What if one day, all humans on the planet disappear? For sure, the places we have all grown to love will become ghost towns. But whether you believe it or not, even today, with seven billion people still roaming around earth, there are actually real-life ghost towns that exist because they’ve been intentionally abandoned for certain reasons. With these disregarded places, we see a glimpse of what life would look like when Mother Nature reclaims what were once hers.
Below are just some of the creepiest abandoned places on earth:
Also called the Red Sands Sea Forts, the Maunsell Forts were built during World War II by the British Navy off the southeast coast of England.
At first look, you might think they’re some sort of All Terrain Armored Transport Walkers (AT-AT) designed for attacking, but actually, they’re not. Their primary purpose was to defend the United Kingdom against the German air forces. In the 1950s, after the war, these forts were no longer in use.
Later on, they were used as pirate radio stations, broadcasting illegal radio waves all over the country. However, the British government shut it down in 1967. Since then, the forts have been abandoned.
Now the Maunsell Forts are believed to have witnessed a number of horrific incidents that are part of history.
As of the moment, there are arguments about the ownership of the forts. But in 1964, a man named Paddy Roy Bates bought the Rough Sands Fort, which is located near Maunsell Forts, and decided to live in it. Shortly thereafter, he declared the fort as his own country, calling it the Principality of Sealand. He then told other neighboring countries in Europe that Sealand is an official territory, but they all disagreed.
Because Bates was firm that Sealand must be recognized officially, he tried to prove his point by claiming the Maunsell Forts as part of his property. England immediately responded to his claims by saying, “I don’t think so, old chap. They’re ours! Give them back you freewheeling pirate.”
To clarify things, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) stated, “Artificial islands, installations, and structures do not possess the status of islands. They have no territorial sea of their own,” which tells us that technically, the existence of Sealand isn’t recognized.
Buzludzha is a UFO-like structure that was opened to the public in 1981. The building served as the home of the Bulgarian Communist Party during the Soviet Era. This impressive structure is built in the Central Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. According to stories, the Buzludzha was where some of the most notorious and controversial politicians resided during the Cold War.
In 1990, the Iron Curtain fell, which eventually marked the end of the Soviet regime. Because of that, the Buzludzha was completely deserted. What was once a global symbol of communism and a political powerhouse became an eerie piece of history.
Today, the structure is totally destroyed. Once you step inside, it’ll make you feel like you’re stepping into some sort of a communist alien spacecraft.
Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang
Located in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, the Ryugyong Hotel is not as deserted as other places on this list. But just like the rest, there’s something in this place that may send shivers up your spine.
In 1987, the construction of this massive structure began. At that time, North Korea was a thriving country, expecting flocks of tourists to marvel at the self-styled “greatest nation on Earth”.
Somebody told Kim Il-Sung, “Build it, and they will come”; but in the end, nobody came. In 1992, the Soviet Union fell, and North Korea stopped the construction because of the lack of funds. The 105-level structure stood as is since then—empty and abandoned.
In 2008, North Korea saw a chance to resume the construction and announced that they will be completing the structure. After three years, the exterior was added with glass panels, and now it looks better than ever. Sad to say, the country could no longer continue providing funds to complete the interior.
For many years, the hotel has been scheduled for opening; but most of the time, it is always postponed. While others assume that the reason for the delay is that the hotel is still completely empty, some see it as another mystery. After all, North Korea is a very secretive country. Nobody knows what’s actually going on inside.
Shi Cheng City
Somewhere in the Zheijian Province in Eastern China, a massive lake holds a deep secret. At the bottom of Qiandao Lake, which means “Thousand Island Lake”, an ancient and forgotten city called Shi Cheng, which translates to “Lion City”, is kept intact.
Many believe that this underwater city is similar to the lost city of Atlantis, except that we know where this one is found. Well, Shi Cheng wasn’t really a lost city, it was just abandoned and then flooded.
