15 Ghost Towns To Visit For A Spooky Halloween
By Danielle Dorsey
Halloween is no longer just a day, it’s an entire season that starts on the first day of September. That gives us plenty of time to tailor our travel to see spooky sites that send chills down our spines.
Here are 15 ghost towns around the world if you’re in the mood to treat yourself to a creepy Halloween:
1. Kolmanskop, Namibia
Located in the Namib Desert, Kolmanskop was a prosperous diamond mining town in the early 20th century. The discovery of diamonds in other parts of Namibia and overmining caused residents to abandon the town in the middle of the century, leaving it deserted. Now its a popular tourist site and receives tens of thousands of visitors each year.
2. Pyramiden, Svalbard
A tiny island in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, Svalbard is now part of Norway’s domain, but was once home to Russian mining settlements. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 90’s, residents abandoned the town. There’s recently been more interest in the island and a hotel is available for those interested in visiting.
3. Hashima Island, Japan
Originally developed by the car company Mitsubishi in the early 20th century, Hashima Island was once a site of forced labor for Koreans while Japan had control over the Korean peninsula. Also known as Battleship Island, this island was abandoned in the 1970s when the coal mine that drove the island’s work force was closed. You can take a guided tour of the island via nearby Nagasaki.
4. Garnet, Montana
Around 1,000 people settled in Garnet in the late 19th century, hoping to strike gold. When gold ran out less than a century later, residents left for greener pastures. Garnet is now preserved by the US Bureau of Land Management and offers a glimpse into life as a gold miner in the midwest.
5. Pripyat, Ukraine
Pripyat is one of the most popular ghost cities in the world, due to the famous Chernobyl nuclear disaster that occurred in the mid-80s and forced tens of thousands of residents to leave for fear of radiation poisoning. The city is still considered unsafe for long-term occupancy, but attracts numerous tourists who believe that ghosts roam the abandoned nuclear plant.
6. Craco, Italy
Located in southern Italy, Craco succeeded for more than a millennium before the landslides thart plagued its hillside locale forced residents to leave. Religious festivals are still hosted in the area each year and tourists can visit the city with a guided tour.
7. Whaler’s Bay, Deception Island
The appropriately named Whaler’s Bay is located on a volcano in the middle of the Antarctic and was once used for whaling. When the volcano began erupting in the 60’s, it effectively put an end to the local whaling industry. The island is still home to scientific research stations and tourits who brave the boat ride can reward themselves with a dip in the nearby natural hot springs.
8. Humberstone and Santa Laura, Chile
Humberstone and Santa Laura came to represent a significant role in the saltpaper mining industry in northern Chile, which thrived from the 1870s through the first half of the 20th century. Saltpaper lost value with synthetic nitrates were developed in the 1930s and both towns were abandoned in the decades that followed. They are cited on the UNESCO World Heritage List and tourists can learn more about the town’s history at the local museum.
9. Chinguetti, Mauritania
Located in the western Sahara desert, Chinguetta was originally a trading city that was founded in the 11th and 12th centuries. The partially sand-covered city is now a UNESCO-listed destination and preservation efforts are underway. Visitors can stay in certain sections of the city that have been redeveloped by new residents.
10. Bodie, California
Now a California State Historic Park, Bodie was once home to 10,000 hopeful gold miners. It’s population peaks around 1880 and the town was abandoned in the middle of the 20th century. Tourists can visit a museum to learn more about the town’s history or organize a ghost tour.
11. Grytviken, South Georgia Island
Located in the middle of the southern Atlantic Ocean is the former whaling station of Grytviken. The grave of Antarcitc explorer Ernest Shackleton is located on the island, along with a museum and a church. About 30 scientists and other officials call the island home.
12. Mandu, India
Mandu was once home to the second-largest empire in the world with India’s Mughal Empire. Founded in 1526, the city has not been prosperous for at least 400 years. Despite this oversight, the architecture remains largely intact and you can find India’s oldest marble building on this site.
13. Glenrio, New Mexico
Right along the New Mexico-Texas border off Route 66 is the former railroad town of Glenrio. The 31-acre historic district was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 and a welcome center was erected the following year. You might recognize sections of the abandoned town from the Grapes of Wrath film.
14. North Brother Island, New York
Now home to a plentiful heron population, North Brother Island once housed Riverside Hospital and its highly contagious patients. Located between Rikers Island and the Bronx, there have been recent proposals to revitalize the 20-acre island, but no plans have been confirmed as of yet.
15. Herculaneum, Italy
Located just five miles south of Naples, Italy, is the ancient town of Herculaneum, which once served as a seaside resort for wealthy Romans. In A.D. 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the city in lava. Private villas, shops, bathhouses, and other artifacts have been discovered by archeologists.