18 Eerie Images of Abandoned Places
Want to know what the world will look like after a zombie apocalypse? Click through these surreal images of abandoned places that humanity has forsaken. These discarded amusement parks, forgotten train stations, aborted housing projects and underwater cities range from hauntingly beautiful to downright creepy. It’s rather humbling how quickly Mother Nature takes back man’s handiwork after a few decades of neglect.
1. Maunsell Sea Forts, UK
These small steel platforms were built along the east coast of England during WWII. They were used as armed lookout towers, but were abandoned in the 1950s. Some were later used as the base for pirate radio stations. One fort off the coast of Suffolk was declared the Principality of Sealand by the Bates family in 1967. It’s not officially recognized as a sovereign state, but you can purchase a Lord, Baron or Count title from there if you’d like.
2. Mirny Diamond Mine, Russia
This Siberian open-pit mine was initiated in the Stalin era to supply the Soviet Union with industrial diamonds. Digging began in 1955, creating the second largest man-made hole in the world. It’s almost a mile wide and is visible from space. Rumor has it, aircraft are forbidden from flying over the abyss for fear of the air currents sucking them down. Digging through Siberian permafrost has its challenges, so the mine closed in the 2000s.
3. Hotel del Salto, Colombia
This cliffside “Mansion of Tequendama Falls” was built in the 1920s and was once an elegant hotel for wealthy tourists. However, the Bogotá river was found to be contaminated so the place closed down. Now its a small museum and tourist attraction for those who want to check out this creepy abandoned building, said to be haunted by ghosts of former patrons who fell to their death.
4. Manteno State Mental Hospital, USA
Is there anything creepier than an abandoned insane asylum? This Illinois psychiatric facility was built in 1927, and once housed over 8000 patients. A lot of experimental shock treatment and lobotomies took place here over the years. Allegations of secret medical testing by the military are also part of Manteno’s macabre legacy. It closed its doors in 1985.
5. Gulliver’s Kingdom, Japan
Someone in the 1990s thought building a Gulliver’s Travels theme park at the foot of Mount Fuji would draw the crowds. Despite plenty of government support, the project failed after only a few years. It might have something to do with the fact it was situated right near Aokigahara, known as “Suicide Forest”. It didn’t help that the neighboring village was the nerve gas production headquarters of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, known for its Sarin attack on the Tokyo subway. Doesn’t make great PR for a struggling family theme park. Maybe it was just the creepy giant statue of Swift’s epic character lying on the ground that turned people off. The ill-advised theme park closed it doors in 2001 and was demolished in 2007, but not before legions of intrepid photographers captured some eerie images of the abandoned kingdom.
6. Pripyat, Ukraine
You can’t blame the 50,000 residents of Pripyat for abandoning their town after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster irradiated the vicinity back in 1986. It remains untouched since the fateful incident, and is now open to brave tourists who want to explore the post-apocalyptic ghost town first hand.
7. Orpheum Theater, USA
The former Majestic Opera House was a vaudeville theater and movie house in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It opened its doors on April 15, 1912 (the same day the Titanic sank) but closed down in 1958. It has occasionally been rented out for special events over the years, and there is some hope that someone will swoop in and refurbish this grand old heritage venue. However, today the curtain remains closed on this hauntingly beautiful abandoned theater.
8. Canfranc Rail Station, Spain
This was once an elegant Art Nouveau train station in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. For a time, this strategic location was taken over by the Nazis during WWII. It was later used as the set of the film Doctor Zhivago. After a derailment accident in 1970, the station closed down and crumbled into a state of disrepair. However, deep underground, it now serves as a secret laboratory conducting research on dark matter. How creepy cool is that?
9. Shi Cheng Underwater City, China
The submerged city of Shi Cheng 40m under Qiandao Lake is China’s “Atlantis of the East”. The preserved stone structures are like a time capsule dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, which ruled from 1368 to 1912. The area was purposely flooded back in 1959 to create a dam and hydroelectric station. About 300,000 people had to be relocated, some whose ancestors had lived in the city for centuries. Today, advanced divers can explore this abandoned underwater wonder.
