There are hundreds of towns throughout the world that have been deserted for one reason or another. Many of these are located in western USA as they were built during the days of the Gold Rush and left for dead shortly after. However, there are others all over the globe and these are some of the best.
1. Craco, Italy
This southern Italian town can be traced back to the sixth century B.C. It survived the plague and various invasions, but in the 1960s it finally succumbed to several landslides and earthquakes. The village’s population of 1,800 had to be moved to a safer area in 1975 which was known as Craco Peschiera. The old village of Craco has been uninhabited ever since. However, it has been featured in a couple of major films, “The Passion of the Christ” and “Quantum of Solace.”
2. Calico, California, USA
This was a hopping spot back in the 1880s as there were about 500 silver ore mines in the San Bernardino county area. Numerous people made quite a bit of money here until the supply of silver ran out. The town has since been restored and is now a historical landmark. You can visit Calico aroundHalloween and take cemetery tours and enjoy some other ghostly activities.
3. San Zhi, Taiwan
This old abandoned town was used back in 1978 as a housing area for American military personnel who were stationed in eastern Asia. Legend has it that the site was haunted due to a few deadly accidents that occurred there. Other rumors say it was built on top of an ancient burial ground that was used in the 1600s to bury Dutch soldiers. The site was torn down several years ago and only ruins and legends remain.
4. Kolmanskop, Namibia
This town in south Namibia was a popular site for diamonds back in 1908. After the mines were built there were close to 1,000 people living there as they had built a hospital and school. After the First World War the demand for the area’s diamonds fell. Since the 1950s the town has basically been deserted and has turned into desert.
5. Cripple Creek, Colorado, USA
This small town is located southwest of Colorado Springs and is a national historic district. The place was bustling with a population of about 10,000 back in 1890 as prospectors converged on the area to look for gold.
They eventually found what they were looking for and the gold flowed freely from the mines. It’s still a nice place to visit as you can take goldmine tours, learn how to pan for gold and check out some of the shows at the local casinos and the Butte Theater. There are several special events held throughout the year as well, such as a cemetery tour and an ice-carving celebration.
6. Bodie, California, USA
Bodie was known as one of the wildest towns in the west about 150 years ago. It started out as a small village that housed a couple of dozen miners. Around 1880 there were about 10,000 people living in Bodie and it was rife with gamblers, saloons, gunfighters, and prostitutes.
The silver and gold mines were successful, meaning the local cowboys had quite a bit of money to spend. These days, Bodie is a state park. However, you’ll still be able to see about 100 of the original buildings including the livery, gambling hall, and jailhouse.
7. Rhyolite, Nevada, USA
This is another town that was booming many decades ago due to the ore that could be found nearby. It grew pretty quickly in the early 1900s after a few prospectors hit the jackpot here. Once everybody knew there were riches to be found a stampede suddenly followed. In addition, the town found itself with a jail, red-light district, train station, and schoolhouse.
However, the good times didn’t last too long as the town started going downhill less than 10 years later when the mine was closed down. By 1924 it was deserted, but you can still see the local bank and train depot.