"Fifty thousand people used to live in this city. Now it's a ghost town... I've never seen anything like it."A town or village that no longer has enough inhabitants to be considered a town (or in extreme cases may be abandoned entirely). Back in the days of The Wild West, settlements would spring up practically overnight. Word of a gold or silver strike, or of a good water supply in arid land, and folks would flock in and put up a Boom Town. Many of these survived and grew, even after the initial rush was over (all major cities in the West Coast got their start like this). But many did not. After the gold was mined out, or the spring went dry, or the railroad went through a town forty miles away instead, there just wasn't much point to living there. So the town died slowly or quickly, and became a Ghost Town. In a more general sense, in an agricultural society, most people lived on a farm or a ranch, and shipped their stuff to the nearest trading town. When people started living in more urbanized areas, since they were not farming, either they needed to go to a job or have customers because they ran some kind of business out of their house. If that dried up, whether or not they owned their house, unless they could grow enough food to feed themselves and supply other basic needs, their only option was to pack up and move on. If enough people did that, then you got a ghost town. Given their nature, ghost towns tend to be far off the beaten path, and not appear on current maps. Thus people who wind up in ghost towns are usually very lost indeed, or if it was deliberate, have had a rough time getting there. (The big exception is tourist attraction ghost towns, which have relatively easy access, and enough people in nearby areas to keep the place up.) Ghost towns don't necessarily have actual ghosts in them, but are generally spooky even without them. Banging shutters, creaking floors, a player piano that suddenly activates for no good reason. Sometimes the evacuation will have been so sudden that it appears that people left in the middle of dinner. Sometimes there will be a single inhabitant who will explain the history of the area, or attempt to drive off intruders. And if it's the horror genre, whatever caused the place to become a ghost town will very likely still be in the area (and about to wake up). This Trope is sometimes found with the Abandoned Mine Trope (one being the reason for the other). Compare Ghost City, where this has happened to a major metropolitan area, and Ghost Planet when an entire world ends up this way. Contrast Boom Town, the beginning of the cycle. See also Dying Town, when a community is getting close to becoming a Ghost Town. Not to be confused with the 2008 film Ghost Town, whose town is actually quite populous; or with Thriving Ghost Town, which is the Law of Conservation of Detail as applied to the town's population; or with The Specials song "Ghost Town".
— Capt. MacMillain, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
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Anime and Manga
- Higurashi: When They Cry:
- Hinamizawa. It gets wiped out in the Great Hinamizawa Disaster in some of the arcs.
- Yagouchi, in the side story Nekogoroshi.
- In Dragon Crisis!, several of the main girls get sucked into a painting of a ghost town. Unfortunately for them, there's also an Ax-Crazy murderer here.
- Spirited Away has Chihiro and her parents stumble into what appears to be a ghost town in the beginning of the movie. Only to discover that it is a town that belonged to spirits and they appear only at night.
- Sunday Without God has Ostia, abandoned after the students of Class 3-4 suddenly disappeared. However, when Alice leads Ai and her companions beyond the black surface, they find themselves in the thriving Ostia of fourteen years ago, a timeloop created when the students of Class 3-4 wished to reset time to prevent a classmate's death.
- Lawless, Arizona in Marvel Two-In-One #14. This one had a literal ghost, a hanged Outlaw that the Thing and Son of Satan battled.
- Lucky Luke features almost every single Wild West cliché, and therefore has an adventure in a Ghost Town ; this is even the title of the book. In that case it was a Gold Rush mining town which was abandoned after it became obvious there wasn't an ounce of gold around the place. In the end, after Luke has stirred the locals out of their greed and fear of ghosts, it revives as a prosperous farming town.
- In an old Casper the Friendly Ghost comic book, the Ghostly Trio came home from their vacation upset, claiming that the ghost town they went to had no ghosts, only a guy selling souvenirs. It did, however, have a "little haunted house" that they were terrified of, which followed them home. (Actually, it was a ghostly dog in a doghouse, owned by a prospector who was using it to sniff out gold.)
