40+ Abandoned Sites Scattered Worldwide That Will Give Anyone The Creeps

By Jo A January 23, 2024

This article was originally published on sportfoy

If you are a lover of the 90s sitcom, X Files, then this article will surely fascinate you. Before we proceed, keep in mind that it is not for the faint-hearted but for those who wish to explore some of the creepiest and deserted places you can find in the world. For some, it may seem like another work of fiction, but it isn’t.

These places truly exist, and they are as real as you and me. By exploring these places alone, you can’t help but feel the jitters, but one thing is for sure, you’ll definitely learn something new. It’s an adventure we believe you won’t regret embarking on. Without further ado, let’s see some of the scariest places we’ve compiled.

Belgium’s Cooling Tower

What is the first thing that will come to your mind the moment you come across this massive abandoned edifice? For us, it looks like a multi-story alien spaceship from a Stephen Spielberg’s sci-fi flick or something from Star Wars.

Image source: atlasobscura.com

However, it is neither of the above as it’s a cooling tower from an old power station in Belgium. The power station is located in Monceau, and it was designed like a giant trumpet. The reason for this is due to the purpose it was built for.

Chilly Antarctica

The Arctic circle and Antarctica are among the few places on the planet that are devoid of humans. The reason for this is not farfetched, and it’s solely because of its location and weather. It’s literally freezing all year round.

Image source:ruschili.35photo.ru

Knowing full well that the place is largely deserted, it’s surprising to find a sunken yacht there. This ghost ship belonged to a crew from Brazil who wanted to shoot a documentary. Unfortunately, it couldn’t withstand the forces of nature that afflict the region, and it sunk.

The Sugar Factory

At some point, the Domino Sugar factory was one company that brought prestige to Brooklyn, New York. They were the makers of Domino sugar dating back to 1882. But now, the place is not only lying fallow; it is literally a ghost of its former self.

Image source: thetomharrison

After suffering one of the longest ever labor strikes, the factory started to decline, which set all types of bad records in New York. The staff were not happy with their working conditions and wages, and the factory closed shop after 148 years.

England’s Maunsell Sea Forts.

During the peak of the Second World War that plagued the entire world, the British decided to build these magnificent looking forts. They were supposed to be built beside the Mersey and Thames rivers to protect against naval and air raids.

Image source: flickr/jelltecks

However, the forts were decommissioned in the 50s as they became redundant. Over time, they have been occupied by a sovereign state called the Principality of Sealand and a pirate radio operator. All the same, they still look scary.

Holland Island

There’s one thing we can certainly say about the United States; it is certainly graced with several amazing structures that are eye-catching. Right from the start, the country’s architecture has been one of the best in the world.   

Image source: flickr/baldeaglebluff

Not too long ago, this house was among a bubbling colony on a small island located in the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, they suffered from constant erosion, which rendered the place unliveable until this was the last house standing. Eventually, it also collapsed in 2010.

Pripyat, Ukraine.

Pripyat was one city that had massive potential in Ukraine. Due to the fact that it was inhabited mostly by workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the city had all that it needed to be a major economic driver in the region.

Image source: castlemainindependent.org

But this was not meant to be as disaster struck in 1986. The city was the epicenter of one of the worst man-made disasters in human history. The entire city had to be evacuated, and remains unliveable to this day due to high levels of radiation.

Kolmanskop, Namibia.

The city of Kolmanskop was never a large settlement but yet, the city commanded respect due to what it had to offer. It is situated in Namibia, and it was on the rise and flourished quite well in the 1900s thanks to German settlers.

Image source: NationalGeographic/ChrisGray

They flocked to the area due to its profitable diamond fields, but the advent of the first World War led to a change in fortunes. About 50 years later, the town had become a ghost town save for one or two tourists and photographers that visit occasionally.

Bulgarian Communist Party’s House

Have you ever imagined what the headquarters of a communist Party would look like? Even if you did, it definitely doesn’t look like the picture you see below. There’s no denying this structure looks spooky thanks to its flying saucer shape.

Image source: Dimitar Kilkoff

Actually, when it was first built in 1981, it was an architectural marvel, and everyone loved it. However, things became different immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now, it’s become a tourist attraction of sorts.

