Take the creepiest place you ever been to and multiply its gloomy atmosphere ten times. That should be enough to get close to what we have on our list of disturbing abandoned locations.
From failed projects to well, the moments when locals had to surrender in the face of fate, the following 16 sights scar the landscape and drain from the souls of the rare tourists every drop of happiness. Desolated and tormenting, they are guaranteed to install dark thoughts and a sense of hopelessness. Be aware!
1. Six Flags New Orleans
Children lining up for tickets are in for heartbreak.
Six Flags New Orleans went out of business in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit the area with unprecedented brutality. The amusement park that used to provide endless family fun became a pilgrimage destination for those craving to contemplate death and destruction.
The “Cool Zone” is a trap. Go ahead and ask all those that haunted the park in seek of Instagram-worthy shots and went back with stage IV depression. Color desaturation is what will happen to your view on life if you decide to go down to New Orleans.
What remained from Six Flags can serve only two purposes. Rip the jeans of the thrill seekers that think it’s fun to fool around unstable rusty structures, and inspire the novelist that plans to write on the death of the American Dream.
On the next page, you get to see a once glorious monument that now tells a depressing story of failure and decay.
2. Buzludzha Communist Memorial
High on a deserted mountaintop, history and science fiction shook hands in the eeriest way imaginable.
The Communist Party of Bulgaria wanted to flex a muscle for eternity. What resulted is a concrete Bahamut that sends shivers down the spine of uninformed passers-by.
Commies are known for their weird architectural tastes, but the one that thought of this was overdosing for inspiration. Seen from a distance, the Buzludzha Monument appears to be a sluggish UFO abandoned by an intergalactic visitor that failed to pay the parking fee.
It gets even creepier once you go inside. What was once a grandiose conference hall for party members, has now fallen into disrepair. Mosaics glorifying Communists leaders are now overrun by hipster graffiti, a subtle metaphor of how political transition happened in Eastern Europe.
Most who venture on the treacherous Bulgarians road to reach Buzludzha are there to re-live “Independence Day.” You know, the scene where the huge mothership darkens the skies. Depressive thoughts would be heading your way only if you had a weakness for Communism.
Check out just how eerie your stroll through the woods can get!
3. Chatillon Car Graveyard
Just outside the Belgian village of Chatillon, there is an unbelievable sight, one with a depressing back story.
At first, it seems that another Hollywood movie about a post-apocalyptic world moved production on European soil to make some budget savings. Nevertheless, the lush vegetation tangled around rusted metal quickly pushes for a more sinister theory.
A sudden forest growth caught a 1940s rush hour jam, leaving the poor Belgian drivers no option but to abandon their vehicles. As reasonable as it is, that is the lie locals always tell tourists that come to see the sinister spectacle.
What happened is less spectacular but more heartbreaking. The drivers were WWII U.S. soldiers who fought on the continent and didn’t muster enough courage to bring their tiny Volkswagens or Renaults back home.
We all know how Americans ridicule small liter engines of European nature and those who survived the horrors of war didn’t want extra drama.
The soldiers parked their cars in the middle of the forest hoping to return someday. The farewell must have been devastating! Unfortunately, only rust came to reclaim these old mistresses.
The next creepy abandoned place is only for urban explorers that have a thing for concrete.
4. Hashima Island
Ever wondered how a modern metropolis would look like in the aftermath of a catastrophic pandemic?
Yes, we do have movies exploiting the topic, but Hashima Island is the real deal. Also called Battleship Island, it is a concrete haven stranded 15 km south of Nagasaki, Japan.
Hashima was the result of Japan’s appetite for industrialization in the years that led to WWII. Now it lies in ruin after the mines that attracted economic activity here ceased to yield coal.
There are two reasons why Hashima Island belongs to our itinerary of creepy abandoned places that can trigger mental problems. First, the Japs brought here Koreans and Chinese forced labor and the horrors they lived still echo from the cold, moldy walls.
Secondly, the Japanese Government had nothing better to do than to include this site in the UNESCO World Heritage. Japan, the home of weird, never ceases to amaze us!
Check out just how bewildering the next place is!
5. Kolmanskop Ghost Town
Welcome to Kolmanskop, population 0, that if you exclude the scorpions and other desert dwellers.
What was once a thriving community, fell victim to the most vicious type of real-estate sharks – the sand dunes. One particle after another made their way through the smallest of cracks until most Kolmanskop was two feet under.
Only archive photos can reveal the true scale of the former diamond mining settlement. Once exhausted, it drove people away without them looking back.
The hauling wind and the ever-changing landscape that threatens the last remaining signs of civilization is a depressing sight for anyone enduring the harsh journey. Only one species thrive here – the allusive Instagram photographer.
Extended at a larger scale, what happened with the City of Kolmanskop seems to be the future of our planet if we don’t stop messing with fossil fuels and keep ignoring global warming. That abandoned bathtub should haunt the minds of those who enjoy taking long showers.
Even impressive buildings can fall ill and be abandoned. Check out the next creepy place!