- In Aeon Entelechy Evangelion the dome where Rei lives is this, absolutely devoid of human presence except for the hidden security detail and no wildlife (especially cats, which are natural detectors of everything abnormal).
- Clearwater Commune in DC Nation was built on one of these. Currently a thriving hippie commune and farming community, it was once a notoriously nasty mining town in Jonah Hex's day, and popular with cultists, as it's sitting on a node of magical energy. The hippies are clueless about this.
- In the end of Respect, Nanairogaoka has become this, after Yayoi's rampage.
- Bad Future Crusaders: After the battle between Twilight Sparkle and Princess Luna destroyed most of Ponyville, the surviving townspeople fled the remains of the town, which have since been left to rot, with no one daring to enter even to scavenge or steal what was left behind.
- Son of Paleface (1952) takes place partially in a Ghost Town.
- By the time the Colonial Marines arrive in Aliens to investigate a communications blackout from the normally bustling Hadley's Hope colony on LV-426, the colony's corridors are unpopulated except for a hamster and Newt, as well as signs of since-passed combat. All of the other colonists have been abducted by the Xenomorphs and taken to their hive for use as food and parasitic hosts.
- The abandoned nuclear test town from The Hills Have Eyes (2006).
- In Fried Green Tomatoes, all that's left of the town was a graffiti-laden cafe that's been closed for years.
- Silent Hill was heavily inspired by Centralia, though the explanation is rather different.
- An interesting version happens in the sixth A Nightmare on Elm Street film, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. "Ten years from now" (2001) Freddy has managed to kill off all of the teenagers and children of Springwood, leaving only the adults. The town is a complete wreck, near abandonment, except the adults are still there. They've all been left in a state of psychosis, possibly due to Freddy's influence.
- In Skyfall, Silva has his base in an island ghost town.
- In Zombieland, Columbus, Ohio has apparently become a ghost town.
- Subverted in the opening scenes of The Blob (1988), which show the small Rocky Mountain town where the story takes place looking totally deserted, with dead leaves blowing through empty streets and a lone cat wandering about... because every person in town is at the high school football game.
- In Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, the Old West town of Rejection is largely abandoned after "dirt dragon" attacks cause the local mine to be closed down. Most of its buildings were barely more than tents to begin with.
- In Book 19 of the Lone Wolf series, Lone Wolf can visit two Ghost Towns on his cross country trip back home. One village was hit hard by a plague and is completely abandoned. Another one, the town of Amory, is a literal Ghost Town. The spirit of old enemy Roark still haunts his former home and his evil presence frightens away any living thing that tries to stay there. After Lone Wolf defeats Roark for the last time and banishes his spirit forever, he is delighted to hear birdsong in the morning after the battle — life is already returning to Amory. Lone Wolf also finds some hidden money in the floorboards of the house he was sleeping in — almost as if the town itself was thanking him.
- Chamberlin, Maine in Carrie becomes one shortly after the title character's rampage through town, wherein more than 200 students at the high school are burned to death when trapped inside the building on prom night, the result of Carrie exacting telekinetic revenge for years of being bullied (by a small group of students) and nothing being done about it; more people are killed as she spreads her fury throughout the town. In the aftermath, the town is so deeply consumed by grief that most of the residents leave town as the town's entire industrial base also closes, as most of their workers leave and they're unabile to recruit new ones.
- Momson, Vermont, is described as one of these at the beginning of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot, and the title village winds up as one due to an outbreak of vampirism.
- The town where the Twentieth Century Motor Company used to exist in Atlas Shrugged.
- Snowfield, California, in Dean Koontz's Phantoms.
- Galaxy of Fear: The town on D'vouran is small but lively when Tash decides to follow an apparently crazy man who wants to show her something relating to the world's dark secret. Within hours she comes back, shaken, and finds that everyone has vanished.
