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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Berlin, Nevada Ghost Town, taken in 2004.
A street corner in the ghost town of Bodie, California.

A ghost town is a completely abandoned town or city, often because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as flood, government action, uncontrolled lawlessness or war. The term is sometimes used in a depreciative sense to include cities, towns, and neighborhoods which, while still populated, are significantly less so than in years past.

Some ghost towns are tourist attractions, among them Tombstone, Arizona; Jerome, Arizona; Oatman, Arizona; Bannack, Montana; Kolmanskop; and Elizabeth Bay. This is especially true of those that preserve interesting architecture. Visiting, writing about, and photographing ghost towns is a minor industry.

Some ghost towns may have become overgrown, difficult to access, dangerous and/or illegal to visit.


Reasons for abandonment

As with many gold rush towns, the once thriving community of Cassilis is now abandoned

Factors leading to abandonment of towns include depleted natural resources and or natural resources such as water no longer being available; railroads and roads bypassing or no longer accessing the town (as was the case in many of the ghost towns along Ontario's historic Opeongo Line); economic activity shifting elsewhere; human intervention such as highway re-routing (as was the case with many towns located along U.S. Route 66, after motorists bypassed the towns on the faster moving I-44 and I-40); river re-routing (the Aral Sea being one example of this), and nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl. Significant fatality rates from epidemics have also produced ghost towns; for example, some places in eastern Arkansas were abandoned after near-total mortality (over 7,000 Arkansans died during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 and 1919).[1] The Middle East has many ghost towns, created when the shifting of politics or fall of empires caused capital cities to be socially or economically non-viable, for example Ctesiphon.

Natural disasters can also create ghost towns. After being flooded more than 30 times since their town was founded in 1845, residents of Pattonsburg, Missouri, had enough after two floods in 1993. With government help, the whole town was rebuilt three miles (5 km) away as New Pattonsburg.

Due to improvements in scientific testing and warning procedures, ghost towns may also occasionally come into being due to an anticipated natural disaster — for example, the Canadian town of Lemieux, Ontario was abandoned in 1991 after soil testing revealed that the community was built on an unstable clay bed. Two years after the last building in Lemieux was demolished, a landslide swept part of the former townsite into the South Nation River.

Land contamination can also create a ghost town. This is what happened to Times Beach, a suburb of St. Louis whose residents were exposed to a high level of dioxins. Centralia, Pennsylvania was abandoned by many people due to a dangerous underground coal fire. Since some residents chose to stay despite the dangers, it cannot be classified as a true ghost town.

Ghost towns may also be created when land is expropriated by a government and residents are required to relocate. An excellent example is the village of Tyneham in Dorset, acquired during World War II to build an artillery range. Another example was when NASA acquired land to build a rocket propulsion testing center. Construction of the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi required acquisition of a large buffer zone (approximately 34 square miles) because of the loud noise and potential dangers associated with testing huge rockets. Communities were abandoned and roads became overgrown by forest.

Construction of dams has produced ghost towns left underwater. Examples include the settlement of Loyston, Tennessee, inundated by the creation of Norris Dam. The town was reorganized and reconstructed on nearby higher ground. Other examples are The Lost Villages of Ontario, and the hamlets of Nether Hambleton and Middle Hambleton in Rutland, England, which were flooded to create Rutland Water, Europe's largest man-made reservoir, Mologa in Russia that was flooded by the creation of Rybinsk reservoir. Many ancient villages had to be abandoned during construction of the Three Gorges Dam in China, leading to displacement of many rural people.

Revived ghost towns

A few ghost towns get a second life, often due to heritage tourism generating an economy able to support residents. Walhalla, Victoria, Australia, for example, was a town deserted after its gold mine ceased operation. Owing to its accessibility and proximity to other attractive locations, Walhalla has had a recent economic and population surge.

Alexandria, the second largest city of Egypt, was a flourishing city in the Ancient era, but declined during the Middle Ages. With only 150[citation needed] residents in the early 19th century, it was classed as a ghost town. During the modern period, it has grown to a city of 3.5 to 5 million inhabitants. In Algeria, many cities became hamlets after the end of Late Antiquity. They were revived with shifts in population during and after French colonization of Algeria. Oran, today the nation's second largest city with 1 million people, before colonization was a village of a few thousand people.

