Among the most popular tourist destinations for years there are undoubtedly these: ghost towns, abandoned places in the world that attract the curious for their ghostly appeal. Ruins, empty houses, desolate buildings, and deserted streets are the main characteristics of “ghost towns”. The unreal silence that surrounds them, combined with apocalyptic landscapes, are the ingredients that attract visitors to these sinister, mysterious, and sometimes romantic places.
Ghost towns are found in different parts of the world, so let’s take a look at eight of the most charismatic.
#1 . Oradour-sur-Glane, France
image credit: Dna-Dennis/Wikimedia commons
This French commune became a ghost town during World War II. In 1944, after the landing in Normandy, the German army entered the village and countered the resistance by eliminating all the inhabitants. After the war, De Gaulle decreed that the city should not be rebuilt, but should remain a symbol of the suffering of the French during the Nazi period. Today, all that remains are abandoned streets and houses marked with suffering.
#2 . Bodie, Californie
image credit: King of Hearts/Wikimedia Commons
This Wild West town earned its “ghost” name in 1915 when the frantic search for gold that had drawn many men to California after the discovery of a valuable deposit came to an end. Since 1962, it has become a national historical park that welcomes more than two hundred thousand tourists a year.
#3. Pripyat, Ukraine
From boomtown to ghost town: Pripyat ended its period of expansion after the incident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, which resulted in a deadly release of toxic energy. The town was immediately evacuated for security reasons and has remained isolated ever since. Today, all that remains are abandoned buildings in disrepair.
#4 .Hashima, Japon
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Hashima has been an uninhabited island since 1974 and was a major coal mine until Japan decided to use other types of fuels. The owner of Hashima then stopped operating the mine and the island was abandoned. Since 2009, it is only possible to visit certain areas, which present places in ruins and full of rubble. Since 2015, Hashima has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as an Industrial Historic Site.
#5. Varosha, Chypre
Varosha was once a rather upscale resort town , with elegant hotels frequented by Hollywood stars. In the summer of 1974, however, locals and vacationers fled during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus , leaving the town at the mercy of the army, which surrounded it with a barbed wire fence. From then on, no one was able to return home, and Varosha remained deserted. The spectacle it offers today is characterized by ruined buildings near the beach where sea turtles breed in peace.
#6 . Port Arthur, Tasmania
image credit: Martin Pot/Wikimedia commons
This Australian ghost town is considered one of the most disturbing in the world because of its history: Port Arthur was for years a penal colony that housed many criminals and was the scene of a cruel massacre in 1996. Several visitors have reported hearing eerie noises at the site and noticing vanishing figures, as well as the mysterious tinkling of the church bell…
#7 . Craco, Matera
image credit: Maurizio Moro5153/Wikimedia commons
This Italian municipality in Basilicata became a ghost town in the 1980s, following a terrible landslide which saw the town gradually depopulated from its two thousand inhabitants from 1963. However, the area is still used by various filmmakers as film set: Craco was also the filming location for Mel Gibson ‘s The Passion of the Christ .
#8 . Kolmanskop, Namibie
image credit: Olga Ernst/Wikimedia commons
A former diamond town set in the desert, Kolmanskop is one of the most fascinating ghost towns you can visit. After World War II, its diamond resources began to run out and the place was abandoned. The visit requires a permit, but it is worth it: the dry climate has allowed the original architecture to be preserved intact, while the houses and streets of the city are full of sand.
If you want a different and unusual trip, all you have to do is choose your destination: which of these ghost towns would you like to visit?
source used: National Geographic