List of ghost towns by country

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The remote Gamsutl ghost town in Dagestan, Russia

The following is a list of ghost towns, listed by continent, then by country.



  • The settlement of Saint Martin of the Tigers (in Portuguese: São Martinho dos Tigres), situated on a peninsula now known as the Tigres Island (in Portuguese: Ilha dos Tigres), was originally a small but well-established fishing village. It was supplied with water from the nearby town of Foz do Cunene, at the mouth of the Cunene River. In the 1970s, Saint Martin of the Tigers was cut off from the mainland by the rising sea levels, and its water supply line was severed; both Tigres and Foz do Cunene were subsequently abandoned.[1][2] The island, bound by the South Atlantic Ocean and the Tigres Strait, lies in a zone that is ideally suited for ecological projects.[3] The island was mentioned in the BBC documentary "Unknown Africa: Angola".

Central African Republic[edit]

  • Goroumo, Beogombo Deux, and Paoua are among the many deserted villages created by the actions of government forces and killings by armed gangs from the years 2005 to 2008.[4][5]
  • Lere, Central African Republic.[6]


  • Dallol is a former mining town located in the Dallol crater, where the temperature can rise as high as 104° Fahrenheit (40 °C).

Ivory Coast[edit]

  • Grand Bassam was the French Colonial capital of Côte d'Ivoire until 1896 when it was abandoned by the French Colonial Government. Commercial activity gradually weakened until the city became a virtual ghost town in 1960, the same year Côte d'Ivoire became independent. Today the city has revived somewhat as a tourist center, but it still has the aura of a ghost town.


Morocco (Western Sahara)[edit]

  • La Güera is a ghost town on the Atlantic coast at the southern tip of Western Sahara. It is Western Sahara's southernmost town. It has been uninhabited and partly buried by drifting sand since 2002.


Kolmanskop (2017)

From 1884 to 1915, Namibia was under the rule of the German Empire and was known as German South-West Africa. When diamonds were discovered in 1908, German miners flocked to the area, and several new settlements were established, only to be abandoned once the supply of diamonds dried up. The ghost towns that were left behind include:

South Africa[edit]


  • In the northeast of Sudan lies the old city of Sawakin. It is now in ruins. It is said to be in restoration now and will reopen as a tourist attraction.[9]

South Sudan[edit]

Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands[edit]

The ghost town of Grytviken, South Georgia Island

The islands of Antarctica, particularly South Georgia, were popular with whalers during the first half of the 20th century, and many of the settlements on these islands are former whaling stations. Most of them were closed down during the Great Depression, when whaling became unprofitable, and are now abandoned. These settlements include:

Deception Island[edit]

South Georgia[edit]


Aghdam, Azerbaijan


  • Aghdam, the capital of Agdam Rayon, is a ghost town in the southwestern part of Azerbaijan. In July 1993, after heavy fighting, Agdam was captured by Armenian forces during their 1993 summer offensives. As the town fell, its entire population was forced to flee eastwards. Many Azerbaijanis were killed by Armenian soldiers. In the immediate aftermath of the fighting, the Armenian forces decided to destroy parts of Agdam to prevent its recapture by Azerbaijan.[11] More damage occurred in the following decades when the deserted town was looted for building materials. Agdam is currently a ruinous, uninhabited ghost town.[12] The town's large mosque survives in poor condition.[13]
  • Fuzuli
  • Jabrayil


  • Panam City in Sonargaon was established in the late 19th century as a trading center of cotton fabrics during British rule. Here the Hindu cloth merchants built their residential houses. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the Muslim-Hindu riot, Panam City has reduced into a vacant community. Today this area is protected under the department of archaeology of Bangladesh. Panam city area was linked with the main city area by three brick bridges – Panam Bridge, Dalalpur Bridge, and Panam Nagar Bridge – during the Mughal period. The bridges are still in use.

British Indian Ocean Territory[edit]

  • East Point was a settlement in the atoll of Diego Garcia, and it has been abandoned after the depopulation of the territory, it is restricted to visitors.



