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31 Haunting Images of Abandoned Places That Will Give You Goose Bumps

They say that the only permanent thing in the world is change. History books are one way to understand the passage of time, but there are also some real-life monuments that speak of the past in their own ways. While some of these monuments are well taken care of and protected, those that are partially or even completely run-down often are the most interesting.

Here’s a selection of some of the most ghostly abandoned places around the world, every single one of which has its own special charm. Beneath all the dust, rust and cracks, there are stories of people who used to live, pray, or take their daily train rides there, and when you try to imagine these people and their lives, each picture gets a special aura of nostalgia. It’s as if the people in these places just picked up and left.

On the other hand, it’s also fascinating to see how some things that used to belong to people are slowly being reclaimed by nature again. You might also remember Finnish photographer Kai Fagerström and his pictures of how wild animals were taking over abandoned houses in the woods of Finland. That’s just the natural circle of life and existence – and it sure makes for some awesome shots!

Don’t these pictures just give you goose bumps?

1. I.M. Cooling Tower, Belgium

Image credits: brokenview

Image credits: Pippa Killi Nova

These are parts of a cooling tower in an old power station in Monceau, Belgium. The trumpet-like structure in the middle introduced hot water to the structure, where it then cooled while dripping down hundreds of small concrete troughs and slats.

2. Kolmanskop, Namibia

Image credits: Chris Gray

Kolmanskop was a small settlement in Namibia that saw a boom in the early 1900s when German settlers realized that the area was rich in diamonds. The surge of wealth gave out after WWI, however, when the diamond field began to deplete. By the 1950s, the town was completely deserted, and is now visited by photographers and tourists.

3. 102-Year-Old Floating Forest in Sydney, Australia

Image credits: Bruce Hood

This is the hull of the SS Ayrfield, a large steam ship condemned to dismantling in Homebush Bay, Australia after WWII. When the dismantling yard closed down, however, it and several other ships remained where they were. Now, it is a beautiful and haunting floating forest that serves as an example of nature’s capacity for survival.

4. The Maunsell Sea Forts, England

Image credits: jelltecks

The Maunsell Sea Forts were erected near the Thames and Mersey rivers in Britain to help defend against potential German air or naval raids during WWII. After being decommissioned in 1950, they have been inhabited by various new tenants, including pirate radio operators and by the Principality of Sealand, which claims to be an independent sovereign state.

5. Last House on Holland Island, U.S.A

Image credits: baldeaglebluff

This house was part of what was once a fairly successful small island colony in Chesapeake Bay in the U.S. Rapid erosion of the island’s mud and silt coast, however, meant that there was less and less room to live on the island. This house was the last one left on Holland Island before it too collapsed in 2010.

6. Pripyat, Ukraine

Image credits: Barry Mangham

Image credits: castlemaineindependent.org

Pripyat was established on Feb. 4th, 1970 in Ukraine near the border of Belarus as a Soviet nuclear city. It was home to many of the workers who worked in the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which melted down disastrously in the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster. After being evacuated, Pripyat remains a radioactive ghost town that can only be visited through guided tours.

7. House of the Bulgarian Communist Party, Bulgaria

Image credits: Dimitar Kilkoff

The former headquarters of Bulgaria’s Communist Party are just as eerie on the outside as on the inside. The flying-saucer-like building, while probably a wonder while it was in use from 1981 until 1991, went into disrepair soon after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is now a ghost of its former self, although plans are being made to restore it.

8. Nara Dreamland, Japan

Image credits: suspiciousminds

The Nara Dreamland park, inspired by Disneyland, was opened in 1961. By 2006, however, it closed down. Now it is a popular destination for urban explorers, although security guards still occasionally patrol the grounds and impose fines.

9. Uninhabited Island in Southwest Florida, U.S.A.

Image credits: imgur.com

These small domed structures were built in 1981 on Cape Romano off the coast of Florida in the U.S. They were the summer home of oil producer Bob Lee before falling into disrepair. What their fate will be today is still uncertain.

10. Abandoned Mill, Italy

Image credits: Dale Tennyson

This mill in the Valley of the Mills in Sorrento, Italy was abandoned in 1866. This mill ground wheat, and a sawmill operated nearby as well. The mill was isolated from the sea by the construction of Tasso Square, which raised the humidity in the area and caused it to be abandoned.

11. Michigan Central Station in Detroit, U.S.A.

Image credits: Chris Luckhardt

Image credits: The New No. 2

Michigan Central Station was built in 1913 in Detroit to create a new public transportation hub. Several planning oversights and mistakes, however, led to its gradual decline and closing in 1988. The building’s fate is still being decided, but in the mean time, the station has appeared in several films and videos, including Eminem’s “8 Mile” film and “Beautiful” music video.

