25 Ghost Towns Around The U.S. And The History Behind Them

history behind ghost town

Of all the historic sites to see and tourist attractions to visit in America , ghost towns may be the most enthralling. They are a haunting — and sometimes haunted — reminder of a past nearly forgotten . While many ghost towns came to be after the Gold Rush ended and mining camps were abandoned, others were forced to dissipate as larger cities sprang up nearby.

During the 19th-century hundreds of small towns were quickly formed around lucrative mining sites across the country, but particularly in the west. When the mines were tapped out or local companies went bankrupt during the First or Second World War, the residents of these towns left to find opportunity elsewhere. This narrative is true to many, but there are a substantial number of ghost towns in America that came before the Gold Rush or years later. Towns that became abandoned islands , like North Brother Island in New York, and towns that became obsolete once highways were built that bypassed them, like Glenrio on the border of Texas and New Mexico.

Over the years, these neglected towns have disappeared into dense forests while others have been well preserved by neighboring communities. However, some of the most interesting towns may be the ones still home to a handful of stragglers, the ones that were given a second chance in the early 1900s, or the one now completely submerged underwater .

Pine Barrens, New Jersey

Stretching more than seven counties in New Jersey and spanning over one million acres, Pine Barrens is home to several ghost towns. What was once a thriving industrial hub during the Colonial period is now a heavily forested, abandoned land most known for its countless hiking trails and the legendary Jersey Devil. The Jersey Devil, as legend has it, was a resident of the area born to the mother Jane Leeds who already had twelve children. In 1735, this creature became the thirteenth child, born with hooves, leathery wings, a goat's head, and a forked tail. It flew up the chimney and into the pines, where the legend claims the creature has been killing livestock since.

Thurmond, West Virginia

Thurmond was once a prosperous train town due to its location along the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad lines during the heyday of coal mining in the New River Gorge. The infamous Dun Glen Hotel reportedly hosted the world's longest-lasting poker game, which lasted 14 years, according to Ripley's Believe It or Not. However, the hotel burned down in 1930 and this disaster marked the town's eventual decline. Today, it's a ghost town — in more ways than one, as reports abound that the few remaining structures are haunted .

Kennecott, Alaska

This area of Alaska , also known as Kennicott, was once at the center of several copper mines. During that time the Kennecott Copper Corporation produced over 200-million dollars' worth of ore. It was one of the world's largest minerals companies until the price of copper dropped during the Great Depression. The ore deposits were running out, and in 1929 the first mine closed down. By 1938 all mines were closed and the railroad was shut down. Today, the abandoned mill town is a National Historic Landmark run by the Park Service.

St. Elmo, Colorado

Now one of Colorado 's best preserved ghost towns, St. Elmo was once a booming mining town for gold and silver in the Sawatch Range. Founded in 1880, the town was at its peak during the 1890s when it boasted a general store, a telegraph office, several hotels , a town hall, a newspaper office, and a school. In the early 1920s, the mining industry was in decline and when the railroad was abandoned in 1922 the mining companies that were left shut down, and residents fled elsewhere for opportunity. In 1952, after the death of St. Elmo's postmaster, the postal service in the town ended as well. While many of the buildings are still intact, several burned down during a fire in 2002 including the town hall. The nearby Buena Vista Heritage is working to rebuild the structure to its original state.

Bannack, Montana

Bannack, Montana was once home to a significant gold deposit discovery, made in July of 1862. The town's population grew to over 3,000 in less than a year and even became Montana's first territorial capital in 1964. At its peak the community was home to nearly 10,000 people, but as gold ran out the town slowly dwindled until the last residents left in the 1970s. Now, the abandoned town hosts a historical re-enactment each year, during the third weekend of July, known as "Bannack Days." Over the two days visitors can catch a glimpse of what the town was like during the Gold Rush. There are also Bannack Ghost Walks held on the Friday and Saturday before Halloween where visitors can take a spooky tour of the ghost town by way of flashlight.

Bodie, California

This mining town was unlike any others of its time. Bodie, California earned a reputation as the "most lawless" mining camp due to its high levels of violence, robbers, brothels, gambling halls, and opium dens. At its peak, Main Street was lined with 65 saloons and "houses of ill repute." It began as a small town of about 20 miners in 1861 and grew to about 10,000 by 1880. The town's official decline began in the 1900s. By 1910 the recorded population was 698 and the last newspaper was printed in 1912. Most of the town was burned down in 1932 after a massive fire swept through, but 200 buildings still remain in a state of "arrested decay." Visitors are not allowed within the buildings, but can take a tour of the old stamp mill.

Rhyolite, Nevada

In the Bullfrog Hills of Nevada , the now ghost town of Rhyolite was once a booming area with a stock exchange, several newspapers, hotels, two electric plants, public swimming pools , and two railroad depots. Although the town had a population of nearly zero by 1920, it is most known for one incredibly unique building that can be visited today — the Kelly Bottle House. Built in 1906, it was made from 50,000 discarded beer and liquor bottles thrown away by the saloons.

Terlingua, Texas

Terlingua, Texas was a thriving cinnabar mining area that became most popular in 1888. By the 1900s there were four mining companies in the area, and cinnabar production peaked during the First World War However, by the end of the Second World War miners began to leave after the main Chisos Mining Company went bankrupt. This once abandoned mining village is now a quaint desert community of 58, according to the 2010 census. Located near the Rio Grande, you can still find decaying buildings, ruins, and mine shafts from the glory days of its past. Those who live there now are mostly artists who have chosen to live without water or electricity, for the most part.

Santa Claus, Arizona

Along U.S. Route 93 Santa Claus, Arizona was known for its Christmas-themed attractions like the Santa Claus Inn. The area originated in the late 1930s, and was owned by a woman that some say created this as a marketing stunt to attract buyers. The desert town even had a place where visitors could meet St. Nick, or get Santa Claus postage from the post office. Over the years, interest in the town declined, until it was abandoned in 1995. Now, the only things that remain of this forgotten land are a few vandalized buildings, an unkept pink children's train called "Old 1225," and a wishing well.

Flagstaff, Maine

This ghost town is named after a flagstaff that was planted here by Benedict Arnold and his troops in the early 1800s. However, in 1950 the town was abandoned in order for a hydroelectric dam to be made. This meant the entire town would be submerged underwater , creating what is now Lake Flagstaff. Occasionally people can see signs of the lost town when things like chimneys peek out from the water's surface.

Salton Riviera, California

The once bustling resort beach town of Salton Riviera is now an abandoned wasteland on the West Coast . Located only a few miles outside of Los Angeles, the area used to 250 miles of road and 25,000 residential lots. However, little local employment opportunity was available for the number of residents it hosted and the community was officially abandoned once sea levels rose along with the increased pollution and salinity levels of the Salton Sea in the 1980s and 1990s. 

Ashcroft, Colorado

Ashcroft, Colorado began as a mining town like any other in 1880. As was the case with most mining towns, once the silver ran out and there was nothing left to mine most residents left, leaving only 100 people by 1885. However, the town caught a second wind of hope in the 1930s when the Winter Olympics brought interest back to the area and Billy Fiske (the captain of America's Olympic bobsled team which had recently won a gold medal) built the Highland-Bavarian Lodge nearby. The lodge was intended to expand into a massive ski resort, but when Friske was killed in combat during World War II the plan came to a standstill. It's been a ghost town since 1939.

Cahawba, Alabama

Cahawba, Alabama was the first state capital from 1820 through 1825. However, due to seasonal flooding in the town caused by the two large rivers it sat between, many residents left and the state legislature decided to move the capital in 1826. The town became a center for cotton trade and during the Civil War was home to Castle Morgan prison, where Union soldiers were kept as prisoners of war between 1863 and 1865. At that point, a major flood engulfed the town and the residents fled once again, taking their businesses with them. By 1903 most building were gone and barely anything remained after the 1930s, only a few deteriorating structures that now seem fit for a horror movie.

Virginia City, Montana

Founded in 1863, Virginia City was originally infamous for a lacking law enforcement or a justice system, much like their neighboring town of Bannack. Consequently, this led to a high rate of robberies and murders in the area . Between the years 1863 and 1864 alone, outlaws (or road agents as they were called) were responsible for about 100 deaths. In early 1865, the territorial legislature moved the capital from Bannack to Virginia City for a brief period. The town became home to Montana's first public school in 1866, but over time became a ghost town. Now the structures have been restored for tourism and Virginia City was made a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

Elk Falls, Kansas

Known as the "world's largest living ghost town," Elk Falls is still home to 107 people, according to the 2010 census. The town was always small, but at one point had a school that over 200 students attended. During its peak there were two stores, a dentist, a doctor's office, and a drug store. However, due to political upheaval in the 1870s, the population declined, with only 269 residents by 1927. Now Elk Falls is also known as the Outhouse Capital of the World, which has attracted many tourists over the years for their Outhouse Tours.

North Brother Island, New York

Until September 11, 2001 North Brother Island was home to the state's deadliest disaster . Located between the South Bronx and Rikers Island, the small island was uninhabited until 1885 when the Riverside Hospital was built there. This hospital became a way to quarantine those with contagious diseases, even treating "Typhoid Mary" Mallon, who was the first asymptomatic carrier of the typhoid fever bacteria. Then, in 1904, the General Slocum boat caught fire near the island which killed more than 1,000 people, mostly people from the Lower East Side community. This was the largest loss of life for New York until the 2001 attacks. In 1946, the island became housing for soldiers returning from war, but it was reopened as a hospital after World War II. North Brother Island was abandoned in 1963 and has been run by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation since, but no visitors are allowed on the island.

Seattle Underground, Washington

This underground world below Seattle's Pioneer Square once sat on the ground level when the city was first built. After the Great Seattle Fire destroyed 31 blocks of the city in 1889, it was decided that buildings would no longer be made of wood (as they were prior) but instead out of stone or brick, and the city streets would have to be built two stories higher than they were at the time. The area which is now known as Seattle Underground was subject to floods, but with the newly elevated streets, the old town was buried and forgotten to make way for the new stone/brick city. In the early 1900s, the Underground was condemned by the city, but over the years was used as opium dens, gambling halls, speakeasies, and the homeless. Now, some of it has been restored which has allowed for guided tours that are accessible to the public.

Centralia, Pennsylvania

A coal seam fire began burning under the borough of Centralia on May 27, 1962, resulting in the town's slow abandonment over the past 50 years. The fire, which is 300 feet underground, originally began during a routine attempt to clean up a town landfill that was located in an abandoned strip-mine pit, which happened to be connected to a myriad of coal-filled, underground mining tunnels. Firefighters set the dump on fire, as they had always done in years previous, but this time the fire was not fully put out. Other legends persist that a coal fire from 1932 was never fully extinguished, and had just finally reached the landfill in 1962. Over the years, multiple excavation projects to discover the perimeter and depth of the fire, as well as plans to flush the fire, either failed or were abandoned. In 1992, all real estate was condemned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and claimed under eminent domain. Officials have allowed the few remaining residents to continue living in their homes, but when they either pass away or decide to move, the rights to their houses will be taken by the state. Scientists believe the fire could continue to burn underground for 250 more years.

Dogtown, Massachusetts

First settled in 1693, the town is said to have gotten its name during the American Revolution when women kept dogs to protect them while their husbands were out fighting. At its height, Dogtown was home to an estimate of 60 to 80 homes, with nearly 100 families by the mid-1700s. The growth of the fishing industry in the neighboring town of Gloucester eventually led to the demise of Dogtown. Toward its end the town was said to be home to residents practicing witchcraft, and the last building was demolished in 1845. However, during the Great Depression, millionaire Roger Babson hired people to carve inspirational messages into boulders throughout the densely forested area, which people can hike through and see to this day.   

Animas Forks, Colorado

At 11,200-feet above sea level, this mining camp is one of the highest in the West. Being at such a high elevation, the town's residents would flock south to Silverton in the fall for the impending winter. A 23-day blizzard in 1884 inundated the town with 25 feet of snow, leaving residents to create a system of tunnels to maneuver between buildings. When mining was on a downswing in the 1890s, many moved away. In 1904 the Gold Prince Mill gave mining in the area a second chance, but when the mill closed in 1910 the town was soon after abandoned. Only 10 buildings still stand.

Batsto Village, New Jersey

Within the Wharton State Forest is the site of Batsto Village. From 1766 until 1867 this town was the center for bog iron and glassmaking, and created the supplies for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. As the story goes for most ghost towns, Batsto Village faced population decline and bankruptcy when demand for iron lessened. Although the town was mostly abandoned, few residents still lived there until the last person left in 1989. Since New Jersey purchased the land 1958, they've restored much of the historic village and have opened it up to visitors.

Silver City, Idaho

This old mining town was not particularly unique to others of its time, but is unique in its immaculate preservation . There are 75 structures making up the area that date back from the 1860s into the 1900s. At its height, the mining town was home to 12 ore processing mills and about 2,500 people. There were upwards of 250 operating mines between 1863 and 1865. Now, Silver City has one of the country's largest open-pit gold and silver mines, and several small business — including the century-old Idaho Hotel, which has only received the addition of few modern amenities, but otherwise looks as it did 100 years ago.

Glenrio, Texas/New Mexico

During the heyday of the legendary Route 66 , Glenrio was a bustling road stop between Texas and New Mexico . Perfectly straddling the two states, the town was able to build their gas station in Texas, where taxes were lower, and its bars in New Mexico, where alcohol sales were legal. In 1939, The Grapes of Wrath crew even filmed in the area. However, when I-40 was built passing Glenrio the town became mostly desolate. It is now part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Texola, Oklahoma

This farming town in Oklahoma began around 1901 near Route 66 and the 100th Meridian. Due to its location, there was much confusion at the time as to whether the town was part of Texas or Oklahoma. By 1909 the town had a corn and grist mill, two cotton gins, a post office, and a weekly newspaper. In 1910 there were 361 residents, but peaked in 1930 with a population of 581. However, with the creation of I-40 and the soil erosion in the area now known as the Dust Bowl, population began to decline. As of the 2010 census only 36 people still lived in the town.

Swan Island, Maine

Off the coast of Maine , Swan Island can only be accessed by ferry, kayak, or canoe. The island was originally inhabited by Native Americans, but in the early 1700s European settlers came in and developed a town. The remote island was most known for fishing in the 1930, and its main occupation is now lobstering. In the 1940s, Maine began acquiring bits of land until the state fully owned it. Now, it is a popular summer destination but there are still five homes standing from the 1700s that visitors can peek into for a glimpse of the past .

The Story Behind 12 Ghost Towns Across the Country

Explore 12 ghost towns that still haunt America's countryside.

Headshot of Alex Aronson

In the United States alone, there are over 3,500 ghost towns . And even though most of the now-abandoned frontier-era settlements haven't been touched in well over a century, the question remains: why are there so many ghost towns in America? Well, during the gold rush in the 19th and early-20th centuries, a lot of small towns, commonly known as boomtowns, popped up in rural mining areas as workers and their families flooded these regions in the hopes of striking, well, gold. But when the mining industry declined, miners found work elsewhere, and many of these towns were left in the dust. Of course, there are other reasons for the existence of ghost towns, some of which we'll explore here.

Today, these abandoned structures attract tourists and paranormal enthusiasts alike due to their historical significance and interesting backstories. So let's explore the story behind 12 ghost towns in America.

Kennecott, Alaska

ghost town   kennicott, alaska

The mining village of Kennecott was built on the side of the Kennicott Glacier in the early 20th century. From 1911-1938, the mine processed nearly $200 million worth of copper and employed approximately 300 people. Around 1920, the small town of McCarthy – fit with a hospital, general store, school, saloons, and recreation hall – sprung up at the base of the mountain to serve the mineworkers and their families.

By the late 1930s, the Kennecott Copper Corporation was closed down, and many of the families left the area. Today, both the town of McCarthy and the Kennecott mines are open for tours.

Silver City Ghost Town in Bodfish, California

ghost towns   silver city, california

Around the 1960s and 1970s, many historic and abandoned frontier-era structures in California's Kern Valley faced demolition, so they were hauled to a centralized location, and the Silver City Ghost Town was artificially born.

The town has been used in numerous film and television projects, and self-guided tours are available to the public.

Calico, California

About two hours northeast of Los Angeles, deep in the Mojave Desert, rests the former silver mining town of Calico. It was established in 1883 and produced nearly 10% of the nation's silver supply. However, when the silver rush ended by the turn of the century, so did the town.

In the 1950s, Walter Knott, founder of Knott's Berry Farms and former employee of the Calico mines, turned the old mines into a tourist attraction. But the revival didn't last long. The town was taken over by the San Bernardino County in the 1960s, but it is still one of the nation's most lively ghost town destinations.

Goldfield, Nevada

In just two short years, Goldfield, Nevada was established and quickly grew to become one of the state's largest and wealthiest cities .

Founded in 1902, the mining town struck gold (literally) and became a heavy player in the gold rush during the early-20th century. At its height, Goldfield was home to 30,000 people and even had one of the longest bars in any mining town – requiring 80 bartenders to cover all the customers.

By 1910, once the local mine had dried up, most of the townspeople moved on to the next booming city. In 1913, with only 1,500 residents remaining, a flash flood ravaged the area, and a devastating fire in 1923 put the final nail in the coffin.

Today, nearly 200 people still call Goldfield home, but for the most part, it's a relic of the past that is rumored to be very haunted.

St. Elmo, Colorado

The remnants of St. Elmo rest in the heart of Colorado's Sawatch mountain range. The 1880s boomtown was rich in both gold and silver, but when the mining industry slowed down in the 1920s, the railroad service to St. Elmo, Colorado essentially ceased to exist.

Today, the town is open to tourists , although due to the remote nature of its location, parts of it require the use of an off-road vehicle.

Vulture City, Arizona

The Vulture City settlement was established in 1863 to " meet the needs of Arizona's most successful gold mine ," according to Vulture City Mine Tours .

In 1942, the mine was categorized as "non-essential," and it was shut-down as a result of the country's effort to focus on war-related production. It didn't take long for folks to abandon the mine and the town that went along with it. Today, visitors can explore the ghost town in all of its haunting beauty.

Bannack, Montana

When gold was discovered in Grasshopper Creek around 1862, a home base was suddenly needed to accommodate the influx of people who rushed to the area in hopes of striking it rich. Enter the town of Bannack.

By the 1950s, the town's mining industry had crumbled, and the town was left pretty much deserted. However, some spirits never moved on, and the abandoned locale has been the subject of many paranormal shows, including Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures .

Today, the town is part of the Bannack State Park and over 60 structures still stand.

Bodie, California

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, just southeast of Lake Tahoe, sits the former mining town of Bodie.

Three years after the town was established in 1876, while Bodie was in its prime, it was home to approximately 10,000 people. But the two subsequent decades saw the local mining industry greatly decline in the region, and by 1915 the town had been completely deserted. In 1962, the town was taken under the wing of the California State Parks system. Today, many of the buildings are currently preserved to keep their original 1880s appearance.

Rhyolite, Nevada

One of the many western boomtowns to pop up in the early-20th century during the gold rush was Rhyolite in the Death Valley region of Nevada. But when the business started to dry up, so did the townsfolk, and thus many of the buildings, including the landmark structure – a three-story building that was erected for $90,000 – were soon abandoned. And by 1916, the town's light and power supply had been terminated.

In the years since Rhyolite's closure, it's found a second life – serving as a set for several films, including Ultraviolet , The Island , Six String Samurai , and more.

Animas Forks, Colorado

High in the San Juan Mountains, at an elevation of 11,200 feet, several original buildings belonging to the former boomtown of Animas Forks still remain. The Colorado ghost town , which was established in 1873, was originally called Three Forks of the Animas before it was shortened to Animas Forks.

By 1884, a few hundred people called the settlement home, and they even had their own local newspaper called the Animas Forks Pioneer . Mining in the area stopped in 1910, and by 1920 the region was a ghost town.

Texola, Oklahoma

Along the iconic Route 66 rests the remnants of Texola, Oklahoma. Many ghost towns are the product of declining gold and silver rushes, but this southern settlement is a product of the western railway expansion. The tiny town was built in the early-20th century to accommodate the expanding railway industry. Throughout the decades, as paved roads expanded across the country, many families left the rural town for greater land.

Texola sits right on the edge of the Texas and Oklahoma border, and remaining structures include a former jailhouse and the shell of a service station.

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Although the borough is a near-ghost town (less than a dozen people still call it home), it's deserted enough to qualify. The town was established in the mid-1800s and was mostly a residential hub for the region's coal mining industry.

