->''"There are secrets here that were '''meant''' to be forgotten."''
-->-- '''Garrus''', ''VideoGame/MassEffect1''

What you get when a GhostTown is global in scale. Another planet or AnotherDimension that, by the time we get to see it, has been [[AfterTheEnd left in ruins for a long, long time]]. There are signs here and there that this world once boasted a civilization, maybe even a great civilization, but all that's left now are a few decaying remnants. The world need not be ''entirely'' barren of life, but, generally speaking, if there are enough of the original denizens left to form a town or city, it's not a Ghost Planet.

Please keep in mind, a Ghost Planet should ''not'' be a future version of our own Earth (or at least not explicitly so). Only alien worlds which have gone through their own [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Armageddon]] (somewhere between Class 2 and Class 5 on the ApocalypseHow scale) need apply.

Not to be confused with WesternAnimation/SpaceGhost's home planet, or ''Comicbook/GhostWorld''.

Compare GhostTown and GhostCity. May be a BeautifulVoid.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Shinigami World from ''Manga/DeathNote'' has hints that things other than shinigami once dwelled in it, or, at least, that shinigami were not always like they now are. There are a few remaining signs that the world once had buildings and maybe even cities, something the dozen or so shinigami we see have neither the energy nor the manpower to do. When you add in the fact that the skulls shinigami gamble with had to come from ''someone'', and Rem's comment that shinigami have "evolved" beyond the need for food, you get the impression that the Shinigami World was once a far less desolate place.
* There are several in the ''Franchise/DragonBall'' series, often due to the MonsterOfTheWeek wiping out all life. Early on, it's revealed to be the Saiyans' job to clear out planets and sell them, such as Kanassa and Meat. Later on was Namek, another victim of Frieza's troops. Then there was New Planet Vegeta, which was already ruined and about to collide with a meteor. After that was ''Earth itself'', thanks to Buu.
* Two in ''Anime/KiddyGrade'', first the space prison that Alv, Dvergr, Éclair, and Lumière are sent to investigate, and later, a space colony that Éclair and Lumière escape to.
* The Moon Kingdom from ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' has sat in ruins for over a thousand years by the time it's seen in a non-flashback scene. In the fifth and final arc[=/=]season, it's revealed that most of the planets that hold life in the galaxy have been reduced to ghost planets, thanks to the main villain, Galaxia's, conquest.
* One of the planets visited by the Nirvana in ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'' is like this. The only remaining activity is from an automated defense system left by the people who destroyed the colony there.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/GreenLantern: sector [[NumberOfTheBeast 666]], only 5 people survived the slaughter of every living being, all were held in a different sector. Even after the Red Lanterns use one planet in it as home base, it's still ruins as far as the eye can see.
* Asgard in the ''ComicBook/MarvelOneHundredthAnniversarySpecial'' has long been abandoned by the gods and Yggdrasil's roots have overgrown the ruins.
* In Issue 14 of ''Comicbook/{{Planetary}}'', Elijah Snow visits one of these. Yet another one of the Four's atrocities.
* The Ghost Planet from ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhost'' wasn't an example of this trope ''until'' the DarkerAndEdgier [[ContinuityReboot reboot]] comic published by DC.
* The Pocket Universe Earth from where Superboy of the Legion of Superheroes had come was turned into one by the Phantom Zone criminals that the world's Lex Luthor had released in ''ComicBook/TheSupergirlSaga'', when they decided to destroy all life on the planet by destabilizing the Earth's core and [[AtmosphereAbuse destroying its atmosphere]].

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* In ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes, at one point Calvin daydreams about Spaceman Spiff being stranded on one of these. aided by the fact that he missed the lunch bell and is sitting alone in the classroom.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* Altair IV in ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet'' contains many still-functioning relics of the hyper-advanced Krell civilization, despite the disappearance of the Krell themselves, which seems to have happened quite suddenly.
* The Hell Planet in ''Film/PitchBlack''. Also, any world the Necromongers visit is left this way.
* The planet Miranda in ''Film/{{Serenity}}''. [[spoiler:When the Alliance tested a drug meant to curb violent emotions on the people of the planet, the result was nearly all the population ceasing to do...pretty much anything, eventually laying down and dying. The tiny percentage of people who survived had the exact opposite reaction, becoming the psychotic and cannibalistic Reavers]].
* ''Film/BattleBeyondTheStars''. Shad goes to a notorious WretchedHive seeking TheMagnificentSevenSamurai only to find the planet deserted except for ProfessionalKiller Gelt (who's only there because he's hiding from everyone else).
-->'''Gelt:''' The other planets in this sector formed a protective league. They raised an army and cleaned us out. We made them nervous.

