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18 ghost cities in America that give goosebumps

Contrary to their name, ghost towns are not districts filled with restless spirits. They are completely different and much more creepy. Ghost towns are places that were once full of busy, bustling streets, thriving businesses, and its ever-rushing inhabitants. But over the years, these cities were almost abandoned, and many even questioned their existence. About 18 such ghost towns in the United States told the publication Only in Your State.

Body (California). Photo: Shutterstock

The United States is full of ghost towns: in the West, abandoned areas have remained from the days of the Gold Rush; in the Pacific Northwest, evidence of old estates exists along the Oregon Trail; The Midwest is full of cities that once flourished during the so-called Great Migration. The South and Mid Atlantic regions have their own ghost towns that date back to the earliest days of America.

Shaniko (Oregon)

Due to its deep roots, history of the Gold Rush and Western expansion, many ghost towns are lurking in Oregon. Shaniko is one of the most intriguing. Once known as the wool capital of the world, Shaniko was founded in 1901 as a manufacturing center. Business flourished in it. At their peak, urban wool producers collectively earned $ 3 million a year. Shaniko's population grew along with industry, reaching 500 by 1910. But just ten years later, the whole city will be empty.

The year 1911 was devastating for Shaniko: in 12 months the mayor was shot, the southern railway line moved, taking with it the thriving economy of the city. Today Shaniko is a place full of relics; here you will find the dilapidated buildings of a historic hotel, prison and school. However, the remaining townspeople host several popular annual events and festivals. That is, Shaniko seems to have managed to rewrite his history and eventually achieve a happy ending.

Nevada City (Montana)

Nevada City is Montana's liveliest ghost town and is a delightful place to visit. Nevada City was destined to be another victim of the Gold Rush until an ambitious family rebuilt it between 1945 and 1978. Today, the entire city is a living history museum, and this is a place that really comes alive in the summer months. It is the most active and fully alive ghost town in the country and a must-see for all history buffs.

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Bannack State Park (Montana)

For a real living lesson in Gold Rush history, visit Bannack State Park. This Montana ghost town is a National Historic Landmark and the site of the state's first major gold discovery on July 28, 1862. This event sparked an epic gold rush that saw the population of Bannak expand to over 1863 by 3000. Gold reserves dried up, and with them the population of Bannak began to decline. Today there are over 50 buildings on the main street; their historic log and frame structures are reminiscent of the formative years of Montana, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the authentic atmosphere of the Old West.

Cody (Wyoming)

Wyoming is a wild and wonderful place, and Cody is full of mystery and intrigue. The city is located on the former grounds of Buffalo Bill, strewn with historical sites that this man often visited - a myth and a legend. The most famous and iconic building in the city is the Irma Hotel, built by Buffalo Bill: Queen Victoria gave him a cherry bar. Cody is proud of his legendary past. Today, visitors can see historical reenactments and take tours throughout this famous ghost town.

South Pass City (Wyoming)

The Karissa mine was once the lifeblood of South Pass City, a short-lived mining community that thrived during the state's Gold Rush in the 1860s. By the end of the century, gold had declined, but the Karissa mine remained open and operated until 1949. It then stood abandoned, like the mill, for decades, until South Pass City orchestrated a major rebuilding project. Today, curious visitors can tour the historic mine and see a piece of American history.

Photo: Shutterstock

Body (California)

It is one of the most famous ghost towns in the country. Bodie is a place frozen in time. It is a classic example of a booming city where the presence of gold attracted nearly 1880 inhabitants by 10. But two fires in the early 000s destroyed most of the city and the remaining residents left. Today, visitors can come and explore this city with its abandoned buildings and cemeteries that create an eerie and disturbing atmosphere.

Calico (California)

Gold was not the only thing that sent people to the West - silver was another alluring metal for those who wanted to achieve great success. Calico is an Old West California mining town that has existed since 1881 and was abandoned in the mid-1890s after silver lost its value. Today Calico is a place that offers an immersive historical experience. Visitors can tour the city as well as stay overnight in this historic location. The campsite offers many modern amenities for guests. But its main attraction is access to one of the most intriguing ghost towns.

Goldfield (Arizona)

If you're wondering what life was like in the Old West, visit Apache Junction. After all, this is where you will find Goldfield - a historic settlement that was once a very prosperous city. In 1892, high-quality gold ore was discovered here, and the following year the city received an official mail. The community flourished for five years - eventually reaching a population of 1500. But Goldfield did not last long, and the city's population dwindled as the precious commodity inevitably ran out. When the post office was decommissioned in 1898, Goldfield officially became a ghost town. Today, however, it is a popular tourist attraction where visitors can relive the romantic times of American history.

Ruby (Arizona)

There are quite a few places in Arizona that are known to be often considered creepy, but none of them can compare with Ruby's gruesome story. During its heyday, Ruby led the zinc and lead state, but its close proximity to the border made it vulnerable to attack. In the early 1920s, bandits from Mexico came and took control of this small mining town, robbing a store and killing some of the residents. Although the militants were eventually captured, it was too late: the residents fled, leaving Ruby, and he became another ghost town in the Wild West.