- Other books in the Star Wars Expanded Universe explain that in the initial days of Tibanna gas exploitation on the gas giant Bespin, numerous floating boom towns were constructed to try to get in on the market. When most of these went bust, their owners simply cut the power to the repulsorlifts and let the installations fall into the gas giant's depths. The exception is Tibannopolis, a floating ghost town that's been stripped by scavengers to a bare skeleton. Its generators are slowly failing so that the thing currently hovers at a slight tilt, but it serves as Bespin's local "haunted house," a place for daredevil pilots to show off, or for lovers to have a private moment. And in the the Jedi Academy Trilogy it's where Luke recruits Streen, a Force-sensitive hermit whose Power Incontinence drove him away from other people's thoughts.
- Comala, the main setting of Pedro Páramo, just seems like a standard Dying Town, but once you realize that almost every character in the story died long ago the real condition of the town becomes apparent.
- The unnamed protagonist encounters vampiric activity in Bram Stoker's short story "Dracula's Guest" when he goes to investigate an abandoned town in German countryside.
- In The Girl From The Well, Kagura is interested in finding Aitou village, a long-lost village rumored to be haunted.
- A flashback in Holes reveals that Camp Green Lake, the juvenile detention center the protagonist is sent to, actually used to be a beautiful lake that served as the life blood of a thriving town. But when the locals lynched a black onion farmer for kissing the white Schoolmarm, a drought gripped the area, causing the lake to dry up and the town to go down with it. The narration even states that the drought can be seen as divine punishment.
- In The Witchlands, the city of Lejna used to be Nubrevna's main port, but ever since Poisonwitches turned the entire south of the country into a Polluted Wasteland, it's been abandoned, as people prefer to swim further upriver to the non-poisonous capital of Lovats. These days, the only people to stop in Lejna are those who wish to slip under the Nubrevnans' radar for one reason or another.
Live Action Television
- Carnivŕle has Babylon — turns out its entire population except the bartender is made up of ghosts.
- The Twilight Zone episode "Where is Everybody".
- Land of the Giants episode "Ghost Town".
- An evocative episode of Dragnet had a few scenes in a ghost town movie set, as a formerly-respectable film director turned pornographer vividly recalls his Glory Days to Friday.
- The Brady Bunch episode where the Bradys drive to the Grand Canyon on vacation and stop at a ghost town along the way.
- Charmed had an episode involving a cursed ghost town that seemed to have disappeared off of the face of the earth.
- On The X-Files, Scully gives birth to her son in an abandoned Georgia town to escape those who wish to kidnap and kill the baby.
- In the US Life on Mars (2008), Sam tracks a man to a ghost town — Hyde, the town Sam is supposed to have been transferred from.
- In the Supernatural episode "Devil May Care" (S09, Ep02), Abaddon lures Sam and Dean to a town which was evacuated after a chemical factory spill.
- Top Gear bore witness to the effects of the Spanish real estate crash (see the Real Life folder below) in series 20, episode 3. This included an overnight stay in one of the unoccupied developments, using an abandoned airport for a drag race, and creating a street circuit in another development just outside Madrid.
- The chorus of Sufjan Stevens' song "They Are Night Zombies..." name-drops a lot of Illinois ghost towns.
- Such a town between Brisbane and Adelaide, abandoned after the railway no longer needed watering stops, is the habitation of the lonely in-song singer of the Tom Waits song "A Town with No Cheer" on his album ''Swordfishtrombones'.
- World of Darkness: Ghost Stories has Fort Assumption, a silver-mining town that went from Dying Town to dead in one brutal night, when the sheriff slaughtered everyone still there to "spare them the pain" of a smallpox epidemic before killing himself. The shock of the massacre caused the town to develop a literal ghost, and it's obsessed with rebuilding itself. The sheriff's own ghost, meanwhile, is not about to let it.
- Knott's Berry Farm has a western-themed area that's outright called "Ghost Town". It was closely modeled after real-life ghost towns, such as Calico, California.