Foncebadon, a village in Spain that was mostly abandoned and only inhabited by a mother and son and a few dogs, is slowly being revived since the 1990s due to the ever increasing stream of pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela.

Walhalla 1910 view4.jpg WalhallaVicCorner.jpg
Walhalla, Victoria township in 1910. Walhalla, Victoria township in 2004.
Walhalla, Victoria was abandoned after being mined for gold, and is now a populated area.

Ghost towns around the world




Namibia features a number of ghost towns, most of which had been established after the discovery of diamonds in a 100 km wide strip along the Atlantic coast in south western Africa. Shortly after the start of the diamond rush in then-German South-West Africa the German imperial government claimed sole mining rights by creating the Sperrgebiet (forbidden zone) in September 1908,[2] effectively criminalizing new settlement. The small mining towns of this area, among them Pomona, Elizabeth Bay and Kolmanskop were exempted from this ban, but the denial of new claims soon rendered all of them ghost towns.



Most 19th and 20th century European immigrants to Argentina settled in the cities, which offered jobs, education, and other opportunities that enabled newcomers to enter the middle class. Many also settled in the growing small towns along the expanding railway system. Since the 1930s, many rural workers have moved to the big cities.

The 1990s saw many rural towns become ghost towns when train services ceased and local products previously manufactured on a small scale were replaced by massive amounts of cheap imported goods. Some ghost towns near cities offer tourist attractions, especially during weekends.


The small village of Caraíbas, in the municipality of Itacarambi, state of Minas Gerais, suffered an earthquake in the early morning of December 9, 2007. Measuring 4.9 degrees on the Richter scale, the earthquake was rare in Brazil. Located over a geological fault, the village (76 families) was evacuated and has been abandoned since then.

Fordlândia was established by American industrialist Henry Ford in 1928, near Santarém, state of Pará, to mass-produce natural rubber. Built in inadequate terrain, designed with no knowledge of tropical agriculture, and managed with little regard for local culture, the enterprise was an absolute failure; in 1934, it was relocated to Belterra, but ultimately closed down in 1945.


Robsart Hospital, one of many abandoned buildings in Robsart, Saskatchewan

Ghost towns are seen in Alberta, Northern Ontario, Central Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador (see outport) and in Quebec. Some of these were logging towns or dual mining and logging sites, often developed at the behest of the company. In Alberta and Saskatchewan most ghost towns were once farming communities that have since died off due to the removal of the railway through the town or a bypass of a highway. In British Columbia, they were predominantly mining towns and prospecting camps as well as canneries and, in one or two cases, large smelter and pulp mill towns, notably Anyox, Kitsault and Ocean Falls. Other notable ghost towns in BC are Cassiar, Bralorne and Hedley.

British Columbia has more ghost towns than any other jurisdiction on the North American continent, with one estimate at the number of abandoned and semi-abandoned towns and localities upwards of 1500.[3] Some ghost towns have revived their economies and populations due to historical and eco-tourism, such as Barkerville, once the largest town north of Kamloops, which is now a year-round Provincial Museum.


Most of the ghost towns in Chile had once been mining camps or lumber mills, such as the many saltpeter mining camps that prospered from the end of the Saltpeter War until the invention of synthetic saltpeter during World War I. The ghost towns of Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works in the middle of the Atacama Desert were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2005. The copper mining camp of Sewell, high up in the Andes of Central Chile, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. Despite protection laws, this ghost town suffers "tourist looting."

Port Famine (Spanish: Puerto Hambre) is arguably Chile's oldest ghost town. It was founded in the Strait of Magellan in 1584 by Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa. Starvation and the cold climate killed all of the inhabitants. The English navigator, Sir Thomas Cavendish landed at the site in 1587. He found only ruins of the settlement, and renamed the place Port Famine. Chaitén is a small city of the south of Chile, destroyed by a volcanic eruption.

Other lesser known ghost towns are located in the southern part of the Chilean Coast Range. They were once lumber mills where Fitzroya were cut down to make roof shingles, a typical element of Chilota architecture.