Chateau Miranda, Belgium.

The major aim of building this castle was to protect rich and powerful French aristocrats. They didn’t want to join the French revolution, so they hid here. After a while, it was converted into an orphanage during WW II before it was abandoned.

Image source: imgur

Surprisingly, when the government requested to take care of the castle, the family promptly denied them the rights. At this time, it has now become a popular ghost hunting spot for people that fancy that kind of thing.

Nara Dreamland, Japan.

This eerie-looking park was supposed to offer the same level of fun as it’s counterpart in America – Disneyland. The park officially opened its doors to the public in 1961. The owners modeled it on Disneyland to the point that they both bore several striking similarities.

Image source: reddit.com/r/AbandonedPorn

They had something similar to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle with several rollercoaster rides to entice kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, this didn’t turn out as planned, and they had to close down due to low visitor turnout.

The Overrun Palace in Poland.

The Royals of Poland built this magnificent palace in 1910. They spared no expense in furnishing the palace from the get-go as they ensured it was filled with past Royals’ history. The edifice celebrated and displayed their heritage and rich culture. 

Image source: 500px/Lucas Malkiewicz

At the turn of the century, the economy of the country took a turn for the worse, and fortunes changed. The communist rulers felt the palace was better suited to be an agricultural school. In addition, it also housed intellectually disabled children and adults.

Taiwan’s San Zhi Houses

There is no denying these groups of houses look like an alien fortress. However, these housing units were built as a resort for America’s military officers who came back from Asia, but things didn’t go as planned, which was unfortunate.

Image source: picc.it

In no time, the housing units managers started incurring huge losses, and it was hard to recoup the money invested in it. That’s not all; several horrible accidents didn’t help matters, and it was permanently closed down in 1980.

Floating Forest in Australia.

There’s nothing as spooky as seeing a forest floating towards you while enjoying a peaceful sunset cruise on a boat. Although it sounds farfetched, in truth, a floating forest does exist, and it’s 102 years old for that matter.

Image source: boredpanda

This forest can be found in Sydney, Australia, and it’s the remnants of the SS Ayrfield – it’s a big steamship that was wrecked after WWI in Homebush Bay, Australia. This ship is evocatively beautiful, and it shows the tenacity of nature.

Deserted Island, Southwest Florida

Living in a beach house and walking along the sandy shores with your loved ones is the dream for many. On the other hand, this dream can be a nightmare if things didn’t go as planned, like the architectural design of the building.

Image source: imgur

An example of this is a deserted island built in Florida in 1981. This used to be the house of Bob Lee, one of the richest oil producers at that time, before it was abandoned. Presently, the house is avoided like the plague.

The Scary Looking New Bedford Orpheum

This New Bedford Orpheum was built for the lovers of all things classy and stylish. However, like most of the other buildings on this list, it didn’t live up to its hype. The Orpheum opened its doors to its customers in 1912.

Image source: 500px/Frank Grace

The theatre was situated in Massachusetts, in the United States of America and has since been converted to another use. At the time of writing, it serves as a tobacco storage space. There’s also a thriving supermarket in the building.

Georgia’s Abandoned Train Station

From what we’ve been able to decipher so far, war has a devastating effect on important infrastructures in a country. A perfect example is this train station located in Sukhumi, Abkhazia, Georgia. It was left to disrepair due to the Abkhazia War.

Image source: Flickr/Ilya Varlamov

Russia and Georgia fiercely fought for this region, and just as you might have guessed, it became isolated. Upon closer inspection, you can still see some of the station’s mahogany furniture and intricate plasterwork, which is somewhat intact.

Beelitz Military Hospital.

If you love watching horror flicks, then you should be familiar with these spooky and haunted-looking pictures. Although it used to be a hospital, it looks more or less like a lunatic asylum with zombies lurking in the corner.

Image source: dr-ip/flickr

This is actually the Beelitz-Heilstatten hospital, which has been abandoned for a long time. It was built in the 18th century, and it was the hospital that treated Adolf Hitler when he suffered from a leg wound he sustained in battle.