12. Sunken Yacht, Antarctica

Image credits: ruschili.35photo.ru

This eerie ghost ship is the Mar Sem Fim, a Brazilian yacht that was shipwrecked near Ardley Cove in Antarctica. A Brazilian crew had taken it to film a documentary, but strong winds and stormy seas forced the crew to abandon ship. The water that washed over the ship froze, cracked its hull and sunk the yacht, but it has since been salvaged.

13. The Haunting New Bedford Orphuem, U.S.A.

Image credits: Frank Grace

The New Bedord Orpheum is an old theater and entertainment building located in Massachusetts in the U.S. It was opened in 1912 and closed in 1959 – since then, it has stored tobacco and served as a supermarket. Now, the Orph Inc. nonprofit is trying to raise money to revitalize the building.

14. Abandoned Train Station, Abkhazia, Georgia

Image credits: Ilya Varlamov

This train station in Sukhumi, Abkhazia was abandoned during the War in Abkhazia in 1992 and 1993. The dispute between Georgia and Russia over the region has isolated the region, but the decaying station retains some of its former glory in the form of intricate plaster work and mahogany furniture.

15. Abandoned Wooden Houses, Russia

Image credits: Andrew Qzmn

These beautiful, intricately decorated buildings are found deep in Russian forests, where their isolation has helped them remain relatively intact.

16. Underwater City in Shicheng, China

Image credits: china.org.cn

This incredible underwater city, trapped in time, is 1341 years old. Shicheng, or Lion City, is located in the Zhejiang province in eastern China. It was submerged in 1959 during the construction of the Xin’an River Hydropower Station. The water protects the city from wind and rain erosion, so it has remained sealed underwater in relatively good condition.

17. The Abandoned City Hall Subway Stop in New York, U.S.A.

Image credits: John Paul Palescandolo & Eric Kazmirek

This beautifully-designed metro station sits underneath City Hall in New York City. Because of its location, much attention was given to its design, but nearby stations ensured that this one never received a significant amount of traffic, and its curved layout made it unsafe for use with newer, longer trains. The station was closed in 1945 and, because of security concerns, it generally remains closed, with the exception of occasional exclusive tours.

18. Salto Hotel, Colombia

Image credits: astrophysicistkev

The Hotel De Salto opened in 1928 near Tequendema Falls in Colombia to serve tourists who came to marvel at the 157 meter-tall waterfall. It closed down in the early 90s after interest in the waterfall declined. In 2012, however, the site was turned into a museum.

19. Abandoned Subway Tunnel in Kiev, Ukraine

Image credits: general-kosmosa.livejournal.com

This image of an abandoned subway tunnel was captured in the metro system underneath Kiev, Ukraine. Many of the tunnels are partially flooded, and stalactites hang from the ceilings.

20. Abandoned Submarine Base in Balaklava, Ukraine

Image credits: Thomas Alboth

While this old submarine dock in Ukraine isn’t totally abandoned, the decommissioned formerly top-secret site near Balaklava is still impressive. Until its decommissioning in 1993, the site was one of the Soviet Union’s most top-secret sites, and was said to be able to weather a direct nuclear strike due to its underground construction. Today, it is a national naval museum.

21. Abandoned Military Hospital in Beelitz, Germany

Image credits: Michis Bilder

Image credits: d.r.i.p.

These eerie pictures are part of the Beelitz-Heilstätten hospital complex in Beelitz, Germany. The large complex was built at the end of the 1800s and helped Adolf Hitler recuperate from a leg wound incurred at the Battle of Somme in 1916. Parts of the complex remain in operation, but most were abandoned after the Soviets withdrew from the hospital in 1995.

22. Hashima Island, Japan

Image credits: hashima-island.com

Hashima island in Japan has a wide array of nicknames, including Battelship Island (for its shape) and Ghost Island. From the late 1800s to late 1900s, the island was populated because of the access it granted to undersea coal mines. However, as Japan gradually switched from coal to petroleum, the mines (and the buildings that sprung up around them to support their workers) closed down, leaving an isolated ghost town that reminds some of a ghostly concrete battleship.

23. San Zhi, Taiwan

Image credits: picc.it

These alien-looking houses in Sanzhi were initially intended to serve as a vacation destination, especially for U.S. military officers returning from their positions in Asia. Lost investments and unfortunate car accidents, however, forced the site to close down in 1980, not long after it had been built. Unfortunately, the buildings were torn down in 2010.

24. Abandoned Church in the Snow, Canada

Image credits: Kevin McElheran

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  • http://www.facebook.com/david.diezbalbas David Díez Balbás

    Awesome, but repeated

    • http://www.facebook.com/chiloux Thorbjørn Chiloux Fessel

      Awesome, but repeated

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.diezbalbas David Díez Balbás

      Awesome, but repeated :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/monica.merima Monica Merima

    Great places for film makers and photographers :)

  • Laura Holliger

    I love Urban Exploration. All these photos are odd and so beautiful !

