When we’re looking for a good scare to knock us off of our seats, we often turn to a classic horror movie. However, horror films aren’t the only thing that can give us goosebumps. In fact, some of life’s scariest scenes can be found in real life.
This article will show you some of the creepiest abandoned locations around the world. Not only will you get a glimpse of what these ghostly places look like, but you’ll also learn about the blood-curdling stories that lie beneath them.
I. M. Cooling Tower in Belgium
This giant cooling tower located in Monceau, Belgium looks like a scene straight out of a science fiction film.
The old power station was originally built in 1921 and was considered one of the largest coal-burning power plants in Europe. It provided Belgium with tons of electricity for decades, but it received lots of negative attention when a report revealed that it was responsible for 10% of the total CO2 emissions. It closed down in 2007 but has yet to be demolished. Until then, the rusty looking power plant remains.
Kolmanskop in Namibia
In the early 1900s, Kolmanskop was known as a small settlement in Namibia that saw a big boom when German settlers realized that the area was rich in diamonds.
However, the surge of wealth gave out after World War I when the diamond field began to deplete. Today, Kolmanskop is no longer home to diamonds. In fact, by the 1950s the town was completely deserted. Tourists and historians alike visit Kolmanskop to observe the creepy haunted houses left behind by the town’s previous residents.
The Floating Forest in Sydney
Homebush Bay in Sydney, Australia is home to a 102-year-old ship that eventually became a creepy-looking floating forest.
After World War II, the SS Ayrfield dismantled in Homebush Bay, leaving just the ship’s hull behind. Even after the dismantling yard closed down, the SS Ayrfield remained exactly where it was. Since then, it has become an equally beautiful and haunting forest that shows us that nature can flourish in even least expected places.
The Maunsell Sea Forts, England
During World War II, the Maunsell Sea Forts were erected near the Thames and Mersey rivers of Britain to help defend against German air or naval attacks. The forts were decommissioned for good in 1950, but the buildings haven’t gone anywhere. Following their decommissioning, the abandoned buildings have been inhabited by unexpected tenants such as pirate radio operators and the Principality of Sealand.
The Principality of Sealand is an offshore territory in Britain that claims to be an independent sovereign state. It’s safe to say the Maunsell Sea Forts have had some pretty strange tenants!
The Last House on Holland Island in the U. S.
This abandoned house is the last remaining residence in Holland Island, which was once a fairly successful island colony in the Chesapeake Bay. After rapid erosion of the island’s mud and silt left little room for residents to live on the island, Holland Island was almost entirely abandoned.
This run-down building, which was initially built in 1888, was the very last house left standing on the island before it collapsed into the sea in 2010
Pripyat in Ukraine
On February 4th, 1970, Pripyat was established in Ukraine as a Soviet nuclear city. It was home to hundreds of workers who spent their days in the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant. As we all know, the plant melted down disastrously in 1986.
Pripyat was quickly evacuated, but not before its residents were tragically affected by radiation poisoning. Today, Pripyat remains totally deserted - even animals struggled to survive in the inhabitable environment. If you’re truly brave enough to visit the radioactive ghost town, guided tours by professionals are offered.
The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party in Bulgaria
The Monument House of the Bulgarian Communist Party was built from 1974 to 1981 in central Bulgaria. The building was in use for just ten years until it went into disrepair soon after the fall of the Soviet Union. With its strange, flying saucer-like shape, the former headquarters of Bulgaria’s Communist Party is truly a sight to see.
The Bulgarian government is planning on restoring the building and turning it into a museum of Bulgaria’s history.
Nara Dreamland in Japan
There are few things in the world that are creepier than abandoned amusement parks. There’s just something about seeing a place that used to be vibrant and full of smiling children turn into a cobweb-filled ghost town
Inspired by America’s Disneyland, the Nara Dreamland Park was opened in Japan in 1961. However, it was closed down by 2006 and the owners didn’t bother with demolishing it. Today the park serves as a popular destination for urban explorers.
The Uninhabited Island in Southwest Florida in the U. S.
In 1981, these small domed structures were built on a small 3-acre sandbar just off the coast of Southwest Florida in the United States. These unique buildings served as the summer home of millionaire oil producer Bob Lee. After a powerful hurricane hit the island, the houses went into disrepair.