Built 1,300 years ago, Shi Cheng was once a thriving city filled with beautiful temples and arches, thousands of abodes, as well as paved roads. In fact, it was the center of politics and economics in Eastern China.
In the long run, the Chinese government became more interested in energy revenues than keeping cultural heritage. And because they needed a new hydroelectric power station, they decided to flood the valley where Shi Cheng was located to create an artificial lake, thinking it was the most ideal location.
The massive man-made reservoir, which is now known as Qiandao Lake, hides one of the most stunning cities that the world has ever known.
Otherwise known as the Battleship Island because of its similarities to a Japanese battleship, Hashima Island is an abandoned place located off the southwest coast of Japan. It is one of the country’s 505 uninhabited islands, but unlike the rest, it was once a thriving mining community.
In 1887, while Japan was on the industrialization stage, Hashima Island was established as an undersea coal mining facility. Majority of the miners resided in the island for the entire year, so basically, it was considered an offshore city with all the conveniences of a typical metropolis.
For its 87 years of corporality, thousands of people lived and worked on the island. As a matter of fact, in 1959, it had a population of 5,249. Unfortunately, in 1974, the mine was shut down, leaving the island uninhabited.
Because of the lack of maintenance and negligence, Hashima Island is now in ruins. When you look at it, you can see that nature has reclaimed various parts of the structure, making it highly unstable.
Tourists and locals who have seen the island described the place as eerie and somewhat a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Although it has become a tourist attraction in Japan, visitors are encouraged to be cautious all the time because the structure is feared to collapse anytime soon.
Disney’s Discovery Island
If you think nothing bad could happen in Disney World, then you probably have to think again. Contrary to what most people think, Disney’s Discovery Island is considered one of the most creepy abandoned places on the planet.
In 1965, Walt Disney purchased an island in the middle of Bay Lake at Disney World Resort, Orlando. It was originally named Treasure Island but was later on renamed to Discovery Island to stop visitors from digging up the soil. It was only in 1974 when it was officially opened to the public.
Discovery Island was then developed as a wildlife attraction, featuring a variety of rare species such as Galapagos tortoises, lemurs, and scarlet ibises. Everything was doing great until July 9, 1999, when it was suddenly closed to the public, and all animals were transferred to zoos away from the island.
There aren’t any statements explaining why Discovery Island was closed. But there are rumors suggesting that amoeba, a bacterium capable of killing humans, was discovered in the surrounding waters.
From that day onward, the island was left to be taken over by nature. As a matter of fact, it is now home to various aggressive creatures like vultures.
Ireland’s Suburban Ghost Towns
In the early twenty-first century, Ireland’s real estate industry was flourishing. Houses sold like pancakes, and property construction boomed at an unexpected rate.
Sadly, the housing market crashed in 2008. Lots of houses that were still under construction were not completed and were then abandoned because of the lack of funds and the decreasing demands.
From then on, the deserted residential estates were named Paradise Valley, although they don’t really look like anything paradise-like. Others call them the Ghost Estates of Ireland, because they look creepy and haunted.
On April 26, 1986, two senior nuclear engineers argued over whether or not they should conduct a potentially destructive test on the reactor. After all the talks, they ended up pursuing with the test that caused the nuclear reactor to malfunction and explode. For several weeks, tons of highly reactive chemicals leaked into the atmosphere from the then-burning core.
Although the nuclear disaster affected a huge part of the continent, the nearby city of Pripyat, which was home to the workers of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, was the most affected. Over 350,400 residents of the place and from other towns near the disaster area were forced to leave the place.
Due to the contamination with high levels of radiation, the surrounding 1,000–square mile area was deserted. The abandoned area, which is now called the zone of alienation, is now listed among the spookiest abandoned places on Earth.
Looking at the place, you can see heavily disfigured creatures. They all have claimed the exclusion zone as their own. The trees within the area became reddish brown in color, causing them to die.
Scientists suggest that Pripyat will not be habitable for humans for the next 20,000 years.
Here is a video featuring all these abandoned places:
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