  • http://www.facebook.com/fernando.maluli Fernando Coury Maluli

    Very nice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fernando.maluli Fernando Coury Maluli

    Very nice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.bouwman.161 Rob Bouwman

    Wauw

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.bouwman.161 Rob Bouwman

    Wauw

  • http://www.facebook.com/ariana.oo.5 Ariana Oo

    oooor… Abandoned Images of Haunted Places? :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ariana.oo.5 Ariana Oo

    oooor… Abandoned Images of Haunted Places? :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/katex.isa Katex Isa

    Hotel del Salto…creepy

  • Uday Nandam

    wondering

    • aldino chieppa

      Ireallyenjoyeditthanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/samantha.jones.988373 Samantha Jones

    Wow – Yikes – Scary – Beautiful (some of them!). Love the last one, in particular. :-)

  • Tokyo_RJ

    I have been to Hashima, or Gunkanjima as its more commonly known. Absolutely amazing! Love these kind of places. So much history, the imagination runs wild!

    • http://www.chrisluckhardt.com/ Chris Luckhardt

      Did you take the public tour or the more stealthy off-limits tour?

  • http://www.facebook.com/msfaesar Fiona Johns

    Michael Maxx Schmitz

  • http://www.facebook.com/robyn.engdahl Robyn Engdahl

    Amazing photos!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/robmellors Rob Mellors

    Wow! especially “The sunken yacht Antartica”

  • http://www.facebook.com/Squee22 Brian David

    detroit is so sad… so many cool places there have been left to rot.

  • Anonymous

    We could add some pictures of some of the Chicago Public Schools that have been closed in recent years. #DamnShame

  • Velly Angelova

    wow

  • Harry McNicholas

    You want to see something really freightening? Take a look at my bank account.

    • yay!

      Or your spelling!

      • Name

        Because he spelled frightening “freightening”? I almost shat myself, you’re right.

    • elsa coichy

      lol

    • elsa coichy

      lol

  • anita

    I don’t think any of them are creepy….they’re all Beautiful!

  • Victor Courville

    Awesome!…Great stuff

  • Ian G

    Nice to see the Maunsell Sea Fort made it in @ No4…
    Some some smashing shots.
    Just a small note: the Principality of Sealand set up on former Royal Navy sea fort rather than the former army sea fort on Redsands pictured.
    A consortium called Project Redsands is planning to conserve the fort at Redsands

  • azra

    They are not eerie and haunted, but beautiful. the best is the sunken yacht. I need to do a bit of research on shicheng lion city in eastern china

  • Porst

    There’s an abandoned mental hospital right outside of Vancouver that’s extremely creepy. They shoot horror movies there all the time. Both the Grave Encounters movies were filmed there, and there’s so much crazy weird stuff still in the building it’ll make your skin crawl.

  • Val

    Would,nt it be lovely to restore one of the old buildings and live in it. How awesome.

  • http://www.chrisluckhardt.com/ Chris Luckhardt

    Thank you for including my photo of Detroit’s abandoned Michigan Central Station. It’s one of my favourite locations to explore!

  • http://sekiwat.deviantart.com/ sekiwat

    haha i knew hashima would be on this list.

  • Jason

    Am I the only one to see 24, not 31, places in this article?

    • Darth

      Yeah, I noticed that too.

      • J0DL3R

        Well it’s overall 31 Pictures … of 24 different places

  • Enokela P. Acheme

    Amazing list. The underwater city in China caught my eye the most.

  • Pablo

    What about Enver Hoxha Pyramid in Albania?

  • Victoria

    They’re all beautiful, the military hospital and Salto Hotel do give me the chills..

  • 123456789

    I can only see 24 how do I see the other 7?

  • Andreas Normand Grøntved

    so the image of Shicheng is so fake. Why are you posting this image and not a real one.

  • http://brandonisstillalive.com

    Where are the other seven?

  • Rebecca Lambert

    Mark Zuckerberg brought me here

  • Paddy Ocampo

    Chernobyl would have been also a great addition

    • :|

      did you ever heard ’bout Prypiat?

    • blackmask/pvd

      Number 6, dummy.

  • glitzy

    Hashima Island :D

  • ogy

    Centralia PA would have been a good one for the list

  • Moni

    the one in Colombia, is kind of frightening because in the past many people went there to suicide by jumping off the waterfall. It is said that the spirits still wander around this hotel.

  • Can Mardin

    Nature eventually takes back what it gives…

  • Jess

    Wow these are so stunning! A great addition would be the Ohio State Reformatory (it’s also the filming location of The Shawshank Redemption!)