- The backstory of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Disney Theme Parks mentions that the gold within the mountain caused several boom towns to form, until the vengeful spirit from within the mountain struck the land with a natural disaster, rendering said towns abandoned.
- Universal's Halloween Horror Nights in 2004 and 2016 had a haunted house outright-named Ghost Town, set in an abandoned western town (called "Lightning Gulch") that's filled with the evil spirits of its former citizens.
- A location in MOTHER 3, at the end of chapter 7. It's Tazmily Village.
- The Legend of Zelda
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has quite a bit of these in the desert areas (Las Brujas and Aldea Malvada are two examples).
- In The Oregon Trail II, Fort Boise and Sutter's Fort are abandoned in the 1850's, as in real life. The Whitman Mission will also be abandoned after 1847 or so.
- Dragon Quest examples:
- Hauksness/Domdora/Damdara in Dragon Quest I.
- Aktemto/Mamom from Dragon Quest IV becomes one as the game continues due to the inhabitant working on the nearby mine eventually digging too deep and unleashing an ancient horror sealed underneath the town.
- Gerzuun from Dragon Quest IX. By the time the hero and Co. arrived, the town has already been overrun by monster. The only inhabitants left are the ghosts of the townfolks who, unaware of their deaths, still look over the Bodura grass.
- In Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, the town of Ghoulash is abandoned but for one resident.
- Red Dead games:
- Tarnation from Red Dead Revolver was about to be recognized as a bona fide settlement by the local authorities until the town's sheriff was murdered. No other lawman was willing to replace him, so criminals and other evildoers quickly seized up the place and the original inhabitants fled.
- Red Dead Redemption has the aptly-named Tumbleweed. Except for the bandits that hole themselves up there, it lives up to its name (and yes, you can clean up the town to fully restore its uninhabited state). The town is filled with disturbing Easter eggs, including ghost footprints on the steps, bizarre animal behavior, and strange barking coming from the graveyard.
- Pretty much every town on Gran Pulse in Final Fantasy XIII qualifies but particularly Oerba, as it is the only one with infrastructure still mostly intact—just no people to use it.
- Bitterford, Maine, the setting of Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake.
- Wario Land 4's Crescent Moon Village, in both senses the word (no inhabitants, but plenty of blood thirsty undead ghosts)
- Silent Hill was once a prosperous large town that seemed to have been suddenly abandoned by everyone except a handful of locals and people who either purposefully or accidentally end up in it. Perhaps it was the dwindling tourism industry or, more likely, the monsters and the periodic threat of the Otherworld that led to its abandonment. It has been theorised that the abandoned version of Silent Hill is in fact an alternate dimension, and in the real world it is a normal, prosperous town.
- Champions Online has a region called the Southwest Desert where there are two ghost towns, both very different. One is a traditional old deserted mining town, Burnside, complete with ghosts from way back. The other is a nameless town ravaged by the effects of nearby atomic bomb tests in the 1950s, and completely deserted apart from a few radiation mutants straying around the edges of the atomic wastelands. Quite chilling really.
- In Telltale Games' Back to the Future: The Game Episode 5, Hill Valley has become this, due to Edna setting a fire which destroyed the early town
- In idSoftware's adventure shooter Rage, the level "Dead City" is an abandoned megapolis, complete with crumbling skyscrapers, sand-covered vehicles, and bloodthirsty mutants. (But then again, most of the planet is post-nuclear-disaster, with crumbling everything and bloodthirsty inhabitants...)
- Video Game/Fable II The town of Oakvale in the first game used to be a small village of farmers and carpenters deep in the forest coasted by the sea, surrounded by a haunted cursed forest called Darkwood, Oakvale was a peaceful and quiet village that was sacked by bandits and later rebuilt, this village was home to the great hero of Oakvale, the protagonist of the first game.
