With an ever-growing population it is sometimes hard to believe that there are places that are no longer inhabited. What causes these towns to become abandoned vary. Some were tragedies while others no longer served their original purpose. Regardless of the reason, they are often eerie and invoke wonder about what those towns once looked like as bustling communities. Here are 10 of the creepier ghost towns in the world.

(Shabab Libya | Libyan Youth Movement)

Tawergha, Libya

Not too long ago this town was the scene of intense fighting. The Libyan Civil War broke out and the town was evacuated in October of 2011 by the militia of the National Transitional Council of Lybia. It hasn’t seen a soul since August of 2012.


(flickr/Matt From London)

Oradour-sur-Glane, France

Another grim tale of a city that once was. Ordaour-sur-Glane has remained untouched since 1944 when a Nazi massacre wiped out the town’s population. It is now a memorial to those who lost their lives and a popular tourist attraction. No one is seen in the town at night as it is said there are figures roaming the streets at night.



Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop was once a successful German diamond mining community. The buildings’ architecture are heavily German with ballrooms, as well as the first tram system in Africa. Since the miners moved on, sand has taken over the city and is steadily erasing any signs of civilization.



Dhanushkodi, India

Unfortunately most ghost towns are brought about through tragedy. And, Dhanushkodi is no exception. A cyclone in 1964 devastated this part of India. Like many ghost towns, it attracts visitors but none are allowed to stay in the city.



Hashima Island, Japan

The Mitsubishi company built this remote island civilization to accommodate the coal miners and their families. The island is home to some of Japan’s first high rise concrete buildings. Now, reservations can be made to tour the island and the abandoned movie theaters, apartments, and shops that remained.



Bodie, California, USA

The saloons and homes in Bodie’s ghost town have remained there look over the years. At its height in the 1880s, Bodie was said to be one of the largest cities in California thanks to the gold rush. The town has fire departments, churches and even a Chinatown district. Oh, there were 65 saloons. Good times must have been had in those days.


(flickr/Clay Gilliland)

Pripyat, Ukraine

Pripyat is a retro-Ukrainian town stuck in time. It was abandoned in 1986 after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Though it has been uninhabited by humans since then, animals have been taking the city over. Wolves hunt next to the abandoned apartment buildings and bears look for food in the theme park.


(flickr/f. ciri)

Craco, Basilicata, Italy

The town was built on a summit to repel invaders. Unfortunately, its placement on that summit caused it to experience severe damage after the earthquakes and landslides rocked the area. Craco is open for exploration and houses some of the neatest old world churches.


(flickr/Carlos Varela)

Humberstone, Chile

Up until 1960, thousands of miners lived and worked in the unbearably hot Northern Atacama desert. The workers were processing the world’s largest deposit of potassium nitrate. After it was abandoned it went from a mining town to a concentration camp for the Pinochet dictatorship.



Centralia, Pennsylvania, USA

The city of Centralia was once a thriving mining town. The first two mines opened in 1856 and its largest population peaked in 1890 at 2,761 people. In 1962 a fire broke out in a landfill and the fire spread down into the mines. To this day the fires still burn underground and smoke billows out from cracks in the road. Even though it is condemned and its zip-code has been revoked, there is still a population of ten brave folks.


Josh is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee.

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