The 15 creepiest ghost towns on earth

Hashima Island, nine miles from Nagasaki, Japan.
darthale / Flickr

There are hundreds of ghost towns around the world.

Traditionally speaking, ghost towns are places that have been completely abandoned, left in piles of rubble and brick that have been weathered down over the decades.

Some are even known for having lots of paranormal activity and will totally give you the creeps.

Luckily for those of us who are easily frightened, Instagram has curated a list of some of the creepiest ghost towns on earth.

We’ve rounded up photos of those places – they’re bound to send a chill down your spine.

Terlingua, Texas

Terlingua was once the quicksilver capital of the world, with over 2,000 miners living and working there by 1890. The mine eventually flooded and mineral prices dropped, leaving the town relatively empty after World War II.

Exploring the ghost town of #terlingua in Texas. ???? #roadtrip #texas

A photo posted by Arnaud Montagard (@arnaudmontagard) on Oct 11, 2015 at 10:50am PDT

Bodie, California

Gold was discovered here in 1859, and the town had a population of 10,000 by 1880. However, as the mining boom came to a close, the final mine shut down in 1942. In 1962, the California State Parks System took over Bodie, maintaining it as a state park and official Wild West ghost town. Rumor has it that anyone who tries to take home artifacts from Bodie will have a curse put on them.

Bodie Ghost town was named one of the most haunted ghost towns in the USA …

A photo posted by @sammypierotti on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:39pm PDT

Tefelsberg, Berlin

During the Cold War, US government officials would use this station’s big satellite antennas to listen in on what was happening in East Germany. This station was built on top of an old Nazi unit that had been battered and bruised during World War II. The remains of the American listening station domes are still standing today, and people can go up and visit them.

We went to Teufelsberg and it was pretty fucking weird… in a good way. #Berlin #Teufelsberg

A photo posted by Daisy Aylott (@daisyaylott) on Jun 29, 2015 at 2:07pm PDT

Johnsonville Village, East Haddam, Connecticut

Johnsonville Village was founded in the 1960s by industralist Raymond Schmitt. Schmitt, who purchased Victorian-style buildings across New England, attempted to turn the village into a tourist attraction. However, it never turned a profit and has since devolved into a ghost town.

Abandoned/Haunted House. #vscocam

A photo posted by Stefan (@stefancoisson) on Jun 5, 2015 at 7:20pm PDT

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia was founded in 1866 as a mining town and thrived through the rest of the century. In 1962 a fire started and spread throughout the town. Strangely enough, the town continues to burn today – and it could keep going for another 250 years.

Remaining Church in Centralia #centralia #church

A post shared by VodaZNY (@vodazny) on

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

It’s now open to the public to explore, but between the years 1829 and 1971, this prison was one of the largest and most important in the US. It housed several high-profile criminals, including Al Capone, and has been studied for reports of paranormal activity.

Trapped. #philadelphia

A post shared by A N G E L A (@wanderloster) on

Goldfield Ghost Town, Apache Junction, Arizona

The Wild West village on the Apache Trail has been a ghost town for more than a century, and it has been drawing visitors ever since. It was a gold mining town in the late 1800s, but once prices on gold ore dropped, residents left in droves.

Superstition mountain (formed from volcanic activity as far back as 25 million years ago!)

A photo posted by Pia Reyes (personal acct) (@piafish) on Oct 2, 2015 at 5:59pm PDT

Miranda Castle, Houyet, Belgium

Built in 1866, this neo-Gothic castle was originally meant for one family, but it was later taken over by the National Railway Company of Belgium. It was used as an orphanage until 1980, and then abandoned in 1991 after it became too expensive to maintain. A 1995 fire destroyed part of the roof.

#mirandacastle #abonded #castle #urbex

A post shared by Sophie Zweers (@xsophieos) on

Oradour-sur-Glane, France

This village was destroyed by the Nazis in 1944, and hundreds of citizens were massacred. Parts of the old city are still left there today, though a newer section of buildings was also built nearby.

Rhyolite, Nevada

Not far from Las Vegas, the Rhyolite community started as a mining town in 1905 and quickly rose to prominence. It fell just as quickly – the mine closed just six years later, and by 1920, the town was almost completely abandoned. It has since become not only a tourist attraction, but also a filming location for major motion pictures.

Starry summer skies and spooky abandoned buildings. What are you looking forward to next summer?

A photo posted by snapchat // jordanherschel (@jordanherschel) on Dec 10, 2014 at 9:29am PST

Consonno, Italy

Italian entrepreneur Mario Bagno tried to turn this area into the “Las Vegas of Italy,” complete with malls, hotels, and restaurants. The construction was slow and was never quite finished, though it had been opened to the public. What was built is still standing – or crumbling, thanks to a landslide that passed through town and destroyed its only entrance in 1976.


A post shared by Luca Piazzoni (@bioz87) on

Mineral De Pozos, Guanajuato, Mexico

Founded in 1576, Pozos would grow to lofty heights in its glory days. Before closing its last mine in 1950, as many as 17 gold and silver mines brought jobs to some 2,000 men. However, as resources depleted, the town faded, and only 300 people were left in 1950.

Mina Santa Brígida, Mineral de Pozos.

A photo posted by Jose Hiram Salazar Jimenez (@josep_hs) on Sep 20, 2015 at 12:36pm PDT

Hashima Island, Southern Japan

Otherwise known as Battleship Island, Hashima has been abandoned since the mid-1970s, and only its large concrete buildings remain. Established in 1877, it was home to undersea coal mines that contributed to the industralization of Japan. It rests nine miles from the city of Nagasaki.

The abandoned former mining island of Hashima (or Gunkanjima) is one of the most enigmatic post-modern industrial wastelands of the 20th century. This tiny island first became a full scale seabed mining operation of Mitsubishi Corp in 1890 and its population reached a peak of 5300 at one point. This community was so densely populated that Japan’s first high rise concrete apartment blocks were built here. However, the island was abandoned in 1974 when the mine was shut down. Since then, the tall structures of the island were allowed to deteriorate and collapse, forming an amazing landscape of post-modern apocalypse that has been featured in quite a few movies. I find it amazing that ancient Roman ruins appear to be more resilient than these skyscrapers less than a century old. In 2015, Hashima Island officially became part of the new Unesco World Heritage listing on the Meiji Industrial Heritage of Japan. #wanderlust #journey #travel #nomadic #japan #kyushu

A photo posted by the Nomad (@sgnomadic) on Sep 25, 2015 at 1:58am PDT

Trebević, Central Bosnia and Herzegovina

During the 1984 Winter Olympics in Yugoslavia, this mountain was used for several events, including bobsledding. War came to the area in the 1990s, and it lost its popularity as a tourist destination.

Kolmanskop, Karas, Namibia

In the early 1900s, Kolmanskop was a destination for mining diamonds. By 1954 the village was abandoned, and sand from the nearby Namib Desert has drifted in through the windows and doorways of some of its buildings.

A post shared by Leannè Rocher (@leannerocher) on