In 1962, a massive fire entered the system of the abandoned underground coal mines that extend beneath the town of Centralia. As a result, most of the town was evicted. In the years to follow, many structures were torn down, and all that remains today are what appears to be fields and paved roads that lead to nowhere. Oh, and yes, the fire is still burning beneath the surface.

The abandoned town has served as the basis for many creepy stories, including the popular film and video game series, Silent Hill .

Headshot of Alex Aronson

Alex is an entertainment and lifestyle writer who has a penchant for pineapple pizza, paranormal podcasts, paddleboarding, and alliteration. 

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6 Famous Ghost Towns and Abandoned Cities

By: Evan Andrews

Updated: September 14, 2023 | Original: March 10, 2015

Ghost Towns and Abandoned Cities

1. Pripyat, Ukraine

history behind ghost town

At 1:23 a.m. on April 26, 1986, a catastrophic meltdown took place inside reactor number four at the Soviet nuclear power plant at Chernobyl. The explosion that followed sent flames and radioactive material soaring into the skies over Pripyat, a nearby city built to house the plant’s scientists and workers. It took 36 hours before the town’s 49,000 residents were evacuated, and many later suffered severe health effects as a result of their brief exposure to the fallout.

Soviet authorities later sealed off an 18-mile exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl, leaving Pripyat an abandoned ghost town. The city has since languished for nearly three decades as a chilling reminder of the disaster. Its buildings have decayed and been partially reclaimed by the elements, and wild animals roam through what were once bustling apartments, sports complexes and an amusement park.

In the town post office, hundreds of letters from 1986 still sit waiting to be mailed. While radiation levels in Pripyat have dropped enough in recent years to allow urban explorers and former residents to make brief visits, scientists estimate that it could take several centuries before the town is once again safe for habitation.

2. Oradour-sur-Glane, France

Oradour-sur-Glane, France

On the afternoon of June 10, 1944, the village of Oradour-sur-Glane was the scene of one of the worst massacres of French civilians during World War II. In what is believed to have been an act of revenge for the town’s supposed support of the French Resistance, a Nazi Waffen SS detachment rounded up and murdered 642 of its residents and burned most of their houses to the ground. The men were taken to barns and machine-gunned, and the women and children were locked in a church and killed with explosives and incendiary grenades. Only a handful of people managed to survive by playing dead and later fleeing to the forest.

A new Oradour-sur-Glane was built nearby after the war ended, but French President Charles de Gaulle ordered that the burned-out ruins of the old town be left untouched as a monument to the victims. The facades of dozens of brick buildings and charred storefronts still remain, as well as graveyards of rusted cars and bicycles, scattered sewing machines and unused tram tracks. The site is also home to a museum, which holds a collection of relics and mementos recovered from the rubble.

3. Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island, Japan

Today, Hashima Island is a vacant labyrinth of crumbling concrete, sea walls and deserted buildings, yet it was once among the most densely populated places on the planet. The small island off the coast of Nagasaki was first settled in 1887 as a coal mining colony. It was later purchased by Mitsubishi, which built some of the world’s first multi-story, reinforced concrete buildings to house its bursting population.

Hashima remained a hive of activity for the next several decades, especially during World War II when the Japanese forced thousands of Korean laborers and Chinese POWs to toil in its mines. By the 1950s, the 16-acre rock was packed to the gills with more than 5,200 residents. Most workers found the cramped conditions unlivable, and the city was promptly abandoned after the mine closed in 1974.

Forty years of neglect have left Hashima a dilapidated ruin of collapsed staircases and condemned apartments. Many of its high-rises are still filled with old televisions and other relics from the mid-20th century, and its once-teeming swimming pools, barbershops and school classrooms now sit in shambles. The island was officially opened to tourists in 2009, and it has since served as the inspiration for the villain’s hideout in the 2012 James Bond film “Skyfall.”

4. Varosha, Cyprus

Varosha, Cyprus

In the early 1970s, the immaculate beaches of Varosha, Cyprus served as one of the most popular millionaires’ playgrounds in the Mediterranean. The suburb boasted a thriving tourism economy, and celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot were known to take in the sand and sun at its high-class beachfront hotels.

All that changed in August 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied its northern third in response to a Greek nationalist-led coup. Varosha’s 15,000 residents fled the city in terror, leaving their valuables and livelihoods behind. Most assumed they would return once the fighting stopped, but ongoing political strife has seen Varosha waste away behind a heavily-guarded barrier ever since.

The few intrepid explorers who have ventured into the no man’s land describe the resort as a crumbling ghost town. Trees have grown through the floors of restaurants and homes, and most of the former residents’ belongings have been looted or destroyed. What is left stands as a spooky time capsule of the 1970s, including bellbottoms in shop windows and 40-year-old vehicles still parked at car dealerships. In recent years, Greek and Turkish Cypriots have held talks regarding reopening the former jet-setters’ haven, but experts estimate that it would take upwards of $12 billion to make its decrepit buildings livable again.

5. Bodie, California

Bodie, California

Bodie, California was officially founded in 1876 after miners stumbled upon rich deposits of gold and silver in its hillsides. Gold-crazed prospectors flocked to the settlement at a rate of more than two dozen per day in the late-1870s, and its population eventually soared to some 10,000 people. Thanks to larger-than-life accounts of whiskey-fueled shootouts, the outpost soon earned a reputation as a “sea of sin” filled with rough men, prostitutes and opium dens.

Like most boomtowns, Bodie eventually went bust. By the 1880s, it had outgrown its meager infrastructure, and a succession of harsh and deadly winters convinced many of its prospectors to move to more profitable locales. The population dwindled until the 1940s when the last residents finally shipped out.

Since then, Bodie has become known as one of the nation’s most well-preserved ghost towns. Its 200 ramshackle buildings are kept in a state of “arrested decay” by park rangers, and tourists flock to the site to explore its 1880s Methodist church, saloons and post office as well as the ruins of a burned-out bank vault.

6. Fordlandia, Brazil

Fordlandia

In 1927, Henry Ford began work on “Fordlandia,” a massive rubber plantation in the jungles along Brazil’s Tapajós River. The automotive magnate needed the town as a steady source of rubber for his car tires and hoses, but he also saw the venture as a chance to bring small-town American values to the Amazon. Having already left his mark on cities like Dearborn, Michigan, he designed a company town complete with swimming pools, a golf course, suburban-style bungalows and weekly square dancing sessions.

Unfortunately for Ford, his experiment was doomed almost from the start. Fordlandia’s rubber trees fell victim to leaf fungus, and its employees chafed under the town’s strict regulations, which included a ban on alcohol. Clashes between Brazilian laborers and American managers soon became a common occurrence. During one riot over cafeteria rules, Fordlandia’s employees destroyed most of their mess hall with machetes and pushed the town’s trucks into the river.

Henry Ford eventually sank $20 million into his would-be workers’ paradise, but the town failed to produce any latex for his automobiles. Having never visited the city himself, he finally sold it to the Brazilian government in 1945 for pennies on the dollar. The wilderness has reclaimed large portions of Fordlandia’s campus in the years since, but many of its buildings are still standing, and the town has become a minor tourist destination for backpackers and curiosity seekers.

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A History of Bodie, America's Most Notorious Ghost Town

history behind ghost town

Bodie ’s story began in 1859, after the major Gold Rush period in California. When four prospectors struck gold in a small valley 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe . The prospectors came to this specific part of California, known as the Mother Lode region, in search of the much sought after gold. This small, gold-laden valley and the now developed mining outpost was hit by a violent blizzard shortly after the four prospectors discovered the gold. W.S. Body, one of the four, died as a result from the blizzard. This death gave the freshly settled district its name.

Stroke of luck.

The district’s name’s spelling changed in 1862 when a painter who lived in the next town over wrote a sign that read “ Bodie Stables.” When the residents loved the misspelling better than the original “Body,” the district permanently changed it to “ Bodie .”

The hot boom of gold in Bodie faded almost as quickly as it appeared. In its prime, there were a large number of wealthy companies that had bought claims at Bodie , developing multiple mines and two stamp mills. But by 1868, the financially invested in mines and mills were completely abandoned. It appeared that Bodie had already been nearly bled dry of all gold and the difficult terrain of Bodie didn’t help the oncoming hardship either.

A glimmer of hope remained in a small bunch of prospectors and miners. For seven years, a minimal amount of gold trickled in but that seemed to be enough for the remaining gold hunters in Bodie to stick around. More mines, tunnels, and shafts were dug. Other residents made the little currency they had by washing placer gravel.

history behind ghost town

The luck of Bodie

The luck of Bodie finally struck once again when one of the mines, Bunker Hill, caved in 1875. What could have been the beginning of a huge downfall for Bodie turned into its saving when the mine collapse gave way to a huge body of gold. There was so much of it that word got all the way to San Francisco and a wave of city prospectors flocked to get a piece of what Bodie had.

The exposed gold mine was so prodigious and fruitful that a group of capitalists formed a company in Bodie and bought out the entire claim. The newly formed Standard Company ended up deeply benefiting from this purchase. During the year 1877 Standard was able to produce a whopping $784,523 in both gold and silver bullion.

That would roughly equal over $17.5 million today.

Bodie became full of new residents and miners. More and more wealthy companies and investors bought shares in this now booming town. All of Bodie and even outsiders became heavily optimistic that this was going to be one of the most prosperous towns in the region. High spending investors from both San Francisco and New York City practically threw money into Bodie in order to dig deeper mines to find what they were sure to be even more gold.

Except for the fact that there wasn’t any evidence to show that there was more gold to find… By the near end of 1878, 22 mines were dug with incredibly expensive machines for the search for next big pay day.

Settlers came from all over to Bodie to be a part of the wealth. In a year, the population grew from 7,000 to 8,000 residents. Because of the overflow of people, all on the hunt for gold, Bodie fell victim to becoming quite the violent Wild West boomtown.

The Decline

It didn’t take long for the inevitable in Bodie ; a mere couple years after the immaculate growth of the town, the decline began to set in. The expensive machinery used in the multiple mines and mills needed more expensive upkeep and supplies. Hardly any gold was being found anymore. Residents weren’t able to work in a mining town that wasn’t much mining of anything. A few mines that seemed so hopeful just a year or two prior were completely abandoned and the developed companies weren’t coming out with much more than mere silver.

Even before the new year of 1881 people began leaving Bodie , trying to find the next profitable town. The boomtown’s population dwindled and dwindled until it reached a tiny 800.

For those 800 people, Bodie had just enough left in it to support them for three more decades; however, barely. While some companies were still able to continue digging their mines, when they would find gold, it was hardly enough for the company, let alone the workers. Finally the digging and mining stopped, proving fruitless.

The already low profit coming into Bodie continued to fluctuate but ultimately it plummeted. Companies tried to cut down on expenses anyway they could, but more residents left. The very first company to form from Bodie ’s prime, the Standard Company, gave up in 1913, deeming Bodie depleted of riches. The Standard was the town’s most wealthy mine and company. The remaining handful of companies still open continued the struggle to stay afloat.

The years following Standard’s closing, some hopeful prospectors tried to revive Bodie ’s hills and mines, but to no avail. New technology of the 1900s motivated companies to attempt to build Bodie ’s economy again. By the time World War II and its hardships hit, barren Bodie was abandoned once again. Not long after, Bodie ’s population dropped to zero.

history behind ghost town

Residents left whatever they couldn’t carry behind in Bodie . Old shelves in general stores and bars were left stocked, people left furniture and structures all behind.

In 1962, it was decided that Bodie would officially become a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park. The town was declared to be in “arrested decay”, which orders the preservation of ruins.

The now completely abandoned Bodie has become one of California’s most preserved ghost town . Travelers can visit Bodie , walk the dirt streets, and explore the preserved ghostly ruins. Visitors will even hear a spooky ghost story or two.

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Ghost Towns

7 Ghost Towns in Nevada and the History Behind Their Rise and Fall

By Joseph A. Williams Last updated March 3, 2023

ghost towns in nevada

Nevada is littered with more than 600 ghost towns, a testament to the boom-and-bust cycle of the state’s whipsaw past.

Nevada as a territory first came to national attention in 1858 with the discovery of the Comstock Lode , the first large-scale deposit of silver found in the United States. By the next year, a silver rush had begun.

In 1861, Nevada was carved off the Utah Territory and received full statehood in 1864 despite not having the minimum population requirement. This was due to President Lincoln’s desire to push through the Thirteenth Amendment, which banned slavery.

The fortunes of Nevada glittered as much as the silver that its miners drew from the ground.  Hence the nickname of Nevada became the “ Silver State .” Much like the California gold rush, Nevada’s silver rush spawned numerous boomtowns towns that flourished as the mines flourished.

But when the ore ran out, the towns died and became ghosts.

Nevada Ghost Towns

Here are seven of the most interesting ghost towns in Nevada based on their history and the state of preservation of their ruins. Most are easily accessible to visitors today.

In 1865, a Native American discovered silver in the heart of Nevada, in the Toquima range.  The find attracted thousands to the region. Towns appeared seemingly overnight, and one of the most prominent of these was Belmont . 

While it is unclear how big Belmont was, estimates show that it hosted a population of around 4,000 between 1866 and 1867, although more dubious estimates boast 10,000 people. Either way, Belmont became the Nye County seat in 1867.

At its peak, there were about ten mines in operation near Belmont and six mills were erected to process silver. By the 1870s, Belmont had a red light district, racetrack, churches, schools, and even a Chinatown due to its diverse population. 

However, almost as quickly as it rose, Belmont fell from grace as another boom at Gold Mountain in 1880 drew off people and resources. This was followed by the sale of the property of the Belmont Mining Company in 1887. 

In 1903, there were only 36 residents on Belmont’s voter rolls. Truly one of Nevada’s most fabulous ghost towns, the somber history of its rise in fall is seen through the ruins of a two-story brick courthouse, which had been designed with an optimistic future in mind.

Belmont is registered with Nevada’s state historic preservation office . Preservation efforts are ongoing, including efforts to attract people to the site.

tybo ghost town

On the eastern slopes of the Hot Creek Range, also in Nye County, was Tybo . 

The town was officially started in 1874, and by 1877 the town reached its peak with 250 tons of silver leaving monthly. Much like other Nevada silver ghost towns, once mining operations mainly died in 1879, so too did the town. 

But Tybo has a dark history that differentiates it from the other ghost towns of Nevada. In 1876, the town was host to an ugly anti-Chinese riot referred to at the time the “ Chinese War .”

Due to labor shortages, Chinese woodcutters were hired at the same wages as whites. This sparked racist outrage among whites, who, led by the Workingmen’s Protective Union, stormed the Chinese camp with guns and bullwhips, sending the workers fleeing. 

While the company did recall the men, another standoff took place.  Violence seemed imminent but the disgusted Chinese workers offered to leave if their stage fare to Eureka was paid for. The Anti-Asiatic League of Tybo paid the bill.

Today, Tybo has a handful of residents and the area sports the foundations of many buildings. Its charcoal kilns are on the register of historic places.

3. Hamilton

hamilton nevada ghost town

One of the more self-destructive of Nevada’s silver mining ghost towns is located in the White Pine Mountains.  Hamilton was created in 1868 and within a year, boasted 60 mercantiles, a hundred saloons, and two breweries. 

For the more domesticated residents, there were churches, schools, theaters, and even a roller-skating rink. In 1869 the population peaked at about 12,000, with scattered miners throughout the region adding another 13,000 to its population. It was selected as the seat for the newly created White Pine County.

Silver poured in, fueling the boom but also bringing rampant crime. Stagecoach holdups averaged about two a week, and with so much specie flowing, corruption was absolutely rampant, according to Wild West ‘s Les Kruger.

Then, the mine which fed this boom ran out, being much more shallow than expected. By 1870, there were less than 4,000 people in Hamilton, and dipped to 1,000 three years later.  That year, with the town in such decline, a tobacconist decided to set his building on fire for the insurance money. 

To ensure it would go burn up, he closed the town’s water main. The ensuing inferno obliterated the town, causing $600,000 in damages. A further fire in 1885 destroyed the courthouse and its records.

That was essentially the end of Hamilton, and all that remains are scattered ruins and the walls of the Withington Hotel .

4. Schellbourne

Schellbourne, Nevada ghost town

One ghost town in Nevada began its life in 1859 as a Pony Express Station. 

The station, along the Schell Creek,  got off to a rocky start when Paiute raided it in1860, killing the stationmaster and two workers.  As a result, the army established a post, although this was abandoned in 1862 when the Paiute threat subsided. 

During that interim, when the Pony Express ended in 1861, the Overland Express took over, making it an important stage station.  The Overland left Schellbourne in 1869 but in 1871 a prospector struck silver.  

Schellbourne grew into a town of 400 that featured saloons, mercantiles, and a Wells Fargo Office. However, the next year, richer deposits in the area started a mass exodus. The town lingered on into the 1920s when its population dipped below 20.

By the late twentieth century, the Pony Express station had deteriorated to the point where it had to be razed, but ruins still exist, with some being on private property.

5. Tuscarora

Tuscarora nevada

The discovery of silver in the Goose Creek Range led to the establishment of a new town in 1867. Named Tuscarora , after USS Tuscarora , this Nevada ghost town was distinctive from others. 

After the railroad came into the area, about 2,000 Chinese took up mining and resided in Tuscarora. At one point, Tuscarora boasted a Chinatown second in size only to San Francisco.

Aside from mining, the Chinese immigrants sold silk, tea, and harvested sagebrush to feed the furnaces to feed the mills. As with all Old West towns, there was a dark side, too. There were opium dens, gambling houses, and brothels.  

The town had a veneer of civility — with skating rinks, schools, and theaters  — coupled with underlying violence. Miners often ended up in knife fights disputing claims, particularly the Cornish miners who were called Cousin Jacks.

Tuscarora’s fortunes soured in 1877 when prices of silver went bust and the mines were too flooded with water to make them worthwhile. By the early 20th century the town was all but abandoned, although it would always patter on in some form. 

In 1966, the Tuscarora Pottery School and Retreat was established here, billing the remote location as ideal for creative work. It is still in operation today, and if you like to spin clay and look at some well-preserved derelict buildings, Tuscarora may be your place to go.

6. Rhyolite

Rhyolite Ghost Town

Rhyolite went through the full lifespan of a boom and bust town in just over a decade.  Created after Shorty Harris and E.L. Cross discovered quartz laden with gold in 1904, the desert town — which got its name from the silica-filled volcanic rock — sprung into existence almost overnight in Nye County.

One three-story building was erected and a stock exchange built. Rhyolite also featured hotels, stores, schools, and the inevitable red light district. The town even had electricity.

The citizens of the town were also the social and creative sort, performing operas, conducting sports, and holding socials. One minor named Tom Kelly even built a house out of 50,000 bottles.

There was a financial panic in 1907, and in 1911 the mine was shut down. The power was turned off in 1916. Rhyolite now holds some of the most impressive ghost town ruins in the state, including the remnant of the three-story bank. 

It can still be visited , just be wary of the heat — it’s located in Death Valley National Park.

7. Metropolis

Metropolis, Nevada

Metropolis is an unusual ghost town for Nevada, since it was never related to the mining industry. Located in northeastern Nevada in Elko County, the town was founded in 1910 by the Pacific Reclamation Company of New York to build an ideal community based on agriculture. 

The company, which had a grandiose vision based on the name of the town, planned a community where approximately 7,500 persons could live in harmony. The company planned a downtown with full amenities. 

Even an amusement park was in the company outlook. While the town did well at first, reaching a population of about 2,000, it was struck in the 1930s by a series of events mainly out of the company’s control.

First, jackrabbits devoured the crops. This was followed by outbreaks of typhoid due to poor sanitation. Then came a plague of Mormon crickets . To cap it all, in 1936 a massive fire broke out, gutting the town’s lone hotel.

Still, the town would have hung on had it not been for a lack of water. 

This drought-prone region had few sources of available water, and the company attempted to build a dam to divert water from Bishop Creek, a tributary of the Humboldt River. Metropolis found itself in a legal water-rights dispute with Lovelock, a downstream community nearly 200 miles away.

Metropolis lost and as a plaque at the site confirms, the “town ultimately died of thirst.” Visitors who go to Metropolis today will find considerable ruins, including the almost ravaged Lincoln school, as well as a graveyard.

Related read : 14 Facts About the Mormon Migration, A Classic Old West Exodus

Explore the Old West

  • 7 California Ghost Towns that Capture the Golden State’s Rich Mining History
  • 7 of Wyoming’s Best Ghost Towns to Explore Today
  • 15 Native American Ruins in Arizona that Offer a Historic Glimpse into the Past
  • 5 Spectacular Native American Ruins in Colorado You Can Visit Today

Further Reading

  • Nevada Ghost Towns & Mining Camps Illustrated Atlas Volume One-Northern Nevada , Stan Paher
  • Nevada Ghost Towns & Desert Atlas, Vol. 2 Southern Nevada-Death Valley , Stan Paher
  • Nevada Ghost Town Trails , Mickey Broman
  • Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Southern Nevada , Shawn Hall
  • Ghost Towns of the West , Philip Varney

by Joseph A. Williams

Joseph A. Williams is an author, historian, and librarian based in Connecticut. He has authored three books: The Sunken Gold , Seventeen Fathoms Deep , and Four Years Before the Mast .

