Scariest Ghost Towns In The US
From empty cities and haunted houses to busted wild west boomtowns. Here are 15 of the Scariest Ghost Towns in the US
15 Baltimore, Indiana
Did you know there was another Baltimore in the US that was located outside of Maryland? This one was established in 1829, and had a peak population of about 70. Although the town had a few merchants, the construction of a canal caused the population to dwindle. Today there’s only a house from the 1880s that remains standing. Although we didn’t find any paranormal activity linked to the location, it definitely looks like it could be haunted. What do you think?
14 Ashcroft, Colorado
Located about had one of the fastest boom and bust cycles of any town. In 1880, two prospectors found silver. With 23 other prospectors they formed a Miner’s Protective Association. Within two weeks they had laid out streets and built a courthouse. By 1885 there more than 3,500 residents, along with 20 saloons and six hotels. That peak year was also the start of the city’s decline. Expectations of large silver deposits were never realized, and prospectors moved elsewhere. Only a few people remained at the beginning of the 20th century. When the last resident died in 1939, Ashcroft officially became a ghost town.
13 The Bulow Ruins, Florida (bew-loe)
In 1821 Charles Bulow cleared some 2,200 acres of land to develop a plantation to grow sugar cane, rice, and cotton. It became known as the largest plantation in East Florida, which housed the region’s largest sugar mill. The notoriety didn’t last for long. Seminole (seh-min-nole) Indians burned down the plantation in 1836, and the operation was destroyed. The eerie ruins of the mill can still be seen among the oak trees today. Crumbling ruins of the plantation house itself are also on display. Today it’s known as Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park.
12 Moonville, Ohio
At its peak in the 1870s this small community in Ohio held about 100 residents. Its curious name was allegedly inspired by a local shopkeeper. The town’s economy was based on local coal mines and a railway line that passed through it. As the coal reserves dwindled and rail activity increased, Moonville steadily declined. Established in 1856, the town was abandoned within 25 years. By the 1960s almost all the buildings were gone. Its most visible legacy is the scary-looking Moonville railroad tunnel that has inspired countless ghost stories. It’s still there, and is part of the Moonville Rail-Trail. That’s a 16-mile trail (25 km) open to hikers, and it passes right through the tunnel.
11 Thurmond, West Virginia
Five people allegedly reside here. But Thurmond is a ghost of what it once was. A post office was established in 1882, and the town was incorporated in 1900. Much of its prosperity was tied to coal mining and for being a major railway stop. It had two hotels, one of which became famous (or infamous) for hosting a card party that lasted around 14 years! Guinness has cited it as the longest-lasting poker game ever. When the hotel burned down in 1930, it marked the beginning of the city’s end. The city was deserted by the 1950s. It’s still open for business since the railway depot was transformed into a visitor center. Because Thurmond still retains the look of an Appalachian coal town, it’s shown up in movies depicting that era.
10 Terlingua, Texas (tur-ling-g’wah)
In the case of this settlement located near the Rio Grande, it wasn’t gold that triggered a boomtown. It was the discovery of cinnabar, which yields the metal mercury. Miners flocked to Terlingua in the late 1880s, and the town’s population swelled to around 3,000. The residents fled when the mercury market crashed, and the town was abandoned by the 1940s. Remains of the mine shafts, homes, and the jail can still be seen. It’s one of the better-known ghost towns in the Lone Star State, and it still has a few inhabitants. After exploring the ruins you can even visit an operational restaurant or saloon there.
9 South Pass City, Wyoming
When it was established in the 1850s south pass city was a stagecoach and telegraph station along the Oregon Trail that changed in 1866, when gold was discovered in the Region, adventurers and prospectors soon arrived swelling the population to around 2,000 people. While it soon became a typical frontier town. The expected huge gold strikes never materialized within ten years. The population fell to about a hundred. By the time the last families moved out in 1949. Almost all of the settlements buildings were in disrepair. However, more than 30 structures from the city’s heyday have been observed and calling it a ghost town might not be entirely accurate, as a few residents are still known to live in the area.
8 Glen, Rio, Texas and New Mexico
This is the only place on the list that occupies two states. It actually sits on the state line of Texas and New Mexico on the historic route 66 Glen Rio was founded in 1903 as a railroad weigh station and its location inspired some unusual business practices. The town’s gas stations were placed on the Texas side because the gas tax was higher in New Mexico, and a restaurant and bar were placed on the New Mexico side, because sales of alcohol were illegal in parts of Texas at the time after the Interstate, 40 or I-40 bypass was built, the town faded due to dwindling traffic. Did you know Glen Rios motel had a cameo in Pixar’s animated film cars in 2006.