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Frisco (Utah)

Frisco was once a noisy and crowded place with a population of about 6000. Gold, silver, zinc and copper were found here, and the Frisco mine became one of the most profitable in the region. By 1885, more than $ 60 million had been taken out of the city, and people were earning a lot of money. Because of this, numerous saloons, brothels, gambling halls appeared to entertain miners in their free time. This created an unstable environment saturated with money and alcohol, and Frisco became a place full of tension and violence.

Widespread fighting broke out (at some point, there was reportedly a murder here every day). Therefore, law enforcement officers were called in to resolve the situation, and by the 1920s the city was empty. Today only abandoned mines and mills are left of it. Once a thriving Frisco, it is now a shadow of itself and one of the most memorable ghost towns in the West.

St. Elmo (Colorado)

About an hour's drive from the picturesque city of Aspen, Colorado, lies one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the West. It was founded in 1880 also thanks to the extraction of gold and silver. But the deposits of precious metals were depleted, and the inhabitants of Aspen practically left it by the 1920s. Today, St. Elmo is a well-preserved ghost town off the beaten path, which is a time capsule of a historic moment with preserved wooden display cases and an original department store. Opened in 1888, the St. Elmo was once an old mining exchange serving miners who lived or frequently visited the area, as well as local families. Today St. Elmo is a delightful day trip destination that offers visitors unique souvenirs to remember this Colorado ghost town.

Photo: Shutterstock

White Oaks (New Mexico)

Don't let the peace and quiet of White Oaks fool you: this mining town has a pretty turbulent history. At one point, White Oaks was the second largest city in New Mexico and thriving when a gold mine was discovered inside Mount Baxter. After this dazzling discovery, the population of the city began to flourish, many saloons, gambling establishments and brothels appeared here. When the gold ran out, the city disappeared, although only one business remained in White Oaks - the iconic saloon No Scum Allowed.

Eagle (Texas)

The history of Eagles is known to everyone: like hundreds of now abandoned towns in Texas, it was built for only one reason - to mine gold. Orla was founded in 1890 as a section house for the Pokos river railroad. This was the place where adventurers flocked in the hope of achieving great success. Unlike many ghost towns in America, Orla experienced a second population growth in the mid-1900s, when Texas experienced another oil boom. Today, Orla remains a delivery point for equipment, but most of the buildings and homes are abandoned, making this Texas city a popular destination for curious photographers and ghost hunters.

Old Kahawba (Alabama)

Old Kahawba is a place of unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Alabama's most famous ghost town, Kahawba was created out of nothing in 1819 and became the state's first capital. From 1820 to 1825, it was the star city of Alabama until many forced its residents to move to greener (and drier) places. Today the city is used as an archaeological park, with its former slave quarters and XNUMXth century buildings attracting visitors from all over the country.

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Blue Heron (Kentucky)

The mining boom was not limited to the American West. Kentucky has a long and interesting history. Blue Heron is an abandoned mining settlement along the Big South Fork River. The mine, which operated from 1937 to 1962, has historically accurate copies of those originally found on site. There is an audio tour here that takes visitors through the adventure of a mining camp, making this ghost town a popular day trip destination for history buffs. For a truly unforgettable experience, board the Big South Fork Blue Heron Ghost Train to visit the abandoned city and hear tales of its legendary history.

Thurmond (West Virginia)

In the early 1900s, Thurmond became very popular. This West Virginia city - a major stop on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad - generated more than 20 percent of the company's revenue in 1910. And then the Great Depression struck, creating a chain of events that inevitably led to the fact that Thurmond turned into a ghost town. Today it is almost abandoned. True, there are several people who still call it their home. Visitors can come and explore the city's old railway depot, which now serves as a museum and information center for curious travelers.

Centralia (Pennsylvania)

Centralia's story is both incredibly confusing and very sad. By far the most famous ghost town in the state, in the US and possibly around the world (it became the prototype for Silent Hill in the horror film of the same name). A fire in the Centralia underground mine broke out in 1962 and lasted half a century. During this 50-year period, craters of fire formed under backyards, roads, and houses throughout the city, expelling any remaining residents of the city and attracting curious ghost hunters and vandals. In 2017, Centralia was officially closed to visitors, and law enforcement officers issued subpoenas to all violators without exception.

Bathsto Village (NJ)

Bathsto Village is deeply rooted, dating back to 1766 when it was founded as a thriving iron and glass city. The iron kiln was launched by Charles Reid and became the largest in the region. During the American Revolution, Batsto was a leading manufacturer of cast iron and cast utensils, as well as ammunition for the Continental Army. In 1874, a fire almost decided the fate of Batsto - it destroyed glass production, the remaining iron furnaces and 17 houses. Residents fled and the city was auctioned off for $ 14 to businessman Joseph Wharton, who transformed it into a successful farming community. When Wharton died in 000, Batsto began its second fall - until the middle of the century, when it was rebuilt (again) as a historic site for adventurers and historians. That is how it remains today.

Ghost towns are very interesting for explorers. Meeting the remnants of these once-thriving cities is a painful and exciting experience that will surely impress you. Some cities were abandoned over time due to economic difficulties, others were immediately evacuated due to external circumstances, while others left little evidence of why they were abandoned. No one wants to be erased from history, but this is exactly what circumstances and time did with the 18 named cities.

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