As “dark tourism” gains popularity, there are increasing opportunities for travelers to visit so called “ghost towns” which are abandoned sites of human tragedy, a collapsed economy or man made disasters. Check out GW’s list of classic “ghost towns” to visit over the Halloween season!
– Pripyat, Ukraine – Home of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, where residents were forced to flee when the Chernoblyn power plant went into meltdown of April 1986. Tourists can visit the exclusion zone on day passes to snap relics of abandoned society and the scattered possessions of 50,0000 people and sites such as the “frozen ferris wheel.” Due to lingering radiation. Scientists say the area will not be safe to live in for another 20,000 years.
– Hashima Island, Japan – James Bond fans will recognize this (also know as Battleship Island) as the lair of 007’s enemy in Skyfall. More than 5,000 of people lived here until April 1974, when a coal mine shut down and the concrete island was abandoned
– Port Arthur, Tasmania – The former convict settlement on the Australian island is now a World Heritage Site and Tasmania’s most popular tourist attraction. Even though its prison closed in 1877, a new community grew around it and thrived over the next century. The town gained notoriety in April 1996, when 35 people were killed and nearly two dozen wounded in Australia’s worst mass murder.
– Spinalonga, Greece – Run-down and left to the elements, this settlement was a leper colony until 1957 when it was deserted. Today, tourists can walk around the island’s ruins and take in spectacular views of the sea.
– Bodie, California – The real “wild west” – A settlement that thrived during the gold rush and was left to wither after the boom ended and miners moved elsewhere in search of other sources of gold. Buildings are still furnished with the belongings of previous owners.