- When the player enters the Marsh from the first time, he enters the area once known as "Barrow fields" and can see a small ruined sign with "Oakvale" written on it.Going forward after some ruined farms, the player sees the ruined bridge that was once the signature structure of Oakvale where the town could be gazed on, unfortunately the path leading in the inner town is flooded with water making it unable to progress further in the abandoned town, but the player can see in distance the ruined buildings of the former village.
- The saddest part is that in the first game the town used to be a hub and the hero's home, with the same buildings seen from the first game like the fields where the Hero of Oakvale brought her sister Therese her gift when the two were kids appearing.
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has two examples. Pripyat is of the more common type – while it's thick with radiation and anomalies, it was evacuated in 1986. Limansk-13, on the other hand, is more on the actually ghostly side: unlike Pripyat, its citizens remained after the CNPP disaster, and in the 2006 incident, its citizens (who were part of a mind control experiment involving the Radiowave Institute and the Druga-3 radar system, which effectively turned the place into a man-made Lovecraft Country) simply evaporated, with only their shadows left. You can even hear the ghosts of children during the daynote . In the first game, any town or camp occupied by friendly Stalkers could become a ghost town, as they would slowly be picked off by mutants, the military, bandits, and their own stupidity by standing in the camp fire.
- Nipton and Searchlight in Fallout: New Vegas became this after the Legion came to town. The former had its residents beheaded, crucified, or enslaved, while the latter was irradiated, turning the NCR troops stationed there into feral ghouls.
- The town on an island you and some other people washed up on in Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness appeared to be abandoned at first. However when you get to work, it will become thriving once again.
- Cave Story: After completing the Waterway, you end up in Mimiga Village, but with all of its inhabitants gone due to being kidnapped by the Doctor. All of one intelligent being, Professor Booster, shows up if you fulfilled a certain obscure requirement.
- In The Long Dark, one of the key features of the Coastal Highway map is a very small community. Not a single soul lives there and there are no bodies lying around, suggesting that the inhabitants moved out before the geomagnetic calamity struck. The gas station in the centre of the ghost town is a fairly good choice for a player safehouse as it has inside a work bench, plenty of storage space, and a burn barrel next to a small bed, however wolves tend to lurk around the place so you'll need to stay on your toes while you're there.
- Agniritha, the capital city of the Mechonis in Xenoblade.
- Cromwell from Last Scenario. Abandoned after the war many years prior to the events of the game, it serves a pivotal role in the backstory of several characters.
- In Undertale killing everyone you meet will result in all the towns you enter being almost completely empty. Partly because, well, you killed them and because the rest of the monsters are fleeing for their lives. The music also slows down to a crawl, adding to the empty and desolate feeling.
- Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 uses this and Ghost City. Almost no living human is left in any place you go to since they've all become zombies.
- Pokémon: Cinnabar Island became this during the Time Skip that separates Red and Blue from Gold and Silver. Because the town was ravaged by a volcanic eruption, the inhabitants and Pokémon who once lived there were evacuated and moved elsewhere. The few people still residing in Cinnabar stay in the now-rebuilt Pokémon Center, though even then it's implied that Cinnabar is now merely a stop-gap location.
- Nancy Drew visits one called Dry Creek in Secret of Shadow Ranch.
- In Myst V Myst Island became this after Atrus and Catherine abandoned it after Myst because it held too many memories. Nothing on the island works anymore, and even flipping one of the switches causes it to break. The imaging room is inaccessible, and there are no linking books or journals to be seen. If you visit the age of Myst at all in this game, Eshar will leave you stranded here, which also makes this The Alcatraz. Don't count on Yeesha coming to rescue you either, since she wrote in one of her journals that she will never return.
- Astoria from Seiken Densetsu 3. Not too long after the heroes visited the place, the lakeshore village was razed to the ground by the Beast Kingdom. It remains destroyed for the rest of the game.
- The aptly named Ghost Port Kolobos form Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. Once a bustling port, the town died down once crystal farming, the main industry of the island, was not longer able to sustain it.