  • Kangbashi New Area, a district of Ordos City, was intended to house one million people,[14] but soaring property prices and lack of infrastructure deterred residents of Ordos from relocating to the newly built-up area, and it now stands largely deserted.[15] In 2010, the population of Kangbashi was around 20,000 to 30,000, a fraction of its total capacity.[16]
  • Niya, in the Tarim Basin, was once a major commercial center dating back to around 500–1000 AD.


The ghost town of Varosha, Cyprus


The town of Akarmara in Abkhazia, Georgia, was abandoned in the early 1990s.
  • Armazi, the original capital of the country, was destroyed in AD 736 by the Arab invader Marwan ibn Muhammad and never rebuilt, apart from a church, built in the 12th century but later abandoned. The ruins are now protected.
  • Ochamchire was a city of 18,700 people in 1978 but was left largely abandoned by the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in 1992–1993.
  • Tkvarcheli is a coal mining town that suffered a drastic population decline as a result of the war in Abkhazia.




  • Hashima Island was a Japanese mining town from 1887 to 1974. Once known for having the world's highest population density (in 1959 at 83,500 inhabitants per square kilometre or 216,000 inhabitants per square mile), the island was abandoned when the coal mines were closed down.[19]
  • Ōkuma, Fukushima was a large Japanese town with a population of 11,515 people. It was completely evacuated along with the 20 km/12 miles (30 km/19 miles voluntarily) zone surrounding the nuclear plant in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.


  • Chagan, former Soviet air base and urban settlement.


  • Bukit Kutu is a former hill station that was abandoned after being bombed by the Japanese army during World War II.
  • Bukit Besi is a former mining town in Terengganu, Malaysia. The population dropped drastically after 1971 when the Eastern Mining and Metal Corporation (EMMCO) closed their operation because the iron ore there was exhausted.
  • Kampung Kepayang, in Perak, is almost uninhabited, with only two or three shophouses being in use. This is a result of the widening of the main road, which made it difficult to park a vehicle and resulted in the shops losing business. However, there are still Malays who reside in the village houses behind the shophouses, and the addresses in Simpang Pulai are still written as "Kampung Kepayang".
  • Sungai Lembing, Pahang, Malaysia.
  • Pekan Papan was once-thriving mining town in Pusing, Perak.


Abandoned houses in Sap Bani Khamis, Oman.
  • Sap Bani Khamis is an abandoned village halfway up a canyon, accessible only by a narrow path.[20]


  • Al-ʽArish is an old fishing village on the Northern coast of Qatar in the Middle East. Situated on the Persian Gulf, it was abandoned in the early 1970s and has since become a ghost town.[21]


Saudi Arabia[edit]

  • Old Town, AlUla, or al-Deera as it is locally called, is now all but a ghost town. It consists of a walled village of about 800 dwellings around the perimeter of the more ancient castle with narrow winding alleys, many of which are covered to shield the people from the heat of the sun. Most of the foundations of the buildings are stone, but the upper floors are made from mud bricks, while palm leaves and wood are used for the ceilings. Although many of these houses were probably rebuilt over time, their foundation is likely to be from the original construction of the town in the 13th century AD. 45 m (148 feet) above historic al-Ula, the town's Castle commands strategic views over the entire valley. It is sometimes referred to as the Castle of Musa bin Nusayr, the Umayyad-era army general who ruled over North Africa and was involved in conquering Andalusia in the early 8th century AD. He is said to have died in this castle on his way from Damascus to a pilgrimage in Mecca in 715 AD. Although the castle was rebuilt more than once during its long history, its origins date back to the 6th century BC. In fact, some of the foundation stones are from the original 2,600-year-old construction (according to signs posted). The castle is currently more of a bastion or watchtower once used to protect the town.
  • Albaten
  • Tharmida


  • A few blocks of HDB flats (apartment flats) located in the Lim Chu Kang area of the island is known to be the only ghost town in Singapore. Named the Neo Tiew Estate (or officially the Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre), it used to house residents before they were moved out of the vicinity in 2002 as part of an En-bloc scheme. Since then the Singapore government has declared it state land and nothing was done to demolish or renovate the flats. The area was used by the Singapore Army as a training facility from 2005–2009 until a newer training facility was built nearby in 2008. The facility was used most recently in 2012 when it was used to shoot scenes for the film Ah Boys to Men. As of today, its fate remains unknown.