Salto Hotel.

This is one of the oldest hotels in Columbia, and it was once a bubbling tourist attraction thanks to the Tequendema Falls beside it. The Hotel De Salto, as it’s widely called, was launched in 1928, and tourist trooped to see the waterfall.

Image source: flitto.com

Surprisingly, the number of tourists that flocked to see the waterfall decreased significantly for unknown reasons. This led to the closure of the hotel in the 90s. In 2012, the hotel was converted into a museum, but several people still believe the place is haunted.

Kiev’s Abandoned Subway Tunnel.

When you are on a train, going through a subway tunnel can sometimes be a scary experience. An abandoned subway tunnel is scarier, and most people avoid it at all costs. The picture below is that of a deserted subway tunnel in Kyiv.

Image source: general-kosmosa.livejournal.com

The tunnel is part of Kyiv’s metro system right beneath the bubbling city. Most of these tunnels are still flooded to this day, and they contain several creepy hanging stalactites found forming the ceilings of this tunnel.

Balaklava’s Submarine Base.

Unlike most of the other sites listed in this article, the difference here is that this old submarine dock located in Ukraine has not been deserted completely. The dock was decommissioned, and it used to be a secret facility for the Soviet Union.

Image source: flickr/Thomas Alboth

The facility wasn’t too far from Balaklava, and rumor has it that it can comfortably withstand a direct nuclear attack. The major reason for this is because of its strategic location beneath the ground. At this time, it’s a national naval museum.

Shicheng China’s Underwater City

If you were enamored with the stories about the fabled lost city Atlantis, then the trapped underwater city of Shicheng should catch your fancy. As it’s sometimes called, Lion City is situated in Eastern China, Zhejiang province, to be specific.

Image source: china.org.cn

When the government started building the Xin’an River Hydropower Station, it was suddenly submerged and has been left untouched. To this day, the water has protected the city from nature’s elements, and it’s still in good condition, but it’s still haunting nonetheless.

The SS America

This wreck can be found in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, and it has been there since 1994. A terrible storm that took place in Playa de Garcey was responsible for this ship’s wreck, where the Atlantic Ocean broke the ship into two pieces.

Image source: Abandonedlorn/reddit

It also broke into two equal halves and by 2007, almost all of the ship was submerged beneath the water and barely visiblle. By 2012, there was nothing left of the ocean liner SS American Star.

New York’s Hall Subway Stop.

One thing is certain, this New York metro station was elegantly designed and was one of the standout metro stations found beneath the City Hall in the Big Apple. The metro was quite large, and it got a lot of preference for that reason.

Image source: John Paul Palescandolo

However, for security reasons, the metro station had to be closed. This happened in 1945, but to this day, the station is still in pristine condition. Although it is closed to the general public, it is only opened for private tours.

A USSR submarine base.

If you watch a lot of movies, especially post-apocalyptic ones – you surely must have come across this kind of scene before. In truth, this is not a movie set but a deserted Soviet submarine base left to rot because of the Cold war.

Image source: Readerleader/reddit

Even though the place is rusting away slowly, the building is still enormous, and it looks scary. It is also filled with ocean tides, which adds more to its spooky allure. Even though the place is completely deserted, we’re sure it holds a lot of secrets that would be mind-blowing.

Pennsylvania’s Eastern State Penitentiary.

This asylum-like looking penitentiary opened in 1829 and it ran for several years before it was closed in 1971. As at the time it was running, this prison was a first of its kind due to its modern design.

Image source: adwheelerphotography

The wagon wheel shape it adopted was inventive and has been adopted worldwide by other prisons. Now, it has become a national landmark due to the caliber of prisoners it housed. From what we discovered, mafia boss Al Capone and Willie Sutton were once inmates there.

A Deserted Mill in Sorrento, Italy.

This abandoned mill can be found in a place called the Valley of the Mills. It is situated in a coastal town called Sorrento, Italy. It used to be a bubbling place before it was left to rot in 1866.

Image source: reddit.com/user/jaykirsch/

This was caused by the construction work that took place in Tasso Square, which had a direct impact on the sea. The square’s construction led to a spike in the humidity of the area, which made the mill hard to live near and left it abandoned and spooky.