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Where The West Was Won: Az Ghost Towns And Their Haunted History

The Historic Grand hotel In Jerome Arizona, is believed to be among one of the top ghost towns in the west.

A ghost town is defined as an abandoned or nearly abandoned settlement, town, or city. Any historic site once alive with residents, substantial infrastructure, and possibly roads can be referred to as a ghost town. There are about 3,800 ghost towns in the United States, and some of the most famous are located within Arizona.

Historic ghost towns are lie throughout the western part of the United States.

Az Ghost Towns

In the early western US, many settlements were established as mining towns , dreamed into reality by men hungry to strike it rich and make for a successful town. Sadly many of these towns and others were eventually abandoned due to the disastrous effects of economic decline. And that wasn’t the only peril. Early towns also suffered natural calamities such as droughts, floods, and extreme heat or cold, and others went abandoned because of government, pollution, or war. Others cruelly bled to their end because of lawlessness.

Hundreds of restored historic sites in the US are currently functioning as tourist-friendly heritage towns or ghost towns. Interestingly, hundreds more are unrestored, and many of these unrestored ghost towns can be visited and explored. 

Some ghost town sites are privately owned and become developed into extravagant vacation destinations. Others are completely abandoned and exist now as lost sites of decrepit remains, wasting away under the sun like bone dust, their monuments of evidence disappearing, the frail graves of those who perished there being swallowed into the earth as time slowly passes it all over.

Arizona contains some of the most famous and fascinating ghost towns in the US. Here is a little wild west history behind a few of Arizona’s oldest, haunted, and most special ghost towns:

1. Chloride

The earliest established mining town in Arizona. The ghost town of Chloride, located in Mojave County, 20 miles from Kingman, was founded in 1863, with the knowledge of gold, silver, lead, zinc, and turquoise being abundant in the area, although mining didn’t begin just yet. There was contentious tension over the land’s resources with the Hualapai Indians. By the early 1870s, a treaty was signed with the Hualapai Indians, and mining was finally able to begin. Production boomed. In 1873, a population expansion signaled the town needed a post office, and it got one.

 It closed but reopened in 1893 and is the oldest consistently operating post office in the state of Arizona. The Santa Fe Railroad opened in 1898 and lengthened its tracks from Kingman to Chloride, which provided traveling and cargo service. Chloride’s most successful mining years were between 1900-1920, seeing a population peak in those years. In 1935, the Santa Fe Railroad closed the station near Chloride, a nail in the coffin for the town. The population was in decline. 

The Deadly Mines Below

Soon the mines in the hills became uneconomic because of the inflated cost of materials and labor. The mines were closed by 1944, and the town was nearly abandoned by then. In the 1960s, a group of counterculture hippies claimed home to the hills east of town. The leader Roy Purcell painted a 2,000 squares foot set of murals on boulders, the “Chloride Murals.” He came back 40 years later and repainted them. They remain vibrant artifacts of the town’s history.

Today, Chloride is a quiet little town with a population of less than 400. This quaint piece of the old west does offer a few unique experiences. There is a preserved old jail, train station, post office, an old miner’s house restored as the Jim Fritz Museum, and a cemetery.

Located in Santa Cruz County, which is about 70 miles from Tucson. Ruby was established as a mining town by the late 1870s, mining for gold, silver, lead, zinc, and copper. The population rose at the turn of the century, and in 1912 the town got a post office. Ruby became known to be a troubled place. Townspeople endured the detrimental effects of violence and lawlessness. 

The Ruby Murders occurred from 1920-1922, which saw three double homicides committed in town and the area. It resulted in the biggest-ever manhunt in the Southwest, with the first airplane used in a manhunt. Sadly by the 1940s, Ruby lay abandoned, and the mines closed due to the ore running out.

Today, Ruby is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the US, with 20 buildings still standing. The well-preserved town and its history are genuinely breathtaking in Ruby.

An Arizona ghost town staple sits proudly in the Black Hills of Yavapai County, located between Prescott and Sedona. It is an important site of ancient history, too much to expound on here. Its modern history started in 1876 when three prospectors claimed the land’s high abundance of copper. They sold out to a few venturers who formed the United Verde Copper Company in 1883, and mining began soon after. The United Verde mine was Arizona’s most productive copper mine by the 20th century. By the 1920s, the population was at its peak, and copper production was booming. 

Eventually, however, issues with diminishing returns on ore deposits and the effects of the Great Depression from 1929 and 1939 caused a mess of things. Mining operations closed for good in 1953 when a profit wasn’t feasible. In the 1960s, free spirits, artists, and craftspeople found the town, creating and instilling a defining culture.

Today, about 400 people live in Jerome. The town serves two purposes: a ghost town popular with tourists and a cynosure for the artistic community. For visitors, Jerome has many unique features, offering much to do and explore, such as the famous Douglas Mansion museum.

Haunted ghost towns are all that remains of what was once the wild wild west.

Haunted Arizona Ghost Town Locations

Here are some of the most famous haunted historic ghost town locations in Arizona:

1. The Jerome Grand Hotel , formerly the United Verde Hospital. Nearly 9,000 people perished in this location. Locals and guests alike say that paranormal activity permeates the halls of this place.

2. The Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee has been open since 1902. A woman hanged herself there and is said to be haunting the hotel and other resident ghosts.

3. The Oliver House is a Bisbee bed and breakfast with a horrible history. The house is alive at night and is well-known to be one of the most haunted houses in Arizona, with several resident ghosts.

4. The Buford House Bed and Breakfast in Tombstone is an adobe home with a grim history of murder and suicide. It is said fervently by locals and those who have stayed there that it is the most haunted in the Southwest.

5. The iconic Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone is a historical museum. It was once a saloon and brothel and was the site of a gruesome murder. This is a popular spot for ghost activity.

6. The Yuma Territorial Prison in Yuma was open from 1876 to 1909, housing over 3,000 prisoners. A graveyard is on site where 104 prisoners are buried. It’s been named one of the most haunted destinations in Arizona.

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history behind ghost town

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Learning Louisiana

Learning Louisiana

The Ghost Towns and Abandoned Places of Louisiana: Exploring the State’s Forgotten History

Louisiana is a state that is steeped in history, culture, and tradition. It is also a place that is home to many ghost towns and abandoned places that hold their own unique stories and secrets. From the decaying ruins of old plantations to the abandoned towns that were once thriving communities, Louisiana is a treasure trove of forgotten places waiting to be explored.

history behind ghost town

One of the most fascinating aspects of Louisiana’s ghost towns and abandoned places is the history behind them. Many of these places were once bustling communities that were abandoned due to economic decline, natural disasters, or other factors. Some of them are still standing, while others have crumbled into ruins over the years. Despite their current state of decay, these places still hold a certain mystique that draws in visitors from all over the world.

Exploring Louisiana’s ghost towns and abandoned places is not only a way to connect with the state’s rich history, but it is also an opportunity to witness the passage of time and the power of nature. From the overgrown ruins of forgotten buildings to the abandoned streets that were once filled with life, every corner of these places tells a story that is waiting to be discovered. Whether you are a history buff, an urban explorer, or simply someone who enjoys a good adventure, Louisiana’s ghost towns and abandoned places are sure to captivate your imagination.

Historical Overview

history behind ghost town

Louisiana is a state rich in history, with a past that includes Native American tribes, French and Spanish colonization, and involvement in the Civil War. Over time, many towns and settlements were established throughout the state, but not all of them survived. Today, Louisiana is home to numerous ghost towns and abandoned places that offer a glimpse into the state’s past.

One of the most well-known ghost towns in Louisiana is the town of LeCompte. Founded in the late 1800s, LeCompte was once a bustling railroad town with a population of over 1,000 people. However, the town’s decline began in the early 1900s when the railroad was rerouted, and many of its residents moved away. Today, only a few buildings remain, including a schoolhouse and a church.

Another notable ghost town is the town of Bayou Goula. Founded in the early 1800s, Bayou Goula was once a thriving plantation town with a population of over 1,000 people. However, the town’s decline began in the mid-1800s when the Civil War caused many of its residents to flee. Today, only a few buildings remain, including a church and a cemetery.

Louisiana is also home to several abandoned places, including the Six Flags New Orleans amusement park. The park was closed in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina and has remained abandoned ever since. Today, the park is overgrown with vegetation, and many of its rides and attractions are in a state of disrepair.

In conclusion, Louisiana’s ghost towns and abandoned places offer a unique look into the state’s past. From railroad towns to plantation towns and abandoned amusement parks, these places are a reminder of the state’s rich history and the people who once called them home.

Famous Ghost Towns of Louisiana

history behind ghost town

Louisiana is home to many abandoned towns that were once bustling with life. These ghost towns serve as a reminder of Louisiana’s rich history and the challenges that faced its residents in the past. Here are some of the most famous ghost towns in Louisiana:

Rodessa is a small town located in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. It was once a thriving community with a population of over 1,000 people. The town was founded in 1898 and was named after the wife of a local businessman. Rodessa was a hub for the oil industry in the early 20th century, but the discovery of oil in other parts of the state led to a decline in the town’s population. Today, Rodessa is a ghost town with only a few residents. Visitors can still see the remains of the town’s oil derricks and other structures.

Sherburne is a ghost town located in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. It was once a thriving community with a population of over 1,500 people. The town was founded in the early 1800s and was named after a local plantation owner. Sherburne was a hub for the sugar industry in the 19th century, but the decline of the industry led to a decline in the town’s population. Today, Sherburne is a ghost town with only a few residents. Visitors can still see the remains of the town’s sugar mills and other structures.

Waterloo is a ghost town located in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. It was once a thriving community with a population of over 1,000 people. The town was founded in the early 1800s and was named after the Battle of Waterloo. Waterloo was a hub for the cotton industry in the 19th century, but the decline of the industry led to a decline in the town’s population. Today, Waterloo is a ghost town with only a few residents. Visitors can still see the remains of the town’s cotton gins and other structures.

These ghost towns are a testament to Louisiana’s rich history and the challenges that its residents faced in the past. Visitors can still see the remains of these towns and learn about the people who once called them home.

Abandoned Places in Louisiana

history behind ghost town

Louisiana is home to several abandoned places that were once thriving but now stand desolate. These abandoned places give a glimpse into the past and the history of the state. Some of the most notable abandoned places in Louisiana are:

Six Flags New Orleans

Six Flags New Orleans was a theme park located in New Orleans. The park was opened in 2000 and was operated by Six Flags until it was closed in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. The park never reopened and was left abandoned. The park is now a popular spot for urban explorers and photographers. The park is also used as a filming location for movies and TV shows.

Charity Hospital

Charity Hospital was a public hospital located in New Orleans. The hospital was opened in 1736 and was one of the oldest continuously operating hospitals in the United States. The hospital was closed in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina and was never reopened. The hospital is now abandoned and is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Louisiana.

LeBeau Plantation

LeBeau Plantation was a plantation located in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. The plantation was built in the 1850s and was once a thriving sugarcane plantation. The plantation was abandoned in the 1990s and has since fallen into disrepair. The plantation is now a popular spot for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts.

These abandoned places in Louisiana are a reminder of the state’s rich history and the devastating effects of natural disasters. While they may be desolate now, they still hold a certain allure and fascination for those who seek to explore them.

Reasons for Abandonment

history behind ghost town

Louisiana has a rich history, and with that history comes a number of abandoned places and ghost towns. There are many reasons why these places have been left behind, but the most common reasons are natural disasters, economic decline, and population shifts.

Natural Disasters

Louisiana has been hit hard by natural disasters over the years, particularly hurricanes and floods. These events can cause significant damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, and sometimes the cost of repairing the damage is simply too high. In some cases, people choose to leave their homes and communities behind rather than rebuild in an area that is prone to natural disasters.

Economic Decline

Many of Louisiana’s ghost towns and abandoned places were once thriving communities that relied on a particular industry or resource. For example, some towns were built around sawmills, while others were centered around the oil and gas industry. When these industries decline or disappear, the communities that rely on them often suffer. People may move away in search of work, leaving behind empty homes and businesses.

Population Shift

Population shifts can also lead to the abandonment of towns and communities. As people move away from rural areas and into cities, smaller towns and communities may struggle to attract new residents. This can lead to a decline in services and infrastructure, making it difficult for people to live there. In some cases, entire towns may be left behind as people move away to seek better opportunities elsewhere.

Overall, there are many reasons why Louisiana has so many ghost towns and abandoned places. While each place has its own unique story, natural disasters, economic decline, and population shifts are some of the most common factors that have contributed to their abandonment.

Preservation and Tourism

history behind ghost town

Louisiana’s ghost towns and abandoned places are not only fascinating to explore but also serve as a reminder of the state’s rich history. Preservation efforts are underway to protect these sites and ensure they are accessible to future generations.

The Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation is one organization that works to preserve the state’s historic sites, including ghost towns and abandoned places. The organization advocates for the importance of preserving these sites and provides resources for those interested in restoration projects.

In addition to preservation efforts, many of Louisiana’s ghost towns and abandoned places have become popular tourist destinations. Visitors can explore these sites and learn about their history through guided tours or self-guided exploration.

One example is the ghost town of Rodney, which has become a popular spot for photographers and history enthusiasts. The town’s historic buildings and streets offer a glimpse into the past and attract visitors from all over the world.

Another example is the abandoned Six Flags amusement park in New Orleans, which has become a popular spot for urban explorers. Despite being closed since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the park’s remains continue to draw visitors who are intrigued by its eerie atmosphere.

Overall, preservation and tourism efforts are vital to ensuring that Louisiana’s ghost towns and abandoned places are not lost to time. These efforts allow visitors to learn about the state’s history and appreciate the significance of these sites.

history behind ghost town

Louisiana is home to a number of ghost towns and abandoned places, each with its own unique history and story to tell. From the once-thriving industrial town of Centralia to the eerie ruins of the LeBeau Plantation, these abandoned places offer a glimpse into Louisiana’s past and the people who lived and worked there.

While some of these ghost towns and abandoned places have been preserved as historical sites, many have been left to decay and crumble over time. Despite this, they continue to attract visitors from around the world who are fascinated by their haunting beauty and mysterious past.

As Louisiana continues to evolve and grow, it is important to remember and preserve the history of these abandoned places. They serve as a reminder of the state’s rich cultural heritage and the people who shaped its past.

Whether you are a history buff, an urban explorer, or simply curious about the past, Louisiana’s ghost towns and abandoned places are a fascinating and unforgettable destination.

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By Warren Simon

My name is Warren and I'm a born and raised Louisiana native. I created this site to help people learn more about my great home state and all of the rich culture, wildlife and experiences we have to offer. Hopefully you enjoy "the Boot" as much as I do!

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You can now tour a controversial ghost town in Cyprus that was abandoned in the 1970s — take a look inside

  • After Turkey took control of northern Cyprus in the 1970s, the resort town Varosha was left empty.
  • Residents and tourists planned to return, but the resort was fenced off and remained so for decades.
  • In 2020, the town and surrounding beach reopened but soon became a point of controversy.

Varosha is a former resort town located in the city of Famagusta, Cyprus.

history behind ghost town

Before the division of Cyprus in 1974, Varosha was a booming resort town with sky-scraping hotels, glamorous shopping districts, and sandy beaches frequently called the best in Cyprus.

The rich and famous claimed Verosha as the most beautiful spot on the island.

history behind ghost town

According to the BBC , celebrities including Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and Brigitte Bardot visited the island in its heyday. 

"Anyone who comes from Varosha has a romanticized notion of it," Vasia Markides, an American Greek-Cypriot whose mother grew up there, told the BBC in 2014. "They talk about it being the hub of art and intellectual activity. They describe it as the French Riviera of Cyprus."

At its height, the resort town of Varosha was home to 39,000 residents and thousands more visited each year as tourists.

history behind ghost town

Varosha also attracted around 700,000 annual visitors and tourists .

But after 1974, everyone but the Turkish military was forbidden from entering, and today, buildings in the once-booming resort town are crumbling and abandoned.

history behind ghost town

According to the BBC , after years of violence, Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 following a Greek-government-backed coup and gained control of the northern third section of the island, which included the district of Varosha.

Tens of thousands of Greek Cypriots quickly left the area, fearing violence but intending to return once tensions settled down. 

Former residents have recalled their panic while fleeing their homes as troops invaded.

history behind ghost town

Some left their wedding presents in their attics, while others said they still had pots cooking on the stove when they evacuated. 

Following the invasion, the resort was fenced and blocked off by the Turkish military. It was abandoned for decades.

history behind ghost town

What was once a glamorous resort became a barren wasteland dotted with falling fences and barricades.

Varosha remained part of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, or TRNC, until a United Nations resolution in 1984.

history behind ghost town

The decision placed Varosha under the control of the United Nations and forbade anyone other than those who were forced out in the 1970s from resettling there, according to BBC .

While the city of Famagusta is home to thousands of residents, who are mostly Turkish, the Varosha sector was blocked off until recently.

history behind ghost town

Decaying buildings and rubble line the streets of the abandoned district.

Signs labeled Varosha a "forbidden zone."

history behind ghost town

Tourists were previously banned from entering or taking photos inside the fenced-off areas, but some managed to slip through over the years and documented what was left behind.

After the town reopened in 2020, Turkish Cypriots were allowed through the fences to explore what remained. Now, anyone can visit with a valid passport . 

Before it reopened, buildings could be seen slowly collapsing, abandoned cars were rusting over, and the streets lay empty.

history behind ghost town

Many areas of the Varosha district are still blocked off for most people, according to the BBC .

After travel restrictions were eased in 2003, former residents were allowed to return and peer into the forgotten resort through fences and barbed wire.

history behind ghost town

However, those who ventured back to the island found the once-booming area a crumbling ghost town and have not been permitted to permanently inhabit the town.

Much of the resort remained largely how its former residents and visitors left it.

history behind ghost town

Tables were still set for meals and designer clothes could be found hanging inside now-abandoned shops.

Cypriots returning to Varosha described it as "some sort of post-apocalyptic nightmare."

"The picture that I had in my mind was of a kind of paradise," one Cypriot who returned to look across the fence at her family's former home told the BBC . 

"You're seeing nature take over. Prickly pear bushes have overrun the entire six square kilometers. There are trees that have sprouted through living rooms. It's a ghost town," she said .

The reopening of Varosha, also known by its Turkish name Maraş, became a subject of controversy between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities.

history behind ghost town

According to a report by CNN in 2020, Ersin Tatar, prime minister of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, planned to start the reopening and potential rebuilding process in 2020.

"It's all ready in my opinion," Tatar said in August 2020, according to Turkish state broadcaster TRT. "The tide has changed and a new page has been turned ... Maraş is within the territory of the TRNC. Nobody can take it from us. We are continuing on our successful path."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said he wanted to reopen the resort town, but the move received backlash from Greek Cypriots.

When the beach reopened and the fences surrounding Varosha were removed, the government only allowed Turkish and TRNC citizens to visit at first.

history behind ghost town

Ahead of Varosha's reopening in 2020, the European Union's foreign policy chief warned the reopening would "cause greater tensions" between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, who disagree on who rightfully should inhabit and profit off the northern section of the island.

US officials have also spoken out against the reopening of Varosha. According to The Guardian , Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in 2021 that the government opposed any attempt to reopen Varosha to tourists and locals alike.

In a statement, Blinken called the Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha "provocative, unacceptable, and incompatible with their past commitments to engage constructively in settlement talks."

"We urge Turkish Cypriots and Turkey to reverse their decision announced today and all steps taken since October 2020," he continued.

Tourists have returned to the beaches, but behind them sit decaying hotels.

history behind ghost town

The buildings are unsafe to go inside, but tourists have once again returned to the town's sandy beaches.

Today, visitors from across the world can swim in Varosha's waters and take guided tours alongside the crumbling buildings.

history behind ghost town

According to the Cyprus Mail , visitors can tour Varosha between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

While visitors are not allowed to actually enter the blocked-off and crumbling buildings due to safety concerns, tour groups are permitted to walk alongside them, snap photos, and learn about the resort town's complicated history.

history behind ghost town

The Music Aficionado

Quality articles about the golden age of music.

