Exploring The Most Famous Ghost Cities Worldwide

Ghost cities are abandoned cities that were once inhabited by people. Such places exist all around the world. Some cities were victims of nuclear war or the empire’s downfall. Their left remains are enough to create curiosity to know the abandoned city stories.

Just imagine not a single soul living in a once-thriving city with markets, homes, and people. Isn’t it creepy?

scary dark street at night

Image Source: Freepik

List of 10 Well-Known Ghost Cities

Here are lists of ten famous ghost cities:

1. Pripyat, Ukraine

Pripyat, Ukraine

Image Source: Freepik

Pripyat located in Ukraine was once home to around 50,000 people. The authorities evacuated the entire town in April 1986 when an explosion occurred at the Chornobyl complex. An excessive level of radiation was released which forced the citizens to leave immediately.

A 30-mile hot zone was made around the crippled reactor. There are remains left that make the town look scary. Today, the area is safe to visit due to the dropped level of radiation. This place has been the best spot for photographers and thrill seekers.

2. Oradour-sur-Glane, France

Oradour-sur-Glane, France

Image Source: Britannica

On June 10, 1944, the Oradour-sur-Glane citizens were massacred by French soldiers. Nazi Waffen SS, a military branch of the Nazi Party’s SS organization killed 642 residents. The men were taken to barns and fired with machine guns whereas the women and children were killed with explosives by locking them in church.

After the Second World War, French President Charles De Gaulle said the burned-out remains should be untouched as memorials. There are remains of brick houses, rusted cars and bicycles, sewing machines and graveyards.

3. Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island, Japan

Image Source: Japan Endless Discovery

Hashima Island is an abandoned island located off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. It was developed as a shelter for workers in the undersea coal mines in 1887. High-rise buildings were built which provided housing for over 5000 people.

However, by 1974 the coal reserves were diminished and the people of Hashima left. This island was completely uninhibited for the next three decades. Due to growing interest in the island, it became accessible to tourists in April 2009.

4. Varosha, Cyprus

Varosha, Cyprus

Image Source: CNN

Varosha was a popular tourist spot in Famagusta. It used to be a favorite destination for wealthy people in the Mediterranean. But it was abandoned in 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus. Varosha’s 15,000 residents left the city in fear by abandoning their belongings and jobs.

The explorers who visited the abandoned area described it as a crumbling haunted urban area. The empty area is like a spooky 1970s time capsule with old clothes in windows and rusty cars. Plans have been made to reopen the area but it may cost over $12 billion to restore the deteriorated buildings.

5. Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop, Namibia

Image Source: iStock

Kolmanskop was founded in the early 1900s in the Namibian Desert after the discovery of diamonds. This place flourished as a wealthy diamond mining town. In the 1950s, there were no diamonds left and the people left the town. Now, the sand-covered buildings of Kolmanskop draw tourists and offer a glimpse into its prosperous past.

Today, Kolmanskop stands as a haunting testament to the impermanence of human efforts. The run-down homes and abandoned societies tell a silent tale of the transient nature of wealth and the unpredictable forces of nature. Visitors to this ghost town witness the surreal juxtaposition of once-grand structures engulfed by the shifting sands, creating a poignant and eerie atmosphere that captures the imagination and reflects on the fleeting nature of prosperity in the unforgiving Namib Desert.

6. Bodie, California

Bodie, California

Image Source: bodie

Bodie was founded in 1876 after the discovery of gold and silver. This city experienced a rapid rise in population, reaching around 10,000 residents. But it faced tough times with harsh weather, diseases, and accidents.

People started leaving in 1882 because the mining companies went broke and there were better opportunities elsewhere. Fires also destroyed the town a few times and by 1940 the town was a ghost city.

In 1962, the California State Parks took over to make Bodie a State Historic Park to save it to tell its story.

7. Kayaköy, Turkey

Kayaköy, Turkey

Image Source: The Independent

Kayaköy, located 8 meters south of Fethiye, used to be a village. 10,000 people abandoned hundreds of houses and churches at the end of the Greco-Turkish war.

In 1923, Turkey and Greece agreed to swap Muslims and Christians so that each country had mainly one religion. Kayakoy, once called Levissi, was full of Greeks. They had to leave and settle near Athens. The newly arrived Muslims prefer not to settle in Levissi due to its hillside location. Eventually, the town became a deserted city.

Moreover, a big earthquake occurred and destroyed the city in 1957. So, the Turkish government decided to turn the town into a museum.

8. Craco, Italy

Craco, Italy

Image Source: Timeout

The city of Craco was abandoned due to multiple natural disasters. Citizens faced a series of landslides in 1963 and were flooded, which made the condition even worse. The citizens completely deserted the city in 1980 after an earthquake proved to be the final tipping point.

This place has gained popularity among tourists and as a filming location. This site was featured in the 2008 James Bond film “Quantum of Solace”. Today, Craco stands as a haunting testament to the resilience of human history against the forces of nature. The deserted medieval architecture, grinding facades, and empty streets create an eerie ambience that attracts visitors and filmmakers alike. The stark beauty of Craco’s ruins against the backdrop of the surrounding landscape serves as a poignant reminder of the delicate balance between human civilization and the unpredictable forces of the environment.

9. Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Image Source: Science

Centralia earned the spooky nickname “ghost city” due to a coal mine fire that started in 1962 and still burns today. Toxic fumes, sinkholes, and collapse risks forced residents to abandon the city.

The government seizure took control of most homes, and the remaining residents agreed to give their properties to the government upon passing away. In 1992, the state declared Centralia as the uninhibited locality for humans.

10. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan

Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan

Image Source: Lakshmi Sharath

Bhangarh Fort is known as one of India’s most haunted places. The Fort is said to be cursed by a tantric named Singhia during the 16th century. The legend tells of Singhia’s unsuccessful attempt to win the love of Princess Ratnavati, which leads to his death.

Locals believe that entering the fort after dark is prohibited due to its dangerous and haunted nature. The Archaeological Survey of India has even officially banned nighttime visits to Bhangarh.


The world is covered with a fascinating ghost city with its own unique story of abandonment. These ten ghost cities share haunting tales of abandonment rooted in historical tragedies, natural disasters, and human activities. These cities have shown that human settlements don’t last forever. They have stories of the Chornobyl disaster, wartime tragedies, and failed mining ventures. Now, these places are best for tourist spots, dark tourism and film locations. Despite being empty, these ghost cities and abandoned towns still attract people and remind us of their past.

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FAQs/ People Also Ask

1. Which State Has the Most Ghost Cities?

A company named Geotab conducted a study by listing over 3,800 ghost cities across America. Their research has shown that Texas has the most ghost cities with over 500.

2. What is America’s Biggest Ghost City?

People who stayed in Jerome called it a historic ghost city. The government marked Jerome as a National Historic District in 1967. Now, the mines are quiet, and Jerome is the biggest ghost city in America.

3.  Is the Queen Mary Haunted?

The Queen Mary is known for 49 reported deaths since its first voyage and is rumoured to be haunted. The hotel now offers ghost tours during the day and night to show the spooky stories associated with the ship.

4. Where is the Real Conjuring House Located?

The real conjuring house is located at 1677 Round Top Road in Burrillville, Rhode Island.

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