New York’s Willard Asylum

Even when they aren’t desolate, asylums aren’t nice place to at. This place is called the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane, and it was established in 1869. The asylum ran for several years until it was shut down in 1995.

Image source: adwheelerphotography

During peak periods, the asylum was reputed to have housed more than 4000 patients. The scary part was that almost half of the admitted patients didn’t make it out alive after stepping into the asylum. Imagine the ghosts lurking around the walls.

New Jersey’s Jet Star Rollercoaster

Rollercoasters are fun rides for adrenaline junkies. For those who like to feel the rush of the wind on their face, the jet star rollercoaster situated in New Jersey would have been the best bet. Unfortunately, it is now unusable.

Image source: wtop.com

The rollercoaster was made in the 70s and was successfully run until 2012 when disaster struck. Hurricane Sandy devastated the entire coast and rendered the ride and surrounding area completely unsafe. Although the owners tried to refurbish it, the cost was just too much so it was neglected.

Eastern Siberia’s Mirny Diamond Mine

The first thing that pops in your mind when you see this picture is that its a gigantic crator left by a meteor. Unfortunately, it is not. This is a manmade hole and it is the second-largest of its kind in the entire world.

Image source: imgur.com

This pit was discovered by geologists from the Soviet Union in 1955, and it can be found in Eastern Siberia – the old Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to be specific. This scary-looking pit is about 525 meters deep.

The Gulliver Travel’s Park in Japan.

The saying “A picture is worth more than a thousand words” cannot be better depicted than this. This is a deserted theme park the Japanese built in 2007 to rival America’s Disneyland, but the project didn’t live up to expectations.

Image source: blazepress

A few years after it’s launch, the business couldn’t stay afloat, so it was closed down. The owners didn’t bother to remove the statue of Gulliver, which was lying there helplessly and looking as haunting as ever. The park still makes for great photo ops, though.

The Duke of Lancaster in the United Kingdom

This ship is known as the TSS Duke of Lancaster, and it was the British Railway’s last passenger-only ship. The ship was fully constructed in 1956, and it was used to replace a ship that bore the same name.

Image source: Pinterest

At first, the ship was used to connect Belfast to Wales, but it couldn’t compete with ferries. After some time, it was converted to a fun ship, but that didn’t last long either. They violated about ten safety rules and were forced to either pay fines or stop sailing altogether.

Japan’s Koga Family Land

From the look of things, it seems there are several abandoned theme parks in Japan. This theme park is called the Koga family land. Although it’s small, it was supposed to attract visitors due to it’s proximity to the Biwa Lake.

Image source: Twitter/@joannart

Just like the other theme parks on the list, it suffered the same fate and had to be closed down in the 90s. The park has so far been abandoned for about 20 years until some of the equipment was removed save for this Ferris wheel.

Philippines’ Fantasy World

This picture hurts on several levels due to the potential this project had to offer. From the beginning, if you had told the owners that this project would go south, they definitely wouldn’t have believed you. Their problems started when they ran out of money during construction.

Image source: Twitter/@joannart

After sourcing for funds from several quarters with no success, the project had to be abandoned. The project was never formally opened because it was never completed but tourists are allowed to explore the part for a token.

New Jersey / New York’s Ellis Island Isolation Hospital

When immigrants landed in the United States for the first time via Ellis Island, they were mandated to go through visa and health checks there. However, a lot of them were denied entry and few were allowed to use the hospital there.  

Image source: Pinterest/rebbellidder

The hospital, which is now dilapidated, opened in 1902 , and was finally closed to the public in 1930. The above picture is a morgue used to keep people that passed on in their bid to enter the country.

Canada’s Herschel Island

Herschel Island can be found about 3 miles from the shore near Yukon, Northern Canada. The island was the home of the Thules for about a thousand years – as suggested by the history books. Over time, this changed considerably.

Image source: Twitter/daconfuscionist

The moment it was discovered by Europeans, they trooped in their numbers as they found out it was an ideal location to hunt whales. For hundreds of years, people visited Herschel Island to hunt and fish until the whales changed locations – then, the island lost its purpose and became deserted.