- The Village in Elf Blood was once a ghost town, abandoned by the humans and taken over by the homeless magical races. It is extremely dilapidated, and contains many areas devoid of life.
- In Girl Genius ghost towns are apparently quite common across Europe, which isn’t so strange given how many monsters and rampaging experiments wander around in the Wastelands.
- Scurry: The unnamed suburb where the mouse colony lives. The humans have been gone for a long time and anything edible has long-since been picked clean.
- The Felix the Cat'' TV cartoon "Felix-Finder and the Ghost Town" is set in a western ghost town, where Felix is heckled by Professor and ends up getting trapped inside of a derelict hotel hanging over a cliff.
- Jackie Chan Adventures had a "historical flashback" episode starting by the Chan clan stopping in a ghost town.
- One of Scott Adams' Adventure games, Ghost Town (1981).
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode "Mine Your Own Business" takes place in an Old West Ghost Town.
- In The Simpsons episode "Marge vs. The Monorail", Marge goes to North Haverbrook, the town Lyle Lanley sold a monorail to before Springfield. She finds the town nearly deserted after their monorail crashed on its maiden voyage.
- North Haverbrook recovered and became a flourishing community again in the episode, "Little Big Girl".
- Parodied in The Fairly OddParents! with the Dad's hometown, now a ghost town even by wild west standards. He went for the feeling of nostalgia before remembering that it was just plain awful.
- The Secret Saturdays: In "Where Lies the Engulfer", Doyle takes Zak on training mission in an abandoned Canadian resort town. It turns out there was a very good reason why it had been abandoned.
Real Life ExamplesThe Wikivoyage article has a list and usually also gives the causes why a place became a ghost town - none of them having to do with ghosts.
- Elizabeth Bay, Namibia
- Kolmanskop, Namibia, once a diamond mining town, now half-buried in sand.
- Japan has a large number of what are called "Haikyo", or urban ruins. They come in all forms, ranging from entire abandoned towns to single buildings. Most of them are remains from Japan's mining era, or else became abandoned when their economy slipped in the 1990s.
- Hashima Island, Japan. A former coal mining town that, at its height, was the most densely populated area in the world, and the site of the first concrete building in Japan. When oil became a favored energy source, the coal mine closed down and the town died with it. Japanese photographer Saiga Yuji has two online galleries of black & white photos taken on Hashima: one containing images from just before its abandonment, and one of more recent photos, "Views of an Abandoned Island."
- Kantubek, Uzbekistan. During the Cold War, it was a testing ground for biological weapons.
- Bokor Hill Station, Cambodia
- Quneitra, Syria
- (Old) Cheorwon Town, the former county seat of Cheorwon County, which has been split between North and South Korea since the Korean War, with the old county seat stuck in the middle of the DMZ. There is a new town with the same name south of the DMZ that serves as the seat of the Southern half of the county, though.
- Pyramiden, Svalbard
- Famagusta, Cyprus, specifically Varosha. It's hard to thrive when your economy's based on tourism and tourists can't get in because of barbed wire and the whole place is sealed off to everyone.
- Prypiat, Ukraine. Ever since the Chernobyl Meltdown, the town has been largely uninhabited; of the handful that do live in the area, most are stubborn, elderly holdouts.
- Jeoffrecourt and Beausejour, in north-eastern France. Actually a subversion: they are not empty abandoned towns but full-scale sceneries built for training purpose inside a military camp specialized in urban warfare training.
- The Spanish property bubble led to the creation of several major property developments in the mid-2000s that never got the chance to be occupied when the bubble burst as one of the effects of the global financial crisis. However, despite a lack of full utility service, squatters have started to move in to some of these locations.
- Oradour-sur-Glane, France - Unlike most examples on this page, the town is abandoned not because of economic reasons, but because nearly the entire population was massacred during the Nazi occupation. The town still stands as it was left after the massacre as a haunting memorial to the incident.
- Belchite, Spain has a similar background, having been destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, and standing as it was left.