June 1, 2017 • 10

Ghost Town, by The Specials

If you were a young man in the summer of 1981 and you lived in one of Britain’s urban areas, you had, as the title of UB40’s song, a one in ten chance of being on the dole. Two years after the conservative party won the election with Margaret Thatcher at the helm, the aggressive economic policy of increasing interest rates and taxes reduced the inflation, but had a negative impact on the man on the street. No less than one million people became unemployed between 1980 and 1981, bringing the total folks looking for a job to a staggering 2.5 million, the highest in UK recorded history at that point. Hit the hardest were people from the African-Caribbean community, as not only their odds of landing a job were slim, but racial tensions and discriminatory police tactics threw them into a violent spiral in the streets. What is now known as the 1981 Summer of Riots came to symbolize the disillusion of British youth with anything that smelled like government and authority. It also had a soundtrack in a perfectly timed and appropriately named number 1 hit by the Specials, their creative peak – Ghost Town.

People's March For Jobs 1981

Peoples March for Jobs 1981

The discontent of the minor communities in the UK started way before 1981. Back in 1978 and before she won the election, Thatcher commented about immigration in an interview for Granada TV: “people are really rather afraid that this country might be rather swamped by people with a different culture and, you know, the British character has done so much for democracy, for law and done so much throughout the world that if there is any fear that it might be swamped people are going to react and be rather hostile to those coming in”. Thatcher continued disregard to folks at the lower range of the economic scale, many of them immigrants, did not help matters after she took office. Things came to a head in the spring of 1981 at Brixton in south London. Under the surface tensions were brewing for a while, as half of the black men were jobless and being on the street they were subjected to harsh police treatment. Police officers were encouraged by the sus (short for suspected) laws that authorized policemen to stop and search anyone to their discretion. After the police began Operation Swamp (named after Thatcher’s phrase) in the beginning of April to reduce crime, violence erupted in the form of turned police cars and fires that lasted a few days and ended with 280 police officers injured and hundreds arrested.

British Crime - Civil Disturbance - The Brixton Riots - London - 1981

Brixton Riots 1981

Toxteth Riots 1981

Toxteth Riots 1981

That was only the beginning. In July riots started again and on the 8th of the month expanded to other London suburbs and over 20 cities across the UK. On the evening of July the 10th the Specials song Ghost Town went to number 1 in the singles chart. The mantra-like chanting of the phrase ghost town and the lyrics perfectly captured in real-time the essence of the times and the overall mood that descended the country.: Government leaving the youth on the shelf This place, is coming like a ghost town No job to be found in this country Can’t go on no more The people getting angry

Britain in Turmoil July 11

No better band in the UK was positioned to epitomize these times in a single song. The specials were an integrated and socially-conscious group with deep respect and knowledge of Ska, the music style that originated in 1950s Jamaica, a precursor to Reggae. But Ska alone was too tame a style for that moment in history. The Specials blended in just the right ingredient with their punk attitude, a style that came to be known as 2Tone, the name of the record label formed by band founder, keyboard player and main composer Jerry Dammers. 2Tone skyrocketed between 1979 and 1981 with The Specials contributing most of the hits. Gangsters was the first single for the label and the band continued with A Message To You Rudy and the number 1 Too Much Too Young . Other big hist for 2Tone included The Selecter’s On the Radio  and the first hit by Madness, The Prince .

A Message To You Rudy Single

Adding to the credibility of The Specials’ brew of Ska was the addition of horn players Rico Rodriguez on Trombone and Dick Cuthell on Flugelhorn. Rodriguez, known simply as Rico, was born in Kingston Jamaica and moved to the UK in the early 60s. A look at his discography is a tour into the the world of Reggae in the 60s and 70s, He played on the original version of A Message To You Rudy by Dandy Livingston in 1967. In the 70s he worked with some of the genre’s top bands including Toots & the Maytals, Burning Spear and Steel Pulse. Fifteen years younger, Dick Cuthell has a more updated discography that finds him featured as session musician on albums by XTC, Joan Armatrading, and the fantastic Rum, Sodomy & The Lash album by the Pogues. The band not only sounded great, they also were quite a sight on stage, courtesy of Neville Staple, a ball of energy who was in charge of toasting, an old Jamaican tradition of talking over beats long before hip hop came on the scene.

Rico Rodriguez in 1980 with Jerry Dammers

Rico Rodriguez with Jerry Dammers, 1980

Ghost Town is at once The Specials’ creative peak and their last shining moment. As they were recording the song the band was coming apart. Problems started surfacing during the band’s tour of the US in 1980 as an opening act for the Police. Sex and Drugs and Rock n’ Roll plus all kinds of luxuries and money had a corrupting effect on the lads who up to that point traveled the UK in a beat-up van and were united by a single purpose of getting the music out there. Matters did not improve when it became clear during the work on the second album that Jerry Dammers wanted a change in direction while the rest of the band were happy to continue with the rough punk-ska style that they excelled at. Ghost Town is a result of the music experimentation that Dammers kept pushing the band into, but it was also the band’s swan song.

Lead singer Terry Hall remembers the experience of recording the song: “When we started recording and we had to be in the same room that’s when it became really difficult. ‘Ghost Town’ took months and months to record. All separately; we didn’t actually do it in a room together. I remember I did my vocals in a living room in Tottenham looking out over a bus stop.”

Ghost-Town-cover

In its arrangement the song is an unlikely chart topper. The extensive use of the diminished chord at the beginning of the song and before the “Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?” part plus the eerie organ and strange wailing chorus are not the usual fare for a typical radio listener. Then again maybe this is exactly what was needed during that summer of 1981. The song was produced by John Collins who was the mastermind behind the use of the wind sound effects that kick off the song, played on Transcendent 2000 synthesizer. That synth was used by Joy Division on their debut album “Unknown Pleasures” and by Thomas Dolby. One influence for that opening is Joe Meek’s similar opening of the Tornados’ 1962 hit Telstar .

John Collins 1980

Making the song even more unusual is the Clarinet-like synth part played by Jerry Dammers on a Yamaha synth, a middle-eastern riff that first seems out of place but then you realize it is perfect for the song. Somehow all these parts, the horns and the Reggae rhythm section all come together, and the repeated chant of ghost town makes the whole thing an irresistible song. I selected to feature the 12″ version of the song, as it includes a beautiful trombone solo by Rico Rodriguez and additional organ parts by Jerry Dammers, both omitted from the single version.

To close, this is what Terry Hall said about the legacy of Ghost Town in an interview by ITV in 2021:

“Over the years when I’ve watched programs about society, the moment I see Margaret Thatcher’s face I’m waiting for Ghost Town and it always comes on because it’s that sort of song and always will be used as a soundtrack for that. It was a worthy No 1 record. It was at the right time, in the right place and by the right people, even though we were just kids. I’m very proud of it.”

If you enjoyed reading this article, you may also like reading about another social commentary on British life, going back to post-war veterans:

Al Bowlly’s in Heaven, by Richard Thompson

This town, is coming like a ghost town All the clubs have been closed down This place, is coming like a ghost town Bands won’t play no more Too much fighting on the dance floor

Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town? We danced and sang, and the music played in a de boomtown

This town, is coming like a ghost town Why must the youth fight against themselves? Government leaving the youth on the shelf This place, is coming like a ghost town No job to be found in this country Can’t go on no more The people getting angry

This town, is coming like a ghost town This town, is coming like a ghost town This town, is coming like a ghost town This town, is coming like a ghost town

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Categories: Song

Tagged as: 80s , Pop , ska

10 replies »

I am leaving this comment here to inform you that in my Media Studies class we are analysing Ghost Town as our close study product and I am bored as hell with this song no matter the history behind it.

guess you just had to be there its just out of context for you

not so woke then huh

DIS TOWN IS COMIN LIKE A GHOST TOWN

hello media students make sure u follow the chocolate boys all the way to grand champion on RL

hahahahahahhahahahaha flip reset

We all regret taking media then huh

Oh no rip Terry, just passed. An absolute legend. The song was brilliant and unique

Incredible single, an actual classic. It was a great pity the Specials broke up. RIP Terry Hall.

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See inside the crumbling ghost town that was once home to one of America's most successful Black farming communities

  • Dearfield, Colorado, is a tiny abandoned town about an hour northeast of Denver.
  • A century ago, it was home to one of the country's most prosperous Black agricultural communities.
  • Today, its buildings are decaying and organizations are working to preserve the historic site. 

Just northeast of Denver, Colorado, is a little town called Dearfield. A century ago, it was home to one of the country's most prosperous Black agricultural communities.

history behind ghost town

Dearfield was founded in 1910 by entrepreneur Oliver Toussaint (OT) Jackson, who was tired of seeing the lack of economic and social progress for his fellow Black community in Denver, according to Black Past .

"Dearfield was an idea that had been around in Colorado for years before Jackson actually established the townsite," Robert Brunswig, an anthropology professor at the University of Northern Colorado, told Insider. 

But Jackson and his entrepreneurial spirit made it happen. He envisioned an African-American farming community with more than 10,000 people, and his Dearfield dream extended past farming. He hoped to one day have a college and sanatorium, he explained in a letter pitching his idea for Dearfield. It was a sort of experiment at the time, Brunswig explained.

Today it's a ghost town off of highway US 34. The road turns into an unswerving, two-lane road with farmland stretching in every direction as you approach.

history behind ghost town

Dearfield is one of dozens of ghost towns in Colorado. Some were once bustling mining locales , others were abandoned for mysterious reasons, and a handful were successful agricultural hubs for formerly enslaved people seeking economic opportunity. 

If you weren't looking for it, you'd likely drive right past Dearfield, Colorado. A marble sign marks the site and only a handful of buildings stand today.

history behind ghost town

It's a small area, but Dearfield was once a prosperous community that offered Black middle-class people a path to self-sufficiency, anthropology professor Brunswig told Insider. 

"Although we had other communities like Dearfield, Dearfield itself was probably the most persistent and concentrated effort to try to bring African Americans together so they could better their lives," Brunswig said. 

While Dearfield was a popular farming community, it was also regarded as a popular travel destination for people living in nearby Denver, according to 5280 Magazine . Dearfield offered hotel rooms, free camping, places to hunt, and beautiful scenery near the South Platte River. 

On a recent visit to the site, visitors walked past a sign that was the original advertisement with photos of the community.

history behind ghost town

The signs were erected by Brunswig and his colleagues at the University of Northern Colorado, and members from the  Black American West Museum , which owns the property, for Dearfield Day.

The surrounding community is welcomed to the ghost town, and visitors learn about the Dearfield's historic past and tour the few remaining buildings.

Dearfield only lasted 20 or so years, but during that time, the community flourished.

history behind ghost town

Homesteading opportunities and the chance to own land were few and far between for African Americans in Colorado, Brunswig said.

This made Dearfield an attractive, albeit challenging, place to live. 

Although the region had optimal farming conditions, most of Dearfield's residents had never farmed, said George Junne, the coordinator of Africana studies at the University of Northern Colorado. Meanwhile, harsh winters were a challenge and the nearest water source involved an arduous journey.

Many of those challenges fell on the women and children of Dearfield, Junne said, since most of the men spent weekdays working in Denver.

"The reason that Dearfield ultimately fell apart was the same reason that the whole country fell apart," Brunswig said. "We had an economic and environmental collapse."

history behind ghost town

In the early 1930s, rainfall vanished, farmland dried up, and Dearfield became one of the dozens of towns eradicated in the aftermath of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. 

"Dearfield couldn't sustain itself," Brunswig said. "It wasn't a failure of the experiment, it was a failure of not being able to sustain the experiment because of conditions beyond people's control."

The residents left Dearfield for more prosperous destinations.  

Today it's one of the few historically Black agricultural communities with original buildings. While four structures remain, only two are original.

history behind ghost town

Visitors can tour the buildings and on a recent visit, I was even able to step inside to see what remained of the town.

As you walk through the ghost town, each building had its own sign with its history. Here, for example, a sign dives into the history of Dearfield's dance hall.

history behind ghost town

The townsite was once home to churches, a gas station, a general store, a café, and a dance hall. The two buildings that remain are what was formerly a gas station and a hotel. 

Tucked away from the road is Jackson's family home, which was originally built as the Dearfield Lodge.

history behind ghost town

Originally a small hotel that attracted renters, Jackson later decided to make the building his family's house, Junne said. 

The home's floor is deteriorating and layers of paint peel from its walls. In the 1940s, Jackson's niece inherited the home but no one has occupied it since 1973, Junne said. 

The home is filled with rusting relics of what life looked like decades ago.

history behind ghost town

The townsite's artifacts aren't just inside the few remaining buildings. Brunswig, researchers, and students have spent years conducting archeological digs in Dearfield.

Over the years, they've found concrete foundations from what were once homes, pavilions, and other buildings.

A lone ice skate, silverware, broken plates, kerosene lamps, and other relics also offer insight into what society was like in Dearfield. 

Closer to the road is what was once the Dearfield Service Station.

history behind ghost town

Historians estimate that Jackson built this building between 1919 and 1920.

It's located right off the highway, where travelers would stop at Dearfield to fill up both their cars and stomaches at the gas station and lunch room. 

This building hasn't fared as well as Jackson's house. Inside, there's graffiti, and the walls of the building have been removed.

history behind ghost town

The house succumbed to trespassers over the years, Junne said. Tiles had fallen from the bathroom wall, the home's carpet no longer exists, and a skeleton frame of the building remains.

Before it looked like this, Junne said it would've been bustling with travelers.

There are still signs of what the building once was. There's an ice chest in one corner of the room, and the wood beams are stamped with Jackson's name.

history behind ghost town

In 1945, Jackson sold the building, but it remained in service for another few decades until the 1980s, Junne said. 

The filling station stayed open, and its operators built a home and garage next door. Today, those two buildings are also abandoned. 

Next to the old filling station is an abandoned home. Likely built between 1940 and 1950, it isn't part of the original townsite.

history behind ghost town

Rusting metal, molding clothes, and decaying wood fill the floors of the abandoned home.

Behind the home is another building from the mid-1900s, which was once a garage. Today, it's filled with broken glass bottles.

history behind ghost town

One of the last standing buildings is an old, metal garage. An eerie green color casts through its plastic windows, and not much remains today. 

Bolted to the roof is an old sign advertising Dearfield, but it's spelled incorrectly.

history behind ghost town

While the vast majority of Dearfield's residents left in the early 1930s, Jackson and a few others kept Dearfield's lunch room and filling station open for years.

There's also a crumbling wood structure that's hard to ignore. This was originally the Dearfield lunch room, but in 2020, strong winds collapsed the building.

history behind ghost town

The lunch room was built around the same time as the filling station. While cars fueled up on gas, the lunch room served barbeque chicken, pork ribs, and pies. 

Jackson and Minerva ran the café through 1939. In 2020, the building was destroyed in a microburst, which is a type of thunderstorm, Dunne said.

Empty fields were previously home to dance halls, churches, and other family homes.

history behind ghost town

In many ways, Dearfield was ahead of its time and much more integrated than other Black agricultural communities, Junne said. 

A Black baseball team competed against white rivaling teams and the townsite's dance hall was shared by everyone.

"You have Black people and white people on the same dance floor," Junne said. "It a lot of interesting mixes you wouldn't see in other communities and in other parts of the country."

The town represents the idea that motivation, hard work, and thinking big can lead to prosperity, Brunswig said.

history behind ghost town

At the heart of Dearfield was the goal of prosperity. 

"That's what Dearfield was all about, opening up opportunities for yourself, for your children, and your grandchildren," Brunswig said.

Brunswig emphasized that it wasn't without hard work. 

"It took a lot of grit, it took a lot of pain, and a lot of enduring circumstances," he said. "But they saw something beyond what's just in front of their eyes." 

For decades, people like Brunswig, Junne, and others have been working to preserve the few remaining buildings.

history behind ghost town

In 2008, a group of colleagues at the University of Northern Colorado started the Dearfield Committee to promote and restore Dearfield, but even before then, there were efforts to preserve the townsite. 

Brunswig said the current "goal is to eventually turn Dearfield into a historic site with exhibits filling the now-empty buildings."

Today, the Black American West Museum owns the townsite with those same preservation plans in mind. Currently, the group is looking for funding to preserve and protect the two remaining buildings. In August, the University of Northern Colorado received a $500,000 grant toward preservation efforts. However, Brunswig said there's more funding needed.

"The idea is first to preserve and conserve the resource, second is to really broaden our understanding of what Dearfield represented and what its historical importance is," Brunswig said. "And make that a part of our legacy."

history behind ghost town

History of Ghost Town in the Sky

Businessman R. B. Coburn, who was inspired to build a park with a western theme after visiting several ghost towns in the American West, conceived Ghost Town in the Sky.

In 1960, Coburn purchased Buck Mountain in Maggie Valley at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains for the sight of his theme park. Construction began in September of 1960. Over two hundred locals were hired to construct the 40 replica buildings that comprised the Western Town, which is located at the Mountain’s peak. About 120,000 square feet of building space makes up the town, which was completed in May 1961. Approximately 300,000 feet of lumber, 200,000 feet of plywood, and 20,000 pounds of nails went into the construction of Ghost Town.

A double incline railway was also constructed to bring its passengers to the top of Buck Mountain, located more than 3,300 feet up the mountainside. The incline was created with a 25-ton bulldozer attached to a winch secured to another bulldozer, which pulled the bulldozer up the mountain. This impressive feat created an exciting ride to the top of Buck Mountain. The incline carries 48 passengers up and down with varying grades of 30 to 77 percent.

The park opened to the public in June 1961, and since then new rides and attractions have been added throughout the years. Added in the spring of 1962, was the two-seat chairlift, which operates parallel to the Incline Railway. This chairlift is the longest in North Carolina and second longest in the United States. It moves at the rate of 310 feet per minute and scales a 3,370 feet course. Ghost Town has attracted millions of guests throughout the country, with its attendance peaking well over 400,000 visitors annually in the early 1970s. Ghost Town closed its doors in 2003 after 41 years of successful operation. Coburn sold the property to its new owners in August 2006.

Ghost Town’s new owners will operate under Ghost Town Partners LLC. Officers are Allen and Carol Harper, owners of the Bryson City-based Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado. Hank Woodburn of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., founder and president of Adventure Landing, which owns and operates nine family entertainment centers in New York (3), Texas (1), Florida (2), and North Carolina (3); and venture capitalist Peter Hairston of Miami.

The Harpers have extensive experience in amusements, scenic railroads and real estate development. Their railroads are among the nation’s top five scenic railroads in ridership.

Woodburn has over 30 years of experience developing, owning and operating award winning family amusement properties, including a Water Park. Recently, the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions named Adventure Landing properties a winner of the Top Family Entertainment Centers of the World award.

Hairston has been a principal investor in amusement, travel and leisure companies for many years with an extensive background in corporate finance.

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Route 66 Forgotten Ghost Towns & Their Tragic History

  • By Carmela Kris Armilla
  • December 19, 2023
  • In USA Travel

Cruising down Route 66 ignites feelings of free-spirited adventure and possibility. Known as the “Main Street of America,” this iconic highway represents our national spirit of exploration.

The dazzling neon signs, quirky roadside gems, and preserved ruins contain exciting stories of dreamers and pioneers. These snapshots into our past showcase the diversity of American life with tales of ambitious risk-takers chasing their fortunes along this fabled road.

Though some boom towns faded over time, the legacy of ingenuity and perseverance lives on along this storied Mother Road. Route 66 continues to lure modern wanderers to rediscover the excitement and mystic of the open highway. Read on to learn more about its beginnings.

The Heyday of Route 66

During the early 20th century, America underwent rapid growth, and towns sprang up along Route 66 in response.

Drawn by the promise of employment opportunities and fertile land, these towns soon became vibrant stops for tourists seeking gas, food, and rest.

The decline of Route 66, however, began earlier than its official decommissioning in 1985. The development of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s started diverting traffic away from Route 66, gradually diminishing its relevance.

This shift marked the beginning of a slow decline for many towns along the route, a crucial detail that adds depth to the story of Route 66.

Now, let's dive into some of these ghost towns and the sad stories behind them.

1. Glenrio, Texas

In the 1940s and 50s, Glenrio , uniquely positioned on the Texas-New Mexico state line, was a hive of activity, thriving on the steady stream of tourists traveling Route 66.

Glenrio, next to the TX-NM state line on July 11, 2011, was once a thriving collection of motels, restaurants and gas stations on Route 66. Today it is a virtual ghost town

Known for its neon glow in the desert night, Glenrio was a popular overnight stop, offering cool air in the days before air conditioning was common in cars. Glenrio’s unique location also influenced its business practices.

For instance, all fuel sales took place in Texas to avoid New Mexico's higher gasoline taxes. The town, recognized as a Historic District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, marked the beginning of Route 66 in Texas.

