19 Hauntingly Beautiful Abandoned Places Around the World

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Come explore the haunting allure of forsaken spaces. Where an eerie yet enchanting ambiance lingers. From the Isle of Dolls, to the village engulfed by the sand dunes alongside Dubia, each site encapsulates a moment in history suspended in time. Let’s journey to these reflections of the past, where beauty graciously emerges amidst the cracks and dust.

Here are 19 abandoned places around the world that will haunt and awe you all the same.

Beelitz-Heilstatten Hospital, Germany

Source: Anne Seubert/ Unsplash

Its colorful history is both disturbing and intriguing to say the least, from 1898 to 1930 this hospital was a sanatorium for those suffering from tuberculosis. During World War I the Beelitz-Heilstatten would serve as a refuge for soldiers affected by mustard gas and gunshot wounds, including the ever infamous Adolf Hilter.

In later years the hospital would become a major treatment center for Nazi soldiers during World War II, until 1945 when it was primarily used as a soviet military hospital until the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Today, aside from a few wards, the majority of this once active hospital in Germany is now left to decay and slowly succumb to its surrounding environment. If these walls could talk, oh the horror stories they would tell.

Kennecott, Alaska 

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Nestled in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park lies what was once a bustling mining town, equipped with its own hospital and skating rink. From 1911 to 1938 almost $200 millions worth of copper was processed in Kennecott, helping it earn its place on the map no doubt. Now, the once bustling town is riddled with abandoned buildings, most of which have sat that way for more than 60 years.

Although many structures have deteriorated beyond repair their character still remains steadfast, determined to not be lost to time. In 1998 the National Park Service acquired the majority of the buildings and surrounding land, opening the visitor center Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Hashima Island, Japan

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What was once the most densely populated island in all the world is now concrete reminiscence of what used to be heavily occupied apartment complexes, lending itself to what most of us only see in horror films. Nagasaki Island gained its sought after inhabitants after people discovered underwater coal deposits directly underneath the island, and people flocked to it in droves.

To house the miners, laborers, and their families large, yet compact concrete apartment buildings were constructed boosting its population significantly. However the novelty wore off as soon as the coal dried up and people rushed off the island just as quickly as they came, leaving a floating ghost town in the ocean in their wake.

Lake Reschen Bell Tower, Italy

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When all that remains of villages is a 14th century bell tower. Compared to others on this list, the history of Lake Reschen bell Tower isn’t quite as unsettling, yet the hair on the back of my neck still stands straight up when I see this imagery.

In 1940, Montecatini, an Italian electric company built a dam to unify two lakes in the south Tyrol with Reschensee and Mittersee. The surrounding areas were villages inhabited by many, but were flooded intentionally during the construction of the dam. Now all that remains of the villages is the bell tower. If you wish to see this beauty yourself the surrounding hills are rife with hiking trails, and if you visit in the winter you can walk up to the bell tower itself after the lake freezes over.

Deception Island, Antarctica

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In the frigid South Shetland Islands of Antarctica resides a very popular tourist destination known as Deception Island, renowned for its deserted research and whaling station. Between 1931 and 1969 its residents were forced to vacate on multiple occasions due to volcanic activity, eventually leaving it behind entirely. All that remains are the beached boats and slowly decaying broilers

Michigan Central Station, Detroit

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After opening in 1914 the Michigan Central Station in Detroit was a bustling station, the hub for hundreds of trains on a daily basis. As travel by locomotive began to dwindle the station began to suffer eventually leading to its demise in 1988. Even though the city is now on the upswing the station is a stark reminder of Detroit’s once economic decline.

Nicosia International Airport, Cyprus

Source: Satian39

Covered in thick layers of dust and bird droppings are the remains of Nicosia International Airport. You would never guess by the looks of it that this was once a highly successful airport from 1930 to 1974 when it ultimately met its fate after it was abandoned during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

St. George’s Church, Czech Republic

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Perhaps one of the eeriest on the list is St. George’s Church in the Czech Republic. After multiple fires and the roof collapsing during a funeral in 1968 the congregation considered it to be haunted (who would blame them) and refused to occupy the church. Over the years it was vandalized and robbed multiple times, that was until an art student from the University of West Bohemia had an idea to draw visitors back to the church. In 2012 the student put in an installation of 30 ghost sculptures placed in the pews bowing their heads; tourists now gather in the thousands to witness for themselves the “Ghost Church”.

Six Flags (formerly Jazzland), New Orleans

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If you want to experience all the scary feels just visit what remains of Six Flags New Orleans. Unfortunately the park was brought to its end during hurricane Katrina, leaving nothing but rusted reminisce of once rollercoasters, torn and tattered concession stands, and no shortage of horrific decapitated clowns (talk about creepy)!

