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You're guaranteed to get goosebumps while visiting the world's 20 eeriest ghost towns

By Wibke Carter
October 09, 2018, 10:48:19 AM EDT

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(Photo:Pe3k/Shutterstock)


There are few places in the world that are as captivating as ghost towns. Gold mining villages lost in the desert sand, abandoned offshore islands, or earthquake-ridden hillside villages; these places are time capsules of moments long gone by. We have compiled the world’s eeriest ghost towns in a spooky snapshot.

1. Pripyat
WHERE: Ukraine

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(Photo:Orsan Elitok/Shutterstock)


Maybe the most famous ghost town in the world, forever connected with the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl, is Pripyat. Before that fateful day in 1986, the city was home to 50,000 residents who were all evacuated within two days after the nearby reactor failure. Because of the hasty departure of its citizens who left non-essential items like dolls, clothes, and furniture behind, Pripyat draws photographers and, increasingly, tourists. Radiation levels have dropped significantly which means you can now explore the ghost town with its abandoned schools, hospitals and residential buildings on a guided tour. Touching anything, however, is strictly forbidden.

2. Craco
WHERE: Italy

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(Photo:ermess/Shutterstock)


And the Oscar for best ghost town goes to … Craco! Because of its unusual landscape and eerie look the small hillside town in southern Italy has not only starred in movies such as Passion of the Christor Quantum of Solacebut also in TV shows, music videos and even a Japanese Pepsi Commercial. Craco was abandoned due to a series of natural disasters including landslides, floods, and earthquakes with the last residents uprooting in 1991, finally defeated by Mother Nature. Despite the fact that Craco remains unstable and prone to the elements you can book a guided tour or join one of the festivals between May and October.

3. Hashima Island
WHERE: Japan

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(Photo:Grassflowerhead/Shutterstock)


Commonly called Gunkanjima (Battleship Island), Hashima Island was once known for its undersea coal mines. Operations began in 1881 and the population hit a peak in 1959 with 5,259 mine workers and their families living on the island about nine miles offshore from Nagasaki. Once production ran dry in the mid-70s, most people went away and Hashima was left untouched until 2009. On a guided tour you can see the abandoned concrete buildings, stores, streets, and the surrounding seawall, and learn about Hashima’s dark past when prisoners of war were conscripted into forced labor prior to and during WWII.

4. Kolmanskop
WHERE: Namibia

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(Photo:Kanuman/Shutterstock)


Think diamonds are only a girl’s best friend? Miners like them for cash too! On the edge of the Namib Desert lies a decrepit settlement that was once built on the white gemstones. In the early 1900s, German miners came to Kolmanskop in Namibia as diamonds were found beneath the yellow sand and brought with them Deutschearchitecture, a school, hospital, bowling alley, and bakery. Allegedly, opera singers were flown in for performances. At its height, Kolmanskop produced nearly 12 percent of the world’s total diamond production but the boom was over when a far bigger deposit was found nearby. Bring plenty of water when visiting!

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