  • The city of Quneitra became a ghost town after the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequent Yom Kippur War in 1973. The ruins were left in place, and a museum has been built to memorialize the destruction. Billboards are maintained at the ruins of many buildings and the town is effectively preserved in the condition that the wars left it in.


Two of the colorful pod-style buildings in New Taipei
  • The Sanzhi UFO houses in Taiwan were a set of abandoned pod-shaped buildings built in New Taipei as a vacation resort. They stood abandoned for thirty years before being demolished in 2010.


The ruins of old Ayutthaya, Thailand.
  • The city of Old Ayutthaya was the capital of the country from its foundation in 1350 until it was sacked and destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. The site is now Ayutthaya Historical Park.


A ruined church in Ani, Turkey.
  • Ani, in Kars Province, was once the capital of the Armenian Bagratuni kingdom. It has been abandoned since the eighteenth century and is now a museum town.
  • Çökene in Büyükorhan district was a village until 2008. It is a site of empty houses after immigration to big cities due to money shortage and unemployment.[22]
  • Kayaköy was abandoned as a result of the 1923 population exchange between Turkey and Greece and is now preserved as a museum village.
  • Sazak near Karaburun, a district of İzmir Province on the Aegean (western) coast of Turkey, was also inhabited by Greeks, which left the area according to the population exchange treaty. Nowadays Sazak is a total ghost town.




  • The village of Döllersheim was evicted and demolished due to the construction of a Wehrmacht training ground.


Many Belarusian villages were abandoned as a result of the Chernobyl Disaster in 1986. Most lie inside the Polesie State Radioecological Reserve, Including:



Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]


Czech Republic[edit]

  • Milovice-Mlada [cs], sometimes referred to as Boží Dar, is an abandoned military town near Milovice, northeast of Prague. It was abandoned following the Velvet Revolution in 1989, and ownership of the town transferred to the Czech government in 1992. It remained uninhabited until March 2014 when work was started to demolish it.[25]



  • Viivikonna and Sirgala are former mining towns that started to lose their population after local oil shale reserves were depleted and the industry moved eastwards. By the 21st century, both towns had only a handful of people left, struggling to find a new place to live.[26]

Faroe Islands[edit]

  • Blankskáli, Kalsoy, after an avalanche hit the village in 1809, the entire village resettled in the new settlement Syðradalur on the same island. The village was finally abandoned cca. 1815.
  • Fossá, Borðoy, abandoned since 1945.
  • Múli, a town on Borðoy, has been considered abandoned since 2002.
  • Skarð, on Kunoy, was steadily depopulated from 1913 to 1919, after all the men of the village drowned while out fishing.
  • Skarvanes is a village on Sandoy, that has been abandoned since the last permanent resident died in 2000.
  • Skálatoftir is the northwesternmost village on Borðoy.
  • Slættanes is a town on Vágar that was abandoned in 1965.
  • Strond, located north of Ánir, has been abandoned since 1930.
  • Víkar, a town on Vágar, has been abandoned since 1910.
  • Víkarbyrgi, on Suðuroy, was abandoned in 2003.


  • Jussarö is an old village near the Jussarö mines.


Main street of Oradour-sur-Glane, France, unchanged since the German massacre.


