Lonely, abandoned places around the world;
mansions silhouetted atop a forested hill. Decrepit buildings peeking out from overgrown weeds. Trees limbs beckon you to enter.
It's the stuff of Stephen King novels. The stuff of nightmares.
But did you ever stop to think that there may be beauty in decay?
That behind every instance of human abandonment lies a story not only of mystery but of history?
Journey with us as we look at some of the most beautiful, intriguing, and yes, little scary abandoned places around the world.
A Diamond in the Rough
Location: Kolmanskop, Namibia in the Namib Desert
What it Was: A Diamond Mining Community
Fortune seekers once sparkled here, just as the diamonds they mined.
When the first diamond was discovered in 1908, the area grew rapidly to accommodate the miners and their families.
At one point over 300 Germans and close to 800 native Owambo workers populated the now ghost town.
An entire community thrived until it could no longer survive. By 1956 Kolmanskop was completely abandoned.
Year after year the once thriving community is swallowed back into the desert.
Although only a few kilometers from the bustling port of Lüderitz, the quiet isolation permeates your soul like the sand that fills a child's bedroom.
A Return from the Deep
Location: Epecuen, Argentina
What it Was: A lakeside tourist resort southwest of Buenos Aires
It's not the Lost City of Atlantis, but it shares a similar fate.
A destination popular for its natural saltwater lake drew tourists in by the thousands. The lake would soon be the demise of a quaint little resort town.
A combination of wet winters and monsoon rains overpowered the tiny community leaving it covered in over 30 feet of water.
That is, until recently.
In 2009 the water began to recede.
Now silhouettes of rusted automobiles, staircases leading to nowhere, and gnarled trees define the landscape. It is definitely not Myrtle Beach!
Do they dare tempt the elements and begin to rebuild?
We'll have to wait and see if history truly does repeat itself.
A Unamusing Amusement Park
Location: Pripyat, Ukraine
What it Was: A populated town near the Chernobyl
A town of almost 49,000 people. A nuclear explosion. An amusement park opened for one day. Now one of the most eery abandoned places around the world.
After infamous Reactor Four became a part of the worst nuclear power catastrophe in history, the scene was surreal.
Families with children lined up to ride bumper cars, a merry-go-round, and the Ferris wheel.
Those rides, used as a distraction for people waiting to evacuate, now glare forlornly at brave urban tourists. Maybe there's more than one reason those rides are no longer in use.
Location: Salgotarjani Street, Budapest, Hungary
What it Is: A cemetery inside a cemetery
Cemeteries are naturally creepy.
So, when you encounter a walled-off section within a cemetery, are you curious about what's on the other side or do you turn and walk quickly away?
A visit to the Kerepesi Cemetery will help you answer that question.
As you wander deep inside the park-like area with statues and giant mausoleums your tracks end abruptly at a dark wall.
Behind the walls? An abandoned Jewish burial ground.
Inside the foreboding walls are tombstones riddled with bullet holes.
The vegetation, now a jungle, grabs at you as you walk past crypts with broken doors. From which side were they opened?
And . . . are those bones over there? Why don't you go find out?
No Fishing Allowed
Location: Gouqi Island, China
What it Was: A Chinese Fishing Village
Decades have passed since this gorgeous riverside landscape was inhabited by Chinese fishermen and their families.
Now, this hillside village is one of the most awe-inspiring abandoned places around the world.
Rather than allow the village to crumble, mother nature had a different idea.
She draped her shroud of vegetation over the abandoned homes, pulling them back into the landscape.
Don't ever let it be said that mother nature is not resilient.
Want More Abandoned Places Around the World?
Whether your adventures take you there physically or simply via your imagination, here are five more amazing areas abandoned for different reasons.
- Lier Sykehus, Norway
- Initiation Wells of the Quinta da Regaleira
- San Juan Parangaricutiro, Mexico
- The Water Palace in Jaipur, India
- Hotel del Salto at Tequendama Falls, Bogota
Have a favorite deserted place or a mysteriously abandoned town you've visited?