6. Michigan Central Station
There is nothing more depressing than a 70-meter Central Station that lies in ruin and hasn’t seen train action since the late 1980s.
Michigan Central Station is a symbol of economic downfall that holds a double meaning. Detroit went into urban decay mostly because its motor industry failed to keep up with the oversea competition. As for the railroad apex, it fell into obscurity due to the public opting for personal cars over trains.
Although saddening, the state of the Michigan Central Station doesn’t contrast too much with its hosting landscape. Detroit saw a sharp population decline and holds many abandoned houses that are equally disturbing in their creepiness.
From hipsters rehearsing their graffiti skills, all the way to Hollywood producers choosing it as a shooting location for their blockbusters – that’s the current fate of the Central Station. Oh, and let’s not forget the shameful episode in which local authorities were inches away from demolishing the landmark in 2009.
Where would local satanic cults hold their bi-monthly meetings? Where would the emo kids assemble to master the art of wrist slitting?
Let’s go back another time to inspect the realities of war.
Most ghost towns have perfectly reasonable explanations for people departing and abandoning everything behind. That is not the case with Oradour-sur-Glane!
The French village grants each visitor a disturbing journey through time towards one of the most horrible acts of war ever performed. Nothing reasonable happened on June 10, 1944, when the retreating Nazi Army massacred all the inhabitants with an unmatched savagery that involved heavy machine guns and innocent children begging for mercy.
All communities eventually recover and try to heal the scars of the past. Oradour-sur-Glane is an exception. French authorities decided to preserve it as it was the day following the massacre.
Don’t visit Oradour, unless you are prepared to face the gruesome realities of World War II and pay your homage. Obviously, casual tourists are going there only for vintage selfies.
We have something sad coming up next. Keep close some napkins!
8. The Magic Bus
Don’t get your hopes too high about the “Magic Bus.”
No one pulled rabbits out of the hat there. In exchange, be prepared for a dispiriting tale that involved cold, hunger, and a bitter loneliness.
Fairbanks City Transit System Bus 142 began its story by bringing construction workers to the Denali Wilderness of Alaska. The rugged terrain took its toll on it, and the abandoned vehicle became home for hunters and trappers.
Nothing special here, until wanderer Christopher “Supertramp” McCandless turned the bus into a refuge for his escape from society throughout the summer of 1993. Long story short, he died after severely underestimating the implications of living in the wild.
In most cases, that’s the end of the story. However, author Jon Krakauer turned it into an essential part of popular culture. McCandless became the rebel without a cause, and his death inspired an avalanche of hippies hiking the arduous Stampede Trail for a chance of seeing the Magic Bus and addressing existential topics while smoking a joint.
The sight is depressing mostly because Bus 142 degraded with each passing year. Graffiti, bullet holes, and the fact that McCandless’s died right on a seat, all make this destination one you can easily skip.
Are you ready for another creepy sample of communist architecture?
9. Ryugyong Hotel
Ryugyong Hotel commands Pyongyang’s skyline and is a sad symbol of the megalomania happening in North Korea.
The 330 meters 105-story tall building is a reminder that bigger is not always better. That’s true especially when you are an impoverished country constantly trying to keep its nose up high.
Started in 1987, it reached its full height in 1992. It would take two more decades before a glass façade would hide the bare concrete skeleton.
Even so, the building is far from being functional, and prospects are not encouraging. North Korea’s economy is not doing great, and Kim Jong-un seems to prefer firing its toy missiles into the sea.
Ryugyong Hotel joined Buzludzha as yet another failed display of Communist agenda. If completed, it would have been the tallest hotel in the world, an unnecessary gesture from a country notoriously unfriendly with foreigners.
Booking a trip to see the pyramidal structure can cause you something much worse than depression. Last time we checked, North Korean prisons had plenty of spare cells to supplement the hotel room shortage.
Nothing can prepare you for the next disturbing sight and the sinister reputation of its neighborhood.
10. Gulliver’s Travels Park
We go again to Japan for a surreal amusement park that offered potential visitors plenty of reasons not to come.
Inspired by the novel “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, the theme park has at its very center a grotesque depiction of the hero being captured and tied down by the small people of Lilliput. While the Japanese are weird enough to allow their kids to have fun near such a disturbing statue, other elements could not be ignored.
The park might have Mount Fuji in its backdrop, but it also neighbors the ill-fated Aokigahara, Japan’s suicide forest. The place claims a hefty number of depressed individuals that come there with the only purpose of taking their own lives.
The Gulliver theme park had to close business only four years after its opening. It is now a favorite among parents that want to trigger a premature end of childhood for their boys and girls.
Check out what happened to a once colorful shopping center.
11. Bangkok’s New World Shopping Center
Most abandoned buildings become home to hobos and stray dogs. Not in Thailand!
The New World Mall in Bangkok offers an even more sinister sight. Happy shoppers were replaced by hoards of hungry fish after the roof collapsed and torrential rains poured inside, creating a generous pond.