Kayakoy, Turkey

Source: Independent

Kayakoy Turkey was once home to 10,000 residents, a haven for both Greek Orthodox Christians and Muslims. A Place where two groups of religion lived harmoniously for most of the 14 century. In the 1920’s during the Greco-Turkish war the majority of its residents were forced to flee, combining war with a devastating earthquake and what is left is the spectral town of Kayakoy. Hauntingly beautiful in its own right, many of its structures are still standing, reminding all who visit of the peace that once was.

Anping Tree House, Taiwan

Source: Nickkemble

When nature meets building in the most captivating way. Once upon a time this was a British-owned merchant warehouse, sometime in the 19th century the complex was abandoned and a nearby banyan tree found its new residence creating the most stunning “tree house” of sorts. Visitors are welcome to explore the site for just a few dollars, they have even created an elevated walkway to guide you through your tour.

The Island of the Dolls, Mexico

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Isla de las Munecas, also known as the Island of the Dolls is an artificial isle in Xochimilco Mexico. Amidst its canals you will find a plethora of dolls and doll parts placed along the ground and hung from the trees. What seems to be the scene from the scariest horror movie made is actually the work of the island’s former resident Julian Santa Barrera (now deceased).

After Berrera discovered the body of a dead girl in the canal he placed the toys about in efforts to ward off evil spirits. To get a personal glimpse of the island you will have to hire a boat and convince the captain to allow you to view it safely from the water.

Griffith Park Zoo, California

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Griffith Park Zoo opened in 1912 with tons of promise to be a leading destination in Los Angeles California. Regardless of a steady flow of tourism and continued expansions to the park it ultimately failed and closed its doors officially in 1966. Now all that remains are empty animal cages and a labyrinth of starways.

Villa Epecuen, Argentina

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Villa Epecuen was a sought after vacation destination in the 1920s. Known to vacationers for its luxurious accommodations, relaxation, and the nearby salt lake that was said to have the power to heal.

At its height it was known to house upwards of 5,000 guests, sadly it would meet its fatal end in 1985 when a rogue wave broke through the dam submerging the village underwater. The water would eventually recede in 2009, revealing a salt covered eroded version of what once was.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

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Born in 1829 and known for its strict solitary confinement practices where inmates were housed alone, ate alone, and had outside recreation alone. Eastern State Penitentiary became infamous for its new levels of these strict procedures, going so far as to cover the heads of inmates when they needed to leave their cell for any reason. The prison closed in 1971, and remained that way until reopening its doors in 1994 to host ghostly tours and visitors to their museum.

Crystal Palace Subway, London

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Under a four lane road in the south of London are the remains of one of London’s most awe striking ruins. Built in 1851 It served as a subway station built to connect the Crystal Palace High Level Station to the Crystal Palace. After a fire destroyed the Crystal palace in1936, the subway station was useless. Although no longer functioning, its still a sight to be seen, a true hidden gem.

Al Madam, United Arab Emirates

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Al Madam can be found in the desert about 40 miles southeast of Dubai. The village consists of a few rows of houses and a mosque, which is all slowly being swallowed by sand dunes. Surrounded by seas of sand It is the epitome of a ghost town.

Lapalice Castle, Poland

Source: Wikimedia/Slawek Zawadzki

Resembling many of the ornate castles in Eastern Europe, Lapalice Castle was actually built in 1979 as an art studio for Piotr Kazimierczak. Technically speaking it isn’t even a castle, rather a very lavish building equipped with a ballroom, swimming pool, towers, and more.

Due to financial troubles Kazimierczak would have to walk away from the project before it fully came to fruition. Its graffiti covered bones and deteriorating walls are all that remain of this beauty.

Gereja Ayam “Chicken Church”, Indonesia

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Buried in the jungles of central Java is Gereja Ayam, also known as the “Chicken Church”. The original intent of the architect was to create a building that resembled a dove (A for effort! ). The church opened in the 1990’s serving as a place of worship for all religions and a rehabilitation center.

The high cost of construction led to the abandonment of the building in 2000. Nowadays you can treat yourself to the treats in the small cafe at the tail end while enjoying the beauty of the jungle surroundings.

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Danielle Wiesman

Written by Danielle Wiesman

Danielle Wiesman stands as an American literary luminary recognized for her versatility in crafting stories across genres. Widely celebrated for her prowess in romance novels, her work has been featured in many of the top publications for this sector. Outside of writing she adopts and rehouses abandoned cats

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