmanskop, Namibia

Source = Info-namibia

Kolmanskop is one of the most popular ghost towns in the world. After becoming the richest town in Africa in 1910, the place was left by the residents, and it turned into a ghost town in the Namib desert. It was founded in the early 1900s when diamonds were found in the Namib Desert but got abandoned 40 years later.

The Ghost town has now become a photographic place where tourists come to see the German Houses sank into the desert. The lonely landscape and the sand hide the structures within themselves. Go near the house, and you will see the German architecture featuring huge windows and roofs.

Source = Pri

Kolmanskop’s people became rich overnight by picking diamonds from the desert, but German authorities wanted more control over them. They declared the area of Namibia as a restricted zone and forbidden the entry of ordinary people and reserved the rights for a Berlin-based company. People were forced to leave their land and to live on barracks-like compounds for several months.

Driven by the wealth of the diamond miners, the inhabitants built a village with amenities like a power station, hospital, casino, and ice factory. It was after WWII that the town started depleting. And it got abandoned in 1956. Today, it has turned into a tourist destination, and visitors are shown some houses that are dug out of sands and restored. The tour starts from 9:30 and 11 on weekdays. On Sunday, it starts at 10:00. Would you ever visit this ghost town?

4. Craco, Italy

Source = Italymagazine

Craco was once a town with a university, church, and castle. It is located around 40 km inland from the Gulf of Taranto. It was in 1656 when the plague struck in the area and killed hundreds of people and reduced the population. The town got abandoned in the 20th century due to natural disasters.

In 2010, the town was included in the list of the World Monuments Fund. The population of the town grew to 2590 from 450 in 1561. However, in 1656, a plague struck in the town, and towards the 19th century, the city was abandoned.

Craco was built on the hill, so the soil drainage the terrain completely. This caused landslides in 1600, 1857, and in 1933. Craco survived the plague but couldn’t survive landslide, making the town dangerous to live. The earthquake was the secondary reason for destruction. Check more worst earthquakes recorded in history that caused havoc in the world and had severe after-effects.

5. Hashima Island Japan

Source = Blogspot

Hashima Island is an abandoned island located in the city of Nagasaki, in southern Japan. Earlier, Hashima Island was known for its undersea coal mines. In 1959, the population of Hashima was around 5000, but once the mines started to dry and petroleum began replacing it, people left. After Mitsubishi purchased the island, the company developed sea walls and extracted coal. In 1916, Japan’s first reinforced concrete building was built for the miners to protect them from typhoon damage.

Around the 1960s, petroleum replaced coal, and Mitsubishi closed the site. Within 2-3 months, people left, and there was nobody to maintain the Island. The site was then ignored for three decades and got attention when flora flourished. Today, it is completely abandoned but turned into a tourist destination to see spooky stores and homes. Hashima Island is also known as Gunkanjima and marked as the rapid industrialization of Japan.

6. Rhyolite, Nevada

Source = Westernmininghistory

Rhyolite in Nevada is another most popular Ghost Town on the list. Founded in 1904 and destroyed in the 1920s, Rhyolite is one of a few short-lived towns from the late Gold Rush era. The town was found when Shorty Harris and Ed Cross struck gold in the Bullfrog mountains west of Death Valley.

People claim that Rhyolite, an old mining town, was home to thousands of people in the 1900s, but by 1920, the population was zero. However, an industrialist Charles M. Schwab invested a huge amount in the hope of finding gold and developed stores, hospitals, banks, fire departments, and hotels. But some financial issues in 1907, tightened the capital markets and as a result, there was little or no funding for mine development. All the facilities like a post office, banks, newspaper, schools were closed, and by 1916, the town was mostly abandoned.

Today, Rhyolite features an amazing train station, bottle house, caboose house, which was used as a gas station in the 1920s, and other ghost town ruins.

7. Varosha, Cyprus

Source = Reutersmedia

Once a popular Mediterranean beach destination, Varosha Cyprus, was abandoned when the Turkish Armed Forces invaded and caused over 35,000 people to flee. As of 2019, the town continues to be inhabited, and buildings can be seen decayed and is described as a ghost town.

In the early 1970s, the Famagusta located on the east coast of Cyprus was the most popular travel beach destination in the world. People came here to enjoy the sunny beaches, luxury hotels, and fine dining experience. It was on 20 July 1974 when the impending Turkish invasion drove all the locals and tourists out of the city. They fled after the battle and the city was taken by Turkish armed forces.

The city is now home to 40,000 people, but the Varosha quarter, which was the attraction of the city, is abandoned from the time the Turkish government fenced it off. It can only be accessible by UN officials and journalists. You can see 1970s cars, designer clothing, buildings collapsing, and rusting all around the town.

8. Pripyat, Ukraine

Source = Telegraph

Pripyat is another one of the most popular Ghost Towns in the world. Named after the Pripyat river, the city was founded in 1970. It was on 26 April 1986 when the test was conducted to see how much power needed to keep the reactor operating at the time of blackout exploded and caused a fire. The No. 4 reactor of Chernobyl Nuclear Station caused fire and damaged the building. This released harmful radioactive chemicals into the air and contaminated several European nations.

Pripyat was the nearest town to the reactor no. 4 and home to around 45000 people from Chernobyl. It had stores, amusement parks, cinemas, pools, and other amenities. It was only 3 km from the explosion and got evacuated in only two-three hours.

Three decades later, you can see abandoned buildings, clocks frozen at 11:55, the time when power was cut and littering streets. However, the whole city was never abandoned. The pool was in service until 1996; scientists and the military use the location for their experiments. The absence of humans has converted the location into a haunted place and a forest.

9. Isla De Las Muñecas (Island of Dolls), Mexico

Source = Mas-mexico

The Island of Dolls or Isla De Las Munecas is located in the south center of Mexico City. This island was never meant to be a tourist destination. It was dedicated to the soul of a poor girl who died at a very young age.

The site was originally owned by Don Julián Santana. It is full of dolls hanging from buildings and trees. It is believed that Don Julian found the body a drowned girl some 45-50 years ago. He was scared by her death and believed that the island would be haunted by the spirit of the girl. So he started hanging dolls on all the trees to make her happy.

Don hoped that this would protect the island from evil and would please her soul. He started collecting dolls from the trash and hung it on trees. After his death, the place became a tourist place. Some tourists place offerings on the island in exchange for miracles; others change their clothes as a form of worship.

Sounds scary? Isn’t it? Would you like to visit this haunted place?

10. Terlingua, Texas

Source = Ghosttowntexas

Terlingua in Texas, a ghost town, was also famous for mining but now abandoned. By the 1900s, many mining companies started operating. In the 1940s, the mines dried up, and the place got abandoned. The only remnants of the town were several abandoned mines.

Source = Encrypted-tbn0

But today, it has attracted people with its Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park. The tourists also come here for shopping and to see fine art. Old churches now host yoga classes, and the old school has been renovated or replaced by new ones.

Final Words

While Ghost Towns have haunted people for years, they are becoming popular with time. They have become popular locations for horror movies. Not only these ghost towns are scary, but also several tunnels from around the world have spookiest stories.

Have you ever visited any ghost town? How was your experience- Scary or Interesting? Share it with us.


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