There's something unsettling about a whole town that's just been abandoned. Whether due to a natural disaster, or an economic avalanche, sometimes whole communities wind up standing empty, with nothing but crumbling structures to commemorate the people who called them home.
Here are nine of the world's most spooky ghost towns — eight of which are still standing today.
The whole town was flooded after an artificial dam failed, destroying an artificial lake. After the flood, only the churchtower was still visible. It was just one of the destroyed villages in the Ceaucescu-era.
(via Zoltán Kelemen/Flickr)
In the early 20th Century, there was a diamond fever in Namibia. Kolmanskop, founded in 1908, had a hospital, a casino and a school in 1910, but it didn't last long. After the First World War, the diamond sales dropped, and the town was left deserted.
The village was destroyed in 1944, when 642 of its inhabitants, included 205 children and 247 women, were massacred by the Waffen-SS. The place is now a museum. Adolf Diekmann, a commander, blamed the slaughter on retaliation for local partisan activity.
The town was founded in 1859 by a group of gold prospectors near a mine. It was California's second or third largest town, during the boom in the late 1870s. But starting around 1880, the population dropped quickly. And by 1900, Bodie had only 965 inhabitants — and 30 years later, only 228. Since 1962, it's been an open-air museum with 200 intact buildings.
Twenty years ago, the forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic captured the city. Forty thousand people were forced out. And now, it's almost entirely uninhabited.
(via sometimes interesting)
Sanzhi Pod City, Taiwan
These UFO houses were constructed beginning in the late 1970s, but the project was abandoned in 1980 due to investment losses and car accidents. This place was often described as "ruins of the future". Unfortunately, the buildings were demolished between 2008 and 2010.
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This place was a potash, sylvite and salt mining community, abandoned in the late 1960s. Most of the buildings were made of salt blocks. This place holds the record for the highest average temperature for an inhabited location on Earth, with 35 Celsius (recorded between 1960-66).
Varosha, Northern Cyprus
It the early 1970s, this was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Brigitte Bardot, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor loved this place. But after the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the Turkish army fenced off the whole quarter.
More than a thousand Greek speaking Christians lived her until 1923, when the village became abandoned as a result of the population exchange between Turkey and Greece. The place is now a museum, with 500 Greek style houses and two Greek Orthodox Churches.