It’s not every day that we see complete amusement parks, hospitals, or entire towns left in one piece to collect dust for years. Especially in the world we live in today, with about 7 billion people on the planet and increasingly valuable property, you would think it’s hard to come by abandoned places. But oh, contrary. There are tons of spots all over the globe that have literally been discarded, vacated, and literally abandoned.
You may have heard of the infamous nuclear disaster that happened in the 80s to the power plant Chernobyl in Ukraine. Within moments, an entire town had to evacuate, having no choice but to leave everything they had behind. That, for example, is one abandoned place. But there are so much more. The only thing is, no one hears about them because they don’t make the news.
So if you’re curious to see what it looks like for a place to be completely deserted and left for nature to take reign, then this is a list you need to see. From the US to Russia, to Japan, these are the most eerily beautiful sites that have been left behind for us to observe in wonder.
Cape Romano Dome Homes – Florida, USA
These dome homes were built off the Coast of Marco Island. They were built in 1980 by retired businessman Bob Lee and were eventually abandoned in 1992. The domes were originally meant to be vacation homes. However, hurricanes hit and the homes were essentially ruined.
Why weren’t they fixed? Coastline agencies determined that they were too expensive to repair, so they were just left there. In 2005, Bob Lee sold the eroded units to John Tosto, a Naples resident, for $300,000. When asked why he bought them, Tosto said, “It’s just something I wanted from the first time I saw it. That was it.”
Villa – Lake Como, Italy
This spectacular image is of a villa in Italy located in Lake Como. And the mystery of this site is what gives it its appeal. According to locals, this villa was built in the 1800s, but there are no official records to indicate this.
Rumor has it that this green-house-palace was deserted after a gruesome murder or suicide, but as urban legends go, there’s no proof. Today, the site is left rather untouched and visitors are even advised to stay away from it. It really does look as though it could be a location for a horror film, doesn’t it?
Have you seen the aftermath of Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster? See the next haunting photo.
Pripyat – Ukraine (Chernobyl)
What happened to this city goes down in history as one of the most remarkable and tragic events to ever have happened. The city of Pripyat was established on February 4, 1970. It’s located near the Belarus border and is a Soviet nuclear city. At the time, it was where most of the workers who worked at Chernobyl lived.
After the nuclear disaster occurred in 1986, the entire city was evacuated due to the extremely high levels of radiation. Even to this day, entry into the area is forbidden as the radiation is still a serious danger to the human body.
Methodist Church – Indiana, USA
This Methodist Church was once used in 1926 and even had 3,000 members. The property was originally worth $1 million at the time (which would equal to a whopping $13 million in today’s economy), which made it one of the most valuable buildings at the time.
Over the years, employment in the area was beginning to decline and crime was on the rise, and people started moving to the nearby town of Gary. Keep in mind that this was in the era of the Great Depression. The church was completely abandoned for decades, but who knows what will come of it and if it will be transformed into a new and improved religious sanctuary.
Have you ever seen an abandoned palace? See the next photo to see one!
Tiki Palace – Chattanooga, Tennessee
This disturbing site used to belong to a gentlemen’s club from the 70s. The huge 5,600 square foot property was constructed in 1972 and it hosted hundreds of parties in the “swinging seventies.” But the Tiki Palace was shut down after only a year when the owner hired a hitman to kill his wife’s lover.
For many years, the place was vacant, apart from the locals who were brave enough to enter and squatters who dared to stay there temporarily. After having been empty for a long time, it was finally demolished in 2017.
Gulliver’s Travel’s Park – Kawaguchi, Japan
When they say a picture is worth a thousand words, they’re referring to something like this. Here is the aftermath of an abandoned theme park in Japan that was once called Gulliver’s Travel’s Park. After having failed as a business, it was basically left to rest in peace, along with its giant statue of Gulliver.
The park was created in 2007 to compete against America’s Disneyland, but they closed its gates a few years later. Today, Gulliver is still lying there on the ground, making for quite a haunting image as well as experience for anyone who ventures out there. Like the people you see in this photo, it’s a bizarre once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. Apparently, there are no foreseen plans to remove him.
Kayakoy – Turkey
The small Turkish town of Kayakoy sits in the Tauras Mountains. As the story goes, the entire population of the village moved to Greece during an era of political change in the 1920s. The town is still deserted today, with 350 buildings remaining completely vacant and neglected.
The village is now home to moss, ivy, and the occasional animals that wander around, with no humans anywhere to be found. There is no official plan for Turkey to restore Kayakoy into a new town or if it’s meant to stay as is. As useless as the place is, it’s nevertheless a remarkable site.
The next abandoned spot looks like the aftershock from a meteor hit!
