11 Terrifying Abandoned Places in the U.S. from 11 Terrifying Abandoned Places in the U.S.

11 Terrifying Abandoned Places in the U.S.

If there is one thing cities, towns and villages of all sizes and cultures have in common it is people. When they are missing – whether you know the reason why or not – a place feels scary and it sends bad vibes. Your only companions in certain spots will be ghosts, if you believe in them.

Moundsville Penitentiary, West Virginia

This has been known as one of America’s most haunted prisons. It has a past darker than most; but, after all, it had been in operation for more than a century. Before the prison closed in 1995, nearly 1,000 prisoners died inside. The history of the penitentiary includes several riots, escapes, hangings, electrocutions, and grisly murders. Visitors say they can feel the presence of trapped souls still lingering. You can stay overnight. See if the original electric chair, “old sparky,” is still in its place.

Holy Land USA, Connecticut

Flickr/Steven Isaacson/CC BY-SA 4.0

This Christian-themed 18-acre park was built in the late 1950s and initially thrived as a Connecticut attraction, according to Atlas Obscura. In the mid-80s, the park’s owner closed it down to work on expanding the site, but then died in 1986 and it was never reopened. Now long abandoned, Holy Land USA has been widely vandalized and was even the site of a murder in 2010. 

Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio

It was once home to more than 140 retail stores, but year of decline and financial struggles led to its closure in 2008. As the years went by, it started to look more and more like a scene setting from The Walking Dead. The city called the site a danger to residents. Officials increased police presence there and issued public safety statements warning people to stay away in June 2016. The mall is slated for demolition. The process began in October 2016.

Michigan Central Station in Detroit, Michigan

Matt Ragen/Shutterstock.com

The station was the city’s Ellis Island, where many generations of Detroiters first stepped foot into the city for factory jobs, according to Historic Detroit. It has been abandoned for more than 25 years — the last train left in 1988. The site was used as a set in the Transformers movies and 8 Mile.

Garnet, Montana

Flickr/Bureau of Land Management/CC BY 4.0

Garnet was a thriving town, filled with gold miners, more than 100 years ago. In 1898 around 1,000 people lived there. Garnet is now Montana’s most intact ghost town, hidden high in the Garnet Mountain Range east of Missoula. By 1905, many of the mines were abandoned and the town’s population had shrunk to about 150. A fire in 1912 destroyed many commercial buildings, and most remaining residents moved away. By the 1940’s, Garnet was a ghost town.

Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane, New York

Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD/Wikimedia Commons

Around 400 suitcases that belonged to former patients, most of whom never left the hospital, were found at the asylum in 1995. They date from 1910 to 1960. Those who died there were buried in numbered but nameless graves. There is a tour for visitors usually every May but it was canceled last year due to safety concerns. The asylum has since been known as Destination Fear and a haunted location where unexplained screams have been heard.

Bodie, California

This town east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County is described as “a town frozen in time in a state of arrested decay.” Bodie was established in 1859 and people came for the gold. When they didn’t find as much as they were hoping, people left. The town is now a State Historic Park. Most of the ghost town has remained untouched. Tourists can walk down the deserted streets and feel as if they’re in an episode of Westworld.

Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, Oregon

Flickr/Bex Walton/CC BY 4.0

The tunnels were basements of buildings that connected to other structures through brick and stone archways that were intersected with connecting tunnels under the streets, according to ShanghaiTunnels.info. They were used by crooks, called “shanghaiiers” or “white slavers,” who sold women into prostitution. Men were sold as slaves to work on ships.

DudleyTown in Cornwall, Connecticut

The history of this small unofficial town, which was founded as a settlement, goes back 400 years. Now, only the cellar holes and a few foundations remain. The roads look more like untouched hiking trails in a forest, and many visitors even claim the woods become eerily silent. Some people call Dudleytown “the village of the damned.” The famous story dates back to England in 1510 when Edmund Dudley was beheaded for plotting to overthrow King Henry VIII, and a curse was allegedly placed on his family for the treason. So now, it is believed that if you go and take something from the abandoned place, you are placing a curse on your own family.

Six Flags New Orleans, Louisiana

The amusement park, which was popularly known as Jazzland, was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. A new developer was never found for the 225-acre property. (There is still hope; three offers were made in February 2017.) What was once a fun site has seen mostly trespassers ripping fences and writing graffiti on the facilities. The place is now home to boars, snakes, and other animals. The park is sometimes used as a filming location.

Villisca Axe Murder House, Iowa

Flickr/Jennifer Kirkland/CC BY 2.0

If you don’t know anything about this house, it looks like a normal old place on a residential street during the day. At night, however, when no lights or sounds can be seen or heard, you get a very different feeling. This is the “Murder House.” The walls still protect the identity of the murderer or murderers who bludgeoned to death the entire family of Josiah Moore and two overnight guests on June 10, 1912. Day tours are now open. Overnights are 7 nights a week all year.