Many ghost towns in this country are mostly the result of ongoing violence by guerrilla groups such as FARC. Bojayá was a small town in the Chocó department. On May 2, 2002, FARC attacked this village, and most of the people hid in the church. FARC threw a bomb into the building, killing approximately 140 people including 40 children. Today, Bojayá is a ghost town and though plans have been made to rebuild it, it will not be on the exact location of the massacre. Another ghost town is Armero, left in ruins by a volcanic eruption in 1985 that killed over 20.000 inhabitants. Survivors of the tragedy left for other towns and Armero is currently unpopulated.


Jonestown in Guyana became a ghost town because of the mass suicide of the Peoples Temple community that lived there.


Real de Catorce was once a flourishing silver mining town in northern Mexico. Its dramatic landscapes and buildings have been used by Hollywood for movies such as The Mexican (2001) with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Recent efforts to adapt the town to tourism have created a mixture of ghost town and heritage tourist site adapted to visitors in search of interesting history in the country.

United States

Bannack, Montana, USA, a well-preserved ghost town that is now a state park.

There are many ghost towns, or semi-ghost towns (some of them unincorporated communities) in the American Great Plains, whose rural areas have lost a third of their population since 1920. Thousands of communities in the northern plains states like North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Nebraska became railroad ghost towns when a rail-line failed to materialize. Hundreds more were abandoned when the US Highway System replaced the railroads as America's favorite mode of travel. Ghost towns are common in mining or old mill town areas: Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Minnesota, and California in the western United States and West Virginia in the eastern USA. They can be observed as far south as Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia and Florida. When the resources that had created an employment boom in these towns played out, eventually the businesses ceased to exist, and the people moved on to more productive areas. Sometimes a ghost town consists of many old abandoned buildings (like in Bodie, California), other times there are simply structures or foundations of former buildings (e.g., Graysonia, Arkansas). Even some of the earliest settlements in the US are or have been ghost towns, such as Jamestown, Virginia, the Zwaanendael Colony in Delaware and the famous Lost Colony in North Carolina.

Old mining camps that have lost most of their population at some stage of their history, such as St. Elmo, Colorado; Central City, Colorado; Aspen, Colorado; Virginia City, Montana; Marysville, Montana; Tombstone, Arizona; Oatman, Arizona; Deadwood, South Dakota; Park City, Utah; Crested Butte, Colorado; or Cripple Creek, Colorado, are sometimes included in the category, although they are active towns and cities today.

A recent attempt to declare an "Official Ghost Town" in California collapsed when the adherents of the town of Calico, in Southern California, and those of Bodie, in Northern California, could not come to an agreement as to which of their favorites was more deserving.

The ghost town of Medicine Mound in Hardeman County in West Texas is preserved through a museum operated there by Myna Potts. Medicine Mound consists of two buildings. The museum is in the former Hicks-Cobb General Store.

A more recent ghost town is Centralia, Pennsylvania, which at its peak had over 2,600 residents in either the borough itself or in immediately adjacent areas. It had over 1,000 as recent as 1981 but as of 2007 is down to nine residents as a result of a underground mine fire that started in the 1960s when a landfill created from an abandoned strip mine was set on fire. (At the time, it was legal to create a landfill from an abandoned strip mine as long as it was sealed off from any possible coal seams that could catch fire; this loophole has since been closed because of Centralia). Pennsylvania later acquired the borough through eminent domain so it could get the residents safely moved to other areas, though a small handful remain.[4]

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Sailor's Island (Île aux Marins) is a ghost town / island located a few miles away from the island of Saint-Pierre. Once inhabited by over 600 fishermen, families and tradesmen, the island was progressively abandoned until the last inhabitant left in 1965. The island is now a tourist attraction.


The derelict British base in Whalers Bay, Deception Island, destroyed by volcano eruption
The ghost town of Grytviken, South Georgia Island

The oldest ghost town in Antarctica is located on Deception Island, where in 1906 a Norwegian-Chilean whaling company started using Whalers Bay as a base for a factory ship, the Gobernador Bories. Other whaling operations followed suit, and by 1914 there were 13 factory ships based there.

Antarctica also has many more-recently abandoned scientific and military bases, especially in the Antarctic Peninsula.