Ta Prohm Temple – Cambodia
This temple is in Angkor Wat in Cambodia and is the epitome of what becoming one with nature means. After the failure of the 17th-century empire, the temple was abandoned and to this day has been left as is, perhaps due to how striking it is.
Having spent hundreds of years isolated, the jungle basically claimed it as its own. Although it’s not utilized, locals strive to maintain it so that the jungle doesn’t completely destroy it. Today, the temple serves as a monument for people to explore.
Next, an eerie monastery from Germany…
Allerheiligen Monastery – Germany
This monastery is close to 900 years old, which can be both shocking and unsurprising given its condition. It was built back in 1192 in the Black Forest of Germany and remains standing today. The reason for the church’s demise can be seen in more than one way, depending on your faith, or lack thereof.
The monastery was actually struck by lightning three times in a row during an intense storm. It was thus burnt down with no one choosing to rebuild it. The question is: was it a sign or a mere act of Mother Nature doing what she does best? You can be the judge of that.
Bodiam Castle – UK
During the “Hundred Year War” from 1337 to 1453, a soldier built this Castle to protect East Sussex from the French. It became their defensive castle during the medieval times, but soldiers eventually left it there. Today, it’s a monument that reminds visitors of Britain’s history.
For tourists who wish to visit, there’s a moat that needs to be crossed. But once you get on the land, you can explore the building and put yourself in a medieval mind. Although this isn’t technically ‘abandoned’, it’s no longer a castle meant to defend itself from the French.
The Kiev River Boat – Kiev
This boat that’s been left discarded can be seen as a reminder of the Soviet era. It was designed to take trips along the Dnieper River, in Kiev, toward the Kiev Sea. Today, regardless of its disuse, it remains the only single-deck high-speed passenger ship.
When it was being used, it was nicknamed the ‘Sunrise’, and it could travel at speeds reaching 60km. But after its abandonment, nature took its course. It’s now left to adventurous explorers, but government officials don’t recommend it.
The next place is a hotel that you wouldn’t wanna spend a night in!
Michigan Central Train Station – USA
The Michigan train station was built in 1913, and at the time had everything going for it. There was a promise of incoming talent from the surrounding areas in the Midwest. But as the city’s economy started to dissolve, the central station did as well.
It closed down in 1988 and still stands tall, even resembling a Vegas casino. But it’s empty and has become something of a staple in Michigan. Rapper Eminem used it in his film, 8 Mile which was set in Detroit, Michigan – his home town. Rumor has it that car company FORD is planning to buy it.
The next forsaken place is another site that should be used in the movies!
I.M Cooling Tower – Belgium
This picture was taken inside the Belgian cooling tower, making a great opportunity for an incredible photo. The tower is situated in an old power station in Monceau, Belgium. It was used in the 1900s, but the government closed it down with no intention to reopen it.
By 1977, the power plant and the cooling tower were the main source of energy in the area and was able to cool down 480,000 gallons of water per minute. After it closed down, there was looting by metal scrappers, but today there are security guards. It’s still abandoned today, but it’s scheduled for demolition.
Last House on Holland Island – USA
The tiny Holland Island is in Dorchester Country, Maryland, and there sits a house that was once a real successful island colony! It was located in the Chesapeake Bay and was ruined by all the mud from the coast. Over time, the island started to dissolve and collapse.
For a long time, this house was the last property that remained on the island. It’s quite an interesting site for onlookers, and an image you can see being made into a 1000-piece puzzle. The birds clearly loved it too! The home, built in 1888, eventually collapsed in 2010.
House of the Bulgarian Communist Party – Bulgaria
This photo was taken inside the former headquarters of Bulgaria’s Communist Party. It looks like it could easily be the set of a James Bond movie. To make this place even more unique, the shape of the building is literally the same as a flying saucer.
The building was in use for 10 years between 1981 and 1991. The group collapsed after the fall of the Soviet Union, and no one took control of it ever since. The building now consists of one large and hollow room.
Sunken Yacht – Antarctica
This yacht sits under the water in Antarctica, leaving it to be frozen in time forever. The Brazilian boat, called Mar Sem Fim, was shipwrecked near Ardley Cove. The rumor is that the crew traveled south to film a documentary, but their plans along with the boat turned south.
The team had to abandon ship when a storm hit and winds became too strong. They ultimately had to leave the boat in order to protect themselves and remain alive. Being in Antarctica, it didn’t take long for it to freeze over.
The Bedford Orpheum – MA, USA
An old abandoned theater is definitely something to be seen. This old theater in Massachusetts is in an entertainment building which opened its doors to the public in 1912. It operated up until 1959. But 60 years later, it’s mostly still unused.
Recently, however, nonprofit organizations are trying to raise money to renovate the building, which is literally taking up space in the community. We would hope that it will end up being restored rather than demolished!
