Ghost towns are fascinating because they keep a little bit of the soul of the community who used to inhabit them trapped inside and they always tell a story. Their stories are never happy, but we like to hear them anyway because they are not superficial: the reasons which stay behind an entire town being abandoned never are!
1. Bodie, California
The most famous of all the ghost towns in USA is Bodie, California. This town was once a flourishing one, thanks to the mines nearby which brought here people from all the corners of the country. However, nothing lasts forever and in Bodie’s case, it lasted less than expected: the beginning of the end came with the close of one of the mine and slowly, people started to leave the town. The fire that took place in 1932and devastated the downtown business district, sealed the faith of this town.
2. San Zhi, Taiwan
San Zhi is a city built upon a very innovative concept and its beautiful design made this ghost town famous all over the world. However, due to a number of accidents which took place while the city was built and the lack of funds stopped the development of the project. Today, it is uninhabited and abandoned by everybody.
3. Varosha, Cyprus
Once, this area was renowned all over the world as a luxury tourist destination. It all changed in 1974, when Turks invaded Cyprus. They transformed this corner of paradise into a fortress and denied access even to its former inhabitants, who fled during the attack. Today, it ranks among the ghost towns of the world.
4. Gunkanjima, Japan
Another town which rose in a mining area is Gunkajima, Japan. The island was bought by Mitsubishi in order to mine coal from the sea, at the end of the 19th century. Thus, the necessity of shelters for the workers appeared and a town developed little by little. The town became pretty populated, with 1391 peple/hectare in 1959, but when an alternative to coal was found, it was obvious that the entire area will die. It certainly happened and today, the place is long forgotten.
5. Balestrino, Italy
This is one of Europe’s ghost towns and also, one of the many secrets of the mysterious Italy : No one knows when this town was built and, what’s more important, there is no clue as to why it was abandoned. Balestrino refuses to unveil its mysteries, though evidence show that, most probably, a natural disaster made this town inhabitable some 60 years ago.
6. Katoli World, Taiwan
Katoli world was one of the most successful amusement parks in the region. It was famous especially for its rollercoasters and was a very poplar park. Why to be abandoned, then? What happened was that in 1999, a powerful earthquake took place in the area. Thousands were killed and the park itself was damaged to such a degree that could not be re-opened until this day. It just shut its doors forever.
7. Centralia, Pennsylvania
This town was another victim of the closure of the coal mines in the region- which was the main source of income for the inhabitants of the town. As it happened in other cases, this town could not survive further, as there was no other industry in the area. What complicated things even more, an exposed deposit of coal caught on fire and the result of this tragic accident was an underground fire that could not be put out for many years. It caused many people to become sick due to the carbon monoxide which was released in the air. Thus, people in the city were finally relocated when the situation became unbearable.
8. Yashima, Japan
A city with an ancient history Yashima was the place of a famous battle which took place as far back as 1185, during the Gepenei war. Known also for the its temple, the place was developed in the 80s as a touristic destination: investments were made in order to built hotels, shops and other touristic facilities, but suddenly, everyone realized that the location, with its view of rock excavation was not even near to what tourists may like and thus, everything was abandoned and remained frozen, maybe for another 1000 years to come.
9. Pripyat, Ukraine
Is it surprising that a city of 50,000 people could be abandoned entirely? It is, but only if you do not know that this city is located in Northern Ukraine, in the Zone of Alienation. The entire population of Pripyat was working at Chernobyl. I am sure that by now, no one needs any further explanation as to why this city transformed into a ghost town!
10. Craco, Italy
This beautiful town, which was once inhabited by 2000 people, is now one of the ghost towns of the world, and this is due to a series of misfortunes, starting with war, poor agricultural conditions and finishing with a series of earthquakes that convinced everybody that it was high time they found a better place to live in.
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