South Georgia

The Antarctic island of South Georgia used to have several thriving whaling settlements during the first half of the 20th century, with a combined population exceeding 2,000 in some years. These included Grytviken (operating 1904-64), Leith Harbour (1909-65), Ocean Harbour (1909-20), Husvik (1910-60), Stromness (1912-61) and Prince Olav Harbour (1917-34). The abandoned settlements have become increasingly dilapidated, and remain uninhabited nowadays except for the Museum curator's family at Grytviken. The jetty, the church, and dwelling and industrial buildings at Grytviken have recently been renovated by the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, becoming a popular tourist destination. Some historical buildings in the other settlements are being restored too.



Similar to the United States, Canada and other former frontier countries, most ghost towns in Australia were usually formed after the end of mining operations or the removal of railway services. They are spread throughout the country and are located in every state and territory. Some ghost towns in Australia include Cassilis in Victoria, Farina in the far north of South Australia, Newnes in New South Wales, and Gwalia, Goldsworthy, Cossack, and Wittenoom in Western Australia. Ravenswood in north-eastern Queensland was a ghost town for many years, due to the declining gold rushes, but new gold discoveries in the area and improved mineral processing technologies, has boosted the economy of the area and revived the town.

Old Adaminaby in New South Wales is an example of one of the drowned towns which has been subsequently revealed through drought in recent decades.[5]


Remains of the 17th century Smeerenburg, Spitsbergen.

In Europe, many villages were abandoned over the ages, for many different reasons.

Sometimes, wars and genocide end a town's life, and it is never resettled. This happened to the Swedish town Sjöstad, in Närke, in 1260, when the town's 700 merchants crossed the ice of Lake Vättern and were cut down by the Danes. The Danes then proceeded to the town, ravaging and burning it. The town was never resettled. A farm named Skyrstad, ruins and a silver treasure which yielded 4000 coins are all that testify to its existence (see abandoned village). The same happened in the French village Oradour-sur-Glane in 1944, when occupying Germans massacred the village's population.

In the United Kingdom, the once thriving farming village of Knaptoft in Leicestershire was depopulated due to the enclosure of the surrounding land for sheep pasture. The ruins of the former church still exist as a graveyard, with graves even occupying ground inside the ruins of the church. The villages of Imber on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire and Tyneham near Dorset's historic Jurassic Coast, as well as several villages within the Stanford Battle Area in Norfolk, were evacuated by the British Army, and the abandoned buildings are now used for training exercises. The creation of reservoirs has led to the drowning of villages. These include Mardale Green in the English Lake District and two villages - Ashopton and Derwent - drowned by the Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire. In Wales, the village of Capel Celyn was drowned to form Llyn Celyn, to provide water for Liverpool, and Llyn Clywedog drowned farmsteads and agricultural land to reduce flooding of the River Severn. The village of Nant Gwrtheyrn on the Llŷn in Gwynedd, North Wales was an old quarry village which was abandoned in the 1950s after the quarry closed because there was no road leading to the village. It has since been restored as a (Welsh) Language learning centre.

Industrialisation is another factor. For example, the village of Etzweiler in northwestern Germany was abandoned in the 1990s to make way for a coal mine.[6][7] While Etzweiler disappeared in 2006, neighbouring Pesch and Holz have become near-deserted ghost towns by now (January 2008) and all that is left of Otzenrath are the remains of the village's church, where archeologists excavate remains of sacred buildings from medieval and potentially Roman times.[8] Furthermore, parts of the motorway A44 have been removed and as the lignitemine continues to move west, parts of the A61 will follow before 2020 (with the A44 being rebuilt behind the mine).

Several Belgian villages had to disappear to facilitate the expansion of the port of Antwerp, such as the former villages of Oosterweel, Oordam, Wilmarsdonk, Lillo and Oorderen.

Pyramiden (Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, meaning "the pyramid", Russian: Пирамида) was a Russian settlement and coal mining community on the archipelago of Svalbard, Norway. It was founded by Sweden in 1910, and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. The settlement, with a one time population of 1,000 inhabitants, was abandoned in the late-1990s by its owner, the state-owned Soviet company Trust Artikugol, and is now a ghost town.

