THE BLOG

Hauntingly Beautiful Abandoned Places Around The World

What exactly is it about abandoned places that attracts our attention in such a mystifying way? Is it their storied pasts? Their eerie aesthetics? The way they allow us to effortlessly engage our imaginations as we wonder about what they might have been like in their prime?
10/21/2015 11:13am ET | Updated October 21, 2016
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

What exactly is it about abandoned places that attracts our attention in such a mystifying way?

Is it their storied pasts? Their eerie aesthetics? The way they allow us to effortlessly engage our imaginations as we wonder about what they might have been like in their prime?

"Certainly, there's an aesthetic component to decaying buildings, an opportunity to enjoy these buildings outside of their original context and stumble upon unusual images that don't present themselves in intact structures," wrote i09 blogger Lauren Davis.

But, as Davis goes on to point out, this isn't the only reason so many people are fascinated by parks, hospitals, castles and entire towns that have been utterly abandoned and long untouched.
Some who seek to explore, photograph or even just observe abandoned places are interested in learning about and preserving history, while others are simply interested in the out-of-the-ordinary things you'd likely never find elsewhere.

"[T]he real amusement comes from the ridiculous things I constantly stumble upon," 2e, a photographer who posts his photos of decaying New York on gotham ruins, told Davis. "A manmade space over time with very little manmade disruption brings about things you'd never expect; trees growing out of piles of documents, books being repurposed as beehives, newspapers from the 30's, that kind of stuff. Then you step out of this building and you're back in the real world--a bustling block in Williamsburg or steps from City Hall, iPhones and all. Much of the appeal is the time machine I guess."

Whether you're intrigued by the unusual or love a deserted building that has its own great ghost story, we're sure you'll feel enchanted and maybe even spooked by these hauntingly beautiful abandoned places from around the world.

- Katie Rosenbrock, The Active Times

1
Pripyat — Ukraine
The Ukraine city of Pripyat was home to 49,000 residents until it was evacuated and abandoned following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Although the area remains abandoned, it’s been deemed safe to visit and some outfitters there offer guided tours of the site. Photo Credit: "Castle Miranda, Back Side" by Pel Laurens - Forgotten Beauty, CC BY 3.0 via CommonsClick Here to See Hauntingly Beautiful Abandoned Places Around the World
2
Kings Park Psychiatric Center — Kings Park, N.Y.
This eerie, aging asylum dates back all the way to the late 1800s when it was created to serve as a treatment center for New York’s mentally ill. Long Island locals simply refer to it as the “Psych Center,” and while the large plot of land was declared a state park after the institution was shut down in 1996, the site more closely resembles the setting of a horror movie rather than a refuge for outdoor recreation. Photo Credit: "KingsParkPC-Building 93" by brianwasser, CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikipedia
3
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum — Weston, W. Va.
This long-abandoned Civil War-era mental institution was left to deteriorate when it was forced to close in 1994. The brave souls who have visited since report that the building is now haunted and the current owners offer ghost tours year round. Plus, in October guests are invited to the asylum for seasonal festivities such as the Asylum Ball and Zombie Paint Ball. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wild, Wonderful West VirginiaClick Here to See Hauntingly Beautiful Abandoned Places Around the World
4
Bannerman Castle — Pollepel Island, N.Y.
The tiny island that now houses this abandoned castle was rumored to be haunted even before it was inhabited. Frank Bannerman built the castle to use as a summer home and storage space in 1901, but it was destroyed in a fire in 1969. Now, ownership of the historic site belongs to the people of the State of New York and guests are invited to explore the island and abandoned castle through guided tours. Photo Credit: Flickr/H.L.I.T. CC by 2.0
5
Château Miranda — Celles, Belgium
Curbed reporter Spencer Peterson called the Château Miranda (or Château de Noisy) a “ghost hunter’s paradise.” Well, at least it looks that way. According to photographer David Baker, construction of this enormous Gothic-style structure began around 1866 and was finished in 1907. Now, Baker wrote, it’s “in a heavy state of disrepair,” but despite all of the destruction and decay it’s endured, “the building still maintains [its] beauty.” Click Here to See Hauntingly Beautiful Abandoned Places Around the WorldPhoto Credit: Flickr/Bert Kaufmann CC by SA 2.0

Also on HuffPost:

Stunning Images From Around The World