  • Open-pit coal mining in several areas of Germany creates ghost towns in preparation for the coal mining. Towns are evacuated several years in advance and turned into ghost towns. When the pit reaches the towns they are finally torn down.[citation needed]
  • Bonnland, Gruorn, Lopau, Wollseifen and others are ghost towns created as part of the creation of military training areas.[citation needed]


  • The island of Spinalonga is considered by some to be a ghost town. Serving as a leper colony for the first half of the 20th century, the island was abandoned when all its inhabitants were cured. By 1962 there were no permanent residents left. In recent years Spinalonga has become a tourist attraction as one of the last leper colonies to be closed down in Europe.
  • Gavros, Kranionas and Ano Kraniounas are all abandoned villages located near Kastoria and Lake Prespa.
  • The castle of Kato Chora is located near the village of Mylopotamos, Kythera.
  • Old Perithia (or Palea Perithia) is a ghost village on the northern side of Corfu on the slopes of Mount Pantokrator. The village was originally established in the 14th century, during Byzantine times due to the need of people to move from the coastal side and protect themselves from pirate and enemy attacks. Moreover, the diseases caused by mosquitoes on the coast drove residents to the mountain. When piracy was confronted from the Mediterranean Sea in the late 19th century, some inhabitants started to gradually move to the coasts where tourism had also started to develop.


  • Béndekpuszta
  • Derenk, was destroyed by the government, so that the area could be used for hunting.
  • Gyertyánvölgy was one of the four settlements created by the workers of the glass huts founded in the 18th century. The other three settlements were Óhuta (today Bükkszentlászló), Újhuta (today Bükkszentkereszt) and Répáshuta (which still exists). The last glass hut operated here until 1897; the village was still inhabited at the beginning of the 20th century. In its cemetery, the first burial was in 1843, and the last in 1926.
  • Gyűrűfű was repopulated in the form of an eco-village.
  • Hertelendyújhely
  • Iharkút: its fate was sealed by the discovery of the bauxite wealth below. The extraction started in 1979. The village's last inhabitants were moved to Bakonyjákó, Németbánya, Herend and Pápa.
  • Jásztelekpuszta: its fate is similar to Kápolnapuszta.
  • Kakpuszta: the inhabitants were moved because of the lack of road construction and electrification.
  • Kápolnapuszta: the 2nd Ukrainian Reconnaissance Front of the Red Army exterminated nearly the entire population on March 16, 1945.
  • Márcadópuszta
  • Mónosokor
  • Nagyecsér, the most famous ghost town in Hungary. It was abandoned following school closure, an aging population, and the population leaving; the road to Mezőnagymihály was never built.
  • Nagygéc, was totally destroyed by the 1970s Szamos flooding; there is now a memorial park for the town.
  • Révfalu, an isolated village, nowadays a popular tourist destination.
  • Somogyszentimre
  • Szentkirályszabadja, although the village is still populated, a small city sized Soviet military base is totally abandoned next to it. The settlement also has an airport, as well as panel buildings, shops, cinema, theater, kindergarten, and school for the families of the soldiers. The area was left when the soviet soldiers were withdrawn from Hungary in 1990. The airport operates to this day. This base is often called the Hungarian Chernobyl.
  • Vágotpuszta
  • Zelemér, the Tatars ravaged whole of Northern Hungary including this village, which failed to revive.
  • Zsörk, the second-most famous ghost town in the country.


  • The former village of Súðavík, in the Westfjords, a remote region of NW Iceland. In 1995, an avalanche fell on the small village, resulting in 14 fatalities. It was later decided that the location of the town was unsafe for year-round occupation. It has been forbidden ever since to live in the old town permanently. A new village was built from the ground up a few miles away from the old site in a safer location.


  • Miners' Village, Glendalough, County Wicklow was a small village based around a galena mine. The village was largely inhabited from 1825 to 1957 when the mine closed permanently.
  • Great Blasket Island, County Kerry, was evacuated in 1953 after being repeatedly cut off from the mainland due to poor weather. Its 160 residents were relocated to the mainland by the government.
  • Innisfallen Island is the site of Innisfallen Abbey, once home to Finian Lobhar.
  • Rindoon, County Roscommon, was deserted by the 14th century.[27]
  • Slievemore is a deserted village on Achill Island.[28]
  • Scattery Island is the site of a former village and monastery, and was once the home of Saint Senan.