The story of how fish overran the unexpected ecosystem is hilarious. We are not talking about pet shop escapees that fathered the entire population. Instead, locals introduced the fresh water Talpia fish to control the mosquitos.
Why exactly do we consider this aquatic paradise creepy and depressing? Well, would you enjoy seeing fish dwell in the same place you used to buy your favorite pairs of ripped jeans?
The lucky Talpia now spawn everywhere, and there is no easy way out. Local authorities even considered introducing cats in the picture and allowing genocide to happen.
We all sense how that would prove ineffective. Cats would then ran the place and so on until we reach the top of the trophic chain. The odds are for the New World Mall of Bangkok to remain a wildlife sanctuary.
You must see the next abandoned place!
12. Mir Diamond Mine
For the untrained eye, the Mir Mine appears to be a giant sinkhole that threatens to engulf the nearby city.
And that was close to becoming a reality. Fortunately, the earth stopped revealing the precious “girl’s best friends, ” and miners halted digging at a record-breaking depth of 525 meters.
1,200 meters in diameter, the hole Located in Mirny, Sakha Republic, Siberia is one the creepiest of its kind. You don’t need to be a religious freak to imagine all kind of nasty creatures using the Mir Diamond Mine as a portal into our world.
The most remarkable aspect about the exploitation is the harsh conditions under which it operated. Remember, we are in Siberia, a place notorious for its extreme climate.
In fact, the summer months marked the only period during when activity was possible. Even then, machinery used to inject steam into the ground to thaw and dig out the permafrost.
The biggest diamond ever found here holds a darn symbolic name – “26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.” Seems legit for 1980, don’t you think?
Feast your eyes with another bizarre spectacle that will make you suspect the worse.
13. Maunsell Forts
All tourists taking their first cruise through the Thames estuary end up rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
Far in the horizon, some claim to see Imperial Walkers, a clear sign that re-watching Star Wars so many times had inflicted permanent brain damage. On the other hand, there are those who identify some of the last Tripods left behind after the War of the Worlds.
The oddly shaped structures go by the collective name of Maunsell Forts and are nothing but defensive towers meant to protect the Albion during WWII. Lucky for the Brits, the forts never proved themselves useful, so they were all demilitarized after the end of the war.
That is the point where the story gets a bizarre twist. Instead of being demolished, the forts were taken over by pirate radio stations. Roughs Tower went as far as declaring itself an independent nation – the Principality of Sealand.
Are the Maunsell Forts worth your time? The answer is yes, but only if you are a fan of rust mixed with seagull droppings or if you prepare your master thesis on micronations.
The next abandoned place couldn’t miss from our list.
Ukraine’s abandoned town of Pripyat needs no introduction.
We all know how the freakish Chernobyl disaster of 1986 unleashed unprecedented levels of radiation and triggered a mass evacuation of Pripyat. What was left behind is a ghost town that offers an eerie time travel to the moment when more 100,000 fled, leaving everything behind.
Can you imagine being told as a child that you can’t take your favorite doll with you? The unknown Ukrainian toddler thought he/she might one day return to resume playing. Last time we checked, the exclusion zone still spills radioactive levels capable of messing with the human organism.
Ironically, what was catastrophic for people, had a profound positive effect on the local wildlife. Three decades were enough for species like wolves and deer to make themselves at home. And no, apparently they don’t have extra limbs or glow green in the night.
There is only one way to describe the next creepy place – a fairytale went wrong.
15. Beijing Wonderland Amusement Park
Nothing is amusing about China’s failed response to Disneyland.
The half-finished medieval-like tower sits abandoned in the middle of a field just outside Beijing, luring the occasional visitors with gloomy fairy tells in which the ruling prince loses the family fortune and commits suicide.
Chinese don’t want to talk about a “property bubble” hitting their country. The official version involves a disagreement between developers and landowners.
You might say that the second picture is less depressing. We see it the other way.
The corn field gives the landscape a Kansas taste, and it’s impossible not to think of the now bankrupt Wizard of Oz.
Let’s end the list with a place that is equally thought-provoking and creepy.
16. Christ of the Abyss
“Let the fish come to me.”
If the blasphemy is pardoned, that line will work great to depict a religious artifact found completely outside its usual context. The Christ of the Abyss lies approximately 17 meters below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea, off the Italian abbey of San Fruttuosso.
Don’t rush to compare it with its more famous Brazilian counterpart, Christ the Redeemer. The underwater bronze statue is only 2.5 meters tall, and the photo with the diver appearing much smaller is just an optical trick.
What is remarkable about the bronze statue is that despite being taken to surface and cleaned repeatedly, marine growth and crustaceans keep building on top of it.
Can you imagine scuba diving without knowing you will come face to face with the Christ of the Abyss? Less rational individuals would immediately see it as proof not only that Atlantis existed, but that its inhabitants worshiped Jesus Christ as their underwater savior.
In the meantime, we can’t stop to think of marine creatures joyfully fooling around the submerged Christ.