The city of Prypiat and dozens of smaller settlements in northern Ukraine and southern Belarus were abandoned after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and turned into a closed alienation zone. The area has been largely untouched since then, and as such it functions as a large time capsule of the late Soviet era.

Several communities became ghost towns in Ireland in the latter half of the nineteenth century, particularly in the west of the country, due to a combination of the potato famine and economic decline brought on by the famine. These now consist primarily of knee high ruins of cottages. Notable ghost towns are on Achill Island and in the Burren area of county Clare. A more recent ghost town was created in the 1950s on Great Blasket island, where island life became unfeasible and the island was depopulated.

In Finland, which is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world,[citation needed] most people live in the biggest towns, and some villages near the Russian border and in Lapland are nearly abandoned.


Hundreds of villages were abandoned during the Ottoman wars in the Kingdom of Hungary in the 16-17th century. Many of them were never repopulated but generally they are not classified as ghost towns because few visible traces remained of them. Real ghost towns are rare in present-day Hungary, except the abandoned villages of Derenk (left in 1943) and Nagygéc (left in 1970). Due to the decrease of rural population beginning in the 1980s, dozens of villages are now threatened with abandonment. The first village officially declared as "died out" was Gyűrűfű in the end of the 1970s, but later it was repopulated as an eco-village. Sometimes depopulated villages were successfully saved as small rural resorts like Kán, Tornakápolna, Szanticska, Gorica and Révfalu.


An increasing number of settlements in Bulgaria are becoming ghost towns as a result of the ongoing demographic decline of that country since the late 20th century. According to the 2001 census, there were 138 uninhabited villages, estimated to have become over 150 by 2006. There are ghost villages in 16 out of the 28 provinces of the country, more numerously in Gabrovo Province (57 in 2001), Veliko Tarnovo Province (34), Kardzhali, Blagoevgrad, Burgas, and Lovech Provinces. Some Bulgarian villages may avoid that fate thanks to immigration of settlers from abroad, mainly from the United Kingdom but also other EU countries, former Soviet republics, even Israel and Japan.[9][10]

Czech Republic

There is a ghost town in Milovice, 30 km from the capital, Prague. Milovice consists of four parts and two of them, Milovice-Mladá and Milovice-Boží Dar, were occupied by Soviet soldiers and their families. These two parts were abandoned in 1990-1991 after the Velvet Revolution. The population was about 20,000. Nowadays Mladá, the central part of Milovice, is being rebuilt and many young people live there. Boží Dar, as well as the nearby airport, is totally abandoned.


A Polish ghost town is Kłomino (near to Borne Sulinowo; Russian name - Gródek\Гродек) in the northwest part of the country. It was built for Soviet soldiers and their families. The population was about 5,000. It was completely abandoned in 1992 after the collapse of the USSR. Only a few families live there now, but there are plans to repopulate the city.


There are many ghost hamlets in central Spain, as most of their former inhabitants moved to urban areas after the 1960s.

Belchite, in the province of Zaragoza, Aragon is one of the most well known ghost towns in Spain. Before the 1930s, Belchite was a growing city, with many services. As a consequence of the Battle of Belchite, during the Spanish Civil War, the city was totally destroyed. Instead of a reconstruction, dictator Franco decided to keep the ruins of the Old Town of Belchite intact as a memorial of the battle, being totally deserted as of 1964, their inhabitants removed to Belchite Nuevo, on the side of the Old Town. The ruins, which are not accommodated for tourism, are visited by more than 10,000 tourists annually. It is also a well known meeting point for Francoist nostalgics, especially Falangists.

Post-Soviet states

Prypiat is one of the biggest ghost towns. Prypiat was built to be the home for the workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. At its peak, it had a population of over 50,000 residents; all abandoned the town after the Chernobyl disaster. Unlike the neighboring town of Chernobyl, Prypiat remains a ghost town and is completely empty. Apart from Prypiat, the majority of abandoned towns and settlements are located in northern Russia (Komi, Taymyr, Chukotka). There are several towns that were established near Soviet concentration camps to supply necessary services. Since most of the GULAG installations were abandoned in the 1950's the towns were abandoned as well. One such town is located near the former GULAG camp called Butugychag, also called Lower Butugychag. There are several Soviet settlements that were abandoned on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, Grumant. Other towns were deserted due to deindustrialisation and the economic crises of the early 1990 attributed to post-Soviet conflicts. Agdam, Azerbaijan is an example of this. Even more semi-deserted towns are situated in Abkhazia, notably Tquarchal, Ochamchira,[11] Gagra, the biggest being Sukhumi.