7 Saint Elmo, Colorado
At its peak about 2,000 people lived in this bustling mining town. When it was established in 1880 it was called Forest City, it was renamed st Elmo and hit its peak around the 1890s, it was the site of a telegraph office, five hotels, saloons, a general store and a railway line. St. Elmo also boasted the Mary Murphy mine, which yielded some six million dollars of gold before it was tapped out in the early 1920s. It was one of the last mines to close when it did so. Much of the population drifted away by 1930. Only seven people were thought to live there, although It’s considered to be abandoned, Saint Elmo still has some inhabitants. One of them is said to be a ghost that still haunts the general store.
6 Bannack, Montana
It was a typical gold rush town when Bannock was founded in 1862, after a huge Gold Strike was found in grasshopper Creek. Another big discovery was made nearby in Virginia City with so many riches. The road connecting the two settlements became infamous for countless holdups and murders. At one time was regarded as one of the country’s most notorious stagecoach routes. Hotels, saloons and stores were established to serve a population of about 10,000, the good times kept rolling for longer than most of the boom towns. Its decline occurred gradually and the town was deserted by the 1950s. Today, It’s the site of bannack state park and the town’s well-preserved buildings can be explored according to some accounts, There’s a high amount of paranormal activity about the location and it was featured on Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel.
5 Cahaba, Alabama
This ghost town really lives up to that description, located southwest of Selma. It was built in the early nineteenth century and actually served as Alabama’s capital from 1820 to 1825, but the area was prone to seasonal flooding from the confluence of two rivers. That was a major factor in relocating the capital to Montgomery. Cahaba was a bustling center of trade and commerce until another major flood hit in 1865. After that, the settlement began a slow decline, and by 1900 it was mostly deserted by residents, but paranormal forces seemed to stay put, There’s a well-known story about a ghostly orb that appears in a garden maze that has since been dismantled. Hauntings are allegedly still going on. that’s part of why Cahaba is regarded as Alabama’s. Most famous ghost town.
4 Bodie, California
Gold was discovered in 1859 at this location, southeast of Lake Tahoe was Bodie was one of the prospectors and the settlement was named after him. Unfortunately, he never lived to see his namesake site turned into a boomtown. By 1879, there were an estimated 2,000 buildings and 7,000 inhabitants, Bodis mines healed at about 34 million dollars worth of gold, and the boom lasted until the 1880s, but by the 1920s the area had drastically declined, and only about a hundred and twenty residents remained. This is one of the best-known ghost towns in the u.s Because it’s been left mostly untouched since it was deserted, you can find stores with shelves containing supplies that were never opened and some shacks contain tables that remain set as if patiently waiting for long-lost residents to reappear, not surprisingly, California designated Bodie as the state’s official Gold Rush ghost town.
3 Rhyolite, Nevada
After prospectors, struck gold. This location in Death Valley grew into a mining town by 1905. A gold rush attracted countless miners developers and service providers. Even the industrialist Charles M swab bought one of the mines and invested in the town at its height, the settlement boasted electric lights, telephones and an opera house, but as quickly as Riley grew, it declined just as suddenly a combination of factors including depleted or a financial Panic and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake caused investment to dry up thousands of people scattered and by 1920. It was a to be a ghost town.
2 Centralia, Pennsylvania
Here’s a location in the Keystone State that isn’t quite a ghost town, but It’s awfully close. As of 2013 Centralia was said to have a total population of seven. The town’s abandonment stems from a coal seam fire that is thought to have been burning underground since at least 1962, and it continues to burn. Even as we speak, It’s thought the blaze was started when trash was deliberately burned in a former strip mine, that’s believed to have ignited the coal seam there. That account is debated, though located some 300 feet or 91 meters underground. The inferno is thought to stretch more than eight miles or 13 kilometers and is said to exceed a thousand degrees, Fahrenheit or 538 degrees Celsius. Experts think the fire could burn for another 250 years.
1 Kennecott, Alaska
This abandoned mill town once employed around 600 people with half of them working in the copper mines, all of them lived within the company town, which featured a general store school and a hospital between 1911 and 1938 upwards of 200 million dollars worth of copper was produced. There but after 1938 the middle was exhausted and Kennecott Copper Corporation closed the town. The departure was so abrupt that buildings, equipment, and personal belongings were left behind it evoked an ambiance suggesting that the town’s entire population suddenly vanished into thin air. If you want to experience it for yourself, the settlement is located within Alaska’s wrangle, st Elias National Park, where guided tours are offered thanks for watching this episode of American.