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Creepy Ghost Towns with a Horrifying Past Behind Them

Darko Nanevski

Some abandoned ghost towns, in time, became notorious, because of their dark past.

Today, they maintain a reputation for being haunted, ravaged by time where the ruins serve as a bitter reminder of what actually happened there and what once was.  Here are the 5 abandoned towns that have the eeriest history to tell.

1. Pripyat, Ukraine

This town was the home of about 50,000 people for 16 years before the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 occurred.

The ghost town Pripyat with the nuclear power plant in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone which was established after the nuclear disaster in 1986

The ghost town Pripyat with the nuclear power plant in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone which was established after the nuclear disaster in 1986

Many of them were workers at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and it can be said that the town was mostly dependent on the Power Plant to prosper. After the catastrophe, the town was immediately evacuated and the residents were forced to leave only with their most essential belongings.

The Pripyat entrance sign

The Pripyat entrance sign

The town is even scarier looking today being totally ransacked and ravaged by time.  It serves as time museum, literally frozen in time and totally empty.

Ferris wheel in Pripyat ghost town in Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine

Ferris wheel in Pripyat ghost town in Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine

2. Oradour – sur – Glane, France

Part of the village of Oradour-sur-Glane thats never restored after the second world war

Part of the village of Oradour-sur-Glane thats never restored after the second world war

A tiny village in France, this peaceful community definitely has the most tragic and horrifying story behind it. Previously, a home of about 642 people that were, in June 1944, massacred by the Nazi Waffen SS – Company. They were locked into the church that was set on fire and anyone who tried to escape was gunned down by the firing squad.

Destroyed village of Oradour sur Glane in June 1944, France

Destroyed village of Oradour sur Glane in June 1944, France

After the war, another village was built nearby and the French president Charle de Gaulle ordered for the town to be left intact and to serve as an evocative memorial for the people who lost their lives.

Oradour sur Glane

Oradour sur Glane

 

3. Port Arthur, Tasmania

Having been a settlement for convicts and criminals and build by the British empire in the 18th century specifically for that purpose, Port Arthur today is an open for visit museum and a top tourist attraction.

Port Arthur Tasmania the old church ruins

Port Arthur Tasmania the old church ruins

Located on the Australian coastal ships and for a long time serving as a penal colony, it had the biggest convict transportation in the time when the European powers were expanding and strengthening their colonial power. And they succeeded in that endeavor by using the convicts as a free labor force.

 

Port Arthur – December 19, 2014: Shot of former military barracks at the Port Arthur Historical Site.

Port Arthur – December 19, 2014: Shot of former military barracks at the Port Arthur Historical Site.

But what this town is really remembered today is for the mass shooting that occurred in 1996, when Martin Bryant, a 28-year-old from New Town shot and killed 35 people. It definitely is the most brutal mass murder event in Australian history and in the world.

 

Port Arthur Tasmania, ruins of the old goal.

Port Arthur Tasmania, ruins of the old goal.

This event will forever haunt Port Town and its previous inhabitants. Some people who came there even said that they saw ghostly figures and heard odd noises coming from the church bell that hasn’t been active in years.

4. Agdam, Azerbaijan

Agdam Mosque Built by Azerbaijani architect Karbalayi Safikhan Karabakhi in 1868. Author: Vagharsh CC BY-SA 3.0

Agdam Mosque Built by Azerbaijani architect Karbalayi Safikhan Karabakhi in 1868. Author: Vagharsh CC BY-SA 3.0

Located in the southwest part of Azerbaijan, Agdam was founded in early 19th century.

Today a ghost town, it had the largest population growth during the Soviet period and it counted 28,000 inhabitants by the end of 1989.

In 1993, during the Nagorno – Karabakh war, Armenian forces seized Agdam. The amount of heavy fighting this town saw forced the entire population to flee the city.

Ruins of Bread Museum, Agdam, Azerbaijan. Author: Divot CC BY-SA 3.0

Ruins of Bread Museum, Agdam, Azerbaijan. Author: Divot CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Ruins of a mosque, Agdam, Azerbaijan.Author: Hervé Dez CC BY-SA 3.0

Ruins of a mosque, Agdam, Azerbaijan.Author: Hervé Dez CC BY-SA 3.0

But the biggest damage was done afterward when locals looted the town for materials. Now is almost completely ruined and visiting is still illegal.

Agdam, Azerbaijan ruins in 2010. Author: KennyOMG CC BY-SA 4.0

Agdam, Azerbaijan ruins in 2010. Author: KennyOMG CC BY-SA 4.0

5. Hashima Island, Japan

Known as Battleship island this coal mining facility is infamous because of its dark history of forced labor during the World War II. Now completely abandoned, it serves as a historic monument and a reminder of its horrific past.

 

Gunkanjima also known as Hashima or Battleship Island in Nagasaki Japan, is former coal mining island. It was closed in 1974 due to the closure of the mine.

Gunkanjima also known as Hashima or Battleship Island in Nagasaki Japan, is former coal mining island. It was closed in 1974 due to the closure of the mine.

For the James Bond fans, this island may seem very familiar. A portion of Skyfall was filmed there.

 

Gunkanjima also known as Hashima or Battleship Island in Nagasaki Japan, is former coal mining island. It was closed in 1974 due to the closure of the mine.

Gunkanjima also known as Hashima or Battleship Island in Nagasaki Japan, is former coal mining island. It was closed in 1974 due to the closure of the mine.

In 2009 Japan requested an approval for the Hashima Island to be added in the  World Heritage Site of UNESCO. This move was met with a great deal of controversy and opposed by South Korea on the grounds that the island, during World War II was using Koreans and Chinese as forced labor, against their will under extreme conditions.

 

Gunkanjima also known as Hashima or Battleship Island in Nagasaki Japan, is former coal mining island. It was closed in 1974 due to the closure of the mine.

Gunkanjima also known as Hashima or Battleship Island in Nagasaki Japan, is former coal mining island. It was closed in 1974 due to the closure of the mine.

But in July 2015, during the World Heritage meeting in Bohn, Germany, Korea and Japan came to an agreement and Japan acknowledged the use of forced labor on the island facility. The site was finally included on July 5.