Today, the domes serve as a shady area for sharks and other fish looking for shelter from the scorching Florida sun.
The Abandoned Mill in Italy
In the Southern Italian town of Sorrento, there’s a deep canyon famously known as The Valley of the Mills. In the middle of the valley there once lied a fully functioning wheat mill. However, today, all that is left of the mill is a creepy haunted building.
When the creation of Tasso Square isolated the mill from the sea, the area experienced a rapid rise in humidity. This eventually led to the mill’s abandonment and it ultimately became a tourist attraction for thrill-seekers in Italy.
Michigan Central Station in Detroit, U. S. A
In 1913, Michigan Central Station was built in Detroit to create a new public transportation hub. However, several planning oversights and mistakes led to its gradual decline and eventual closing in 1988.
The building’s fate is still up in the air; there are talks about turning it into a museum as well as demolishing it completely. In the meantime, the station has served as the setting for a number of films and music videos including Eminem’s “8 Mile” movie and “Beautiful” video.
The Sunken Yacht in Antarctica
If for some reason you ever find yourself in Antarctica, visiting this eerie ghost ship is an absolute must. This Brazilian yacht known as the Mar Sem Fim was shipwrecked near Ardley Cove in Antarctica. The Brazilians had taken the yacht out to film a documentary about the South Pole. However, when strong winds and stormy seas hit the water, the crew was forced to abandon ship.
The freezing water washed over the ship, cracked its hull, and sank the yacht.
The Haunting New Bedford Orpheum in the U. S.
On April 15th, 1912, The New Bedford Orpheum opened to the public for shows and entertainment in Massachusetts. The Orpheum was doomed from day one - it coincidentally opened the very same night that the Titanic sank.
The theater closed down for good in 1959. Since then, it has served as tobacco storage and as a supermarket. Today, the Orph Inc. nonprofit organization is working to raise money to restore the giant building.
The Abandoned Train Station in Abkhazia, Georgia
The Abkhazian Railway was once a booming transport link in the republic of Abkhazia. However, the Sukhimian train station was abandoned during the war in 1992. Georgia and Russia disputed over ownership of the region, which eventually isolated the region. Today, the train station sits in a country that doesn’t really exist.
The Abkhazian Train Station is slowly decaying, but it retains some of its former glory in the form of gorgeous plasterwork and mahogany furniture
The Abandoned Wooden Houses in Russia
The isolated Russian village of Ostashevo is home to these beautiful, intricately decoded buildings. The houses were built in the late 19th century by industrialist Markov for his beloved second wife, E.A. Dobrovolskaya.
The wooden building was eventually abandoned decades ago, but now it serves a different purpose. In 2016, the house was transformed into Russia’s first-ever forest hotel-museum. It allows guests to tour the area's local history while giving them a place to crash at the end of the day.
The Underwater City in China
This jaw-dropping underwater city sits in Shicheng, China, totally trapped in time. The 1341-year-old city is located in the Zhejiang province in eastern China.
In 1959, the town was fully submerged (85 - 131 ft or 26 - 40 m) during the construction of the Xin’an River Hydropower Station. The town has remained sealed in relatively good condition thanks to the water that surrounds it, protecting the city from powerful winds and rain erosion. The underwater town has since become a popular tourist attraction for brave scuba divers.
The Old City Hall Subway Stop in New York
Underneath New York’s City Hall lies an abandoned subway stop that has been shuttered since the start of World War II. Much attention was given to the metro station's beautiful design, but nearby stations stole most of its traffic. This station’s curved layout made it unsafe for use with newer and longer subways.
In 1945, the station was closed because of its safety concerns. It generally remains closed except for the occasional guided tour.
The Salto Hotel in Colombia
This stunning mansion was built in 1928 near Tequendama Falls in Colombia to attract tourists that came to marvel at the town’s giant waterfall. However, when interest in the waterfall declined in the early 90s, the hotel was closed down. In 2012, the building was transformed into a gorgeous history museum.
Despite the hotel’s beauty, it has ironically become the location of several suicides. Because of this, many believe that the run-down building is actually haunted.
An Abandoned Subway Tunnel in Ukraine
This isolated subway tunnel lies beneath the Ukrainian city of Kiev.