However, as Route 66's popularity faded, so did Glenrio. The town went from busy and lively to a place with abandoned buildings. It's a ghost town today, reminding us how quickly good times can change.

2. Lupton, Arizona

Nestled at 6,188 feet, Lupton, Arizona, once flourished as a charming stop along Route 66.

Tee Pee Trading Post against of the red rocks

Situated in Apache County, this small community, with a population of just 191, was a hidden gem offering cooler temperatures and a picturesque setting due to its higher altitude.

In its heyday before 1953, Lupton was buzzing with activity. It was home to lively saloons, cozy motels, and a convenient grocery store catering to the needs of weary travelers. The town's allure was not just in its amenities but also in its small-town atmosphere, standing in contrast to busier Route 66 stops.

However, Lupton's fortunes took a turn for the worse. A devastating fire and the dwindling traffic on Route 66 led to its gradual decline.

The sparse population and remote location added to its fading presence on the historic route.

Today, Lupton is a reflection of Route 66's forgotten tales. Its silent streets and derelict buildings stand as reminders of a once-thriving community, now a shadow of its former self in the legacy of the "Main Street of America.

3. Calico, California

Once a bustling silver mining town in the 1880s, Calico is now a ghost town nestled in the Calico Mountains of the Mojave Desert.

Calico is a ghost town in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Was founded in 1881 as a silver mining town. Now it is a county park.

At its peak, Calico was home to over 3,500 residents and more than 500 mines, producing over $20 million in silver. The town's name reflects the colorful patchwork of the surrounding mountains, mirroring the diversity and vibrancy of life it once held.

Founded in 1881, Calico experienced rapid growth as silver lured prospectors and fortune-seekers. However, with the decline of silver mining, the town's population dwindled, leaving behind a tapestry of abandoned mines and deserted buildings.

Today, as a registered Historical Landmark, Calico Ghost Town serves as a living museum. Visitors can stroll through its streets, imagining the clatter of mining activity and the dreams of its past inhabitants.

4. Two Guns, Arizona

Two Guns , Arizona, is a ghost town that seems ripped from the pages of a Western novel.

Once part of a roadside zoo on Route 66 at Two Guns, Arizona, there is nothing left but ruins

This town, echoing tales from the Old West, witnessed a colorful past marked by Native American clashes, cowboys, and daring entrepreneurs. Its landscape, featuring sprawling canyons, still holds the grandeur of the Wild West.

Originally known as ‘Canyon Lodge,’ Two Guns evolved as Route 66 carved its path through the American landscape. With a bridge across Canyon Diablo in 1938 and modern additions in the 1960s, the town briefly flourished, offering a glimpse of prosperity on the famous highway.

However, its prosperity was short-lived, and today, Two Guns lies quiet, its crumbling buildings and abandoned zoo offering a glimpse into its storied past.

For travelers, Two Guns presents a unique opportunity to explore the remnants of the Old West. It's a place to wander among ruins and feel the echoes of history under the vast Arizona sky.

While you're in Arizona, you may want to check out other highly recommended spots: The Arizona Bucket List: 13 Places You Simply Must Visit

Exploring Route 66's Ghost Towns Today

Route 66 today offers an intriguing travel experience, where the ghost towns of Glenrio, Lupton, Calico, and Two Guns provide a window into a different era.

Now quiet and almost forgotten, these towns still hold the echoes of their vibrant past. Visitors are invited to meander through the abandoned streets and buildings, each with a silent story.

While these towns may have lost their former glory, they remain treasure troves of historical significance. Ideal for those who enjoy a mix of exploration and learning about the past, these ghost towns on Route 66 reveal a unique side of American history.

For more haunting adventures along Route 66, check out our list: 7 Haunted Spots Along Route 66 That Will Terrify You

Honoring the Ghost Towns of Route 66

Driving along Route 66 is an opportunity to experience a different aspect of American history firsthand.

The ghost towns along this iconic highway are more than mere dots on a map; they are living museums, preserving memories of times long gone.

Each town, from Glenrio to Two Guns, is an essential stop for those planning a journey along Route 66. They provide an opportunity to pause and reflect on the dynamic history of the United States.

You might leave with photographs, stories, and reflections on the ever-changing landscape of American life.

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TheTravel

10 Must-Visit Historical Ghost Towns Of The American West

Posted: December 28, 2023 | Last updated: December 29, 2023

  • The historic ghost towns in the American West, such as Grafton and Garnet, offer eerie tourist attractions with a spooky history.
  • These American West ghost towns were once thriving settlements, but economic decline led to their abandonment.
  • Visitors can explore well-preserved buildings and learn about the past of each of these historic ghost towns in the US through self-guided or guided tours.

In bustling towns, laughter fills the air, and the streets teem with life as people go about their daily routines. On the other hand, ghost towns paint a different picture, where deserted streets, abandoned structures, and eerie silence prove that not everything that once thrived has a happy ending. Still, the idea of touring one is oddly satisfying, especially when it has a spooky history tied to it.

The deserted towns of the American West, including the ghost towns in Arizona , make eerie tourist attractions. The history of these old American ghost towns followed a similar path, where they experienced impeccable growth before their source of income, whether mining or farming, declined and the settlements dissipated. Whatever their story, these are some of the many must-visit historic ghost towns of the American West for that paranormal thrill.

Related: 10 Incredible Ghost Towns In Canada To Explore Today

Grafton, Utah

When it was completely abandoned: 1944.

History and breathtaking natural beauty define the once-bustling town of Grafton . Located in Utah near the renowned Zion National Park , Grafton dates back to 1859 when several families cooperated to do agriculture and build homes. Unfortunately, the community suffered raging floods and relocated from their original settlement to the current townsite between 1862 and 1866.

Although the last known resident moved away from the town in 1944, travelers still explore the ghost town of Grafton, which is also the most photographed ghost town of the West . Here, visitors can discover a cemetery and well-preserved buildings, including a schoolhouse constructed in 1886, the 1888 Adobe Russell Home, and the 1907 Ballard Home, among others.

  • Date Founded: 1859
  • Admission Fee: Free
  • Open: Year-round

Garnet, Montana

When it was completely abandoned: early 1940s.

Garnet was once home to about 1,000 people when the gold mining business was booming. This charming town had profitable years in the 1890s as the Nancy Hank Mine worked on and off until the Montana School of Mines declared it dead by 1960. An enormous fire burned nearly half of Garnet and drove it into disrepair until restoration works began in the 1970s. By this time, there was no one to call it home, as miners had to seek employment elsewhere.

Currently, this ghost town boasts over 30 well-preserved buildings, which visitors wander into as they enjoy the Old West Town vibe. While here, travelers can start exploring at the Visitor Center to check out memorabilia before proceeding to the self-guided trails with interpretive signs.

  • Date Founded: 1860s
  • Admission Fee: $3 for adults; Free for visitors under 16 years
  • Visitor Center opening hours: Daily from late May through September from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The route leading to Garnet, just after Bear Gulch Road, is steep, narrow, and bumpy, so it's not suitable for RVs and trailers.

Kennecott, Alaska

When it was completely abandoned: 1938.

Kennecott ghost town still fascinates people with its history . It became a thriving mining town when the Kennecott Mining Corporation came to life in 1903 and established five copper mines. The corporation drew miners with higher salaries and produced about $200 million worth of ore before depleting.

By 1938, Kennecott’s mining successes were history as it became a ghost town, leaving iconic buildings such as the Concentration Mill as a testament to its financial and mining prowess. Tourists tour the ghost town on self-guided tours by following the National Park Service Map or taking an immersive guided tour with St. Elias Guides .

  • Date Founded: 1903
  • Admission Fee: St. Elias Alpine Guides charge Adults (13+) $34 and Children(12-) $17 to access the 14-story Concentration Mill

St. Elias Alpine Guides offers tours from late May to early September

Related: Living History: Inside The Ghost Towns That Are Still Considered 'Home' Today

Rhyolite, Nevada

When it was completely abandoned: 1924.

Rhyolite is a historic ghost town in Nevada with hauntings and legends to explore . It traces its roots back to 1904 when prospectors Shorty Harris and E. L. Cross discovered quartz. The establishment of the Montgomery Shoshone Mine brought more people to the town, who built hotels, a school, stores, two electric plants, and a hospital.

Unfortunately, financial panic brought Rhyolite to its knees as mines ceased operating, banks failed, and mill production slowed, leading to a decrease in population. While walking around town, travelers find remnants of Rhyolite's past, such as the Bottle House, the train depot, and parts of the old jail and bank.

  • Date Founded: 1904
  • Open: Year-round from sunrise to sunset

Melmont, Washington

When it was completely abandoned: in the early 1920s.

Melmont is another American West ghost town in Pierce County, Washington, founded in the early 1900s when the Northwest Improvement Company set up a coal mine in the area. Although little of Melmont’s bustling days remain today, it had a train depot, a saloon, miners’ cottages, a hotel, and a post office.

Melmont gained ghost town status when the mines ceased operating in the early 1920s, and a forest fire raged over what remained. However, an easy hike through the townsite exposes travelers to an old shed used to store dynamite, the foundation of a schoolhouse, and wall structures.

  • Date Founded: 1900

Golden, Oregon

When it was completely abandoned: 1920s.

Golden is one of the many must-visit American West ghost towns; it was abandoned in the 1920s and is known for its fascinating history of building churches instead of saloons like other mining towns. This town dates back to the early 80s when small placer mines found small amounts of gold. However, the Americans who founded the camp pursued greener pastures, and Chinese miners took over, but the founders drove them out years later.

By the 1890s, Golden was a true mining town as hydraulic operations stripped gold off the streams. Today, ghost town enthusiasts stroll around Golden to explore the restored structures, including a former home, a church, a building that housed a store and a post office, and a shed.

  • Date Founded: In the 1890s

Bonanza, Idaho

When it was completely abandoned: around 1910.

Bonanza was the first community settlement in the Yankee Fork area in 1877. By 1881, the population had grown to approximately 600, and the town had a tin shop and a saloon where miners came to celebrate and socialize. However, a fire burned much of Bonanza in 1889, resulting in most residents moving to the nearby town of Custer.

Mining idleness also contributed to its abandonment, but the construction of a gold dredge in 1939 brought new life before collapsing again. The dredge is open seasonally for tours, and a few remaining buildings await history buffs to discover during a walking tour.

  • Date Founded: 1877
  • Open: Summer, Spring, & Fall

Related: Shaniko: Visiting What Is Possibly Oregon's Coolest Ghost Town

Miner's Delight, Wyoming

Miner's Delight is one of Wyoming's earliest towns, founded when miners discovered gold in the area in around 1867. The town offers insight into the state's early history, gold mining culture, and resilience after producing more than $5 million worth of gold ore despite facing closures and the Great Depression.

The townsite preserves several cabins, including one with rusting iron equipment such as an old stove and iron box screens. Travelers access Miner's Delight via a 0.25-mile-long walking trail near Fort Stambaugh Road.

  • Date Founded: 1867

Calico, California

When it was completely abandoned: 1907.

Calico is an old mining town in San Bernardino County, California, established in 1881 due to the discovery of silver ore. However, silver lost value and pushed miners to desert Calico in the 1890s. Subsequently, Calico lost its luster, but Walter Knott bought it in the 1950s and restored the buildings to their former glory.

Today, this town is part of the San Bernardino County Regional Parks, and tourists come here to explore its intriguing history at the Lucy Lane Museum, which displays Calico's relics and old photographs. The Maggie Mine also allows travelers to explore Calico's mining history through its exhibits and displays. Aside from such exhibits, Calico is full of spooks that make it famous .

  • Date Founded: 1881
  • Admission Fee: Adults 12 & over - $10; Youth ages 4 to 11 - $5; Ages 3 and under - Free admission
  • Open: Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Note: Each attraction within Calico charges a different fee

Goldfield, Arizona

When it was completely abandoned: 1898.

During its heyday in the 1890s, Goldfield had three lively saloons, a schoolhouse, a brewery, a general store, and thriving mines. Unfortunately, the grade of ore dropped, and the once bustling community became what is today one of the many Western ghost towns to visit, despite efforts to revive the mines.

Today, this ghost town is a hub for travelers seeking an authentic Wild West adventure as they can witness gunfights performed by the Goldfield Gunfighters from high noon. Additionally, tourists can explore the town's mining history during the Goldfield Mine Tours, led by guides narrating Goldfield's heritage, gold mining procedures, and equipment.

  • Date Founded: 1892
  • Open: Year-round except on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Each attraction charges a different fee in this town.

10 Must-Visit Historical Ghost Towns Of The American West

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The Meaning Behind The Song: Ghost Town by Terry Hall

The meaning behind the song: “ghost town” by terry hall.

“Ghost Town” is a renowned song by Terry Hall, an English musician and songwriter known for his contribution to bands such as The Specials and Fun Boy Three. Released in 1981, this haunting track became an influential anthem within the realm of British ska and new wave music. The song’s lyrics and atmospheric melodies intertwine to convey a profound message that resonates with listeners even years after its release.

Table of Contents

The meaning behind “Ghost Town” reflects the societal and economic struggles experienced in Great Britain during the early 1980s. It serves as a commentary on the decline of industrial towns, rising unemployment rates, and the resulting urban decay. By utilizing evocative imagery and a desolate musical backdrop, Terry Hall effectively captures the desolation and despair felt by many communities during that period.

Frequently Asked Questions about “Ghost Town” by Terry Hall

1. what inspired terry hall to write “ghost town”.

Terry Hall drew inspiration from the bleak reality of the British urban landscape during the early 1980s. Witnessing the closure of local businesses, high unemployment rates, and widespread social unrest prompted him to create a song that reflected the harsh realities of the time.

2. Why is “Ghost Town” considered a significant song in British music history?

“Ghost Town” is revered as a significant song as it encapsulates the social and economic turmoil of the era. Its success and critical acclaim stem from its ability to resonate with listeners, provoking thought and reflection on the state of society at the time. The song became an important anthem that addressed pressing issues and helped ignite conversations about the impact of economic decline.

3. How did the music and lyrics complement each other in “Ghost Town”?

The music in “Ghost Town” features a brooding and melancholic atmosphere, which acts as a sonic reflection of the decaying urban landscape being depicted through the lyrics. The haunting melodies, accompanied by the poignant and introspective lyrics, create a captivating synergy that enhances the song’s overall impact.

4. Did “Ghost Town” achieve commercial success?

Yes, “Ghost Town” achieved significant commercial success. It topped the charts in the United Kingdom and remained in the top 40 for several weeks. The song’s popularity was not only limited to the UK; it gained recognition and appreciation globally, solidifying its status as an influential piece of music.

5. How did “Ghost Town” influence future musicians and genres?

“Ghost Town” played a crucial role in shaping the music landscape of the future. Its fusion of reggae, ska, and new wave elements paved the way for the emergence of various subgenres, such as two-tone and alternative rock. Additionally, its social and political themes left an indelible mark on subsequent generations of musicians, inspiring them to create music that addresses pertinent issues in society.

6. Were there any controversies surrounding the release of “Ghost Town”?

Yes, there were controversies surrounding the release of “Ghost Town.” The song’s politically charged lyrics and critique of the government’s actions during the economic decline era stirred debates and discussions. Some radio stations initially refused to play it due to fears of inciting social unrest, while others welcomed it as an important statement against prevailing issues.

7. How did “Ghost Town” resonate with listeners during the 1980s?

“Ghost Town” struck a chord with listeners by providing a voice to the frustrations and hardships experienced by many during the 1980s. Its relatability and emotional depth resonated with those affected by the economic decline, unemployment, and social inequality, offering solace and solidarity through the power of music.

8. Did Terry Hall collaborate with any other artists for the creation of “Ghost Town”?

While Terry Hall is the primary songwriter of “Ghost Town,” the song was a collaboration between members of The Specials, with contributions from Jerry Dammers and John Bradbury. Their combined musical skills and distinct perspectives enriched the final product, resulting in the impactful composition we know today.

9. Can “Ghost Town” be interpreted differently by different listeners?

Absolutely. Like any great work of art, “Ghost Town” can be interpreted in multiple ways, reflecting the diversity of listener experiences. Some may focus on the socio-economic aspects, while others may connect with its themes of isolation, nostalgia, or the broader human experience. Its universal qualities allow for personal interpretations and emotional connections unique to each listener.

10. What is the legacy of “Ghost Town” in contemporary music?

The legacy of “Ghost Town” in contemporary music is marked by its enduring impact and continued relevance. Today, it remains a symbol of resilience, artistic expression, and the power of music to address societal issues. Its influence can be heard in various genres, and its message continues to inspire musicians to create songs with depth and substance.

11. Did “Ghost Town” receive any awards or critical recognition?

Yes, “Ghost Town” received critical acclaim and garnered recognition through accolades such as the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. Its success was not limited to awards; it is widely regarded as one of the most important songs in British music history.

12. How has “Ghost Town” evolved in live performances over the years?

Throughout the years, “Ghost Town” has developed into a powerful live performance piece, often used to reflect the changing social and political climate. Different musicians and bands have covered the song, adding their own interpretations and styles. Its resonance and continued relevance have allowed it to grow and adapt to new generations of listeners.

With its profound lyrics, haunting melodies, and thought-provoking social commentary, “Ghost Town” remains an enduring symbol of the struggles faced by communities during a tumultuous period in British history. The song’s lasting impact and continued relevance ensure its place as a quintessential piece of music that transcends time and inspires listeners to reflect on societal issues.

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Unified Treasure

Ghost Towns: Abandoned Places With A Dark Past

Abandoned places are interesting whether they’re in your own backyard or halfway around the world. There’s something about exploring a place that has been left behind by people, animals, or both that’s just thrilling. 

Some of these ghost towns have dark pasts, while others simply fell out of favor with time. 

Here are 10 abandoned places around the world that you won’t want to miss:

Table of Contents

Shaytown, Manitoba

Shaytown was a mining town in Manitoba founded by Shay Askin in 1907. The town had a population of about 500 people at its peak, and the mine operated until 1961 when it closed down due to poor productivity. 

At that point, the residents moved away from Shaytown and the mine collapsed into itself.

Today, you can still see many remnants of this abandoned town if you look hard enough. There are collapsed buildings, mineshafts full of water and even an old cemetery where some of the former inhabitants were buried (though some bodies have been moved).

“The wild west was a place of adventure, lawlessness, and opportunities, and its abandoned ghost towns offer a glimpse into its fascinating history. Learn more about the stories behind these deserted towns in our article on the fascinating history of ghost towns in the wild west .”

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia is a town in Pennsylvania that was once home to over 2,000 people. Then, in 1962, an underground coal fire started and has since been burning for more than five decades. This led to the evacuation of Centralia as well as its surrounding areas. 

The area is now a tourist attraction because of this unique history, but there are still some residents who refuse to leave their homes behind.

Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni is a city in Bolivia, located in the west of the country. It is the capital of the department of Potosi and has an estimated population of 9,000 inhabitants.

The town was founded on May 1, 1899 by President Andrés Córdova and named after him until December 3, 1917 when it was renamed Uyuni as part of a campaign to change all towns’ names that had “C” at their beginning (for example: Carlos Gardel).

Bodie, California

One of the most picturesque towns in California, Bodie was a gold rush town that dates back to 1859. The town was abandoned in 1942, and now stands as a state park and tourist destination. It’s also been used as a filming location for movies and television shows, including Gunsmoke and Django Unchained.

Namie, Japan

Located along the coast of Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan, Namie was once home to over 20,000 people. 

However, following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and subsequent evacuation order, Namie became a ghost town and is now completely abandoned. 

Once an active fishing village with vibrant markets and popular restaurants, today it is desolate and almost completely devoid of life. In fact, many believe that if you enter the town limits after dark with no official reason for being there (such as working on cleanup efforts), you will be arrested by police or military personnel patrolling the area.

“Exploring abandoned buildings can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for urban adventurers. Discover the treasures and mysteries hidden in these forgotten places with our guide on exploring abandoned buildings in search of lost treasures .”

Pyramiden, Norway

If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, Pyramiden might not be the best choice. It’s not just an empty village it’s an empty town. Located on Svalbard Island in Norway, this one-time mining camp was founded by Sweden in 1910 and now sits abandoned as a tourist attraction.

The island was once home to over 1,000 people who were employed by two coal mines operated by Sweden and Russia during the Cold War era (1946-1994). 

After the Soviets sold their share of the mines in 1992, however, no one had much need for Pyramiden anymore. By 1998 all residents had left the town and it has been uninhabited ever since…except for tourists who visit every summer season (May through September).