Craco, Italy


  • Skrunda-1, the site of a former Soviet Hen House radar installation, is a ghost town that was auctioned off in its entirety in early 2010.
  • Irbene, the site of a former Soviet secret radar center "Звезда".


Many villages in the Netherlands were lost to the sea, see List of settlements lost to floods in the Netherlands for the complete list.

  • Schokland, this was a very large island in the Middle Ages, but due to the rising sea level in the Zuiderzee, the island became smaller and smaller. Until the island was demolished by a storm in 1825. The three villages on the island: Emmeloord, Molenbuurt and Middelbuurt were abandoned. When the Noordoostpolder was created, this piece of land became visible again. Emmeloord was rebuilt on a different location in the Noordoostpolder.
  • Waterdunen, this town was lost to the North Sea in 1357. Later when the land was reclaimed the town was rebuilt, only to be lost again a century later. One of many Dutch villages to be lost to the North Sea, list of flooded villages in Zeeland.
  • Bommenede, the village was flooded on January 26, 1682. The destruction was so great, that the Estates of Holland decided not to rebuild the village, and the last inhabitants left in 1684. Some remains of the village (now sometimes referred to as Oud-Bommenede) still remain visible. Nowadays, there is still some overgrown debris in the waters of the Grevelingen.


  • Pyramiden ("The Pyramid") was a Russian settlement and coal mining community on the archipelago of Svalbard. It was founded by Sweden in 1910, and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. The settlement, with a onetime population of 1,000 inhabitants, was abandoned in the late 1990s by its owner, the state-owned Soviet company Trust Artikugol, and is now a ghost town.


  • Czerwona Woda ("Red Water") in Kłodzko Valley was established by German immigrants before WWII. Most of the abandoned houses are found in the mountains of Klodzko Valley.
  • Kłomino, near Borne Sulinowo in the northwest part of the country, was established as a place of residence for Soviet troops stationed in Poland with their families. The population was about 5,000. It was completely depopulated by 1992 after the collapse of the USSR. Only a few families live there now, but there are plans to repopulate the city.

Bieszczady National Park is home to several abandoned settlements:


Broas village 2016


126 localities in Romania are "fictitious".[40] They either have no inhabitants according to the last census, or they are actually in the bottom of an accumulation lake or have completely disappeared from the face of the earth. Some villages have no construction, no access roads, but they continue to remain in the official data bases of the Romanian state.[40] Some of the localities that did not have any inhabitants at the 2011 census are:


Belchite, Spain
  • Belchite, in the province of Zaragoza, Aragon, is one of the most well-known ghost towns in Spain. Before the 1930s, Belchite was a growing city, with many services. As a consequence of the Battle of Belchite, during the Spanish Civil War, the city was totally destroyed. Instead of a reconstruction, Franco decided to keep the ruins of the old town of Belchite intact as a memorial of the battle. As of 1964, the town was totally deserted, the inhabitants having been removed to Belchite Nuevo, on the side of the old town. The ruins, which are not accommodated for tourism, are visited by more than 10,000 tourists annually. It is also a well-known meeting point for Francoist nostalgics, especially Falangists.
  • Granadilla, Extremadura
  • Aldealcardo, Soria
  • La Cornudilla, Valencia
  • Erillcastell, near El Pont de Suert, Catalonia
  • Esperan, near El Pont de Suert, Catalonia
  • Jánovas, Fiscal
  • Lacort, Fiscal
  • Llombai in the Vall de Gallinera, Alacant
  • Ochate, Condado de Treviño, Burgos, Castille and Leon
  • Peranera, near El Pont de Suert, Catalonia
  • Pernui in Sort, Lleida, Catalonia
  • Viuet, near El Pont de Suert, Catalonia



After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, hundreds of settlements within the exclusion zone were evacuated. Some have remained abandoned ever since, including:

United Kingdom[edit]

Also see List of lost settlements in the United Kingdom


In 1942 and 1943, in preparation for the Allied assault on Normandy, several villages were evacuated to be used as training grounds for the British Army and U.S. forces. This was intended to be a temporary arrangement, but many of the villages remained abandoned, and are used for military training to this day. Some of these villages are listed below; most of them are located within the Stanford Battle Area in Norfolk.