The subway station’s construction began in the early 1990s but was eventually halted due to a lack of funding. The station has since been totally abandoned, leaving many of the tunnels partially flooded and stalactites hanging from the ceilings. Entrance to the desolate tunnels is rarely granted, with one memorable use being a 2013 fashion show. If you ask us, that’s a pretty strange - and somewhat creepy - location for a fashion show.
A Deserted Submarine Base in Ukraine
What was once a small fishing town became one of the most top-secret areas in Ukraine when a super-secret Soviet Union site was built near Balaklava. Due to its discrete underground construction, the site was said to be able to withstand a direct nuclear strike.
The site was decommissioned in 1993 and was transformed into a popular Ukrainian naval museum. If you’re not afraid of dark, cold, and closed-off spaces, you may want to pay a visit to this unique museum.
Haunted Military Hospital in Germany
If you are the type of person who gets a little nervous before trips to the doctor, you might want to stay away from this creepy deserted hospital located in Beelitz, Germany. The Beelitz-Heilstatten Military Hospital Complex was built at the end of the 1800s. The doctors there helped Adolf Hitler recover from a leg wound from the Battle of Somme.
Certain sections of the haunted hospital remain in operation, but most of the building remains deserted since the Soviets withdrew from the area in 1995.
Hashima Island in Japan
Hashima Island is a deserted area in Japan also known as Battleship Island for its shape and Ghost Island for its creepiness. The island was heavily populated from the late 1800s to the late 1900s due to its access to undersea coal mines. However, when Japan gradually switched from coal to petroleum, the mines closed down. The buildings that spring up around the mines to house the workers were also left abandoned.
Today, Hashima Island looks like something out of a zombie apocalypse movie.
San Zhi in Taiwan
Although your ideal vacay spot may look a little different than these eerie-looking houses, these buildings in San Zhi, Taiwan were initially intended to serve as a vacation destination. They were meant to act as resorts for U.S. military officers returning from their positions in Asia.
Nonetheless, due to lost investments and unfortunate car accidents, the site closed down in 1980. The alien-like houses stood tall for three decades until they were demolished in 2010.
The Church in the Show in Canada
One of Canada’s scariest locations is a small, abandoned church that can be spotted in the snowy hills of Ontario.
From the outside, the building looks like any other old church. However, according to one brave man who stepped inside, the place of worship has been abandoned for years. The floors, bibles, and chairs of the church remain blanketed in a thick layer of the dust and raccoons have made the building’s ceiling their home.
Gbadolite, Democratic Republic of Congo - Bamboo Palace
The Bamboo Palace is only a small part of the palace complex that Mobutu Sese Seko, the former president of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), built for himself in the 1970s. The palace complex in the town of Gbadolite cost $100 million and was named his “Versailles in the Jungle”.
He built three separate residences in this complex, including the Bamboo Palace, and they were each equally ornate and elaborate. They were all filled with luxury Carrara marble, gilding, and Louis XVI furnishings. They also had expensive Murano chandeliers and paintings by famed artists Renoir and Monet.
The Bamboo Palace had to employ 700 staff members in order to meet the needs and fulfill the whims of the president and his family, which were known to be quite lavish. In fact, the president had an airport built close to his house so that he and his wife, Marie-Antionette, could fly to Paris to go on designer shopping sprees whenever they chose.
Mobutu even went as far as building one palace that was a small replica of the Forbidden Palace in Beijing. It was called the Peking Palace and was used for family retreats, as well as a place to welcome foreign VIPs and dignitaries.
Only the Best Entertainment
Mobutu and his family lived such an extravagant lifestyle and took such great pride in entertaining their guests that there was even a nightclub in the complex in Gbadolite. The nightclub had swanky red walls and a bar that was always stocked with top-notch spirits and vintage wines and champagnes.
Also in an effort to cater to his VIP guests, Mobutu's palace complex had multiple large swimming pools, several lavish guesthouses, and a five-star hotel that political dignitaries could stay at when visiting.
In May of 1997, Mobutu was deposed for embezzling up to $15 billion. After he had been removed from office, he fled to Morocco and later died there in the same year.
The Bamboo Palace, as well as the rest of the palaces in the complex in Gbadolite, was looted after Mobutu was deposed. All of the expensive paintings, chandeliers, and building materials were destroyed or taken by looters. The Bamboo Palace has been sitting deserted and in ruins ever since and is now completely overtaken by the jungle.
