Around the world, you can find abandoned buildings and communities. They get left behind for a whole host of reasons.
Perhaps they no longer serve a purpose. Maybe they have encountered an unforeseen natural disaster. Sometimes people abandon buildings because of war. Sometimes, it has something rumored to do with the supernatural.
Often, you’ll find a creepy story behind whatever might have happened … chilling enough to send shivers up and down one’s spine. What remains left behind? Derelict communities and ruined buildings … both haunting and disturbing in the extreme.
Read on for a list of the 25 Creepiest Abandoned Buildings Around the World.
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6. Oradour-sur-Glane - The Massacred French Village
Location: Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, west-central France
This empty village is a testimony of the cruelty of the Nazi Waffen SS, who massacred virtually the entire population of this small rural village in 1944. Approximately 642 people were murdered (including 205 children) in retaliation for local partisan activity.
A lot of those murdered had been locked up in the local church. The Waffen SS soldiers had set the building ablaze and then opened fire on it with machine guns. There was just one survivor.
The village was never re-inhabited and has been left as a memorial. The ruined church lays untouched and rusting shells of cars still remain parked where they had been that fateful summer morning, nearly 80 years ago.
7. Ancient Pompeii - Consumed by the Wrath of the Gods?
Location: Pompeii, Italy
In 79 AD, the Roman city of Pompeii was engulfed in heat (up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit) and ash (up to 20 feet deep) when the nearby volcano at Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted violently. The city ceased to exist overnight and it was not rediscovered until over 1,700 years later.
Though the ruined city today has still not been fully excavated, over 1,100 bodies have been found, including those of dogs and horses. They were mostly found in small groups huddled together at the moment of death. Husbands and wives can be seen holding one another, while frightened lovers tightly embrace and small children desperately cling to their parents.
8. The Ghost Town of Chernobyl
Location: Chernobyl, Ukraine
What could be more chilling than an eerie, abandoned building? How about a whole abandoned town awash with deadly radiation?
Back in 1986, there was an accident at the local nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, which forced the evacuation of over 120,000 people in the surrounding area. Some have returned to the villages initially affected, but large areas, including Chernobyl, still lie in an exclusion zone due to the high levels of radiation.
It is thought that the area will not be fully safe until 2065, nearly 80 years after the accident. A most creepy thought indeed.
9. Wittenoom - The Town that Ceased to Exist
Location: Pilbara Region of Western Australia
This Australian town once had a thriving population of around 20,000 people. Its prosperity was based on its highly successful asbestos mine. It was abandoned in the 1960s when the dangers of asbestos were discovered, though not before an estimated 1,000 of its residents (5% of the population) had died of asbestos-related diseases!
The town’s name has been removed from official maps and road signs. Today, the abandoned mine, town, surrounding area, and the air are all still contaminated with the deadly asbestos dust.
10. The Mass Burning at Chateau de Montsegur
Location: Languedoc-Occitanie Region, France
This mighty former fortress is perched high on a 4,000-foot-high outcrop. It is even said to have once held the Holy Grail. In 1243 to 1244, during religious infighting in the region, the fortress endured a 9-month siege. When it finally surrendered, around 220 of its occupants were rounded up and thrown on a giant bonfire, where they were burnt to death.
Another version of events states that the prisoners voluntarily marched into the flames, sure of their salvation. The fortress is now a ruin. Although the spot where so many died in agony is meant to be a dammed and cursed spot, some believe it is actually a holy spot commemorating Christian martyrdom.