These Abandoned Places Will Send Chills Down Your Spine

Humans have a long standing fascination with abandoned places. Perhaps it’s the poignant silence of decay, or the sometimes dark and brutal history behind a site’s abandonement. Either way, the images captured of these now desolate destinations around the world hold an eeriness that will send chills down your spine.

1. The Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria

This monument started being built in 1974 to commemorate socialist communism in the remote mountains of Bulgaria. The nation’s army was responsible for its construction, and images of Lenin and Marx watched over the arena along with a huge star shaped window to honor Soviet Russia.

bulgaria-buzludzha-monument-06The site was abandoned in 1989 when the government fell from power, leaving it to vandals.

The Buzludzha monument in Bulgaria 2

2. Oradour-sur-Glane, France

In 1944, this village in nazi-occupied France was the victim of a terrible massacre. 642 inhabitants, whose majority were women and children, were all killed in one day. No one has gone back since.

Oradour-sur-Glane2 Oradour-sur-Glane3. SpreePark, Germany

Originally named Kulturpark Plänterwald at its opening in 1969, SpreePark was renamed in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down.

spreeparkIt was very popular in its days, but is now known for its rusted ferris wheels, overturned dinosaurs and eerily overgrown roller coaster.

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 27 2014: Roller coaster at Spreepark (Kulturpark) an entertainment park on April 27, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images) Spreepark-BerlijnThe reason behind its closure is that the park’s owner went bankrupt and fled the country, taking a few attractions with him in hope of starting a new park. Norbert Witte was then jailed for attempting to smuggle 400 lbs of cocaine back into Germany in 2004, in the sails of a “Magic Carpet” ride.


4. Pripyat, Ukraine

In 1986, The Ukrainian city of Pripyat in Ukraine was completely abandoned by its 50,000 inhabitants after the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster.

pripiatDue to radiation poisoning, the city has been untouched since the incident and will probably remain so for thousands of years to come.

Trees grow in a Pripyat school abandoned 19 years earlier. Today, nature is slowly dismantling the city, thriving among the evacuated homes and buildings, in stark contrast to the fear-plagued lives of the people who survived the world’s worst nuclear disaster to date. [Pripyat, Ukraine, 2005] The Long Shadow of Chernobyl - Photographs © Gerd Ludwig/INSTITUTE Bäume wachsen in einer seit zwei Jahrzehnten leer stehenden Prypjater Schule. Langsam wird die Stadt von der Natur auseinandergenommen, die Tier- und Pflanzenwelt innerhalb der Evakuierungszone gedeiht prächtig. [Prypjat, Ukraine, 2005] Der Lange Schatten von Tschernobyl - Fotos © Gerd Ludwig/INSTITUTE Des arbres poussent dans une école de Pripiat abandonnée 19 ans plus tôt. La nature démantèle lentement la ville, se faufilant dans les maisons et immeubles évacués. La végétation et le monde animal prospèrent au sein de la zone d’évacuation. [Pripiat, Ukraine, 2005] L'ombre De Tchernobyl - Photographies © Gerd Ludwig/INSTITUTE

5. Willard Asylum, New York

willard asylumThe Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane was opened in 1869. Before its closure in 1995, more than half of its 50,000 total patients died within its walls.


The hospital had an average stay of nearly 30 years. It was rare for someone to ever leave. Upon arrival, patients would bring a suitcase of possessions that were then in fact locked in the attic and forgotten.

willarrdIn 1995, 400 suitcases were discovered in the attic, dating between 1910 and 1960.

6. Hashima Island, Japan

Functioning as a bustling coal mine for almost 100 years (1887 -1974), Hashima Island was once the most densely populated area in the world.

Hashima_Island_05When petrol took over as Japan’s main fuel source, the city fell to ruins. Nobody ever went back.


7. Underwater City, China

Beneath the Qiandao lake in Zhejiang province, China, lies an entire 1300-year-old city.

lion cityThe Chinese Government flooded Lion City in 1959, to make a giant reservoir and hydroelectricity plant.

underwater-lion-city-china (1)

8. Military Rocket Factory, Russia

In 2011, explorer Lana Sator broke into an energomash plant near Moscow and photographed what she found.

russiaThe Russian Government sent her threatening letters in response, warning her of consequences.


From 1965 until the 2000’s, the factory was used to build motors for Soviet and Russian spacecrafts.


9. Klomanskop, Namib Desert, Namibia

klom Kolmanskop_sand

The small mining town was founded in 1908 when a railroad worker found a diamond at the site. When the mines were finally exhausted in 1954, Klomanskop was completely abandoned.


10. Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania

Opened in 1829, the Eastern State Penitentiary was an experiment for radical new philosophies in criminal reform. The introduction of the strict isolation of prisoners soon became the model for prison design worldwide.

espBut solitary confinement in fact drove many inmates insane. The prison staff carried out heinous punishments for minor infringements. Overcrowding became an issue as Eastern State became a maximum security prison until its doors shut in 1971.

esp2Nowadays, the terror experienced within its walls echoes through the crumbling corridors, making it a spooky yet popular tourist attraction.


Photos by Lily Landes

11. Six Flags Amusement Park, New Orleans

six flags

In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit and devastated New Orleans, Six Flags Amusement park became submerged under seven feet of flood water.


The park was then abandoned and left to rust and decay and now, 10 years later, remains as a testament to the devastation caused by the hurricane.


Since 2007, many companies have attempted unsuccessfully to rehabilitate Six Flags. It has been used for the set of films such as Killer Joe, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Jurassic World.


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