There are many abandoned places around the world that are perfect for giving even the most seasoned horror fans the heebie-jeebies. The most infamous is of course Pripyat, Ukraine, the abandoned town that surrounds the Chernobyl nuclear plant that exploded in 1986. There are many more spooky, abandoned places to explore that you may not be as familiar with. Whether you’re a photographer, artist or a fan of all things creepy, there will definitely be something for you in this list.
La Isla de las Muñecas
Directly translated it means ‘The Island of the Dolls’, and it’s exactly as creepy as you’d expect, particularly if you have a dislike of creepy dolls. Situated just outside Mexico City, the small island sits on a tranquil canal and is filled with decapitated dolls hanging from the trees. Former caretaker of the island, Don Julian Santana found a young girl dead in the canal over fifty years ago. He then began to fill the island with these dolls in an attempt to calm the spirit of the girl. In 2001, Santana was found dead in the same area of the canal. It is said that the doll’s eyes often move and many locals believe the spirit of the girl is in control of the dolls that remain on the island.
Poveglia Island, Italy
Poveglia Island is a former quarantine point that was used to monitor ships entering and leaving Venice. In 1793, two ships were found to be containing plague infested passengers. For the safety of Italy’s citizens, the passengers were held in quarantine on Poveglia Island. At the time, they assumed this was a temporary measure, but by 1805, Napoleon had declared Poveglia a permanent quarantine point. It is thought that up to 100,000 people died on the island. So many died there that the soil on the island is thought to be made up of 50% human remains. As if this wasn’t bad enough, in 1922 the island became a mental asylum and continued to house patients until the island was finally abandoned in 1968. Unsurprisingly, there are many reports of paranormal goings on.
The village of Oradour-sur-Glane was abandoned in 1944 when Nazi German soldiers massacred its inhabitants. 642 men, women and children were slaughtered in the horrific event and only six men survived. The massacre was so harrowing that after the war, French President Charles De Gaulle ordered that the village be preserved as a memorial and a reminder of those who lost their lives. The rundown buildings now stand in silence, completely frozen in time.
Power Plant IM, Charleroi, Belgium
Unlike the places previously mentioned, this power plant was not abandoned for any hair-raising reason. Despite this, there is something truly haunting about the huge, silent structures. When the plant was built in 1921, it was one of the largest of its kind in Belgium. Following years of service, protests by Greenpeace resulted in the closure of the plant in 2007 due to its huge carbon emissions. Every slight sound is multiplied and echos seem to go on forever. It has been the subject of some incredible videos and photography.
Deep in the Namib Desert you’ll find a small village named Kolmanskop. Once home to German settlers, this village was key to the diamond mining industry in Namibia. Once the diamonds had all been extracted, the settlers left with their fortune, leaving behind buildings that have since been reclaimed by the unforgiving winds of the Namib Desert. The village has been completely abandoned since the 50’s and is now a popular tourist attraction for those who want to see what became of what was once one of the richest places in the world.