- Jonestown, Guyana was abandoned following the 1978 mass poisoning which occurred there, and has since been decayed and reclaimed by the jungle.
- Many many pre-1492 cities were abandoned or had their population wiped out due to plagues brought by the European conquerors or warfare. Some are still rumored to lurk out there buried in the jungle. Machu Picchu came only to widespread attention in the West in 1901, centuries after it had been a major city.
- Examples from Chile:
- The former mining towns of Humberstone and Santa Laura. Everyone moved away after the nearby sodium nitrate mines closed down.
- Puerto del Hambre (Port Famine) is the country's oldest ghost town. It was funded in the Straits of Magellan in 1584. By the time that English explorer Thomas Cavendish arrived to the place three years later, the town was in ruins; starvation and the harsh climate had killed all of its inhabitants.
- Chaitén was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 2008. The survivors were relocated to Santa Barbara to the North of the now abandoned settlement.
- Armero, Colombia was abandoned after a volcanic eruption and subsequent mudslides devastated the town, killing more than 20,000 of its almost 29,000 inhabitants.
- Centralia, Pennsylvania, built over a mass of anthracite that was hard to ignite but practically impossible to extinguish. The coal seam caught fire decades ago and the town was abandoned as unsafe, due to unstable ground and toxic gases. The seam remains on fire, and is predicted to continue to burn for 250 more years. However, there are still a few holdouts living there, and as of a settlement in October 2013, they're allowed to remain there as long as they live. Bill Bryson wrote a book about it, and the film version of Silent Hill was based on it.
- And the smaller village of Byrnesville, just south of Centralia. The last house was demolished in 1996.
- Times Beach, Missouri became a ghost town because of dioxin poisoning. The town's buildings were razed and the soil burnt to rid it of the dioxin. It's now a state park.
- Love Canal, a infamous neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York that was evacuated in 1979 after it was learned that it was built on a toxic waste dump.
- Rosewood, Florida was a mostly-black village in an area of the Deep South notorious for lynchings. In 1923, a mob of several hundred whites, spurred by the alleged rape of a white woman in a nearby town, burned Rosewood to the ground and massacred several residents. The incident was largely forgotten, with both the victims and the perpetrators (and their descendants) remaining silent for decades. It was not until The '80s that the massacre became public knowledge.
- Elko Tract, Virginia was originally a decoy city back in World War II, built to resemble nearby Richmond and protect the actual city from Nazi bombers. The site is now private property closed to the public, but still contains remnants of the decoy city including a water tower, building foundations, and park benches.
- Dana Common and Prescott Peninsula in Massachusetts, the last significant above-ground areas of four towns (Dana, Prescott, Enfield, and Greenwich) that were flooded to create the Quabbin Reservoir in the 1930s. Despite the removal of all significant buildings in the area, Dana Common is still regularly kept up by the Massachusetts parks people as a waystation for hikers, parts of the old golf course in Prescott are still visible (but off limits to the public), and building foundations still dot the area, including under the water.
- Iditarod, Alaska, the namesake of the Iditarod Trail and the annual dog sled race.
- Bodie, California, which had some five thousand people at the height of a gold rush in the 1870s, went into a long slow decline in the early 20th century when the mining petered out, and was abandoned by World War II. It is now a National Historic Landmark in a high state of preservation due to its isolated, dry location high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
- Monte Ne, Arkansasnote , a popular Ozark resort town of the early 20th century lcoated near Rogers, AR, and founded by William "Coin" Hope Harvey. The town at one time had a general store, a livery stable, a grist mill, a post office, and a hotel. After failed attempts at a railroad and a turnpike, he helped co-found the Ozark Trail System, a forerunner of the U.S. Highway system. After the death of his son, Hal, his wife and other son left him, and he attempted to build a pyramid as a monument to his legacy, but only a retaining wall was ever constructed. He attempted to run for president in 1932 as a member of the short-lived Liberty Party, gathering 53,425 votes but ultimately losing to Franklin Delano Roosevelt by a landslide. Harvey eventually died in 1936 after a losing bout with deteriorating health, and after the property was sold off in lots, the rest of the resort and town was submerged after the construction of Beaver Dam, which formed Beaver Lake.
