There are many places around the world where communities of people once lived and thrived, but today these towns and cities are abandoned and in the throws of decay.
The stories surrounding the demise of these locations are often frightening and fascinating at the same time. Because, after all, when a city dies, neglect and decay rule the remains.
Visitors to these ghost towns feel creepy vibrations when walking along abandoned streets and looking through the crumbling buildings and often feel as though they are being watched.
Do they hear whispers of those no longer living? Are the shadows they see actually ghosts of those who were the victims of a tragic death? Mystery and adventure await the guests to these ghost towns, which are scattered around the world.
Sitting on the edge of civilization, these dead cities and villages long to “tell their stories” to all who will listen. There aren’t many souls out there brave enough to venture into their mute surroundings and peruse their silent infrastructure.
They graciously pose for the tourist’s camera with their macabre shapes and crumbling structures. The shadows created among the crumbling structures dance around like ghosts, and some folks believe they are ghosts that stay in the shadows to avoid being seen. Many a photographer has looked at his images to find questionable lights and shadows that appear almost human. Are they created by sun spots and lighting, or are they truly the ghosts of the dead welcoming you to their abode?
If you are looking for a unique vacation story to tell your friends and family, you will definitely appreciate the dilapidated dwellings and the morose enigma of their world. The stories and memories that lived before and during the demise of these extinct communities are entombed in the dust of history, awaiting visitors to witness their decrepitude.
1. Pripyat – The Ukraine
History has a way of being explosive, and for one city it was literally just that. It happened when most of the inhabitants were sleeping. Few people were up at 1:23am on the morning of April 26, 1986, when the number four reactor at the Chernobyl Power Plant received an extremely large power surge.
Explosions took place in the core of the reactor as a result of the surge, and the resulting fires created a monster cloud filled with deadly radioactive particles. The city of Pripyat was under siege and the residents were powerless to stop it.
Winds carried the destructive and deadly cloud over the western Soviet Union and Europe. Pripyat was a young city, having been founded in 1970, and was home to most of the power plant employees.
Suddenly, only 16 years later Pripyat was about to meet an untimely death. The 49,000 residents were evacuated several days after the nuclear event occurred. There was nothing that could be done other than to move everyone out as quickly as possible.
When alerted, many simply stopped what they were doing and left without taking any of their belongings. Estimates place the number of Chernobyl related cancer deaths at close to one million.
As unlikely a vacation spot as it may seem, thousands of people travel to view the ghost city every year. Today, visitors to Pripyat see trees growing on rooftops and inside of buildings, and shingles litter the ground near structures.
Arms, legs and feet must be completely covered when visiting Pripyat, and no buildings can be entered for safety reasons. When leaving the “exclusion” zone you will pass through a meter to determine if you have picked up any radioactive particles on your clothing. Tours leave from Kiev, which is considered a safe destination in spite of the unrest in the Ukraine.