As the world continues to battle COVID-19 through social isolation, thriving cities such as London and New York City have rapidly transformed to eerily quiet streets that resemble ghost towns. Ghost towns are abandoned villages, towns or cities that contain the remains of infrastructure such as roads, buildings, or houses. With their silent streets, these derelict cities have become tourist attractions offering a haunting glimpse into the lives of once bustling communities. From evacuated cities such as Chernobyl to a diamond paradise, the experts at Property Turkey have narrowed it down to the top 7 famous ghost towns and abandoned cities
Located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California OD is a ghost town that once had a population of 5000 to 7000 people. This California goldmining town was abandoned in after all non-essential goldmines in the United States were closed during World War II. Mining never resumed after the war, causing one of California’s biggest towns to turn into a ghost-town in 1942.
First established in 1856, this coal mining town was abandoned after the coal seam caught fire in the late 1960s. So far, the Centralia mine fire has burned for over 50 years and is expected to burn for over 200 more. A population of 1500 has been reduced to 7 inhabitants, and the effects of the fire can still be seen in the cracked, smoking highway that leads into the town.
Kayakoy is located on 8km south of tourist haven Fethiye but people rarely visit it. Hundreds of stone houses, churches and a population of 10,000 people were abandoned at the end of the Greco-Turkish war. The population exchange in 1923, signed by both Turkish and Greece governments, meant that Muslims and Christians were exchanged between countries so each country could claim one major religion. Kayakoy, previously known as Levissi, was populated mainly Greeks who were forced to move and settle near Athens. The newly arrived Muslims chose not to settle in Levissi due to its hillside location. Furthermore, in 1957 there was a large earthquake which destroyed most of the town, causing Kayakoy to gain only museum status through the Turkish Ministry of Culture and become a ghost town.
On the afternoon of April 27th 1986, the Chernobyl disaster hit the city of Pripyat. This nuclear accident brought a city with a population of approximately 50,000 to 0. Those who lived there will most likely never live there again, as they would die of acute radiation sickness. The entire city of Pripyat has been abandoned, with a 1000 square mile exclusion zone surrounding it which prohibits visitors too.
Hashima Island, Japan
Located 15km away from the city of Nagasaki lies the abandoned Hashima Island. Surrounded by a sea wall and inhabited only by creatures, the island is a reminder of Japan’s rapid industrialisation. Hashima Island was a undersea coal mining city, reaching its peak in 1959 with a population of 5250 people. However, when coal mining declined in 1974, so did the islands population. Today, the island is a site of industrial heritage for tourists to see.
Craco has had a slow descent into becoming a ghost town. From 1892 to 1922, hundreds of settlers migrated due to poor agricultural conditions. By the 1960’s, over expansion had caused a series of landslides forcing approximately 1800 residents to move town. In 1972, flooding worsened the situation, but it was only after an earthquake in 1980, ancient Craco was completely abandoned.
In the early 1900’s, Kolmanskop was founded in the Namib Desert when diamonds were found in the area. Quickly, the town became abuzz for diamond mining creating enormous wealth for its first miners. However, by the 1950’s there were no more diamonds to be found and the dessert sand reclaimed Kolmanskop. Today, the eerily quiet town and sand covered buildings have attracted hundreds of tourists to take a look at a once rich, thriving town.