Ghost Towns are abandoned settlements that over time have been weathered by time. There are several hundreds of ghost towns around the world that have all been abandoned for many reasons. Listed below are some of the more known ghost towns and included is a list of almost all of them world wide.
Centralia, Pennsylvania – a borough and a near-ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 10 in 2010 as a result of the coal mine fire that has been burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia, which is part of the Bloomsburg-Berwick micropolitan area, is the least-populated municipality in Pennsylvania and is completely surrounded by Conyngham Township.
All real estate in the borough were claimed under eminent domain and therein condemned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1992 and Centralia’s ZIP code was discontinued by the Postal Service in 2002. State and local officials reached an agreement with the remaining residents on October 29, 2013, allowing them to live out their lives there, after which the rights of their houses will be taken through eminent domain.
Craco, Italy – in the province of Matera, was depopulated in the middle of the 20th century, due to a landslide and the subsequent emigration. The abandonment has made Craco a popular filming location for movies such as The Nativity Story, The Passion of the Christ and Quantum of Solace.
Oradour-sur-Glane, France – destroyed by a Waffen-SS battalion during World War II and its population massacred. The village was subsequently rebuilt nearby, but the ruins of the old village have been preserved.
Bodie, California – a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States, about 75 miles (121 km) southeast of Lake Tahoe. It is located 12 mi (19 km) east-southeast of Bridgeport, at an elevation of 8379 feet (2554 m). As Bodie Historic District, the U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes it as a National Historic Landmark.
Also registered as a California Historical Landmark, the ghost town officially became Bodie State Historic Park in 1962, and receives about 200,000 visitors yearly. Starting in 2012, Bodie is administered by the Bodie Foundation, which uses the tagline Protecting Bodie’s Future by Preserving Its Past.
Fordlandia, Brazil – established by American industrialist Henry Ford in 1928 near Santarém. This was done to mass-produce natural rubber. Built in inadequate terrain, designed with no knowledge of tropical agriculture, and managed with little regard for local culture, the enterprise was an absolute failure; in 1934, the Ford factory was relocated to Belterra, but ultimately closed down in 1945.
Hashima Island, Japan – a Japanese mining town from 1887 to 1974. Once known for having the world’s highest population density (in 1959 at 83,500 people per square kilometer), the island was abandoned when the coal mines were closed down.
Agdam, Azerbaijan – the capital of Agdam Rayon, is a ghost town in the southwestern part of Azerbaijan. In July 1993, after heavy fighting, Agdam was captured by Armenian forces during their 1993 summer offensives. As the town fell, its entire population were forced to flee eastwards. Many Azerbaijanis were killed by Armenian soldiers. In the immediate aftermath of the fighting, the Armenian forces decided to destroy parts of Agdam to prevent its recapture by Azerbaijan. More damage occurred in the following decades when the deserted town was looted for building materials. Agdam is currently a ruinous, uninhabited ghost town. The town’s large mosque survives in poor condition.
Kolmanskuppe, Namibia – From 1884 to 1915, Namibia was under the rule of the German Empire, and was known as German South-West Africa. When diamonds were discovered in 1908, German miners flocked to the area, and several new settlements were established, only to be abandoned once the supply of diamonds dried up.
Pompeii, Italy – an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples, in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
The eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash. Evidence for the destruction originally came from a surviving letter by Pliny the Younger, who saw the eruption from a distance and described the death of his uncle Pliny the Elder, an admiral of the Roman fleet, who tried to rescue citizens. The site was lost for about 1,500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599 and broader rediscovery almost 150 years later by Spanish engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre in 1748. The objects that lay beneath the city have been preserved for centuries because of the lack of air and moisture. These artifacts provide an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana. During the excavation, plaster was used to fill in the voids in the ash layers that once held human bodies. This allowed one to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died.
Pompeii has been a tourist destination for over 250 years. Today it has UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, with approximately 2.5 million visitors every year.