Military Hospital – Beelitz, Germany
Like most of the photos on this list, this image can also be confused with a piece of artwork. This photo reveals the Beelitz-Heilstatten hospital, or at least what it used to be. It was built at the end of the 1800s and even aided Adolf Hitler when his leg was damaged in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.
Today, parts of the hospital are open to the public but most of it, including parts like the one in the photo, were abandoned after the Soviets withdrew in 1995. Today, it is mostly deserted and it no longer serves patients.
San Zhi – Taiwan
These flying saucer-like pods look like something out of a sci-fi film, which could be the reason for why they weren’t as widely received as they hoped. They were designed to be vacation homes, with US military officers in particular as the target customers.
The gloomy atmosphere of the photo can be representative of the bad luck the site experienced. The company lost investments and for some reason, there was an unusually high amount of car accidents. The site closed down in 1980 and up until 2010, San Zhi was a popular walking route until the buildings were demolished in 2010.
The next site is another neglected structure from the Soviet area!
Underwater City – Shicheng, China
It seems as though China has its very own Atlantis! This underwater city has been sunken and frozen in time since 1959 when the construction of the Xin’an River Hydropower Station purposely flooded it. That said, its existence is not something of a mystery, but rather a deliberate sinking.
The water actually protects the city from typical erosion that can occur from rain and wind, so it remained in surprisingly good condition 60 years after the fact. Divers love exploring the site. And as much as this looks photoshopped, it’s not!
Next up – Canada has something derelict to offer.
A Church in the Snow – Canada
This countryside church in Canada was used for about 100 years before it was eventually abandoned. Catholics would congregate there weekly. But because of the changing climate, the churchgoers went to a new one and left this one empty.
People don’t really rush to knock down a church, so the building is still standing today. Being situated where it is in its isolation is what gives the church much of its appeal now. Passersby admire it and if you manage to come at the right time, a photo like this can be captured.
Ross Island – India
Similar to the temple we saw in Cambodia, this site also succumbed to nature’s power. Ross Island was built as the British administrative center for the Indian Penal Settlement. But after their independence, the place was deserted and left for its fate to be determined.
Over time, vines and leaves enveloped the structure and there are no humans around. The site also isn’t maintained by anyone. So you can only imagine what it would be like to take a walk around there and see what’s lurking inside!
Gouqi Island – China
Talk about letting nature take over! This forgotten fishing village is on the Yangtze River. Ever since the citizens of this village left it behind, moss and ivy have completely enveloped the buildings and give it a really beautiful scenery.
The Shengsi Islands are a popular tourist destination and is considered an important fishing area that brings in more than 100,000 fishermen every winter.
Wanna see an abandoned castle in Europe? See the next photo to find out where it is!
Hashima Island – Japan
This Japanese island received its share of nicknames as you can imagine, including Battleship Island and Ghost Island which seems rather fitting. In the 19th century, the island was well populated because of its access to coal mines located under the water.
Yet with time, the country transferred from coal to petroleum, resulting in the mines closing down. Eventually, the people on the island left and it was left abandoned.
Next, an animal decided to explore the next forgotten site!
Saint Nicholas Church – Macedonia
It’s not every day that you see both a cow in water as well as an abandoned church that’s also in water! Today, this church is flooded a few feet in the Mavoro Lake in Macedonia. Back in the day, people would visit the holy place and pray.
What happened was years later, a local power plant was built in the area and it caused flooding which obviously affected the church. That’s not a very good sign for a holy temple. As you can see, visitors today are the occasional cows.
Temple of Santiago – Mexico
This Roman Catholic Church in Mexico opened its doors in 1564, only to be abandoned about 200 years later. Originally, it fit the whole congregation and they even planned to enlarge it due to foreseen population growth in the neighboring regions.
The city happened to be surrounded by a Smallpox epidemic in 1773-1776 and everyone eventually died. Today, since the Malpaso Dam was constructed, the church occasionally suffers from flooding as you can see from the photo.
Bodie – California, USA
This Western ghost town may look like it’s from a Clint Eastwood film, but it’s a real town bordering Nevada. It used to be a budding coal mining town in the mountains but it was pretty much stuck in time and frozen there after everyone in the town abandoned it.
Bodie has been untouched for decades, with relics from the old Wild West village still found today in some of its buildings that are spread across the small town.
Next, a forgotten lighthouse in Russia!
The Jet Star Rollercoaster – New Jersey, USA
The Jet Star Rollercoaster was a popular ride at Seaside Heights in New Jersey. It was made in the 1970s, it and fully operational until 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit the coast. It obviously became unusable.
After the storm, the owners tried to refurbish it but it was just too expensive and troublesome. It was neglected for a few years and eventually demolished to make room for future projects.