In European Russia, many villages have been depopulated since the 1940s.[12]



The southern part of Famagusta, also known as Varosha/Maraş is fenced off by the Turkish army. Prior to the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it was the modern tourist area of the city of Famagusta. For the last three decades, it has been left as a ghost town.


Numerous cities in India have become ghost towns due to various factors. The medieval town of Milakpur Kohi near Sultan Ghari, in Delhi is one of the oldest ghost towns in northern India and the medieval Mughal Empire towns of Fatehpur Sikri and Bhangarh in northern India and the medieval Vijayanagara Empire town of Vijaynagara in southern India are one of the most prominent historical ghost towns in India. One of the most recent ghost towns in India is Dhanushkodi, situated on a low-lying island off the Indian coast, which was destroyed by a cyclone in 1964, was declared unfit for living after the storm and is today a ruin.


Hashima Island was a Japanese mining town from 1887 to 1974. Once known for having the world's highest population density (in 1959 at 83,500 people per square kilometer), the island was abandoned when the coal mines were closed down.

There are plans to abandon various remote depopulated villages and towns due to the falling national population.


Kampung Kepayang in Perak state, nearby Simpang Pulai, where the commercial area is almost uninhabited, with only 2 or 3 shophouses being in used. This is a result of the widening of the main road, thus making it difficult to park a vehicle, and result in loss of business of the shops. However, there are still Malays who reside in the village houses behind the shophouses, and the addresses in Simpang Pulai are still written as "Kampung Kepayang" because the incoming letters are managed by the Kampung Kepayang post office, which has moved to Simpang Pulai.


The city of Sap Bani Khamis [13] is an abandoned town, previously inhabited by thieves.


Kayaköy in southwestern Turkey was inhabited by Anatolian Greeks, until 1923 when a population exchange was agreed by the Turkish and Greek governments which left the town as a site of empty houses and Greek churches.

Sazak near Karaburun, a district of İzmir Province on the Aegean (western) coast of Turkey, is like Kayaköy, was inhabited by Greeks which left the area according to the population exchange treaty and is nowadays a total ghost town.

Çökene in Büyükorhan district was a village until 2008. It is a site of empty houses after immigration to big cities due to money shortage and umemployment.[14]


There are many ghost villages in Iran, Syria and Lebanon abandoned as a result of migration to major cities. Most of these towns are in ruins and a few serve as tourist attractions. In addition, the Syrian city of Quneitra has become a ghost town after the 1967 Six Day War and subsequent Yom Kippur war in 1973. As of today, the city remains destroyed. Syria has left the ruins in place and built a museum to memorialize its destruction a symbol of Israeli "agression". It maintains billboards at the ruins of many buildings and effectively preserves it in the condition that the Israeli army left it in.


Actions by government forces and killings by armed gangs created several deserted villages in the Central African Republic from the years 2005 to 2008. Examples are Goroumo, Beogombo Deux and Paoua.[15][16]


Ilha dos Tigres. This town lies in a zone which is ideally suited for ecologic projects. It was mentioned in the 'Unknown Africa-Angola' documentary [17]

D.R. Congo

Goma. Goma is again a safe ghost-town now that the volcano eruption has passed. Still, however, the town lies in ruins.[18] Nastrid was a mining town abandoned in the late 19th century.


Though not completely abandoned, Chinguetti could be considered a ghost town.


Outside Luderitz, Namibia there are two ghost towns, Elizabeth Bay and Kolmanskop. Both were diamond mining towns and have been partly covered by the shifting sands of the Namib Desert.


Dallol is a former mining town in Ethiopia. It is located in the Dallol crater, where the temperature can rise as high as 104 °Fahrenheit (40 °C).

