Owliver’s Ghost Town Tour is back and spookier than ever!7 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
Welcome back to another tour of ghost towns around the world and that too on Halloween!
This time, we will be visiting towns that have been abandoned by situations caused by our own species. Sometimes, wars, chemical disasters, industrial accidents or simply time render an entire town uninhabitable!
We will be visiting some of these towns across the globe in the next 3 minutes.
In preparation for the tour, carry a torch for when places get too dark, a blanket for when you are scared and want to hide, and some water to stop your throat from drying up out of fear.
Fasten your seatbelts and here we gooooo!
Stop #1 Mandu, India
Mandu was a thriving city during the Mughal period but is now an abandoned treasure land with palaces, tombs, mosques etc. Mandu was once the capital of a significant Mughal dynasty but lost its title when the Marathas took over. Possibly, Mandu never recovered from this fall and till now celebrates its grandeur but in isolation.
This fortress town, a 4 hour drive from Indore, has been abandoned for the last 400 years.
Imagine the stories you can make of people who may have lived here?!
Talking about stories, let’s move our next stop with a rather interesting one:
Stop # Hashima Island, Japan
The Hashima Island, 9 miles off the coast of Nagasaki, was once the most densely populated city in Japan but has been abandoned since the 1970s. Hashima was an undersea coal mining region that had more than 5000 inhabitants at its peak- the highest of all cities of Japan. This island played a key role in the industrialisation of Japan. But in 1974, the mining stopped and the island was abandoned. This island that was known for mining and industry is now covered in grass and vines.
Nat Geo went on its own tour! Let’s see what they found-
From the island that looks like a battleship, let’s cross water to Libya in North Africa!
Stop #3 Tawergha, Libya
Before the Libyan civil war, this town hosted 40,000 inhabitants. But post the war, only 250 people have occupied tents in a nearby town leaving Tawergha completely deserted. It is not that the Tawerghans don’t want to come back home. But, their home has been ravaged by war to such an extent that there are hardly any basic amenities to live on. Some also fear similar attacks as the ones they experienced 7 years ago, when they first left their homes.
War has its own horror! And it is far scarier than the one created by vampires and witches.
Our next stop is to a land that was abandoned because of a nuclear tragedy.
Stop #4 Pripyat, Ukraine
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster is considered to be the worst nuclear disaster in the world. The Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 1986 left Pripyat destroyed. 50,000 residents had to be evacuated as exposure to radiation could have caused several serious health problems. On evacuation the residents were told that they will be returning within two to three days but that never happened. Pripyat was declared inhabitable because of the radiations for at least another 24,000 years! The residents were rehabilitated in a new city called Slavutych. But even now, a train takes workers who continue to work at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant from Slavutych to Pripyat everyday.
We might not have a train but we can always fly on the wings of our imagination, and some images, to our final destination.
Stop #5 Centralia, USA
Centralia was a resilient mining town in Pennsylvania that survived The Great Depression and the stock market crash but fell prey to a fire gone wrong. Noone knows exactly what started the fire but what is known is that the fire has not died in over 50 years!
Speculations are that burning of a landfill triggered an underground mine that went on to trigger other mines, and the story goes on. The residents left because of high levels of a toxic gas, carbon monoxide, in the air.
Chances are that this spooky fire may last for another 100 years!
With that final swoop over the fiery land of Centralia, let’s start the long journey back home.
We have travelled across the globe only to realise that unruly human activity (did you find out how even natural disasters can be manmade?) can cause an entire city to leave and resettle.
Think with Owliver:
What do you think animals have been doing? Have we been ghosting the forests by felling trees and constructing factories there?
Perhaps, our responsible actions can prevent the creation of any more of these desolate landscapes where life once thrived.
We have finished our tour but that does not stop you from exploring, further!
Find out about other spaces and let Owliver know in the comments, below.
Perhaps, we will find new destinations to visit together, soon.
Maybe, we will revisit some of these when conditions allow their former residents to return.
So, keep your cameras and torches ready. You will not need the blanket, then!
Till we meet again, au revoir!