Thursday, July 14, 2011

8 spooky ghost towns in the world

These towns are'nt actually haunted (though one claims to be), instead they re abandoned; once bustling locales full of people that now stand deserted. One was shut down after a nuclear explosion, another was left vacant because it was on fire for 20 years... and all are frankly a bit spooky.

1. Kolmanskop


Where is it?
Southern Namibia

Why is it abandoned?
This small desert town was built with diamond money in the early 20th century and was noted for its debauchery. But when the nearby mine stopped producing sparklers after World War 1, the folks moved out and by the 1950s the town was deserted. Sand and lots of it moved in.

Can I visit?
You can, though you need a permit from the nearby town of Luderitz. Nonetheless the towns eerie buildings, now half-buried in the desert, proved popular with tourists.

2. San Zhi Pool City


Where is it? 
Northern Taiwan

Why is it abandoned?
Its a ghost town… literally. Legend has it this futurist pod village, which was built as a luxury holiday retreat for Tawains rich, is haunted by the ghosts of construction workers who died while building it.
The story goes that there were so many accidents, production stopped permanently, with just the rusting pods remaining. Spooky.

Can I visit?
According to travel bloggers its possible to just walk into the complex and wander around the abandoned buildings. Watch out for ghosts!

3. Tyneham


Where is it? 
Dorset, the UK

Why is it abandoned?
Because the Ministry of Defense stole it. Back in 1943 the MoD commandeered this picturesque village for Our Boys to use as a firing range. The locals were promised their houses back after the war, but to this day its still owned by the army. Only a few crumbling and bullet-ridden buildings remain. Known as the village that Dorset lost.

Can I visit?
Its still used as a firing range today so access is limited, but you can visit on most weekends and select weekdays during holiday season.

4. Craco


Where is it? 
South Italy.

Why is it abandoned?
Earthquakes and landslides.Back in the 19th century this was a bustling town, but poor farming conditions forced much of the population to relocate, before a punishing sequence of seismic activity did for the rest in the 60s and 70s. It looks so battered nowadays it doubled as biblical Jerusalem in Mel Gibsons 'The Passion of The Christ'.

Can I visit?
There are regular excursions to the town, though the area is'nt the most tourist-friendly apparently, with not much English spoken in the region.

5. Centralia


Where is it?
Pennsylvania, USA

Why is it abandoned?
Because it was on fire.In the 60s this was a small but thriving mining town.
Then some, er, bright spark decided to burn rubbish in one of its abandoned mines.
The flames hit an exposed vein of (highly flammable) anthracite coal and soon much of the fuel under the town was on fire. Over the next two decades many unsuccessful attempts were made to extinguish the flames, but eventually the exhausted authorities just moved out most of the residents.
The fires still burning to this day.

Can I visit?
There is nothing stopping you, as several major routes run through the town.
However the town is littered with ‘danger signs warning visitors about toxic gas and subsidence, so you might want to give it a miss.

6. Kadykchan


Where is it? 
Russia

Why is it abandoned?
This creepy coal mining town went into swift decline after the collapse of the USSR.
A drop in demand for the fuel, plus a horrific mining accident in 1996 saw authorities abandon the area, leaving it without schools, doctors and even running water.
Thousands of residents moved to places that still had access to these luxuries, and by 2008 the 10,000-strong population had dwindled to just 200.

Can I visit?
Technically yes, but were not sure why you want to.
Described as ‘Chernobyl without the radiation by one travel blogger, this is a dangerous place made even spookier by the fact it was apparently built by Gulag prisoners during World War 2. Not exactly honeymoon material.

7. Varosha


Where is it?
A district of Famagusta in Cyprus

Why is it abandoned?
Because it was invaded by Turkey in 1974. Before that Famagusta was one of the most popular tourist hotspots on earth - Elizabeth Taylor even stayed there. But when Turkish tanks rolled in, the entire population fled and the invaders fenced off the Varosha quarter, allowing no-one in.
The areas bars, high-rise hotels and up-market restaurants are now crumbling, as nature slowly retakes the region.

Can I visit?
No. The district is still in the UN buffer zone between Cyprus and Turkey, but in Famagusta itself bus tours do go near the region.

8. Prypiat


Where is it?
The Kiev Oblast province in Ukraine.

Why is it abandoned?
The city was built to house workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear plant in the 1970s… and we all know what happened next. After the meltdown in 1986 a 19 mile exclusion area (the Zone of Alienation) was set-up around the city, though a few residents resolutely decided to stay put.

Can I visit?
For years the area was strictly of-limits to travellers, but amazingly there are now several companies offering tourists trips there.