Celles, Belgium - Chateau Miranda
The Chateau Miranda in Celles, Belgium looks exactly as you would imagine all deserted mansions to look. This neo-gothic mansion was built in 1866 and has a super spooky and intimidating appearance, especially now that it has been abandoned for a while
It was built for the Liedekerke-Beaufort family, an aristocratic Belgian family, by the English architect Edward Milner. The Chateau Miranda was built after the family had lost their aristocratic seats at the Chateau de Veves during the French Revolution.
War Takes Its Toll
After the Liedekerke-Beaufort family had settled in at the Chateau Miranda, they were again uprooted and forced to leave their home during World War II when the mansion was taken over by the Nazis.
After World War II ended, the Chateau Miranda was used for several different purposes throughout the years, including a holiday camp, an orphanage, and a school. It was renamed Chateau de Noisy in 1950 and was finally deserted in 1991 due to extremely high maintenance costs.
Since being abandoned, the Chateau Miranda has been through a lot. Not only has it been neglected since its abandonment in 1991, but it has also been the target of lots of vandalism. It has also fallen victim to several accidents that have taken their toll including a severe fire in 1995 and a freak storm that destroyed the roof in 2006.
In 2016, a decade after the freak storm, developer Luc Lavroff decided to take the Chateau Miranda apart and rebuild it in Spain. He began working on his ambitious plan right away.
Unfortunate Turn of Events
However, in a tragic twist, Lavroff had to pull out of the deal in February of 2017 after he was diagnosed with cancer. When he did that, the fate of the Chateau Miranda, which had already been halfway dismantled, was left to a demolition firm named Castignetti.
The Castignetti company was not able to find a buyer and eventually decided that their only option was to demolish the Chateau Miranda. The deserted mansion was then completely torn down by October of 2017, ending its life story.
Roscoe, USA - Dundas Castle
The Dundas Castle is located deep within the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York and is known by several different names, including Craig-E-Clair and the “Castle of Sorrow.” The name “Castle of Sorrow” comes from the mansion’s lengthy, sad history.
In fact, the Dundas Castle had a sad story right from the beginning when it was commissioned in the late 1910s by Ralph Wurts-Dundas, a wealthy man from New York. He never saw the completed mansion because he died in 1921 before it was finished.
Even More Tragedy
After Wurts-Dundas’ death, his grief-stricken widow, Josephine, inherited the property but was then committed to an asylum a year later. At this point, the Dundas Castle property was only half-finished and Ralph and Josephine’s daughter, Murial, inherited the property.
Murial ended up being tricked out of her inheritance and moved to England without finishing the mansion. In England, her state of mind went downhill and the Dundas Castle remained unfinished even though so much work had already been done on it.
Always Changing Hands
When Murial Wurts-Dundas died, her estate sold the unfinished Dundas Castle in 1949. The next owner of the mansion was the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the Masonic Order, who used the home as a holiday camp and masonic retreat for their group.
The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the Masonic Order used the Dundas Castle up until the 1970s. At that point, the group abandoned the property, and it has since remained empty and unfinished for over four decades.
Today, the Dundas Castle is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is still abandoned and unfinished, but it is being taken care of by a caretaker. The caretaker also guards the property against trespassers as it is off-limits to the public.
Rumor has it that the ghost of Josephine Wurts-Dundas haunts the deserted mansion. Locals also say that the Dundas Castle is so spooky that the ponds on the property will turn into blood whenever there is a full moon.
Sainte-Croix-Aux-Mines, France - Chateau Burrus
The Chateau Burrus in Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines, France is a beautiful and grand neo-Baroque mansion that was built in 1900 for Jules Burrus, a philanthropist and tobacco magnate.
In 1911, Jules Burrus’ son Marcel inherited the Chateau Burrus. Marcel owned the Chateau Burrus without any issue up until World War I, after which the effects of both world wars led to him.spending the next several decades going back and forth between owning and losing the property.
Back and Forth
Marcel, the heir to his father’s tobacco magnate, originally lost the mansion during World War I because he would not give the German army free cigarettes. As his punishment, the German army requisitioned the property. Marcel then fled to Switzerland, a neutral territory.
After World War I was over, Marcel made his way back home to the Chateau Burrus and reclaimed it. However, in World War II, the mansion was seized for a second time by the Germans who used it for an SS officer training center.
