Exploring unusual and abandoned places is difficult to resist, and many curious people turn it into a hobby. However, because such locations may contain hazards, it is critical to heed posted warnings and avoid areas where entry is prohibited. Even these creepiest places around the world, are full of wonder and can be quite haunting.
Here is a collection of some of the world’s most haunted and strangely abandoned locations, each with its unique charm. Some of these are the most famous abandoned buildings in the world. There are stories of people who used to live, pray, or take their daily train rides there beneath all the dust, rust, and cracks, and when you try and imagine these people and their lives, each picture takes on a special aura of nostalgia and a touch of haunted house feeling. It’s as if the residents of these abandoned buildings simply packed their belongings and left.
1. The Dinosaur World of Eureka Springs, Arkansas
This abandoned park, which is not to be confused with the Dinosaur World chain of theme parks or Alabama’s creationist-themed Dinosaur Adventure Land, has some serious pedigree: the dinosaurs here were designed by the same sculptor who created the famous Wall Drug’s thunder lizards. They still stand where the world’s largest dinosaur park once stood, which has been closed since 2005. The dinosaurs now rule an overgrown field alongside a decapitated caveman and a 40-foot statue of King Kong, which was erected when the park was rebranded Land of Kong in the 1970s and is now toppled and covered in graffiti, with the gift shop charred by arson.
2. The Gereja Ayam or a.k.a Chicken Church of Magelang, Indonesia
If you ever find yourself in the jungles of central Java, you might come across Gereja Ayam, also known as the Chicken Church, a dilapidated church that is equal parts awesome and confusing. The dove-shaped church opened its doors in the 1990s, serving as both rehab and a worship center for people of all faiths; however, construction costs quickly became too high, and the project—and building—were abandoned in 2000. With murals adorning the interior, incredible views of the surrounding forests through the beak, and even a small cafe selling treats near the tail feathers, the foul fowl has become something of a tourist destination these days.
3. The Jungle Park Speedway of Bloomingdale, Indiana
There are so many abandoned race tracks across the country that Dale Earnhardt Jr. hosts a Peacock show about them. Take note of the notoriously dangerous Jungle Park Speedway, which was built in 1926 in a forest near Turkey Run State Park. The property, which was originally intended to be a full resort, is slowly being reclaimed by nature, but it still has wood gates, a covered grandstand, and an old restaurant with a windmill on top. The track was notorious for its treacherous curves, which included a tricky downhill turn. Wrecks were frequent. Drivers collided with trees and, in some cases, Sugar Creek. A few spectators were also killed, prompting Jungle Park to close permanently in 1960. Special events are held on the site on occasion.
4. The Michigan Central Station
For more than two decades, Detroit’s once-proud railway station has lain in ruins, a victim of the US auto industry’s demise and a faltering economy. But that won’t be the case for much longer. The property, which features an impressive 18-story tower, was purchased by Ford in 2018, and renovations are underway in preparation for a 2022 opening. The tower will have shops, markets, and restaurants, as well as office space.
5. The Last House on Holland Island, U.S.A
This terrifying house was once part of a thriving small island colony in the United States’ Chesapeake Bay. However, the island’s mud and silt coast were rapidly eroding, leaving less and less space for people to live. This was the last abandoned building on Holland Island before it, too, collapsed in 2010.
6. The Eastern State Penitentiary of Philadelphia, USA
From 1829, when it was the world’s most expensive prison, this Philadelphia facility boasted grand architecture, modern luxuries, and notorious inmates like Al Capone. It was one of the first penitentiaries built, combining impressive design with strict discipline to inspire regret and reform in convicts. The complex has deteriorated into a mass of deteriorating cellblocks since its closure in 1971 and is now designated as a National Historic Landmark. Eastern State Penitentiary welcomes visitors all year.
7. The New Mexico State Penitentiary of Santa Fe, New Mexico
In 1980, at the New Mexico State Penitentiary in a section now known as the Old Main, the deadliest prison riot in American history occurred. Prisoners snapped after years of overcrowding and underfunding reached a breaking point. More than 30 inmates were killed during the two-day riot, and 12 officers were kidnapped. The prison is still open today, but the Old Main was closed in 1998, and tours are only available on weekends during certain months of the year. When visiting Cell Block 4, where the majority of the carnage occurred, visitors frequently report feeling shivers.
8. The Rummu Prison of Estonia
The semi-submerged Rummu Prison in Estonia may be the creepiest underwater site on the planet. In the 1940s, the Soviet Union built the prison and filled it with inmates, who were forced to work in a nearby limestone quarry. When Estonia gained independence in 1991, the jail was abandoned, and the lack of supervision caused the quarry to quickly fill with water. Rummu Prison is now a popular beach, particularly for scuba divers interested in exploring the submerged buildings and mining equipment beneath the surface.
9. The Miranda Castle of Belgium
During the French Revolution, Count Liedekerke Beaufort, a Belgian political activist, was forced to flee his home and relocate his family to a neighboring country. Edward Milner, an English architect, was commissioned to design a summer home in 1866. Milner died before the castle was finished. Following WWII, the castle served as a Nazi concentration camp, a holiday camp for the Belgian National Railway Company, and an orphanage. Due to high maintenance costs, the castle was finally abandoned in 1991.
10. The Bunker Point of Half Moon Bay, California
During World War II, the threat of Japanese troops crossing the Pacific and attacking the US mainland was unlikely, but Americans had to be prepared. That’s why, just south of San Francisco, a strange, isolated structure overlooks Half Moon Bay. It used to be a military bunker where Army scouts guarded the coast, peering out across the water with binoculars for any signs of an enemy invasion. Today, it emerges from Devil’s Slide, a sandy bluff just steps from the Pacific Coast Highway, like a fossilized, graffiti-covered relic. The bunker’s fence is long gone, allowing curious visitors to pull over, peer inside, and ponder how history might have turned out differently if Japanese forces had reached California’s shores.