Ghost towns: 11 abandoned towns and cities around the world

They’re an eerie phenomenon but can be fascinating to visit. Here are 11 abandoned towns from around the world - and the reasons for their demise.

There’s something both fascinating and creepy about an abandoned town. Deserted houses and old street signs hint at what once was or what might have been, but the eerie silence leaves you alone to conjure up visions of a mysterious past.

Whether their demise is down to the horrors of war, economic failure or natural disaster, ghost towns are an intriguing phenomenon. Here are 11 of the most interesting abandoned towns from around the world which no-one calls home…

1. Varosha, Cyprus

Back in the 70s, Varosha was packed to the rafters with glamorous stars, actresses and models like Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor, who visited the Cypriot area on holiday.


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But in 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus, the city’s 15,000 residents fled and left everything behind. While many who left imagined they would return one day, this has not been possible due to political unrest. The city is now something of a ghost town.

2. Craco, Italy

Now a popular filming location, Craco was abandoned following a series of natural disasters. There were landslides as well as a flood, and finally the site was completely abandoned following an earthquake in 1980.


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Many films and television shows have been shot in the area including Quantum of Solace and The Passion of the Christ.

3. Kayaköy, Turkey

This once thriving community used to house around 2,000 Greek residents, but in 1923, following the Greco-Turkish War, the village was abandoned and those who once lived there were banned from returning as a result of the population exchange that took place between Greece and Turkey.


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These days a few houses have been restored, however, it is mostly still abandoned, with only tourists and roadside vendors to be seen.

4. Kolmanskop, Namibia

This town was built early in the 1900s after diamonds were found in the area by a German worker. The town had a hospital, power station, ballroom, ice factory, school, casino and sports hall – and it even had the first X-ray station in the southern hemisphere.


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It was abandoned when the diamonds became scarce and a far richer source of diamonds was discovered - but is now popular with tourists and photographers.

5. Copehill Down, England


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Copehill Down might look like your normal, average village but it’s actually a military training facility. No-one lives here, so it looks somewhat creepy…

6. Centralia, USA

Residents were forced to flee this former mining town in Pennsylvania after a mine fire started in 1962, whch still burns underground today.


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Despite the ZIP code being discontinued and most residents leaving, around 10 remain living there and reached a settlement in 2013 allowing them to live out the rest of their lives there.

7. Tianducheng (Little Paris), China

Built to look just like Paris, albeit laid out rather differently, not that many people chose to live there. In fact, only 2,000 people do, which falls quite short of estimated 100,000 residents that were expected to call this place home.


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8. The Residencial Francisco Hernando development, Seseña, Spain

This development was built by a property developer called Francisco Hernando, who wanted to build the type of affordable housing that had not been available to him growing up.

However, rather controversially, utilities such as water and gas were not included in the plans, meaning nobody could actually live here. It is now beginning to attract residents, as utilities have been added.

9. Pegrema, Russia

The village of Pegrema in the Medvezhyegorsky District of the Republic of Karelia sits on the bank of Lake Onega and is an example of the beautiful wooden buildings of the region.

However, it has been abandoned since the Russian Revolution and the wooden structures have started to deteriorate and fall down with age.

10. Oradour-sur-Glane, France

In June 1944 a Nazi Waffen SS detachment rounded up and killed 642 of the residents of the village as revenge for believing the town supported the French Resistance.


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A new town was built after the war but President Charles de Gaulle made sure that the ruins of the old town be left as a monument to the victims of the massacre, as it remains today.

11. Hashima Island, Japan

This deserted island was once one of the most densely populated places in the world, but now sits vacant and crumbling – it was even the inspiration for James Bond’s hideout in Skyfall.


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It was settled as a coal mining colony in 1887, and by the 50s the small 16-acre rock was home to over 5,200 people. The mine closed in 1974 and the city was abandoned.

Thanks to citybaseapartments

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