For Sale For Decades
Marcel fled and hid in the Pyrenees Mountains for the remainder of World War II. After the war was over, he recovered the Chateau Burrus yet again in 1945 and subsequently remained the owner of the Chateau Burrus for the rest of his life.
Marcel died in 1959. The Chateau Burrus was sold to a religious order after his death and remained in their hands until the early 1990s when the property was then listed for sale again. It has remained empty and abandoned ever since.
There's Still Hope
The Chateau Burrus has also been called Chateau Lumiere. This nickname comes from all of the mansion's rooms that are filled with plenty of natural light thanks to its large, open windows.
Since being listed for sale in the early 1990s, the deserted mansion has been left untouched aside from some vandalism, and completely unmaintained. Not all hope is lost though, as it still has potential. A huge restoration could ultimately turn this property back into a bright and thriving home.
New York State, USA - Mystery Mansion
This deserted mansion is quite the mystery as many details about it, including its name and location, are unknown or undisclosed. We do know that this mansion is located in New York State only a few miles from New York City, but we do not know exactly where it is or how to get to it.
Bryan Sansivero is a well-known photographer of abandoned buildings. He captured this mystery mansion in 2016, giving us a look inside this deserted mystery that used to be someone’s home.
Shrouded in Mystery
A few facts about the mystery mansion are known. The deserted mansion has 57 rooms and was built sometime in the 1930s. Its original owner was known to buy large, lavish homes and then randomly abandon them, letting them deteriorate.
That is exactly what the original owner did with this mystery mansion, as well- it has sat abandoned since 1976. With evidence of the owner’s life left throughout the house, this abandoned mansion is stuck in time like the set of a horror movie.
Frozen in Time
For an unknown reason, the original owner also left most of his furnishings, fixtures, and belongings behind where they have sat untouched for decades. Throughout the years, the dust has been collected on every surface and the quality of what was left behind has deteriorated
A peek inside the window of this mystery mansion would reveal a marble fireplace, crystal chandeliers, antique sofas, and grand pianos- expensive and treasured items that most people would want to take with them when they left. And that’s just in the living room!
Mysteriously in Good Shape
Like many abandoned structures, this mystery mansion has been unfortunately subject to vandalism. Graffiti can be found on many of its walls, paint is peeling off the walls all throughout the house, and many windows are broken.
Even though the broken windows let the elements in, just like the snow on the floor in the photo above, this mystery mansion actually seems to still be in decent shape. Perhaps a restoration and renovation would also benefit this deserted home!
Koscielniki Gorne, Poland - Koscielniki Gorne Palace
The Koscielniki Gorne Palace is located in Koscielniki Gorne, Poland. Koscielniki Gorne is in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. This province is actually known for being full of abandoned mansions, so it’s not a surprise that this palace made the list!
The Koscielniki Gorne Palace was built during the 18th century and was called the Schloss Ober Steinkirch prior to World War II. Before World War II changed national borders, the Koscielniki Gorne Palace was technically located in Germany.
The Koscielniki Gorne Palace was explored by Broken Window Theory, a group dedicated to urban exploration, in early 2019. When they began to explore the deserted mansion, they found it to be in very bad condition and took these pictures to prove it.
Before World War II, when the province the Koscielniki Gorne Palace is located in (the Lower Silesian Voivodeship) was part of Germany, the German family that lived there was the von Carnap's family. They were evicted in 1945.
After the von Carnaps family was evicted, the Polish government took over the Koscielniki Gorne Palace. They then converted the palace into apartments and offices to be used by the collective State Agricultural Farms organization.
Early in the 1990s after the Soviet Union collapsed, the Koscielniki Gorne Palace was abandoned by the Polish government. The palace remained deserted until a developer bought it in 2004 with intentions to turn it into either a rehab center or an artist’s retreat.
No More Reno
The developer began renovations on the Koscielniki Gorne Palace after purchasing it in 2004 but had to stop in 2008 after he Polish government and authorities put a halt to the renovations because the developer had not gotten the right permits. The palace has remained abandoned ever since
After being deserted, the Koscielniki Gorne Palace has begun to fall apart. What was once beautiful and unique features of the palace are now in ruins. Vandals and squatters have also taken their toll on the property