I have always been afarid of ghost towns, but at the same time, I was interested in learning more about them. I have never been to one, but I do hope that one day I can visit one. There are so many ghost towns in the world that it is hard to name them all. I found this article that narrows down the top 10 abandoned towns.
1. St. Elmo, Colorado
Once a booming mining town and trading post along railroad routes running through central Colorado, St. Elmo was abandoned when the railroad shut down in 1922. Many of the buildings including stores, houses, and the church were left intact, filled with the belongings of their former residents.
2. Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
The Chaco civilization thrived from roughly a.d. 800 to 1100. During this period, the canyon served as a ceremonial, civic, and commercial center. Residents built clusters of dwellings and circular ceremonial structures, called kivas, from mud brick, sandstone, and wood, many of which remain intact today.
3. Bodie, California
In 1879, Bodie was a bustling gold-mining town and home to 8,500 residents known for gunfighting and brawling. Within a decade, the mines had been largely depleted and the population had begun a steady decline that ended in total abandonment. The 150 remaining buildings are much as their residents left them.
4. Humberstone and Santa Laura, Atacama Desert, Chile
Home to saltpeter mines, these two company towns in northern Chile were abandoned in 1958. The well reserved buildings include a theater with its original chairs, houses, a cast-iron swimming pool made from the hull of a ship, a hotel, and grocers’ shops complete with price lists.
5. Bhangarh, Rajasthan, India
When Bhangarh, a local capital in northwest India, was conquered by the raja of Jaipur in the 1720s, the city was quickly deserted. Dating from the 17th century and before, the ruins including crumbling temples and pavilions, a fort, and a medieval bazaarare said to be haunted, and eerie legends surround the city’s rise and rapid decline.
6. Kayaköy, Anatolia, Turkey
When the Greco-Turkish war ended in 1923, roughly a million Greeks living in Turkey were repatriated, and Kayaköy, a Greek village of roughly 2,000 residents in western Turkey, was abandoned. The remains of the village, including hundreds of ruined homes and two Greek Orthodox churches are preserved as a historic site.
7. Pyramiden, Svalbard, Norway
This Arctic coal-mining town, owned by the U.S.S.R. since 1927, was an ideal Soviet settlement complete with workers’ barracks, a sports center, and a bust of Lenin. The mine is now exhausted, but the buildings, including a library full of books, a theater, and a music hall with the world’s northernmost grand piano, have been left as they were when the town was abandoned in 1998.
8. Herculaneum, Naples, Italy
In the summer of 79a.d., Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the small, wealthy Roman seaside resort of Herculaneum in searing ash and rock. Archaeological excavations have uncovered private villas, shops, bathhouses, and a fascinating range of everyday objects.
9. Belchite, Zaragoza Province, Spain
Belchite was the site of a particularly brutal battle during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Occupied by Franco’s forces in 1937, the town was attacked by the Republican Army. The siege destroyed Belchite, but its ruined buildings serve as a ghostly memento of the intense violence they witnessed.
10. Kolmanskop, Namibia
Located among the sand dunes of the Namib Desert, Kolmanskop was built to house workers at a nearby diamond mine. The town was abandoned by the mid-1950s and since then the desert has consumed it, almost filling many once grand houses with sand. The interiors of a few buildings, however, are in good condition.