10. Holy Land, USA
Here’s an abandoned theme park that has recently experienced a resurrection. Holy Land was built in Waterbury, Connecticut back in the 1950s, complete with its own Garden of Eden, Daniel’s Lion Den and Hollywood-esque Holy Land USA sign. The park closed in 1984 and sat in abandoned disrepair for decades – a freakish roadside attraction of a bygone dream. However, someone has bought the old Biblical theme park and, in 2014, the cross on the hill lit up again. A revival may just be in the works.
11. SS Ayrfield, Australia
Homebush Bay, west of Sydney, is a ships’ graveyard where old hulls come to die. The SS Ayrfield is a decommissioned warship built in 1911 that was brought here to be broken up for scrap metal. However, for some reason it was left intact and has now been taken over by a floating forest of foliage. The reclaimed wreck has now become a spooky spectacle that draws visitors and photographers.
12. Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea
It was an ambitious plan gone awry. In 1987, North Korea began building a 105-floor, 3000 room pyramid-shaped luxury hotel in Pyongyang in anticipation of a tourist boom that never materialized. Today, almost 30 years later, the unfinished concrete shell stands as a reminder of $750 million of wasted funds – 2% of the nation’s GDP. Today, its the tallest unoccupied building in the world.
13. City Hall Station, New York City, USA
New York City boasts one of the oldest public transportation systems in the world. Did you know there are a few abandoned stations in the underground network? In 1904, the old City Hall station opened with decorative tiles, skylights, chandeliers and a curved platform that was a showpiece for the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. However, that snazzy curved platform couldn’t accommodate the longer train cars that came out a few decades later, so the little-used station closed down in 1945.
14. Hashima Island, Japan
One of the creepiest images of abandoned places belongs to Hashima Island, often referred to as “Battleship Island” because of its shape. This ghost island was once a bustling coal mining community of 5000 people, but the facility shut down in 1974 and the island went feral. Now the ruined shells of former highrises are home to rats and overgrown foliage like something out of your worst nightmare. Because of public curiosity, it reopened as a tourist attraction in 2009 and you can now arrange to visit this haunting site. You may know it as the Bond villain’s hideout from the movie, Skyfall.
15. St Agnes Church, Detroit
Built in 1901, this church was once the hub of a thriving community. Flash forward, and the now struggling neighborhood didn’t have enough parishioners to fill even a fraction of the pews. The deteriorating church has since been vandalized and stripped of all vestiges of value and decoration. Only the facade of its former glory remains.
16. Wonderland Amusement Park, China
About 20 miles from Beijing was the site of an another abandoned amusement park that once aimed to be the biggest in Asia. However, financial problems stopped all construction in 1998 and it sat incomplete and desolate for a decade or so. Its centerpiece castle was a much photographed symbol of lofty ambitions gone wrong. Vandals, squatters and even farmers encroached (perhaps even the odd zombie). In 2013, the remaining structures were demolished and now it’s just a fading memory.
17. Sanzhi UFO Houses, Taiwan
These pods look like some retro-imagined version of a future that never was. These houses were built in 1978 as a seaside resort on the northern coast of Taiwan. However, a series of fatal accidents and rumored ghost curses caused the project to shut down in 1980, and it stood ruined, graffitied and abandoned for several decades. Attempts to demolish the UFO pods have been blocked, and they are now becoming a bit of a kitschy tourist attraction.
18. Six Flags Jazzland, New Orleans
Six Flags Jazzland opened in 2000 but was sidelined when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The damage was too extensive to go on, so it is yet another post-apocalyptic abandoned amusement park to haunt your nightmares, decapitated clown heads and all. Several rides are still standing in this rusty junkyard, getting more precarious with each passing year. Despite occasional rumors, there are no plans to reopen or redevelop this space any time soon.