The thought of a town that was once bustling and is now completely desolate is enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Regardless of the reason behind the abandonment, these five ghost towns throughout the country have one thing in common—they’re fascinatingly deserted.
Once a prosperous coal mining town, a landfill burn gone wrong sparked a fire in an abandoned mine, leaving this town smoldering since 1962. An abundance of noxious gases caused the evacuation of almost all 2,000 residents, with only six remaining. To this day, you can visit with caution, and still see smoke seeping from almost every nook and cranny.
This California ghost town has been eerily deserted for more than 150 years. It was abandoned by discouraged gold rushers who followed William Bodie in hopes of striking it rich. Once they failed, they set out for their next adventure leaving everything behind. The town still seems to be waiting for its long-gone residents—shops are stocked with supplies and dining tables are set. To preserve the past, Bodie has been converted into a historic state park, and can be visited throughout all months of the year.
This Montana town has an extensive rap sheet. After gold was discovered in a nearby town, many prospectors moved there in hopes of finding their own riches. But the desire to make it big became too much. The town became the scene of multiple crimes, with the leader of the outlaws discovered to be Bannack’s very own sheriff. Today, you can take a trip back into time, and take a tour of Bannack State Park.
Thurmond, West Virginia
Once a large stop on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, this West Virginia town became nearly desolate with the invention of the diesel locomotive. While six residents still remain, the town is a mere fragment of what it once was. However, the train depot has been converted into a museum, Amtrak station, and visitors’ center for travelers who come to the area to raft on the nearby New River Gorge National River. Whether you visit the depot or hike on a nearby trail, a trip to Thurmond can be both informative and exciting.
Cahawba was once a bustling town that acted as a hub of cotton distribution and hosted a large Civil War prison known as Castle Morgan. It even served as Alabama’s state capital from 1820 to 1826. However, due to extensive flooding, residents quickly fled to drier land, and took the state capital title with them. Today, only a few buildings, one cemetery, and multiple ghost stories are all that remain. Multiple guided tours can be booked to help you experience this historic town.