* In ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' novel ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'', the city/world of Charn is one of these by the time Digory and Polly arrive. The buildings, sidewalks, and other examples of human industry are mostly intact, though in a state of ruin. However, except for the witch queen Jadis, every other living thing on the planet (including vines partially pulled down walls) was killed by the Deplorable Word. It's more than a little creepy.
* ''Literature/EdenGreen'' has the title character explore an abandoned planet from which horrifying needle monsters are spreading onto Earth.
* Paul S. Kemp's ''The Twilight War'' trilogy set in the ''Literature/ForgottenRealms'' reveals that [[spoiler: Shar has been doing this to other worlds and intends to do the same to Abeir-Toril.]]
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/FoundationAndEarth'', the characters discover some of the planets where space-faring humans first settled, in ruins and devoid of intelligent life.
* The "pit-stop" planet and alien spaceport in Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/GalacticDerelict''. The home planet of the alien spacecraft is still inhabited by two primitive alien tribes who are at war, but it is made clear that they are not the civilization that built the ruined city they dwell in.
* Creator/JonathanLethem's ''Girl in Landscape'' primarily takes place on one which is being sparsely colonized by humans. There are still a few lingering aliens, but they have only a passive interest in either the humans or the relics of their ruined civilization.
* ''Literature/TheLostFleet'' series details a number of solar systems that had once been host to heavy traffic but have been bypassed by the time the titular fleet passes through because the PortalNetwork rendered the old mode of system-to-system hyperspace travel obsolete. Some of these systems have been completely abandoned, while others still have [[DyingTown dwindling populations that lack the means to leave]] (there aren't any spaceships passing through anymore, after all).
* Mars in Creator/RayBradbury's ''Literature/TheMartianChronicles'' is like this, showing signs of a CrystalSpiresAndTogas civilization.
* Mars in Creator/HBeamPiper's short story "Omnilingual" .His short story "Graveyard of Dreams", later expanded into the novel ''The Cosmic Computer'', took its title from a poem by a colonist on Mars who was apparently inspired by the planet's ruins.
* Creator/AlastairReynolds:
** ''Literature/RevelationSpace'' has an archaeologist main character and the plot centers on the mystery behind the dead Amarantin civilization.
** ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'' has the galaxy littered with the remnants of human civilization; in an UngovernableGalaxy with no FasterThanLightTravel or SubspaceAnsible, human civilizations surge up before withering away after a few thousand years from internal pressure. Every system that the protagonists visit have some trace of human habitation, such as an asteroid belt littered with derelict ships or nanotech-infused clouds on planets.
* The fourth ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' book features a Ghost ''Universe''. Everything in it has been murdered by the [[EldritchAbomination Faceless Ones]].
* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'':
** In the ShortStory ''[[Literature/StarWarsTheEndOfHistory The End of History]]'', Antron Back hides himself and a collection of Jedi artifacts on a nameless and abandoned moon that had once been colonized by Geonosians, who left tunnel systems the size of cities behind which made for a perfect hiding spot.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** Kiva, in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear''. It's without life except for the furious ghosts of the people who lived there, and mentioned to be charcoal-colored when seen from orbit.
** ''Revan'', a tie-in novel to ''Videogame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', reveals the Sith Emperor's homeworld of Nathema to be one of these. His ascension to immortality involved a Force ritual that consumed every living thing on the planet. Several hundred years later, the bodies are still there exactly as they died, because the microorganisms that would normally decompose them were all killed. It's hinted that the Emperor intends to repeat this process for the entire galaxy, [[EvenEvilHasStandards and this scares the handful of Sith who know about it enough that they're secretly planning to assassinate him]].
* In ''Literature/TheWandering'', Neshi visits many of these, all of which were destroyed (presumably) by the Natasians.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* [[spoiler:Markab Prime and Daltron 7]] become ghost planets in ''Series/BabylonFive''.
** In the B5 spin-off ''Series/{{Crusade}}'', a number of these are also visited.
* Kobol, Caprica, [[spoiler: and "Earth"]] in ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''. Technically, New Caprica also becomes one, though only after one year of habitation.
* Creator/CarlSagan's ''Series/CosmosAPersonalVoyage'' (a documentary series) included model shots of a fictional Mars fitting this trope, before going on to describe what Mars is ''really'' like.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Skaro, the Dalek homeworld also counts for a large part of the series between the times when the Daleks would abandon and reclaim it.
** Several examples in the old series, too, including Exxilon in ''Death to the Daleks''.
** The [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E8SilenceInTheLibrary planet-sized]] [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E9ForestOfTheDead Library]] has a million million intelligent lifeforms following a catastrophe 100 years prior, though the Doctor and his allies can't seem to find any of them. [[spoiler:There's a species of flesh-eating bacteria that can move small objects and think through a hive mind, but are generally stupid due to their weakness to light and subsequent minimal populations - then they get into a library through infected paper, and it turns out there's enough darkness, unwitting civilians, and information to develop sentience.]]
** San Helios in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E15PlanetOfTheDead "Planet of the Dead"]]. Despite no signs of life apart from the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts planet-destroying]] [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial stingrays]], the city was fine a year a before the story.
* Brunnis and TV World in ''Series/{{Lexx}}''.
* ''Series/LostInSpace'' - Although not developed afterwards, implied by the subterranean dead city on the Robinsons' first planetfall.
* One ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' two-parter features a trip to the aptly-named "Deserted Planet".
* Happened quite often in ''Series/StargateSG1''. Sometimes it was a plague, or technology gone wrong, or something else horrible happened to wipe out life on the planet. It was rarely not spooky.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield", the planet Cheron ended up this way. So was the Time Vortex Planet from "The City On The Edge Of Forever" and "Yesteryear", but for different reasons.

