Abandoned places have always been a subject of fascination for people around the world. There’s something unsettling about them that might give people the creeps, but there’s also something intriguing about them that can draw them in. There are plenty of frightening and dangerous abandoned sites in the world, from hospitals to haunted mansions. Here are some of the scariest and creepiest abandoned places in the world:
1. Pripyat, Ukraine
Pripyat was once a thriving city of 50,000 people, but after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the city was evacuated and abandoned. Today, Pripyat remains a ghost town frozen in time, with everything from the abandoned amusement park to the eerie hospital still intact. The radiation levels are still high in some areas, but visitors can take guided tours to explore the abandoned buildings and see the aftermath of the disaster.
2. Hashima Island, Japan
Hashima Island was once a thriving coal mining community in Japan. It was also known as “Battleship Island.” But when the coal business went down, the island was abandoned and left to fall apart. Today, the island’s crumbling buildings and rusty machinery are eerie reminders of its past.
3. Island of the Dolls, Mexico
Located in the Xochimilco canals in Mexico City, the Island of the Dolls is a truly creepy and unsettling place. The island is covered in dolls, many of which are missing limbs or have decaying features. Legend has it that the island’s caretaker, Don Julian Santana, found a drowned girl in the canals and began hanging dolls in the trees as a way to appease her spirit. Today, the island remains a popular destination for tourists and ghost hunters alike.
4. Willard Asylum, New York
The Willard Asylum for the Insane in New York was once home to thousands of patients suffering from mental illness. However, after it closed in 1995, the abandoned asylum became a popular spot for urban explorers and paranormal investigators. Visitors can explore the abandoned buildings and see the old patient records that have been left behind.
5. Aokigahara Forest, Japan
Aokigahara Forest is located at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. Also known as the “Sea of Trees,” due to its thick foliage that blocks out most of the sunlight, giving the forest an eerie and mysterious feel. It has a dark reputation as a place where people go to commit suicide. In fact, it is known as one of the world’s most popular suicide destinations, with an estimated 100 suicides occurring in the forest each year. The forest is also said to be haunted by the ghosts of those who have died there.
6. The Catacombs, Paris
Located beneath the streets of Paris, the Catacombs are a network of tunnels and underground chambers that hold the bones of millions of people. The Catacombs were created in the late 18th century as a solution to Paris’ overcrowded cemeteries, and today, visitors can explore the eerie tunnels and see the macabre displays of bones and skulls.
7. Humberstone, Chile
Humberstone is a ghost town in Chile’s Atacama Desert, some 50 kilometers east of Iquique. Established during Chile’s nitrate boom in 1872, the town grew to become one of the world’s largest and most productive nitrate mines. With the development of synthetic fertilizers in the 1930s, Humberstone and other Atacama Desert nitrate mining villages declined. The town has been abandoned and basically untouched since the 1960s. Humberstone has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk through the streets, buildings, and machinery of the town to get a sense of what life was like in a distant nitrate mining settlement in the early twentieth century.
8. Centralia, Pennsylvania
The town was established in the mid-19th century as a mining town, and it was known for its abundance of anthracite coal. However, in 1962, a fire started in a coal seam beneath the town, and it has been burning ever since. The town was abandoned and left to burn. Today, the underground fire still burns, and the town remains a ghost town with only a few residents remaining.
9. Bhangarh Fort, India
Located in Rajasthan, India, the Bhangarh Fort is said to be one of the most haunted places in the country. According to local legends, the fort was cursed by a magician who was in love with the princess of the fort, Ratnavati. The magician, named Singhia, tried to cast a spell on Ratnavati’s perfume so that she would fall in love with him, but the princess found out and threw the bottle away. The bottle hit a rock and the spell was cast on the rock, causing it to roll towards the magician and crush him. Before he died, he cursed the fort, saying that no one would ever be able to live there again. Today, the fort is abandoned and visitors are not allowed inside the fort after dark. Locals believe that anyone who stays inside after sunset will never come back out.
10. Prypiat Amusement Park, Ukraine
Located within the abandoned city of Pripyat, the Prypiat Amusement Park is a particularly creepy and unsettling place. The park was set to open just days after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, and the abandoned ferris wheel and bumper cars serve as a chilling reminder of what could have been. The park remains frozen in time, with peeling paint and rusted rides adding to the eerie atmosphere.