Lake Shawnee’s Amusement Park – West Virginia, America

To date, there’s not a single person that can give a credible explanation for the several deaths that occurred at the park. This was where the location of the Clay Family Massacre, which happened in 1783 occurred and it didn’t stop there.

Image source: Pinterest/ogear125

For more than 200 years, several other unexplained deaths occurred on the site, and the place was generally considered to be cursed. In the 50s, they tried to open the park only for 6 more people to die before it was finally closed down for good. 

Brazilian Railways

You will find this scary looking set of tracks in Paranapiacaba – a village several miles from Sao Paulo. It used to be owned by a British company called Sao Paulo Railway company, and they were used to export locally grown coffee beans.

Image source: Pinterest/ogear125

At some point, they had about 4,000 workers. The moment automation started picking up pace, many people lost their jobs. In 1982, the last set of steam trains were decommissioned, and the tracks were no longer used.

Croatia / Bosnia’s Željava Air Base

‘Objekat 505’ was the code name of this military complex. In Europe, it was one of the biggest, and it was created by the communist government of Yugoslavia in 1948. The base was completely destroyed after the Yugoslav wars in 1991.

Image source: Pinterest/ogear125

The destruction of the base caused several problems, especially for the environment, as you can still find explosives that haven’t been detonated in the complex. Presently, some illegal immigrants make use of the route to gain entry into Europe.

Berlin’s Bärenquell Brewery

A long time ago, the Bärenquell Brewery used to make some of the most widely drunk beers in the entire country. The brewery was established in 1882 and ran at a huge profit for several years after launch.

Image source: Pinterest/loverral

In no time, they had even expanded and had to acquire more machinery and land. The advent of WW II saw the facility nationalized, and things weren’t the same after the Berlin Wall was brought down. It was finally shut in 1994.

Spain’s Sant Romà de Sau

Just like what happened with the Temple of Santiago in the above slides, a terrible flood was responsible for the abandonment of Sant Romà de Sau. Before then, the church ran and operated for at least a thousand years.

Source: Twitter/attentiondeficiit

The government had to deliberately submerge the entire town in the 60s by creating a massive reservoir. With nothing to hold on to, the residents packed up and left. To date, the entire town is still underwater, except for the church’s tip.

Siberia’s Soviet Village

This Soviet village was opened to the public in 1968 and is situated close to the Anadyr Bay right before the Bering Sea. Formerly, this town used to be a military settlement, and its occupants had the job of guarding the country’s borders.

Source: Pinterest/reallbosses

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the entire complex was abandoned by the residents. However, there were still pockets of citizens scattered around nearby districts and they were moved by local authorities in 2013. The government doesn’t have any plan of renovating the site.

Alaska’s Adak Island

You’ll find Adak Island on the far side of the Bering sea. The place is unhabitable due to freezing temperatures and strong winds. Still, there’s a particular tribe called the Aleut that has lived there for 1000 years.

Source: Pinterest/smallviller

On the other hand, the remote location of this place was good for the military so the US Army built a base in the town in the middle of WW II. The moment the cold war ended, everyone left with the exception of 300 people.

Cardiff’s Whitchurch Hospital

The Whitchurch Hospital was established in 1908, and it became the largest mental health hospital in the entire city. The hospital spanned five acres of land, and it took about ten years before they finished building it.

Source: Pinterest/smallvillain

At some point, it housed about 750 patients until the government decided it was not suitable anymore. The hospital was finally closed, and now it’s been converted to several small-sized residential buildings to house an estimated 330 properties.

Japan’s Hachijo Royal Hotel

You won’t believe that in the 60s, Japan’s citizens were forbidden to travel overseas – hard to imagine, right? To compensate for that, the government built several luxury resorts and hotels scattered across the country for citizens to enjoy staycations.

Source: EXCLUSIVEPIX MEDIA/thesun.co.uk

The above-pictured hotel was built on Hachijo Jima island, and it was a local hotspot for some time. The moment the government permitted international tourism, interest in the island waned considerably. In the long run, the hotel had to close down.