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* Echo V was home to the Iktomi in ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase''. Now there's nothing but cobwebs. [[GiantSpider Literally]].
* Several Classic ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' adventures had planets like this, including ''Adventure 4 Leviathan'' and ''Double Adventure 5 The Chamax Plague''.
* Happens occasionally in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe. Sometimes it happens when a planet gets swallowed up in a Warp space related-anomaly, and that world is physically twisted, or sometimes it becomes a haunted planet with no sign of the original human population. Most often, however, this trope describes worlds that were all that was left behind after an [[ApocalypseWow Exterminatus]].
** On other occasions, an entire planet's populace may be abducted by hostile aliens, particularly the Dark Eldar or Necrons.
** During one notable incident, a Literature/NightLords raid killed the population of an entire planet…without damaging ''a single building''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* A ghost ''system'' in ''VideoGame/AlienLegacy''. When the UNS ''[[SleeperStarship Calypso]]'' arrives to the Beta Caeli system, the crew is woken up from [[HumanPopsicle cryosleep]], and the [[PlayerCharacter Captain]] reads all the messages received from Earth since their departure centuries (if not millennia) ago. One of these notifies you that another ship was sent to the same system just over a decade after the ''Calypso''[='s=] departure. However, due a slightly more efficient drive, it was supposed to have arrived to Beta Caeli [[LightspeedLeapfrog about two decades before you]]. So, naturally, you expect to find a colonized system with thousands of settlers awaiting your arrival. What you find are planets filled with ruins of the colonies and no trace of the UNS ''Tantalus'', the ''Calypso'''s sister-ship. Besides settling the system, much of the game involves tracking down the clues and figuring out what happened to the other ship and the colonists. [[spoiler:The ship was scrapped for parts by order of her captain, and most of the shuttle fleet was later wiped out in a suicidal charge on the [[AbusivePrecursors H'riak]] [[{{Panspermia}} seedship]] hiding in the system, leaving the major colonies on the two habitable worlds and numerous tiny outposts isolated from one another; then the habitable planets' native life went insane and wiped out the colonists there; eventually, the isolated outposts died out too]].
* In the higher levels of ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', you get the chance to go dimension hopping, discovering several Ghost Dimensions, including a literal Ghost Dimension where the calamity that wiped out the entire population was ''[[EvilTwin you]]''. Needless to say, the ghosts aren't happy to see you.
* ''VideoGame/DeadSpace3'' takes this to a chilling extreme. Not only is the planet of Tau Volantis a ghost planet, this game reveals that the setting is essentially a ghost ''galaxy'' thanks to [[spoiler:the Brethren Moons periodically turning the populations of entire worlds into Necromorphs and consuming them to propagate their own race.]]
* Creator/LucasArts' old PC adventure game, ''VideoGame/TheDig''. Astronauts end up playing archaeologist in the ruins of an alien civilization.
* It is only a minor element of the setting (absolutely nothing encourages you to land, it's just possible in case you want to read the flavour text), but Neo New York in ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Nova'' is this -- once a prosperous colony, a terrible plague swept through it, destroying the entire biosphere. The planetary image wouldn't look out of place for any of the more inhabited Federation colonies, although the fact that the fog surrounding the skyscrapers is [[SicklyGreenGlow green]] is somewhat telling...
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'': The myriad planets and installations built by the Forerunners, including the eponymous ringworlds, are ghost space constructs.
* Lh'owon from ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' was razed by [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Pfhor]] slavers. It is mostly a desert, with a few instances of nasty wildlife and aforementioned slavers.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect''