Côte d'Ivoire

Grand Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire was the French Colonial capital of Côte d'Ivoire until 1896, when it was abandoned by the French Colonial Government. Commercial activity gradually weakened until the city became a virtual ghost town in 1960, when Côte d'Ivoire became independent. Today the city has revived somewhat as a tourist and crafts center, but still has the aura of a ghost town, because large areas of the city, including some of its largest buildings, have been empty for decades.

Cultural references


  • The 2008 comedy Ghost Town is about a man who dies on the operating table but is revived, then discovers that he has the ability to see and converse with ghosts.
  • Much of the remake of The Hills Have Eyes takes place in desert towns abandoned due to nearby nuclear weapons testing.

Video games


  • The 1981 song by The Specials entitled "Ghost Town" was a commentary on Coventry in the 1980s, the city in which the band originated.
  • Ghostown, a 1979 album by Irish band The Radiators From Space, is a concept album documenting the sense of social and cultural isolation felt by many Dubliners throughout the 1970s.
  • The modern jazz guitarist Bill Frisell also has an album entitled "Ghost Town" (2000).
  • Huns and Dr Beeker released in 2005 The Middle of Somewhere including "Ghost Town (For the Victims of Chernobyl)"[20]
  • The rock group Shiny Toy Guns has a song "Ghost Town" Released as single late 2008.
  • There is a country rock group based in New Orleans, Louisiana called "Ghost Town".

See also


  1. ^ Print Version
  2. ^ Santcross, Nick; Ballard, Sebastian; Baker, Gordon. Namibia Handbook: The Travel Guide. Footprint Books. ISBN 1900949911.,M1. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  3. ^ Bruce Ramsey, Ghost Towns of British Columbia", Mitchell Press, Vancouver (1963-1975)
  4. ^ See Bill O'Neal, Ghost Towns of the American West (1995).
  5. ^ "Drought uncovers Australia's drowned town". 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  6. ^ "Etzweiler - Modern ghost town in Germany". 2002-02-02. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  7. ^ "Diggelfjoer: Abandoned". 2002-09-27. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  8. ^ "Urban exploration: Otzenrath ghost town". Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  9. ^ Monitor Daily, Dr. Boris Kolev: Over 150 are the dead villages in Bulgaria, Sofia, August 8, 2006 (in Bulgarian)
  10. ^ Trud Daily, Foreigners colonize native villages, Sofia, August 13, 2007 (in Bulgarian)
  12. ^ "RUSSIA: MORE EVIDENCE FOUND OF RURAL DEPOPULATION TREND.(Brief Article) | IPR Strategic Business Information Database | Find Articles at BNET". 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  13. ^ Sap Bani Khamis
  14. ^ Geçim sıkıntısı 'hayalet köy' yarattı Retrieved 2010-03-11.
  15. ^ "Massacre haunts CAR villagers". BBC. 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  16. ^ "Deserted villages and abandoned lives". BBC. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  17. ^ Unknown Africa-Ilha dos Tigres
  18. ^ Goma
  19. ^ The Real Silent Hill". (no date). Retrieved on 2008-12-06.
  20. ^ "Huns & Dr Beeker". Retrieved 2009-08-25. 


  • Ghost Towns of Texas by T. Lindsey Baker, University of Oklahoma Press, 1991, Paperback, ISBN 0-8061-2189-0
  • Standing legacy: Ghost towns preserve the Ottawa Valley’s rich history. Photography by Paul Politis and text by Tobi McIntyre. (Source: Canadian Geographic
  • Stampede to Timberline, Colorado's Ghost Towns and Mining Camps by Muriel Sibell Wolle, Revised and Enlarged Edition, Paperback, Swallow Press, 1991, ISBN 0-8040-0946-5
  • Timberline Tailings, Tales of Colorado's Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, Muriel Sibell Wolle, Sage Books, Swallow Press, 1993, Paperback, ISBN 0-8040-0946-5; older hardback editions are available as used books.
  • Ghost Towns of the American West by Berthold Steinhilber (Photographer), Mario Kaiser (Author), Michael Koetzle (Author), Wim Wenders (Author), Harry N. Abrams, 2003.

External links

Individual places

Chernobyl disaster-related


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