Cities America's Coolest Ghost Towns  

Alby Thompson
1.8k votes 444 voters 63.4k views 35 items

List Rules Vote up the ghost towns you want to visit.

"Ghost Town" is a slang term for a town or city that has, for one reason or another, been abandoned by people. Typical reasons for cities to be evacuated and abandoned by humans include an economic collapse, armed conflicts and wars, changes in the transportation grid, natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes or - in some cases - specific acts of local governments. Sometimes, the term "ghost town" is also applied to places that are sparsely populated, or from where a once-large population scattered, but this list will largely focus on abandoned, empty ghost towns.

American academics have attempted to get even more specific about the definition of "ghost town." Professor T. Lindsay Baker of Tarleton State University in Texas has issued two defining characteristics of ghost towns: (1) there is no more reason for this town to exist and (2) there are tangible remnants of the town for visitors to see.

In America, the notion of a "ghost town" became popularized largely following the California Gold Rush, when a variety of mining towns and camps sprung up across the Western and even parts of the Southern US that were later abandoned when the local resources were used up. Some of these ghost towns entered the popular culture, including Deadwood, South Dakota (which inspired the HBO TV series of the same name) and Cripple Creek, Colorado. Many of these ghost towns have been preserved and serve as state parks, while other former ghost towns have been slowly repopulated over time (such as Aspen, Colorado).
Bodie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list America's Coolest Ghost Towns
Photo: Freebase/Public domain
1 138 VOTES

Bodie


Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States, about 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe. It is located 12 mi east-southeast of Bridgeport, at an elevation of 8379 feet. As Bodie Historic District, the U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes it as a National Historic Landmark. Also registered as a California Historical Landmark, the ghost town officially became Bodie State Historic Park in 1962, and receives about 200,000 visitors yearly. Starting in 2012, Bodie is administered by the Bodie Foundation, which uses the tagline Protecting Bodie's Future by Preserving Its Past. ...more on Wikipedia

118 20
Is this cool?
see more on Bodie
Rhyolite is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list America's Coolest Ghost Towns
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA
2 108 VOTES

Rhyolite


Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush, thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region's biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine. Industrialist Charles M. Schwab bought the Montgomery Shoshone Mine in 1906 and invested heavily in infrastructure, ...more on Wikipedia

91 17
Is this cool?
see more on Rhyolite
Ironton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list America's Coolest Ghost Towns
Photo: via Tumblr
3 55 VOTES

Ironton


Ironton was a town in Ouray County, Colorado, United States. It lay south of the present town of Ouray. Ironton was built on flatter ground than surrounding towns. Settled in 1883, within three weeks three hundred buildings were being built. It was a staging area for supplies coming from Ouray. Ironton was a major transportation junction between Red Mountain Town and Ouray in addition to having some of its own mines. Ironton had a peak population of over 1000 and had two trains arriving daily from Silverton. There were many chain stores from the nearby cities of Ouray and Silverton. The town lived into the first part of the 20th century but slowly faded as mining operations declined. The ...more on Wikipedia

49 6
Is this cool?
Centralia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list America's Coolest Ghost Towns
Photo: Freebase/Public domain
4 179 VOTES

Centralia


Centralia is a borough and a near-ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 7 in 2013 as a result of the Centralia mine fire that has been burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia is the least-populated municipality in Pennsylvania. Centralia is part of the Bloomsburg-Berwick micropolitan area. The borough is completely surrounded by Conyngham Township. All properties in the borough were claimed under eminent domain by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1992, and Centralia's ZIP code was revoked by the Postal Service in 2002. State and local officials reached an agreement with the remaining residents ...more on Wikipedia

133 46
Is this cool?
see more on Centralia