** The page quote concerns Ilos from ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', and the place is appropriately creepy to boot.
** In [[VideoGame/MassEffect2 the sequel]], once you start looking at places off the beaten track [[FridgeHorror you'll notice]] that there are a ''lot'' of dead planets out there. Time and again seemingly empty systems will have burial grounds, ruins or even just million-year-old mass accelerator craters spread across the planet. The phrase "Bombardment was focused on population centres" appears [[ParanoiaFuel far too often for comfort]]. Of course, this all makes sense, since every 50,000 years [[spoiler: the Reapers show up and kill all sentient lifeforms.]]
** [[VideoGame/MassEffect3 The third game]] reveals that [[spoiler: [[AdvancedAncientAcropolis Ilos]] was a ghost planet when the ''Protheans'' found it, and the statues are implied to depict the once native Inusannon. Subsequent playthroughs of the first game, knowing that both the [[RecursivePrecursors Inusannon]] and the [[BenevolentPrecursors Protheans]] became extinct on this world makes it even ''more'' creepy.]]
* Most all of the worlds visited by Samus Aran in the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' games. And if they weren't at first, they are when she leaves. [[EarthShatteringKaboom If they're]] [[MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds still there.]]
* ''Schizm'' cribs from ''Forbidden Planet'' as well--everyone on the world you're exploring just ''vanished'' in what must have been a single day, leaving behind unfinished work and uneaten meals. The initial research team vanished more slowly, and had enough time to leave behind increasingly panicky [[ApocalypticLog audio diaries]] speculating on what the hell was going on. What's left is a rather sinister BeautifulVoid. [[spoiler: Subverted in the end. Everyone is still alive, but they were transported into separate dimensions so that the planet's defense system could observe them and determine if they were a threat.]]
* ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun''[='=]s [[DownerBeginning prologue has the Stone-Like destroy all life on the planet]], leaving only four humans and their robot companion as the survivors because they managed to escape the Earth's atmosphere beforehand. The game's first stage takes place a year after the catastrophe, with the survivors having to return to Earth due to being low on supplies.
* The "[[ShoutOut Forbidden Planet]]" in ''VideoGame/SigmaStarSaga'' takes this trope more literally than most--you'll find yourself under attack from levitating tombstones. Turns out the former inhabitants had(/have) a ''serious'' grudge against the aliens you've allied with, and not even death is stopping them from revenge. In a notorious [[GameBreakingBug bug]], those tombstones are the most lethal enemy in the game; killing one to end the level will instead trap you in purgatory forever.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'', one of the planets in your home system has a crashed alien spaceship on it. Before they died, the survivors left directions to a nearby system, which turns out to be a ruined planet that was devastated by the Grox. Some [[EpilepticTrees theories]] suggest that the ruins may be human in origin, especially when you consider that Earth is deserted when you discover it.
* ''VideoGame/StarControl 2'' - the Taalo homeworld (sterilized by mind-controlled Ur-Quan), the Burvixese homeworlds (wiped out by the Kohr-Ah after being betrayed by the Druuge), and the Androsynth's adopted homeworld ("Androsynth are not here. Only [[EldritchAbomination Orz]] is here"). Also, any alien homeworld becomes one once the Kohr-Ah reach it on their Death March.
* The planet Ultimacrash from ''Starshot: Space Circus Fever'' is another literal version of the trope. It's surrounded by spaceship debris and is inhabited by the ghosts of space travelers whose ships crashed into it, hence its name and reputation as "the gloomiest place in the galaxy".
* Tomb worlds in ''Videogame/{{Stellaris}}'' start this way. [[spoiler:This is also the doom of colonies that have fallen to the Unbidden - the building remains, the colonists are just ''gone''. Which makes them a really nice spot to (re)settle once the Unbidden are taken care of.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'':
** This is the planet Quartia in ''VideoGame/TalesOfHearts''. Everything inhabiting the planet quite literally had the life sucked out of it.
** Similarly, Fodra from ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces'', however there are a few survivors, instead of machines.
* In the ''Xtended'' GameMod for ''[[Videogame/{{X}} X3: Terran Conflict]]'', the Expansion system PortalNetwork is littered with the remnants of Terran colonies that were wiped out 800 years ago when their AI terraformer fleets went haywire and started "[[ColonyDrop terraforming]]" inhabited worlds. The modern Terrans under the Earth State government control the majority of these abandoned ghost planets, but a few are under the control of the Boron Kingdom or Split Dynasty, which has caused some friction between the races.
* This trope certainly applies in force once you reach [[spoiler: Old Miltia]] in the third episode of ''Xenosaga'' - the entire planet is completely devoid of human life, though all the trappings of the setting's technologically-advanced society are in place, adding to the creep factor.

* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', [[spoiler:Jane]]'s Land, the [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=006720 Land of Crypts and Helium]], is almost completely lifeless save for a few plants that have managed to cling to life. [[spoiler:All the Alpha Kids' Lands are the same]].
* In ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'', [[HiveMind Mars]] finds many of these when [[AbsentAliens searching for other intelligent life in the universe]].
--> [[TheRant "Gotta love existential angst on a planetary scale."]]
* The Dimension of Pain from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' is eventually revealed to be one of these. It originally just seemed to be a barren, rocky world populated by a smattering of demons. It's not until the end of the "That Which Redeems" arc that we discover the dimension originally belonged to a race of human-like beings, whom the demons overthrew. Over the centuries the demons wiped out all other life in the dimension. They even devoured the original inhabitants' souls and destroyed everything they had built, save for a single, ruined city, preserved as a testament to the demons' victory. It is also implied that these 'demons' were actually mutants created by Nofun labs, and the same could happen to the main dimension as well.
* ''Webcomic/{{Subnormality}}'' gives us [[http://www.viruscomix.com/page505.html Wonte IV]]. "There was something besides oil that came out [[DugTooDeep when the drills got down there]] and it didn't [[EldritchAbomination mix with the human mind and its fuckin' little creations]]."

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FilmationsGhostbusters'' was fond of ghost planets, featuring at least two or three throughout its 65-episode run.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': In [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS6E13Sacrifice "Sacrifice"]], Yoda journeys to the long-abandoned planet Moraband, the Sith homeworld (better known as [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic Korriban]]) as the final stage of his VisionQuest. Between the stains of the Dark Side and the ancient ruins, the place has an appropriately creepy air.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'':
** When the ''Ghost'' crew first visits Geonosis, in [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS2E15TheHonorableOnes "The Honourable Ones"]], they find they can't detect any life signs from the planet, and Ezra can sense an aura of death surrounding the planet. On their return visit in [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E10GhostsOfGeonosis "Ghosts of]] [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E11GhostsOfGeonosisPartII Geonosis"]], the crew finds evidence that the Empire deliberately wiped out the Geonosian species, although ''why'' they can't figure.
** [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS2E19TwilightOfTheApprentice "Twilight of]] [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS2E20TwilightOfTheApprenticePartII the Apprentice"]]: Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka travel to the planet Malachor, a former base of the Sith. Underground, they find extensive ruins surrounding a Sith Temple, the entire area littered with [[TakenForGranite the petrified corpses]] of participants in a long-ago battle.