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America's 10 Creepiest, Coolest Ghost Towns

10/29/2015 05:21pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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By Jason Heidemann for the Orbitz Travel Blog

Abandoned places fascinate visitors with their mysterious traces of life that still live on in those spaces. From long-abandoned Old West mining towns to formerly glamorous resort towns and more, these American ghost towns are sure to intrigue.

Bodie, California
One of the best preserved ghost towns in America has a subarctic climate that eventually proved too harsh for its final residents who fled this dried up mining town by the 1940s. With more than 100 buildings still intact (including a fully stocked general store), Bodie is a must see destination on the ghost town circuit.

Photo: Jason A. Heidemann

Cairo, Illinois
Cairo, the southernmost city in Illinois, is hardly abandoned--in fact it has a current population of 2,800 (down from its peak population of more than 15,000 in 1920)--but you wouldn't know it from wandering its eerie downtown which is lined with abandoned buildings in various states of crumble and decay.

Photo by Jason A. Heidemann

Calico, California
A ghost town with SoCal razzle dazzle, Calico is a one-time mining town that went bust before the turn of the century and was later purchased and restored by Walter Knott (of Knott's Berry Farm). Today it's known as Calico Ghost Town, a theme park of sorts complete with fake shootouts, gold panning and mining tours. Don't forget to hit up the souvenir shop!

Cody, Wyoming
This frontier town wears its wild west past on its sleeve including souvenir shops and eateries like Big Chief's Western Gifts and the Cody Cattle Company. The "ghostliness" of this town with a population of nearly 10,000 refers to the Old Trail Town, the site first William "Buffalo Bill" Cody. The structures in Cody are all authentic, although they have been brought in from all over the West.