There are many abandoned territories in the modern world. Places that, for one reason or another, were left entirely intact, yet completely vacant for sometimes decades on end. From entire townships fading into obscurity, to rotting amusement parks closed from lack of interest - they’re as varied as they are manifold. Any manmade place seems a little unsettling once emptied of its people, but some places aren’t happy to be merely "unsettling;" some places aim a little bit higher - shooting for the bullseye that is full blown terror. And here are some that hit it dead on:
This is Gunkanjima, Japan, also known as “Battleship Island.” It once had the densest population in the entire world: 1.4 people per square meter. Do you realize how insane that is? Let me put it this way: If you were a fat guy on Battleship Island, there would technically be another person partially inside of you, like the aftermath of some horrifying teleporter accident.
Battleship Island was built during World War II (thus all the concrete reinforcements,) and still stands largely intact to this day. It’s strictly off limits to the public, though sometimes adventurous photographers do sneak into it to take pictures like these, at which point they’re presumably murdered by the world’s densest population of angry spirits and fused into their spectral Hive Mind.
Essex Mountain Sanitorium, United States
Listen, because this is important advice: If you ever start a sanatorium, you need to tear that shit down once you’re done with it. Not repurpose it or leave it empty or something; that is just begging – literally begging – for a group of stupid teenagers to sneak inside of it to have illicit sex, where they will inevitably get murdered by the ghosts of madmen. It’s like a Roach Motel for horny morons. You may as well put an “Idiots Fuck Here” sign out front and start up a mortuary next door; you’d make a killing.
Hey, that could be your tag line!
Anyway, this is the Essex Mountain Sanitorium in Verona, New Jersey. I could tell you all about how terrifying this place is, but I’ll just show you this:
That’s just the kitchen. All they did was make fries there and I still want to cry just looking at it.
Centralia, United States
Centralia, Pennsylvania was a coal mining town that was been almost completely evacuated several decades ago. Forty years ago, to be precise. That's when somebody started a coalfire underground that's still burning to this very day. The entire town is burning just inches beneath the surface, and noxious smoke churns up from every opening, every sewer grate, and every crack in the highway. The asphalt of the street forms giant misshapen bubbles from the heat below, and sink holes randomly open up from time to time - the ground simply dropping away to the eternal fires raging just beneath. Forty years ago the fire started, and forty years ago everybody left because they didn’t want to live balanced precariously on the precipice of hell.
Well, almost everybody. Centralia still has a population of nine.
Which means that there are either at least nine people possessed by the devil right now, or else Clint Eastwood cloned himself nine times. Because he’s the only person I can possibly think of who’s got balls big enough to shrug off the potentiality of getting eaten by the fires of hell every time he mows his lawn.
Kaeson Youth Park, N. Korea
In Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, there are several abandoned amusement parks around, because hey - it’s hard to really relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of a merry-go-round when all of the other horses have cameras mounted in their eyes, and grabbing the gold ring is indicative of capitalist greed and therefore punishable by death.
This particular park, Kaeson Youth Park, is the largest of the lost parks, and is currently abandoned save for the Ghost of Blackbeard (who is clearly just Old Man Whithers trying to scare off tourists to keep his smuggling business a secret. Duh.)
San Zhi, Taiwan
This is the settlement of San Zhi, in Taiwan. It was originally supposed be a tourism-driven town, and the unique architecture of the place reflects that goal. A series of “mysterious accidents” plagued the settlement as soon as it was completed, so it was never actually used; just left abandoned to rot. Local religious beliefs held the complex to be the base of angry spirits, which is supposedly why it was never demolished.
By the looks of it, those “mysterious accidents” probably refer to the time George Jetson went crazy and murdered his entire family - his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, and Jane, his wife - with a Space Axe. They say that if you stand at the heart of the complex and say the words “Jane! Get me offa this crazy thing!” three times in a row, Astro will appear and tear out your throat.
Hellingly asylum, England
In the Sussex countryside stands possibly the most terrifying structure in existence: Hellingly Asylum. That’s its real name, by the way - not an ominous alias whispered in the darknened corners of the tavern by frightened locals.. They opened an asylum, and they named it Hellingly. Because fuck it, everybody knows that turn of the century asylums are pretty much guaranteed to be haunted by the ghosts of maniacs anyway, right? May as well be up front about it.
Look at that. Fuck you I’m going down that hallway. I would honestly be surprised if you weren’t grabbed by the multi-headed corpsebeast of the long-dead madmen whose identities (partially erased by electro-shock therapy) have merged over time into a writhing ball of madness and terror.