Varosha, Northern Cyprus

Varosha is a ghost town in Northern Cyprus. It was once a popular tourist destination, but it has been abandoned since 1974. 

The reason for its abandonment is the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. As a result, Varosha’s population dropped from 40,000 to 300 by the end of 1974. Today, there are only two inhabitants: one Turkish Cypriot and one Greek Cypriot (who lives in his mother’s house).

The capital city of Nicosia has been divided into two parts since 1960: Northern Cyprus and Southern Cyprus. 

The border between them runs through Nicosia’s center street and separates the divided cities into northern part (North Nicosia) and southern part (South Nicosia). 

Varosha lies within North Nicosia on what used to be called Green Line before 1975 war broke out due to Greek-Turkish tension over sovereignty over island nation called Republic Of Cyprus which resulted into bloody civil war known as “Cyprus Conflict” that lasted till year 2004 when United Nations stepped in order resolve dispute peacefully but failed miserably due to stubbornness both sides had towards each other – they didn’t listen what UN wanted done so UN withdrew from negotiations process which led…”

“The ruins of a once-thriving town can hold a lot of secrets and tell a unique story of its rise and fall. Join us in exploring the abandoned ruins of a once-thriving town and discover the history behind its deserted buildings and streets.”

Slab City, California

The Slabs is a former military camp located in the Sonoran Desert near Niland, California. It was founded in World War II as Camp Dunlap and later became a Marine Corps Air Station. 

After the war ended, it was abandoned until the 1950s when it became a private landowner’s property. 

The landowner sold off parcels of land to those looking for cheap places to live in peace and solitude.

The residents at Slab City are mostly retired military servicemen who like camping out on this desolate piece of land where there is no electricity or water supply; just them, their RVs, vans and campers with everything they need including food and gas generators for electricity.

St. Thomas, Nevada

In 1857, a group of silver prospectors established St. Thomas as a camp for mining operations. The town grew to about 1,000 residents by the mid-1880s and boasted its own newspaper and post office. 

The population dwindled after the silver mines closed around 1900 and St. Thomas was abandoned in the 1960s except briefly re-inhabited by hippies in the 1970s until it became a ghost town once again today.

Panjin Red Beach, Liaoning Province, China

Panjin Red Beach is a beach in Panjin, Liaoning Province, China. It’s located near the city of Panjin and has been abandoned since the early 2000s. 

The red colour of this beach comes from a mixture of sand and algae. There are many abandoned buildings around the beach which have been left over from different times throughout history. 

“Ghost towns have long been a subject of fascination, and their mysteries and legends have intrigued people for generations. Take an in-depth look into the mystery and legend of ghost towns with our comprehensive article on the myths and stories behind these abandoned places.”

Craco, Italy

Craco is a ghost town in the Italian region of Basilicata. The town was abandoned in 1963 after being buried by a landslide. It was first inhabited as early as 1000 BC and flourished during Roman times when it was an important centre for the production of ceramics. 

In 1657, as part of a local feud between noble families, Craco was destroyed by fire and subsequently rebuilt using stone from nearby slopes. 

Over time, however, residents began to leave due to frequent earthquakes that caused landslides from surrounding hills onto town streets (and sometimes into buildings). 

By 1963 when it was finally abandoned due to one such landslide which buried almost half its houses under mud only around 300 people remained there. 

Since then only 15 people have lived there year-round; they mainly make their living growing olives and olive oil but also offer guided tours through their homes so visitors can see what life would’ve been like had they never left this eerie place!

Ordos Kangbashi – Ordos City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China

Ordos Kangbashi is a new city in Inner Mongolia, China. It was planned to have one million residents but only has around 50,000 residents now. Ordos Kangbashi is one of the most famous ghost cities in China.

The construction of Ordos Kangbashi began in 2003 and the city was completed in 2009 with the aim to create a new urban area full with modern buildings and skyscrapers that would attract wealthy people from other areas of China. 

The government built infrastructure like schools, hospitals and shopping malls as well as residential buildings which were sold for large amounts of money to investors who wanted to move there from big cities such as Beijing or Shanghai where there were more opportunities for employment compared to smaller towns like Ordos (which didn’t have any industry).

“Exploring the abandoned buildings of a ghost town can be a thrilling adventure, but it can also be a dangerous one. Learn about the precautions you need to take before embarking on such an adventure in our guide on exploring the abandoned buildings of a ghost town – a first-hand account . Stay safe while satisfying your curiosity.”

Now, you know some of the most eerie and fascinating ghost towns in the world. There are so many more that we could have included on this list, but we wanted to focus on places that had interesting stories behind them. We hope you enjoyed reading about these places as much as we did researching them!

Further Reading

For more information on abandoned towns and ghost towns, check out these articles:

CNN Travel – 10 of the world’s most fascinating abandoned towns – Explore abandoned towns from around the world and learn about their fascinating histories.

Reader’s Digest – 13 Real-Life Ghost Towns Around the World You Can Actually Visit – Discover ghost towns from all over the world that you can visit and explore for a spine-tingling adventure.

Country Living – The Spookiest Ghost Towns in America – Get to know some of the spookiest and eeriest ghost towns in America that are sure to send shivers down your spine.

What is an abandoned town?

An abandoned town is a place that was once inhabited but has been deserted or left to decay due to various reasons such as natural disasters, economic decline, or human-made disasters.

What is a ghost town?

A ghost town is a town that has been abandoned and left to decay or ruin. Often, ghost towns are associated with legends, myths, and eerie stories that have made them popular among explorers and adventure seekers.

Why do people explore abandoned towns and ghost towns?

Exploring abandoned towns and ghost towns can provide a sense of adventure and thrill for those who enjoy urban exploration. Additionally, abandoned towns and ghost towns often have unique histories and stories that are worth learning about.

What are some safety precautions to take when exploring abandoned towns and ghost towns?

When exploring abandoned towns and ghost towns, it is important to take safety precautions such as wearing appropriate clothing, carrying necessary gear, and avoiding unsafe structures. It is also recommended to explore with a group and inform someone of your plans.

Are there any abandoned towns or ghost towns that are open for visitors?

Yes, many abandoned towns and ghost towns around the world are open for visitors. However, it is important to check if they are accessible and safe to visit before embarking on any exploration.

Hi there! My name is Hellen James , and I’m here to talk to you about treasure hunting. I’ve been a fan of treasure hunting ever since I was a kid, and if you’re a fan of treasure hunting or just like the idea of finding a long-lost fortune, then this blog is for you.

Uncovering PA

7 Ghost Towns in PA You Can Still Visit

Ghost towns in PA

Thanks to Pennsylvania’s long industrial history, the state is filled with communities that have come and gone throughout the years. While many of these ghost towns in PA have completely disappeared, a few still exist in the woods and along the roadways of the state.

While there are plenty of abandoned places in PA , these ghost towns take it to another level with many interesting spots to explore.

Here are a few of my favorite Pennsylvania ghost towns and a bit of the history behind them.

Buckled sidewalk in the PA ghost town of Centralia.

There is probably no ghost town in PA that’s more famous than Centralia .

Located in Columbia County in the state’s northeastern corner, Centralia was a bustling coal mining community until the coal seam below the borough caught on fire in 1962. Within a few decades, Centralia was nearly abandoned, though a few hearty souls still live there.

While nearly all of the community has been torn down, it’s still interesting to drive the city streets and see the curbs, sidewalks, and stairwells that lead nowhere.

Sadly, the famous Graffiti Highway was recently destroyed by the owners of that parcel of land, but the rest of this famous PA ghost town is still worth checking out.

A sign for Pithole, one of the ghost towns in PA

The community of Pithole (Charming name, huh?) was founded during the oil boom in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Pithole was laid out in May 1865 after oil was discovered nearby. Land speculators and would-be oil barons quickly scooped up the land and a town as built around them. By December 1865, 20,000 people called Pithole, PA home.

At its peak, Pithole featured more than 50 hotels, three churches, the world’s first oil pipeline, a newspaper, a theater, and a railroad. Pithole became known as a rough and tumble town reminiscent of the communities of the Wild West.

Historic photo of the Pennsylvania ghost town of Pithole

Pithole’s history was short-lived, however. As the oil boom began to wane, banks collapsed and a fire hit the community, Pithole’s population quickly collapsed with only 2,000 residents in the community by December 1866. By the census of 1870, less than 250 people lived in Pithole.

Today, Pithole is just an empty field near Oil Creek State Park. A visitor center is located at the corner of town which offers a fascinating look at this short-lived community. The old streets of Pithole are regularly mowed, allowing visitors to move through this ghost town.

PA Ghost town of Scotia ruins in the woods

Located near State College, Scotia was once a mining community that supported both the nearby iron industry and, later, Carnegie Steel operations.

Today, the land that was once Scotia has been reclaimed by nature and is now part of State Game Lands 176 in Centre County.

While much of this Pennsylvania ghost town has disappeared, there are still remnants if you know where to look for them. The largest still-remaining area consists of several concrete buildings that once served the mining operations, as well as the old railroad grade.

If you walk through the forested trails of the Scotia Barrens, you might even find more hidden ruins of this ghost town.

Rausch Gap is another abandoned Pennsylvania town that got its start as a coal mining community.

Located in Lebanon County near the Appalachian Trail, Rausch Gap was formed in 1828. The community flourished, growing to as many as 1,000 residents, but was gone by 1910.

Today, the ruins of the community can be found in St. Anthony’s Wilderness along a great rail trail.

There isn’t much left of Rausch Gap, though there are a few building foundations that can be found as well as a cemetery.

Yellow Dog Village

Homes in the ghost town of Yellow Dog Village near Kittanning, Pennsylvania

Of all the places on this list, Yellow Dog Village might be the most like what you think of when you think of ghost towns.

Yellow Dog Village was constructed in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, in the first decades of the 20th century to support the mines that were right outside of town.

Even as the mines closed, the community continued until it finally became abandoned in the early 2000s.

Home in Yellow Dog Village surrounded by underbrush

Today, the town’s owners are maintaining it as a small farm and allow visitors to come in on select dates to explore the grounds.

Petroleum Centre

Petroleum Center Self-Guide Trail in Oil Creek State Park, Pennsylvania

Petroleum Centre is another oil-boom community that once thrived in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Petroleum Centre was founded in 1866 and was once home to as many as 3,000 people. The community even hosted President Ulysses S. Grant in 1871. However, by 1873, the town was essentially abandoned.

Today the land where Petroleum Centre once sat is now part of Oil Creek State Park . The park has created a walking tour around the former center of town that showcases the history of the area.

Sadly, the community has been almost completely lost with only the old bank steps still visible from the road.

Concrete City

Concrete City in Nanticoke Pennsylvania

Concrete City is an abandoned town in PA’s Luzerne County. It was constructed in the early 20th century as company housing for the DL&W Railroad.

There were a total of 20 duplexes in the community, so 40 carefully selected workers were chosen to move into the homes with their families. In 1924, an attempt was made to demolish the community, but the strong construction made this difficult enough that it was never done.

Today, Concrete City sits abandoned and regularly draws in locals and visitors alike. While I’m unsure of the legality of visiting the site, I do know that people regularly do visit. Proceed at your own caution if you opt to check out this site.

Do you have a favorite Pennsylvania ghost town that we didn’t include on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for more abandoned places to visit? Check out Eastern State Penitentiary in Philly , Carrie Furnace in Pittsburgh , and the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike in Central PA .

Click the map to see more nearby things to do

Map of things to do in Pennsylvania

More great places to visit in Pennsylvania

6 Great Reasons to Visit Scranton’s Nay Aug Park

6 Great Reasons to Visit Scranton’s Nay Aug Park

Hidden History: The Abandoned Yellow Dog Village Near Kittanning, PA

Hidden History: The Abandoned Yellow Dog Village Near Kittanning, PA

Pennsylvania Waterfalls: How to Get to Rattlesnake Falls in Lackawanna County

Pennsylvania Waterfalls: How to Get to Rattlesnake Falls in Lackawanna County

Visiting Wheatland, the Lancaster County Home of President James Buchanan

Visiting Wheatland, the Lancaster County Home of President James Buchanan

Explore the many regions of pennsylvania.

Jim Cheney of UncoveringPA

Jim Cheney is the creator of UncoveringPA.com. Based in Carlisle near Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited, written about, and photographed all 67 counties in the state. He has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.

102 thoughts on “7 Ghost Towns in PA You Can Still Visit”

Eckley miners village

I thought about including them, but people live there and it’s run as a well-maintained historical site, so it’s not really a ghost town in my opinion.

Laquin on Barcley Mountain in Bradford County is abandoned and use to be a booming logging community there’s a cemetery thats supposedly haunted by the people that died there from the plague.

What about the old amuzment park village in Shohola pa ?

I use to go to ghost town on a picnic and on rides. I don’t know where in PA. If remember right we went swing too, I think. We lived in the poconos

I’m from Luzerne County. There are many haunted houses in the area. A person can sense the distress when one walks into an empty old house. Coal mining was a tough life

Do you know Dallas? I lived there summer of 1970. Can’t find where I lived. It was a trailer park with a pond across the street. We would walk an hour or so to a school at the end of a road. It’s all I remember. Wish I could find it.

Eileen – Was it Freeman’s Trailer Park in Beaumont?

Weatherly cemetary

What about black diamond in schuylkill county

In Saint Anthony’s Wilderness you can also find foundations and cellar holes in Rattling Run on the old stagecoach road accessible from the rail trail via an old incline or from the Appalachian trail, inside state game lands (the same as Rausch Gap).

Another town in the same game lands is Yellow Springs, a small mining town near the mountain top.

At Rausch Gap there are cellar holes near the rail trail on the uphill side you can find by following the old road bed that goes past the stream mitigation project upstream from the rail trail bridge and you can find the foundations of a railroad engine repair shed. Following a path that goes downhill by the creek you can pass flat stone foundations for the buildings from a farm including the well and by going further you reach the old cemetery.

Do you have anything on (West) Winfield, PA?

Two villages in Centre County is Poe Patty a lumbering community, on Penns Creek in Seven Mountains, which is now a state park. There are no buildings there. Also Orvistan which I believe was once a lumbering community as well. There are buildings and some families. It’s my understanding most of the houses became hunting lodges.

Orviston was a brick making company town too.

Orviston was once a booming brickyard. A few of the old brick homes have been turned into hunting camps, but 90% of the “town” is still residential. It consists to 3 “streets” Blue Row, Front Street and Back Street. There are remnants of the old brick yard at the end of front street and back street which is a circle. There’s one way in and one way out of the town of Orviston for visitors that aren’t familiar with the area. As a kid I had family that lived there so I was there quite often, my aunt used to own the only store in the town which has unfortunately been turned into a hunting camp after she sold it, so there’s now no stores, there used to be a post office/motel as well which has now also been turned into residential apartments. I still know 90% of the people that live in the little “town” and I still ride up there occasionally and go out over the mountain which is accessible at the end of town. There also used to be an old railroad that ran through there for the brickyard and in the mountains there was coal mining too, you can still see remnants of the old railroad and a railroad tunnel from back in the coal mining days. You’ve got to be a local to find your way around on the mountain though to know where to find these things and to avoid getting lost.

Masten, Pa. Along Pleasant stream. Site of a small logging town, saw mill and CCC camp. One terminus of the Old loggers path

Harry, is there a boy scout camp on the other side of the stream? Also, are there several small stone markers where the residence lived? Thanks for your help.

Onnalinda in Pennsylvania is an old coal mining town. Above Beaverdale PA. Houses all gone except 3 and the three houses have families living in them whom are relatives.This town is in Cambria County.

My dad grew up in Onalinda and Beaverdale. He was born in Saint Michael in 1917. Graduated from Adams High School. (Forest Hills)

Do you have any other info on Onnalinda? My great grandparents lived there. I’ve been trying to find out where they might have been buried. Thank you!

Barclay, in Bradford County, was a coal mining community in the late 1800s. My great great grandparents lived there after arriving from England. I think there is an old cemetery there.

Yes it’s all that’s left. The land is part of state game lands

Worked many times around Barclay reclaiming the mine lands… The cemetery is creepy, graves that were swallowed by the mine cave-ins… Many old foundations throughout the woods…

What was once known as the town of Alvira PA, is now known as State Game Lands number 252. During WWII the land was seized by the army and used as an army ordnance.

That’s a great spot. I just decided not to include it since there really isn’t anything from the town left there, minus the cemetery.

Jim Cheney, I beg to differ about you saying there isn’t anything of the Town left in Alvira, PA. I live within miles of there still, as I also grew up within miles from there. I have walked that area many times. Walked the Cemeteries. Been inside the bunkers. They also have at least one day a year, where they open it up for complete tours.

There are also still some foundations there. Even a Church called The Stone Church is still standing and throughout the year, hold special occasions where you can go inside. The Stone Church is located in the center of the White Deer Valley, and was a focal point for the communities at that time. It, six cemeteries and not sure how many bunkers are all that is left of Alvira and the ordnance. The round bunkers alone are something to see as some of them are opened and you can walk inside. You can yell inside and the echo is something else.

Anybody who hasn’t visited this lost Town, is missing out.

The foundations of all the houses are still visible, some with a bit more. So are traces of the streets. The Presbyterian Church cemetery, one of the oldest in the county is still there, with headstones back to colonial times. The Reformed Church and Cemetery are still standing. The Baptist Church, just outside the area seized for the Ordnance grounds is still a working church. The Old Stone (Lutheran) church is on part of the Ordnance area later taken for the Allenwood Federal Prison, and is open on special occasions to the public. Then there’s the bunkers. They tie Alvira to Alamagordo. The first nuclear waste from the atom bomb program was stored in several of the Alvira bunkers. You really need to revisit the area. Way more fascinating and with much more to see than Centralia.

What about Wierham know my dad used to go there for groceries with parents in horse and buggy

They forced out the residents,my great grandmother had a good sized chicken farm there .where my grandmother grew up.cemetery is definitely haunted.

The main road leading to the west side of the gamelands is named Elvia Road. There are two old cemeteries at the end of road, some of the head stone date back to the 1700’s.

Barcly MTN had a old coal town the cemetery is still there

Super informative, Thanks for sharing ..

Landrus, pa between arnot and morris run pa

Correction: Landrus is between Arnot and Morris, PA. Morris Run is over beyond Blossburg, so it is on the eastern side of US Rt 15. In the 1970’s, we used to ride horses thru the woods to the top of the tipple at Landrus. There is a turn out off the road in the valley from Arnot to Morris.

I lived in PA most of my early years and some of my adult life, never heard about the ghost towns. I find them intriguing as I went to a few out west. I always wondered why the people left and and what their lives were like in their heyday. Thank you for sharing them. Keep up the great work.

My mom was born in 1925 in a booming town in Butler County called West Winfield. (About half an hour north of Pittsburgh) Most of the men there worked in the limestone mine. My grandpa worked his way up to foreman. We used to drive through there and my mom would tell us where she and her friends used to live, where the churches were, where the hotel used to be, etc. It was always so interesting. There are still a few remnants of foundations and local historians have put together photos and stories about the town that used to be there. It is fascinating!

In the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s Concrete City was used for enclosed space fire training for the local fire companies. I think the County owned it then but I don’t about now.

I don’t know if this is considered a ghost town, but there was once a village at Hickory Run State Park. There is still a chapel and a cemetery. It was wiped out by a flood, many of the villagers were killed in the flood and it was eventually abandoned.

Another ghost town is Fricks Lock in Chester County. They forced everyone to move out of their homes so they could build the limerick power plant.

Warnertown in NE Pa. It was a logging town as well as an ice farming town that supplied ice to hospals along the east coast. Now part of Tobyhanna state part, it was used for Army artilery training from WW1 through WW2. The area just went through a major clean up because unexploded ordinance was found there.

Crumb Pa was once a logging town. Nothing but some gravestones left.

Not far from my house very haunted area

Hi there ! Is this in Somerset County near Central City? Visit it often. The place has a haunted vibe. I would love to know more on the history!!

lately but i have to go thar soon thar are old graves stones tharr crumb is near central city pa i use to go there often but i haven/t been thare lately i know thare old grave stones thaire that you can’t read the names

Lived within walking distance of Crumb…still old logging railroad right-Of-Ways and a few foundations

McIntyre was an old mining town in the late 1800s. There are some old foundations and a cemetery. Located in McIntyre Township near Ralston, PA

I was raised In Ralston went to school there as a child gram lived by the cemetery trains went by our house

I remember some years ago visiting the cemetery there and seeing the foundation of a former band shell perched on a rock on the edge of a cliff.

There was one by allenwood pa it’s now the state game lands the us government came in and took the land from them in ww2 to make TNT the bunkers you can still go it’s right by where the allenwood federal prison is i have heard there is still buildings ba k there but have not seen anything YET!!!!