- Fort Ord, California, while still technically containing a military presence due to the Naval Postgraduate School, it is abandoned in the visual sense with a large number of boarded up buildings and overgrown plantlife.
- Now the Mythbusters' second abandoned location to casually drive cars through.
- Rhyolite, Nevada
- Feltville, New Jersey
- Cassiar, British Columbia, once a thriving mining town of 1500, it is now devoid of life. The highway in that area retains the name of Cassiar.
- Thistle, Utah was abandoned after a landslide and flood in the early 1980's.
- The state of Oklahoma, which has gone through numerous booms and busts over the years (oil, coal, lead, etc) is littered with literally thousands (to be exact, over 2,500) of these, to the point that there's actually an official state list and classification system for them. There are even several which are partially underwater due to the construction of artificial lakes, and many more which are entirely underwater but still visible from the shoreline. The most notable is Picher, a dangerously toxic and structurally unstable former lead mining town polluted from lead mining residue and featured in an episode of Life After People. Picher's last resident, a pharmacy owner named Gary Linderman resolved to stay in Picher until the last resident left. Linderman died in 2015, bringing Picher's population to zero. The last families of nearby Cardin received notices that the town's water supply would be shut off, and the last remaining residents accepted buyout offers, making it an official ghost town with zero residents.
- Adak, Alaska, an otherwise standard isolated fishing town which was for many years home to a naval operations base. Several buildings were constructed to complement it, including a college, movie theater, and a bowling alley. They even had Pizza Hut, Baskin-Robbins, and McDonald's. Almost all of the town was abandoned in 1993 when the naval base closed. Here is a video showing the abandoned McDonald's.
- Kitsault, British Columbia, an upstart town that was built in 1979 around a molybdenum mine. It had 1,200 residences, a shopping center, and all the modern amenities. But in 1982, the price of molybdenum plummeted, and the town died out after only 18 months. It was bought in 2004 with plans to revive it.
- The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is loaded with ghost towns from the peak of copper mining in the 19th and early 20th century.
- The UNESCO world heritage site of Teotihuacan was already abandoned by the time the Aztecs arrived in the general vicinity and there is still no scholarly consensus who exactly built it and what happened to them. Due to it being a major tourism hotspot (and quite close to Tenochtitlan, which modern people know as Mexico City) there is now a settlement in the area, though.
- The city of León, Nicaragua was originally situated at the Western shore of Lake Xolotlan or Lake Managua as it is known today. After several natural disasters, the city was moved dead in the cemeteries saints in the churches and all a bit further to the West to the place where it stands today. Nicaragua's only UNESCO world heritage sites are the ruins of old León and the cathedral of new León.
- The province of Québec has a few:
- Val-Jalbert was established in 1901 with a pulp mill powered by the nearby waterfall provided the bulk of the jobs. When it closed down in 1927 the village was quickly abandoned. With its 70 buildings, it's one of the most well-preserved ghost towns in Canada and it became a national park in 1960.
- The city of Gagnon had, at its peak, 4000 habitants and was established very remotely in the north of Québec by Québec Cartier Mining Company. Construction began in winter of 1957 and it was formally established as a city in 1960. Despite being only accessible by plane, it was fairly well-thriving, with churches, an arena, schools, a hospital and a shopping center. By 1985 the mine was closed down as it became unprofitable to exploit it and the town was nearly completely demolished, with only the airport runway and main street remaining. Today the old main street is part of Québec Route 389 and a sign reminds travelers that there once was a town there before the wilderness reclaimed it. As an interesting bit of trivia, Gagnon was the first town in Québec to have a black mayor, Haitian immigrant René Coicou who held office from 1973 up to the end in 1985.