North America[edit]

Antigua and Barbuda[edit]


Costa Rica[edit]




Saint Pierre and Miquelon[edit]

  • L'Île-aux-Marins ("Sailor's Island") is a ghost town/island located a few miles away from the island of Saint-Pierre. Once inhabited by over 600 fishermen, families and tradesmen, the island was progressively abandoned until the last inhabitant left in 1965. The island is now a tourist attraction.

United States[edit]



New Zealand[edit]

  • Kelso was abandoned after severe and repeated flooding in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Lyell was a gold mining town in the Buller Gorge in the South Island of New Zealand.
  • Macetown was a gold rush town in Central Otago that started to decline during the 20th century.
  • Te Wairoa, also called "The Buried Village", was a small Māori village that was destroyed by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera.
  • Venture, a small beech bark processing settlement in the Awaroa Inlet of the Abel Tasman National Park, was abandoned as the value of the bark declined and the cost of transport increased into the remote area. The remains of the foundations of the school house and assorted buildings remain in the bush today, although fire, time and the encroachment of the bush has rendered the ruins little more than a collection of stones and bricks. The settlement can only be reached by walking up a rarely used and poorly maintained track at low tide. The settlement and track are on the estate administered by the Department of Conservation.
  • Waiuta was a gold mining town on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand until 1951.
  • Nenthorn was an Otago gold mining town from 1888 until the 1890s, abandoned when its mining efforts collapsed. Only two ruined buildings and the remains of a battery remain.
  • Rotowaro, a coal mining town, was removed in the 1980s to make way for an opencast mine. It is the site of the now abandoned Rotowaro Carbonisation Plant.
  • Te Hutewai was a very small farming community located around 10 km south of Raglan, in the Waikato District. A school was built but was burnt down in the 1960's and the area today is now farmland.

South America[edit]


  • The small lakeside resort town of Villa Epecuén was abandoned on 10 November 1985, after a series of heavy rains caused the lake water levels to rise and flood the town. The remains of the town re-emerged on 11 May 2013, when the waters of the lake receded.[47]


  • The small village of Caraíbas, in the municipality of Itacarambi, suffered a rare earthquake in the early morning of 9 December 2007. It measured 4.9 on the Richter scale. Located over a geological fault, the village of 76 families was evacuated and has been abandoned ever since.[48]
  • Fordlândia was established by American industrialist Henry Ford in 1928 near Santarém. This was done to mass-produce natural rubber. Built in inadequate terrain, designed with no knowledge of tropical agriculture, and managed with little regard for local culture, the enterprise was an absolute failure; in 1934, the Ford factory was relocated to Belterra, but ultimately closed down in 1945.



  • Armero was left in ruins by a volcanic eruption in 1985 that killed over 20,000 inhabitants. Survivors of the tragedy left for other towns, and Armero is currently unpopulated.
  • Bojayá is a small town in the Chocó department, that was attacked by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on May 2, 2002. Most of the inhabitants hid in the church; A FARC mortar bomb landed in the building, killing approximately 140 people, including 40 children. Today, Bojayá is a ghost town and though plans have been made to rebuild it, it will not be on the exact location of the massacre.

French Guiana[edit]

  • Guisanbourg was the former administrative centre of what is now Régina. The discovery of gold in 1855, lead to its demise, and in the mid-1980s, the last citizen left the town.[49]


  • Jonestown was established in the 1970s by members of the People's Temple, led by Jim Jones. On November 18, 1978, Jones orchestrated a mass suicide, resulting in the death of 913 of Jonestown's 1,110 inhabitants. The town now stands in ruins, and is being slowly reclaimed by the jungle.



  • Potosí was a Venezuelan town in the western state of Táchira. The town was deliberately flooded by the Venezuelan government in 1985 to build a hydroelectric dam. In 2010, the town was uncovered for the first time since its flooding due to a drought caused by the weather phenomenon El Niño.

See also[edit]


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