10 Terrifying Abandoned Places in the U.S.
What's missing in these locales? People... unless you believe in ghosts. These towns, malls, amusement parks, churches and hospitals once housed, treated, or amused, but have since been deserted, leaving nature and vandals and even ghosts to take over many of these places. Dilapidated and frozen in time, here are the 10 terrifying abandoned places in the U.S.
1. Michigan Central Station
The last train left the station in 1988, and since then, Michigan Central Station has been just one more abandoned building in Detroit. A symbol of the Motor City's rise and fall, this 18-story train station once stood tall and grand, but it has become a canvas for graffiti artists and photographers searching for every creepy angle through 1,000 blown-out windows. The city has teased Detroit's residents with a renovation, but the station remains, decaying, as a reminder of a city's thriving past. Check out more haunted places in Detroit.
2. Garnet, Montana
Flickr/ David J Laporte
Just east of Missoula, Montana, you'll find Montana's most well-preserved ghost town, Garnet. Once a thriving mining town in the late 1800s, Garnet's population went from 1,000 to just over 100 in eight years. This haphazardly-built town was a complete ghost town by the 1940s, with buildings and the furniture inside still intact. Because of careful preservation, you can still tour this old west town and pretend you're on the hunt for precious rubies in the Montana mountains.
3. Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio
Blame it on The Great Recession or our love for online shopping, but all across the country shopping malls are dying and left abandoned. Rolling Acres Mall is one example. Closed in 2008, the mall is left to rot in ruins, with weeds, trees and vines swallowing the shopping center. A snapshot of commercialism turned to decay, the photos are terrifying, as if a zombie apocalypse swept through with not a shopper left to be seen. Discover the five scariest places in Columbus, Ohio.
4. City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana
When the steel industry crashed in the 1970s, Gary, Indiana, was left reeling. Businesses, homes, and even churches were abandoned as residents ditched Gary to find other work. Abandoned in 1975, the decrepit gothic-style Methodist church is a favorite for photographers and film crews and can be seen in Nightmare on Elm Street and Transformers 3.
5. Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Waverly Hills Sanatorium may be one of the most haunted places in the country, and you can find out for yourself by taking a tour, if you dare. The sanatorium was built in the early 1900s to help those afflicted with extremely contagious tuberculosis recover, but once you entered, you never left, and so Waverly Hills became its own community, eventually shuttering in 1981. Four more Louisville haunted locations can be found here.
6. Six Flags Jazzland
Bloomberg via Getty Images
When Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005, Six Flags Jazzland in New Orleans, Louisiana, was left victim and abandoned. Now left to crumble, this amusement park that once created smiles is desolate with deteriorating roller coasters, overgrown shrubbery, toppling signs, and alligators lurking in the remaining flood water. Find more haunted spots in New Orleans here.
7. Holy Land USA
Now a perfect scene for a horror film, this Christian-themed amusement park in Waterbury, Connecticut, once attracted 40,000 visitors a year until it closed in the mid 1980s. At Holy Land USA, you could find replicas of Bethlehem Village and the Garden of Eden, among other biblical statues, but the park is now in disrepair, covered in graffiti and overgrowth. New owners do plan on revitalizing it with the help of the community.
8. The Domes of Casa Grande
Rumored to be haunted and a place of occult activities, the Domes outside of Casa Grande, Arizona, were built by a tech company in 1982, but the company never relocated to the oddly shaped buildings, leaving them abandoned and a good site for visitors to get scared.
9. Bodie, California
Another well-preserved ghost town with 100 structures still standing, Bodie, California, is in a "state of arrested decay," meaning you'll find things just as they were left, even a child's coat hung on a hook and bottles of beer on top of a bar. In the mid 1800s during the gold rush, Bodie's population thrived at 10,000 people, with over 65 saloons and other sinful establishments that drove up the crime rate with haunting wild west stories left as artifacts in old newspapers. Bodie may be frozen in time and collecting dust, but you can tour this California State Historical Park year round. Read about the top five California urban legends.
10. Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane
An abandoned asylum? Insanely terrifying. In upstate New York, Willard Asylum housed patients until 1995, but many of them never left, committed and left imprisoned until they died and were buried at the asylum. Their graves were not marked with their names, but with only their identification numbers. Explore these four haunted places in western New York.
Ali Struhs is a freelance writer, blogger, and boy mom living in Denver, Colo. She enjoys exploring the great outdoors, rocking out at Red Rocks, and chasing around her toddler.