I have a whole article on the Alvira Bunkers. Other than the bunkers and a cemetery, though, I don’t believe there is anything left.

There are definitely foundations, steps, the Stone Church, and 2 cemeteries left from Alvira.

One foundation is octagonal, it was probably a silo. Some are easily seen from the SGL roads that you can walk or bike along.

Peale near winburne, pa is a cool spot I used to hunt in. You can still find the original maps online and many foundations survived. I haven’t been there in some time so I’m not sure if anyone ever cleared it for new construction.

My aunt lived in Bull Run . Is it still around?

Robinson/Robindale was an old factory town near Seward west of Johnstown that was abandoned after the Flood of 1977.

Would visit family, with my Grandmom.Up in mountains.Stream in front house Railroad. Passed front of house.Could see smoke stacks. Coal mining town & logging.Thats what my Grandfather did.Lost his thumb in Saw mill.Stayed in Gettysburg, Allentown, Coatsville,Burnham.ect.Family came to Pa. from Stockholm. Grand mother moved to Md. Many did for work.

Another vote for Fricks Locks. Homes are still standing. Truly a PA ghost town because of Limerick.

Helvetia was a small coal mining and power plant company town in Clearfield County. The mine coal seam declined and the power company closed the plant in about 1952. There is still a small church and remains of the company store. My father worked in the power plant and we lived in a company house.

I recall knowing folks from Helvetia heard they took it off the map a few decades ago

Celestia in Sullivan County PA

Ricketts also…..I live in Lopez

I Love Lopez, and swimming at Sulfur

In I believe it is either Prospect park or Ridly in PA. is a hidden town.

Do u know where or what it’s called

I was thrilled to see Pithole on the list! I now live in Nevada, but I worked at Pithole as a tour guide when I was in high school many years ago. I worked at Drake Well in the winter and was well versed in the history of the oil region. Thanks for sharing.

Fall Brook in Tioga County some foundations left and a cemetery that is pretty cool lots of immigrants from Europe buried there whole families from a Scarlet fever epidemic !

Laurel Run, PA My dad was born there and mine fires still burn today from what I have read.

My mom grew up in Laurel Run, PA. I have read that the fires did/do burn from underground, as I understand it? Not sure what if anything is still there, but I know Laurel Run had to be evacuated in the (early?) 1960’s due to the danger of the fires.

Yes it still runs as they have opened it up to the public as record you can go swimming there as they have sand along the bank and boat and fish and they even have a camp site now people go there all year round .I live in Fayetteville,Pa just about an hour from this place

How about Fallbrook in Bradford or Tioga county. Masten in Lycoming county. I think Fallbrook was. Coal strip mining area. Masten I’m pretty sure was lumber…both were good sized towns with nothing left now but a few foundations and some old roads. Then there’s one on top of a mountain near Ralston, PA. I know the name but can’t think of it. My friend’s Italian immigrant family lived up there and ran a boarding house. All that’s left are foundations and a cemetery as well as the adits to some of the coal mines.

Did you ever remember the name?

What about Edgerton, PA?

My Dad grew up in a town called Ralphton, near Somerset, PA. When I left PA about 40 years ago, there were still a few houses left, and some ruins.

I used to drive through Centralia on way to Shamokin,Pa where my husband used to live. I remember it when they were trying to get the people to move out. finally they all went.

there is an old lumbering town near Coudersport pa, it’s called Mina….it use to be a large town. It has a cemetery, which you can barely see anymore, and the houses are all gone. Not sure if one can go up the road anymore as the road is fading away.

In Warren County was located the town of Corydon, PA. For the majority of the time it’s located at the bottom of the Allegany Reservoir, but every once in a while when the reservoir is lowered for the winter months, the town is accessible on foot. The paved main street (complete with yellow pavement paint) can still be seen, along with several foundations and the remnants of the town cemetery including some old grave stones left behind. It’s not always accessible, but it’s a neat place to visit when it is.

Curtin, PA. My 2x great Grandfather was born there. There are some surviving houses, a mill and a museum commemorating the small community.

When my husband was still living, we loved going to Landrus and Fallbrook. It was fun imagining how they were laid out.

Can’t say that it’s my favorite only because it’s the only abandoned place I’ve ever been to and that would be Centralia Pennsylvania. It was probably one of the most amazing places I visited time and time again! It left a very special place in my heart. It leaves you with a Feeling of peace yet sadness at the same time! It will always be my number one place

Fricks Locks Historic District or more simply Frick’s Lock is an abandoned village, along the also abandoned Schuylkill Canal, in the northeast portion of East Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. This 18th-century village outlasted the canal, being abandoned in the late 20th century with the construction of the adjacent Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. The village on about 18 acres of land were listed as a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.[2] Frick’s Locks is considered a modern ghost town and, although private property, attracts visitors.

I was born in a small coal mining town, Madera, Pa… Before the 1970’s it was thriving two grocery stores, two 5&10, bank, gas station, Farms, post office, dentist, doctor office, theater, schools a Moose, VFW, Hotel, Insurance business, two beauty shops, coal tipple and many working mines and Sewing factory and other people with small home skills like shoe cobbler. After the unions came in the sewing factory and coal bottomed out the town starter to die. A lot of the kids went to college and never returned,and others left for jobs . No jobs to bring them back to the area the town was left with aging people or others who were to poor to leave or some who could find a job. The town is still there but there are no stores no bank and mail is delivered to the few that remain. It is so sad now.

Crum in shade Township pa you can find many foundations remaining and the famous haunted Crum cemetery the town had supposedly burned down

Shenandoah Woods in Warminster…

Lumber City- Once a small town near Curwensville, Pa (Clearfield County). The town was vacated several years ago so the could build Curwensville Dam where boating and summertime activities are carried in now.

How could I get permission from the owner of Yellow Dog to visit>

The article linked within this piece has all the info about how to request permission.

I grew up in Armstong County we use call Yellowdog , mutesville

The old Logging town of Hampton in Fayette County. It’s where Indian Creek flows into the Tough. There is not much left but some foundations, sidewalks an old railroad tressle. You used to be able to access it via the Hawkins Hollow road, but that was closed to the public 15 years ago or so. Today it can be accessed via bike or walking the Indian Creek Valley Trail.

As you go under the under pass and up the hill near Horseshoe Curve there was a town called Glenwhite in Blair County you can only see ruminants of foundations.

Back in the 1960’s, my church group visited Cook’s Forest in Northwestern, Pa. A group of us took one of the trails and got lost in a ghost town. There were around 8 houses still standing and we went into a couple of them. There were still plates on the table as though they got up from dinner and left everything behind. I’ve never heard anything about this place since. Did we all have a hallucination? Or is there really something there?

Peale, PA, Clearfield County. Located near Grassflat, PA. Many of the houses in Peale were moved to Grassflat. They are currently doing mine reclimation in the area.

What about Eldora Park in Washington County, in Carroll Township between Donora and Monongahela. It had rides, a dance dance hall and was on the railroad tracks and people from the Mon Valley went there by train for picnic and enjoyment. In the late 50’s and 60’s it was a girl scout camp. On of the women active in the cam[p was Ruth Rockwell. Her son Richard Rockwell has all the info on the park and the many changes it went through. I don’t know where he is living now but the Last I knew I think it was Charleroi.

Bitumen, In Clinton county West of Renovo, my Mom grew up there. Of course a coal mining town that died when the mine closed.

Wasn’t there a town called Kinzua before the Kinzua Dam was built, now buried by the Allegheny Reservoir? Also wasn’t Parker, east of Slippery Rock once called Parker’s Landing possibly located on the other side of the small river. My road atlas doesn’t give the river name. A little history, in the township of Lawrence Park, east of Erie, there was a group of abandoned falling apart white painted small houses called White City. I don’t recall the reason for them but we played in them back in the late 1950’s. All torn down when the newer Lawrence Park High School, football field and parking lot were built in the 1960’s. My Grandmother was from Guffey, which is not even the maps anymore, probably faded into history.

Geri – Ghost Town in the Glen was located in Moosic Pa

Have you checked out Marstellar PA in Cambria County. Was a booming mine town but nothing much left. Maybe few people.

I have not. I’ll have to add it to my list of places to check out.

How about bear valley out behind rouch creek in schoolkill county

Yes and also it is or once was a farm that has been abandoned its’ s called Johnson’s farm just an half blower down barn sits empty now and an very old cemetery beside it dating back in the early 1700’s and has a 10 mile walk up the one side of the mountain a lot of people go there to visit as I myself had done now people go hunting there as well

How about Somerfield in Fayette County? The town was flooded when they built a dam. Occasionally the water level drops and the houses/bridges/etc including a portion of the old Route 40/National Road becomes exposed.

Check out Billmeyer, in Conoy Township, Lancaster County, PA. It is an abandoned company town. There is a quarry there from which dolomite was produced, which was used to produce steel. Apparently, the town was booming during WWI, as the need for steel was huge to support the war effort.

By the early 1960’s, the town was abandoned.

My wife’s Ukrainian immigrants worked in a coal mine in an area they called something like “Calarada” or Colorada” Pennsylvania. I once saw a sign with that name after the town was buried in what I was told were the mine tailings. As we are now old and trying to pass on our ancestors’ histories I am looking for any information about this area. I would be very interested to hear if anyone has any information about this former town. Thank you.

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Abandoned and Forgotten: Discover the Ghost Towns of Houston

Hey y'all, if you're a fan of history and the eerie, then you've come to the right place. Houston, Texas…

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Hey y’all, if you’re a fan of history and the eerie, then you’ve come to the right place. Houston, Texas may be known for its lively nightlife and bustling city streets, but it’s also home to some ghost towns that will send shivers down your spine.

Many people don’t realize that Houston was once a hub for commerce and industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As time went on and industries shifted, many small towns surrounding Houston were abandoned and left to decay.

Today, these ghost towns are reminders of a bygone era and offer a glimpse into what life was like for settlers in Texas during this time period. So buckle up, grab your ghost-hunting gear, and let’s explore some of the most hauntingly beautiful ghost towns in Houston.

two buildings from an old picture with the look of a ghost town

Table of Contents

Indianola is a coastal town in Texas that was once a booming center of trade and commerce. Its location made it an ideal spot for shipping goods, and it quickly became one of the busiest ports in the state. The history of Indianola dates back to the early 1800s when it was founded by John Charles Beales.

Indianola’s economic impact cannot be overstated. It was responsible for bringing in millions of dollars in revenue each year, thanks to its bustling port and thriving businesses. The town was also home to several banks, hotels, and other establishments that catered to the needs of travelers and traders.

However, despite its economic success, Indianola faced many challenges throughout its history. The town was hit by several devastating hurricanes, including one in 1875 that destroyed most of the city. Despite efforts to rebuild, Indianola never fully recovered from these disasters and eventually became a ghost town by the turn of the century.

Indianola’s cultural significance is not to be ignored either. It was once home to several prominent figures such as pirate Jean Lafitte and writer Katherine Anne Porter. Today, visitors can still see remnants of the town’s past at historical sites such as the Powderhorn Ranch or through various museums dedicated to preserving its legacy.

Although Indianola may no longer be a bustling hub of activity like it once was, its impact on Texas history is undeniable.

Beulah Park

Beulah Park was once a thriving community in Houston, Texas. It was founded in the early 1900s by African American families who were looking for a place to build their own homes and businesses. The neighborhood quickly grew into a bustling center of commerce, with shops, restaurants, and other amenities.

However, as time went on, Beulah Park began to decline. There were several reasons for this, including the construction of new highways that diverted traffic away from the area and an increase in crime rates. Many residents moved away in search of safer and more prosperous neighborhoods.

Despite its decline, efforts have been made to preserve Beulah Park’s legacy. The community has been designated as a historic district by the City of Houston, and many of its original buildings have been restored or repurposed for new uses.

Today, visitors can still see examples of the neighborhood’s unique architecture and learn about its important role in Houston’s history. Beulah Park was home to several notable residents over the years, including musicians, artists, and civil rights leaders.

The neighborhood’s vibrant culture was reflected in its many festivals and events, which drew people from all over Houston. Despite facing numerous challenges over the years, Beulah Park remained a tight-knit community where neighbors looked out for one another.

Today, visitors can take walking tours of Beulah Park to learn more about its fascinating history and admire its beautiful architecture.

Fayetteville

Fayetteville, a small town located in Fayette County, was once a bustling community that played a significant role in the formation of Texas. Founded in 1837 by German and Czech immigrants, the town was named after General Lafayette, a Frenchman who supported the American Revolution. The residents of Fayetteville were primarily farmers and merchants who established businesses and industries that served the needs of the growing population.

The history of Fayetteville is rich and varied. During the Civil War, it was occupied by Union troops who used it as a base for their operations. The town also served as a center for education, with several schools and colleges established over time. Today, it is known for its historic buildings and landmarks that are still standing despite years of neglect and decay.

The cultural significance of Fayetteville cannot be overstated. It is home to several museums and historical sites that attract visitors from all over the world. Its unique blend of German and Czech heritage has contributed to its distinct culture, which is celebrated through festivals and events throughout the year. However, its ghost town status has had a negative impact on its economy as businesses have closed down due to lack of customers. Despite this setback, efforts are being made to revive the town’s economy by promoting tourism and preserving its historic landmarks.

As an expert on Houston’s ghost towns, I can confidently say that Fayetteville is one of the most fascinating places I have ever visited. Its history is both inspiring and tragic, but its cultural significance continues to endure even after all these years. While it may not be as prosperous as it once was, the town’s resilience and determination to preserve its heritage is truly commendable. It is a testament to the spirit of Texas and its people, and I look forward to seeing how it will continue to evolve in the years to come.

Continuing our journey through Houston’s forgotten towns, let’s explore the history and significance of Vandenburg.

Once a bustling community in the early 1900s, Vandenburg was famous for its cotton production and railroad line. However, as time passed and the demand for cotton dwindled, Vandenburg slowly lost its charm.

Today, Vandenburg stands as a relic of the past with nothing but abandoned buildings and dilapidated homes. The town’s current state is a far cry from its former glory days. Its population has decreased significantly over the years, and most of the residents have moved elsewhere to seek better opportunities.

Despite its current state of neglect, there is still hope for Vandenburg. With proper funding and support from local authorities, this ghost town could be revitalized into a thriving community once again.

The potential for growth in tourism is also immense since many people are fascinated by the history of such towns that stand still as if frozen in time.

Vandenburg’s history and significance cannot be disregarded even though it may seem like another abandoned town on the surface. With efforts towards restoration and development, we can bring back its glory days and make it an integral part of Houston’s rich cultural heritage.

Magnolia Park

Magnolia Park, a once-bustling neighborhood in Southeast Houston, now stands as a silent witness to the city’s past.

With its historical significance, Magnolia Park was once home to a diverse community of workers who contributed significantly to the development of Houston.

Unfortunately, the town went into decline after years of neglect and disinterest from residents.

However, there have been recent revitalization efforts by the local government and community members to preserve Magnolia Park’s cultural heritage.

The renovation of historic buildings and structures has provided a much-needed boost to the area’s economic development.

Moreover, the ongoing restoration projects have encouraged people to rediscover Magnolia Park’s unique character and charm.

Community involvement has played an essential role in reviving Magnolia Park.

Local organizations have banded together to host events that celebrate the neighborhood’s rich history and culture.

Through these efforts, more people are becoming aware of Magnolia Park’s legacy and why it is worth preserving for future generations.

As such, there is renewed hope that this once-vibrant community will thrive again one day.

Old Fort Bend

Moving on from the historically rich Magnolia Park, we now turn our attention to another fascinating Houston ghost town – Old Fort Bend. Situated in the southwestern part of the city, Old Fort Bend was once a bustling community that played an important role in Texas history. Today, it stands as a haunting reminder of the past and attracts visitors who are intrigued by its historical significance.

One of the most interesting aspects of Old Fort Bend is the ghostly legends that surround it. Many locals believe that the spirits of early settlers still roam the streets and buildings, making it a popular spot for paranormal enthusiasts. Some have reported seeing strange apparitions or hearing unexplained noises coming from abandoned homes or businesses in the area.

Despite its eerie reputation, efforts are being made to preserve Old Fort Bend’s rich history and cultural heritage. The city government has taken steps to protect some of its historic structures, such as the Moore Home and Long-Smith Cottage, which offer a glimpse into what life was like in this once-thriving community.

In addition, there are ongoing initiatives to promote tourism and education about Old Fort Bend’s past. Exploring Old Fort Bend can be a unique experience for those seeking to learn more about Houston’s forgotten history. Whether you’re interested in uncovering ghostly legends or exploring its preservation efforts, there is much to discover in this hauntingly beautiful place.

So why not take a trip back in time and explore one of Houston’s most intriguing ghost towns?

Exploring the history of Sugar Hill, Houston through photos, stories and artifacts reveals a once thriving community that has now been forgotten. Sugar Hill was one of the first African American neighborhoods in Houston, established in the late 1800s. At its peak, it was home to over 10,000 residents, with bustling streets filled with shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Comparing Sugar Hill with other ghost towns in Texas shows that it was unique in its vibrant culture and community spirit. However, like many other ghost towns in Texas, Sugar Hill faced economic challenges that ultimately led to its downfall.

The construction of highways and urban renewal projects in the mid-1900s displaced many residents and businesses, causing a decline in population and revenue. Analyzing the reasons behind the downfall of Sugar Hill and its impact on Houston’s economy highlights the devastating effects of urban renewal projects on historically significant communities.

The loss of businesses and jobs had a ripple effect on other areas of Houston’s economy. Today, efforts are being made to preserve what remains of Sugar Hill’s history through community initiatives and education programs. By learning from the mistakes of the past, we can work towards creating a more equitable future for all communities.

Sugar Hill, once a thriving African American community in Houston, has now become one of the city’s many ghost towns. Its history is rich and colorful, but its present state is desolate and abandoned. The effects on the environment are apparent as nature slowly takes over the neglected buildings and streets. The economic impact of Sugar Hill’s decline is devastating to the surrounding area, with businesses closing and property values plummeting.

Industry played a significant role in Sugar Hill’s rise and fall. With the advent of railroads in the late 1800s, the area became a hub for commerce and manufacturing. However, as industries moved out of Houston in search of cheaper labor and resources, Sugar Hill was left behind. The once bustling factories are now empty shells of their former selves, and the workers who once filled them have long since moved on.

Despite its current state, there is hope for future revitalization in Sugar Hill. Efforts to preserve its historic landmarks and buildings have gained momentum in recent years. Community groups have formed to raise awareness about the neighborhood’s significance and advocate for its restoration.

If successful, this could bring new life to a forgotten part of Houston’s past. Some ideas for revitalization include a photo exhibit showcasing Sugar Hill’s vibrant history, a walking tour highlighting notable landmarks, a community festival celebrating local culture and heritage, an oral history project collecting stories from longtime residents, and a fundraising campaign to support preservation efforts.

The legacy of Sugar Hill lives on through those who remember it fondly or seek to restore it to its former glory. Its decline serves as a cautionary tale about how neglecting our communities can lead to irreversible damage. As Houston continues to grow and change, it is important to remember the neighborhoods that came before us and work towards preserving their legacies for future generations.

East Columbia

East Columbia is a place where time seems to have stood still. The abandoned buildings in East Columbia tell a story of the town’s ghostly past, and exploring its history is like stepping back in time. The town was once a bustling port on the Brazos River, but now it’s nothing more than a forgotten relic of Houston’s past.

As you walk through the streets of East Columbia, it’s hard not to feel a sense of nostalgia for what once was. The town was established in 1824 and became an important hub for trade along the Brazos River. However, as railroads began to replace river transportation, the town slowly declined, leaving behind empty buildings and a few scattered residents.

Despite its current state of abandonment, there is still beauty to be found in East Columbia’s crumbling structures. A visit to the town offers a glimpse into Houston’s rich history and serves as a reminder of how much things have changed over time. As you wander through its streets and peer into its empty buildings, you can’t help but feel like you’re uncovering secrets from another era.

East Columbia may be a ghost town now, but its history lives on through these abandoned buildings. It’s fascinating to imagine what life was like in this once bustling port town and how different things were back then compared to today. While it may seem eerie or desolate at first glance, taking the time to explore this forgotten gem is well worth it for those who appreciate Houston’s rich history.

Fort Bend County

Continuing our journey through the abandoned towns of Houston, we now move on to Fort Bend County. But before we dive into the ghost towns of this area, let’s first explore its rich history.

Fort Bend County was established in 1837 and named after a fort built by US soldiers during the Texan Revolution. It played an important role in the slavery era, with sugar cane plantations and cotton farms being major sources of income for the county. However, with the end of slavery and the rise of industrialization, many small towns began to decline and eventually became ghost towns.

Today, Fort Bend County is home to several abandoned structures that serve as a haunting reminder of its past. From old sugar mills to deserted homes, these structures were once bustling centers of activity but are now left to decay.

While they may seem insignificant to some, these ghost towns play an important role in preserving our history and reminding us of how far we’ve come. The economic impact of ghost towns in Fort Bend County cannot be ignored either. While they may not generate any revenue today, they attract tourists who are interested in exploring their rich history.

In fact, many people visit these ghost towns each year just to experience their eerie beauty and learn more about our past. And as long as there are curious travelers seeking adventure and knowledge, these abandoned towns will continue to have a place in our society.

Denver Harbor

Denver Harbor was once a thriving community in Houston, Texas. Its history dates back to the early 1900s when it was established as a port town for cargo ships. The area quickly grew into a bustling neighborhood with a diverse population of workers from various industries.

However, over time, Denver Harbor experienced significant demographic changes as many residents moved out and businesses shut down. The neighborhood declined rapidly, becoming one of the many ghost towns in Houston.

Today, Denver Harbor is known for its abandoned buildings and empty streets. Despite its current state, there have been efforts to revitalize Denver Harbor. Local organizations and government agencies have worked together to improve the area’s infrastructure and attract new businesses.

While progress has been slow, there is hope that these initiatives will bring new life to this once-vibrant community. Denver Harbor’s history and potential for revitalization make it an important part of Houston’s story.

As we continue to learn about the city’s past and work towards a brighter future, it is important not to forget about the neighborhoods like Denver Harbor that have fallen on hard times. With continued efforts from the community and city leaders, we can ensure that these areas are given the attention they deserve and become thriving parts of our city once again.

South Park, once a vibrant neighborhood in Houston, has now become a ghost town. The history of South Park dates back to the early 1900s when it was established as a residential area for working-class African Americans. It was named after a popular amusement park that used to exist in the area.

Although South Park was a flourishing community in the 1950s and 60s, it started seeing a decline in the 70s due to several reasons. One major reason for its abandonment was the construction of Interstate 610, which cut through the neighborhood and made it difficult for residents to travel easily. Additionally, crime rates began to soar, and people started moving out of South Park due to safety concerns.

Today, many buildings in South Park are abandoned and neglected. The old houses that were once homes to families are now just empty shells with broken windows and doors. Some of these buildings have been repurposed by local businesses or organizations, but most remain unused.

It is sad to see such an important part of Houston’s history left behind and forgotten. The few remaining structures serve as reminders of South Park’s rich history and the community that once thrived there. Despite the neglect and abandonment, efforts are being made to preserve and revitalize the area. Community groups and local leaders are working to address the issues that led to South Park’s decline and bring new life to the neighborhood.

Moving south from the desolate South Park ghost town, one can find themselves in another abandoned community – La Porte. Once a bustling port town located on the Houston Ship Channel, La Porte was home to over 2,000 residents during its prime in the early 1900s. However, with the decline of shipping and trade industries in the mid-20th century, La Porte slowly began to lose its population and eventually became a ghost town.

Despite its current state of abandonment, La Porte holds significant historical significance for Houston’s industrial past. The town was founded in 1892 by James Morgan and his associates as a deep-water port city for shipping cotton and other goods to Europe. As Houston grew into a major hub for oil refining, La Porte also became an important location for petrochemical production. It was home to several large chemical plants that provided numerous job opportunities for locals.

The economic impact of La Porte’s downfall cannot be ignored. The loss of jobs and businesses had a ripple effect throughout the community, leading to further population decline and ultimately contributing to the ghost town we see today. Despite this bleak outlook, there have been efforts made by local preservation organizations to restore some of the historic structures in downtown La Porte. While these projects have yet to bring back any significant economic activity or population growth, they serve as reminders of the town’s past and potential for the future.

La Porte’s ghost town serves as both a reminder of Houston’s industrial past and a cautionary tale of how quickly economic downturns can lead to devastating consequences for communities. While there are no immediate plans for revitalization, there is hope that with continued preservation efforts and potential economic opportunities, La Porte’s ghost town could one day return to its former glory.

Jacinto City

Jacinto City is a small ghost town located in eastern Houston, Texas. The city was founded in the early 1900s and was once a bustling industrial hub. However, due to several factors such as economic decline and population loss, the city is now abandoned.

History and demographics show that Jacinto City was once home to many thriving businesses, including oil refineries and chemical plants. However, as these industries declined over the years, so did the population of the city.

Today, Jacinto City is nothing more than a ghost town with only a few remnants of its former glory. Notable landmarks in Jacinto City include the old train station and several abandoned factories. These landmarks are a reminder of what used to be an industrial powerhouse. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to these structures as they slowly decay into ruins.

Despite this decay, tourists still visit Jacinto City to catch a glimpse of what life used to be like when it was still thriving. Reasons for decline in Jacinto City are numerous but mostly stem from economic downturns and natural disasters. The city experienced multiple floods that damaged infrastructure irreparably.

In addition, as industries moved out of Houston altogether, there were no jobs left for residents of Jacinto City which caused a mass exodus from the area. Through it all, Jacinto City remains an important part of Houston’s history; one that should not be forgotten or ignored. While it may be just another ghost town now, it serves as a reminder of how even the most booming cities can fall if they do not adapt to changing times and circumstances.

As we leave Jacinto City behind, we are now entering Baytown. This city is alive with the hustle and bustle of industrialization, but there’s a hidden side to it that few know about. It’s the ghostly past that permeates through every abandoned building and forgotten landmark.

Exploring Baytown’s abandoned industrial sites is like taking a trip back in time. The rusted metal structures and broken windows tell a story of a once-thriving town that now lays desolate. These buildings were once the backbone of the city’s economy, but now they stand as a reminder of what was lost.

Baytown’s forgotten landmarks also contribute to its eerie ambiance. The abandoned Sterling Municipal Library, for instance, has been left untouched since Hurricane Harvey. Its books still sit on shelves, collecting dust and waiting for someone to pick them up again. These landmarks are not just empty buildings; they’re reminders of the people who used to call Baytown home.

As we continue our journey through Houston’s ghost towns, Baytown will always be one that stands out among the rest. Its history is rich with tales of triumphs and tragedies that have led to its current state of abandonment. But even though these buildings may be forgotten by most, they still hold a special place in the hearts of those who remember what they once were.

Exploring Crosby’s abandoned buildings is like stepping back in time. The deserted streets and crumbling structures offer a glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to uncover Crosby’s forgotten history.

Once a bustling railroad town, Crosby saw its heyday in the early 1900s before gradually declining in population over the years.

Today, the eerie silence of Crosby’s ghost town is only occasionally disturbed by the sound of wind whistling through broken windows or rustling leaves. Despite this quietness, there is still much to discover here. From old storefronts to abandoned homes, each building tells its own story about what life was once like in this small Texas community.

Walking through these abandoned buildings can be both thrilling and haunting. It’s easy to imagine what it must have been like when they were fully operational, bustling with activity and life. But now, most of them are left forgotten, left only as a reminder of what once was in this ghost town nestled near Houston.

As you step into Montgomery, the first thing that catches your attention are the abandoned buildings. They stand tall and proud, yet desolate and forgotten. It’s as if time stood still in this ghost town.

Exploring Montgomery’s abandoned buildings takes you back to a time when this small town was bustling with activity. Founded in 1837, Montgomery was once a thriving community known for its sawmills and cotton plantations. However, as the years passed by, the town slowly declined due to economic changes and natural disasters like floods.

The history behind Montgomery’s ghost town is both fascinating and heartbreaking. The decline of this once-thriving community has had a significant impact on local communities. Many families were forced to leave their homes and businesses behind, leaving behind memories of happier times.

Today, all that remains are empty buildings and overgrown streets that serve as a reminder of what used to be.

Moving on from Montgomery, we head south towards Seabrook, another once-thriving town that now lies abandoned.

The history of Seabrook dates back to the early 1900s when it was established as a shipping hub for Houston’s booming economy.

The town was a bustling center of activity until the 1960s when the decline in shipping led to its eventual demise.

Today, Seabrook is full of abandoned buildings and empty streets.

It’s hard to imagine that this place was once a vital part of Houston’s economy.

However, if you take a closer look, you can still see remnants of its past glory.

The old warehouses and shipping docks still stand tall, reminding us of the town’s important role in Houston’s history.

Despite its current state, Seabrook still holds a special place in the hearts of many Houstonians.

It serves as a reminder of our city’s growth and development over the years.

As an expert on Houston ghost towns, I highly recommend taking a trip down to Seabrook to witness its unique beauty and learn more about its fascinating history.

  • Four reasons why you should visit Seabrook:
  • To explore the abandoned buildings and experience the eerie atmosphere
  • To learn about Seabrook’s important role in Houston’s economy
  • To see remnants of Houston’s shipping industry from decades ago
  • To appreciate the town’s unique beauty and historical significance – To enjoy recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and birdwatching in the surrounding nature reserves and wildlife refuges.

Frequently Asked Questions

What caused these ghost towns in houston, texas to become abandoned.

It is quite a coincidence that economic decline, natural disasters, and infrastructure changes all played major roles in the abandonment of certain areas in Houston.

As an expert on Houston’s ghost towns, it is clear that these factors contributed to the downfall of once thriving communities.

The oil industry crash of the 1980s led to a significant decrease in jobs and resources for many neighborhoods.

Additionally, hurricanes and floods have caused devastating damage to homes and businesses over the years.

Lastly, shifts in transportation and urban planning have left some areas isolated with outdated infrastructure.

All of these issues combined have ultimately led to the haunting image of abandoned buildings and forgotten streets in Houston’s history.

Are Any Of These Ghost Towns Accessible To The Public For Exploration?

Exploring options for adventurous travelers in Houston often leads to discovering hidden gems and urban legends. One such option is venturing out to the abandoned towns that dot the outskirts of the city.

While many of these ghost towns may not be accessible due to safety concerns or private property restrictions, there are a few that welcome curious visitors. These sites offer a glimpse into Houston’s past and the stories that shaped it.

From the eerie remnants of old buildings to mysterious artifacts left behind, exploring these ghost towns can be an unforgettable experience for those willing to seek them out.

Have Any Of These Ghost Towns Ever Been Used As Filming Locations For Movies Or Tv Shows?

As a Houston ghost town expert, I can attest that these abandoned settlements hold a certain mystique that draws in filmmakers seeking unique and eerie filming locations.

With their haunted legends and decaying buildings, it’s no surprise that some of these ghost towns have been used as famous productions for movies and TV shows.

These filming locations offer a glimpse into the past while setting an ominous tone for any production.

From westerns to horror films, Houston’s ghost towns have provided the perfect backdrop for countless cinematic masterpieces.

Are There Any Plans To Revitalize Or Restore These Ghost Towns?

Revitalization efforts are underway for several of Houston’s ghost towns.

Community involvement is essential in these projects, as locals have a deep connection to the history and culture of these abandoned areas.

Restoring these towns not only preserves their unique stories but also has the potential for significant economic impact.

By transforming these ghost towns into cultural and tourist destinations, new jobs can be created, and small businesses can thrive.

It’s an exciting time for these forgotten places, and with continued effort, they can once again become vibrant parts of Houston’s landscape.

Are There Any Notable Historical Or Cultural Landmarks Still Standing In These Ghost Towns?

Amidst the sprawling metropolis of Houston, there exist remnants of a bygone era that have been long forgotten. These ghost towns hold secrets and stories that are waiting to be discovered by those who dare to venture into their abandoned streets.

Despite their desolate appearance, some of these towns still house architectural significance that is worth preserving. Efforts have been made to restore structures such as the 1908 train depot in Tomball or the historic downtown district of Katy.

However, it’s not just the buildings themselves that hold cultural value but also the local folklore surrounding them. From tales of ghostly apparitions haunting the ruins of old saloons to legends of buried treasure hidden beneath decaying structures, these stories add depth and intrigue to these forgotten places.

Those who seek adventure and history will find plenty to explore in Houston’s ghost towns.

As a Houston ghost town expert, it’s fascinating to explore the abandoned remnants of Houston’s past. These forgotten towns are a testament to the ever-changing landscape of our beloved city.

While some may wonder why these towns were abandoned, the answer is often complex and varied. Natural disasters, economic downturns, and changing transportation routes have all contributed to their demise.

However, despite their abandonment, some of these ghost towns are accessible to the public and offer a unique glimpse into our city’s history.

As I wander through these forgotten streets and crumbling buildings, I can’t help but think about the lives that were once lived here. The ghosts of the past still linger in these abandoned places, reminding us of the fragility of our own existence.

And yet, there is a certain beauty in their decay – a reminder that even in death, there is still life.

In conclusion, while many of Houston’s ghost towns may never be revitalized or restored, they remain an important part of our city’s heritage. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about what lies beyond our bustling metropolis, exploring these forgotten places is sure to leave an indelible impression on your soul.

As the saying goes, ‘ghost towns may be dead places, but they are full of life.’

history behind ghost town

Discover Space City is a Houston blog by Josh and Jaime, a married couple that loves to discover new things at home and around the world.

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  1. 25 Ghost Towns Around The U.S. And The History Behind Them

    Thurmond, West Virginia Andriy Bolkhin/Shutterstock.com Thurmond was once a prosperous train town due to its location along the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad lines during the heyday of coal mining in the New River Gorge.

  2. Ghost town

    Category: Geography & Travel town See all related content → ghost town, town that was once an active community but has since been abandoned by all or nearly all of its residents. Ghost towns are found on every continent.

  3. The Story Behind 12 Ghost Towns Across the Country

    Parenting Home Ideas Healthy Eating Subscribe The Story Behind 12 Ghost Towns Across the Country Explore 12 ghost towns that still haunt America's countryside. In the United States alone,...

  4. The Meaning Behind The Song: Ghost Town by Kanye West

    The Resonating Message Behind Kanye West's Hit Song "Ghost Town" When Kanye West's album "Ye" was released in 2018, one song in particular caught the attention of fans and critics alike - "Ghost Town." With its haunting melody and raw lyrics, the song explores themes of loneliness, isolation, and ultimately, hope. The Inspiration Behind the …

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    At 1:23 a.m. on April 26, 1986, a catastrophic meltdown took place inside reactor number four at the Soviet nuclear power plant at Chernobyl. The explosion that followed sent flames and radioactive...

  6. A History Of Bodie America's Most Notorious Ghost Town

    Bodie 's story began in 1859, after the major Gold Rush period in California. When four prospectors struck gold in a small valley 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe. The prospectors came to this specific part of California, known as the Mother Lode region, in search of the much sought after gold.

  7. Ghost Town: The story behind a special song

    The background: Released almost 40 years ago, Ghost Town was a protest song, a bitter commentary on Thatcher's England. Its despair-laden lyrics reflected the depressing time: a country in deep recession and the decimation of towns and cities like Coventry where The Specials hailed from.

  8. Ghost town

    It was rendered uninhabitable and evacuated in 1995 after being inundated with volcanic ash from the eruption of the Soufrière Hills Volcano. A ghost town, deserted city, extinct town or abandoned city is an abandoned settlement, usually one that contains substantial visible remaining buildings and infrastructure such as roads.

  9. 7 Ghost Towns in Nevada and the History Behind Their Rise and Fall

    Here are seven of the most interesting ghost towns in Nevada based on their history and the state of preservation of their ruins. Most are easily accessible to visitors today. 1. Belmont. Source: Wikimedia Commons. In 1865, a Native American discovered silver in the heart of Nevada, in the Toquima range.

  10. Where The West Was Won: Az Ghost Towns And Their Haunted History

    Here is a little wild west history behind a few of Arizona's oldest, haunted, and most special ghost towns: 1. Chloride. The earliest established mining town in Arizona. The ghost town of Chloride, located in Mojave County, 20 miles from Kingman, was founded in 1863, with the knowledge of gold, silver, lead, zinc, and turquoise being abundant ...

  11. The Ghost Towns and Abandoned Places of Louisiana: Exploring the State

    One of the most fascinating aspects of Louisiana's ghost towns and abandoned places is the history behind them. Many of these places were once bustling communities that were abandoned due to economic decline, natural disasters, or other factors. Some of them are still standing, while others have crumbled into ruins over the years.

  12. Okanogan Highland Ghost Towns

    146 Want to Visit? 1094 An old storefront in Molson. John Hieger (Atlas Obscura User) Scattered on the desolate plateaus of the Okanogan Highlands, a few miles south of the Canadian border, stand...

  13. Inside a Forbidden and Controversial Abandoned Cyprus Ghost Town

    Muhammet Ikbal Arslan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images According to the BBC, after years of violence, Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 following a Greek-government-backed coup and gained control of the northern third section of the island, which included the district of Varosha.

  14. Ghost Town, by The Specials

    On the evening of July the 10th the Specials song Ghost Town went to number 1 in the singles chart. The mantra-like chanting of the phrase ghost town and the lyrics perfectly captured in real-time the essence of the times and the overall mood that descended the country.: Government leaving the youth on the shelf.

  15. PHOTOS: Inside a Colorado's Historic Dearfield Ghost Town

    See inside the crumbling ghost town that was once home to one of America's most successful Black farming communities. An old chair inside OT Jackson's former home in Dearfield, Colorado. Dearfield ...

  16. History of Ghost Town in the Sky

    Businessman R. B. Coburn, who was inspired to build a park with a western theme after visiting several ghost towns in the American West, conceived Ghost Town in the Sky. In 1960, Coburn purchased Buck Mountain in Maggie Valley at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains for the sight of his theme park. Construction began in September of 1960.

  17. Route 66 Forgotten Ghost Towns & Their Tragic History

    This shift marked the beginning of a slow decline for many towns along the route, a crucial detail that adds depth to the story of Route 66. Now, let's dive into some of these ghost towns and the sad stories behind them. 1. Glenrio, Texas. In the 1940s and 50s, Glenrio, uniquely positioned on the Texas-New Mexico state line, was a hive of ...

  18. 10 Must-Visit Historical Ghost Towns Of The American West

    Kennecott ghost town still fascinates people with its history. National Park Service Map St. Elias Guides. Date Founded: 1903. Admission Fee: St. Elias Alpine Guides charge Adults (13+) $34 and ...

  19. The Fascinating History Of Ghost Towns In The Wild West

    The history of ghost towns is tied to the economic and social factors that led to their creation, such as the gold rush and the rapid expansion of the railroad. Books, websites, and articles are great resources for learning more about the history and significance of ghost towns in the American West. Table of Contents Bodie, California

  20. The Meaning Behind The Song: Ghost Town by Terry Hall

    The meaning behind "Ghost Town" reflects the societal and economic struggles experienced in Great Britain during the early 1980s. It serves as a commentary on the decline of industrial towns, rising unemployment rates, and the resulting urban decay.

  21. Lake Lanier: A Georgia lake's deadly history has some people ...

    But the true backstory of Lake Lanier, built over an underwater ghost town, is just as interesting. More than 200 people have died at Lake Lanier since 1994. David Goldman/AP The lake was mired...

  22. Ghost Towns: Abandoned Places With A Dark Past

    The town was founded on May 1, 1899 by President Andrés Córdova and named after him until December 3, 1917 when it was renamed Uyuni as part of a campaign to change all towns' names that had "C" at their beginning (for example: Carlos Gardel). Bodie, California

  23. Ghost Town (The Specials song)

    Evoking themes of urban decay, deindustrialisation, unemployment and violence in inner cities, the song is remembered for being a hit at the same time as riots were occurring in British cities.

  24. 7 Ghost Towns in PA You Can Still Visit

    The Petroleum Center bank's steps are the only remnant of what was once a bustling oil boom town. Petroleum Centre is another oil-boom community that once thrived in northwestern Pennsylvania. Petroleum Centre was founded in 1866 and was once home to as many as 3,000 people. The community even hosted President Ulysses S. Grant in 1871.

  25. Abandoned and Forgotten: Discover the Ghost Towns of Houston

    It was founded in the early 1900s by African American families who were looking for a place to build their own homes and businesses. The neighborhood quickly grew into a bustling center of commerce, with shops, restaurants, and other amenities. However, as time went on, Beulah Park began to decline.

  26. Page couldn't load • Instagram

    3 likes, 0 comments - lostepparanormal on January 9, 2024: "EPTX THIS FRIDAY... ☠ Come JOIN US for the ONLY ghost tour in town where spirits & spirits coll..." Lost El Paso Paranormal on Instagram: "EPTX THIS FRIDAY... ☠ Come JOIN US for the ONLY ghost tour in town where spirits & spirits collide...