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Abandoned Area

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Sally Sparrow: I love old things. They make me feel sad.
Kathy Nightingale: What's good about sad?
Sally: It's happy for deep people.

Abandoned places make good settings for fiction because the empty, unused space evokes an unnerving feeling in the viewer and a sense of mystery. There are many types of abandoned places, and many time ranges for their abandonment. They may have been left five years ago, five centuries ago, or even five minutes ago. Was the place shuttered in a systematic way, or are there signs that everyone cleared out in a hurry?

Abandoned areas often attract squatters, homeless people, drifters, and low-tier criminals, as you can bunk there, do illegal activities or store illegal items without anyone asking too many questions.

It also creates suspense and creates the surprise when you discover clues that it may not be completely abandoned. The use of abandoned places as an aesthetic aid often overlaps with Scenery Gorn.

Abandoned areas can be considered an example of a small scale After the End scenario, especially if the area in question is trashed and buildings are in ruins. Depending on the state of the location, it may explain No OSHA Compliance, because, really, would you be bothered with health and safety in buildings no one is supposed to go to?

The Abandoned Warehouse is a popular setting for crime drama, as robbers can plan their crime and store items that Fell Off the Back of a Truck there. Warehouses are also a location used in science fiction, as rows of crates are an inexpensive set dressing, plus they give lots of places for aliens and manmade monstrosities to hide. The abandoned location's emptiness may be a surprise to the characters if it's a mystery story or detective story, in which case they set about looking for clues.

Also see Never Recycle a Building. Beautiful Void is a related trope. Any of these can be Unexpectedly Abandoned. See also Bat Scare, which is frequently used in abandoned areas. When a part of a city on the Wrong Side of the Tracks has been so abandoned that even the police won't go in, because it's filled with the thieves and throatcutters who live in a Wretched Hive, you have The City Narrows. (Robert A. Heinlein used the term "Abandoned Area" in I Will Fear No Evil to refer to that part of a city.)



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    Anime & Manga 
  • MD Geist has plenty of these areas on Planet Jerra. Nearly every scene takes place in some sort of ruins. This is only made worse when the Death Force is released...
  • Spirited Away takes place in an abandoned amusement park that just so happens to feature a bridge to the Spirit World and a traditional Japanese bathhouse for gods, spirits, and yokai.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Homestuck fan adventure Alabaster: The Doomed Session, there is the OBSCENE complex, an ancient troll nursery, a labyrinth filled with traps, illusions, and poisonous vapors. Also home to a serial killer.
  • In the course of Mother of Invention, Applejack has found several of these on her Island of Mystery - including a cabin, a greenhouse, a boat dock, and a construction site.
  • The beginning of Not Stalking Zuko takes place in an abandoned soldiers' home before going to Ember Island.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Peter camps out in an abandoned amusement park while stuck in Izuku's universe. He's able to get some of the leftover appliances in working order with some spare parts and elbow grease, and the rundown buildings are a great training ground for Izuku to practice Le Parkour and try out web-swinging for the first time.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Aaron Loves Angela, Aaron asks Willie to show him a place where he and Angela can have their trysts. Willie shows him a condemned apartment building with a room with a mattress where he sometimes takes girls. Aaron and Angela are both uncomfortable going into the building at first, but they soon get used to the place and start fixing up the room to make it more romantic.
  • Act of Vengeance: Jack lures the Rape Squad onto the grounds of the abandoned zoo for his final confrontation with them. The are is isolated enough that no one will hear them scream, and contains the old cages he can use for his nefarious purposes.
  • Batman (1989): Gotham City Cathedral in the climax is clearly abandoned. The building's decrepit state factors heavily in the climax, with crumbling parts of the structure causing several people to fall.
  • Batman Returns: The penguin's home base is the abandoned Gotham City Zoo.
  • Blood Widow: The property next to Laurie's and Hugh's contains an abandoned building that was once a boarding school for girls. What happened was that the headmaster was abusing one of the girls, who killed him in retaliation. The school was closed down, and the abused girl still inhabits it as a killer.
  • Catch Us If You Can: While traveling along a country road, Steve and Dinah stop by a caved-in building, which is the temporary home to a hippie commune. They all have to flee a few minutes later, because the building turns out to be on government territory, and the area is being used for a military exercise.
  • Interiors of an abandoned factory is turned into a supernatural cornfield that eats trespassers in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.
  • The ominous mood of Kommissar , a film set during the Russian Civil War, is set when a Red Army unit rolls into a town to find it completely abandoned. It turns out that the populace is in hiding.
  • Destroyer (1988): The film is set in a prison that's been shut down for 18 months following a riot that saw multiple guards and prisoners killed. The cast are shooting a female prison Exploitation Film there, which is interrupted by a prisoner everyone thought dead.
  • Most of the action in Don't Breathe takes place in the only inhabited house in an otherwise deserted neighborhood in Detroit. Before breaking in, the thieves establish that there are no neighbors for several blocks. This means that no one will hear any gunshots, and no one will be calling the cops or coming to help.
  • An abandoned truck stop in the desert is the site of the massacre in Evidence.
  • Camp Crystal Lake in Friday the 13th films is an abandoned summer camp. Many have tried to reopen it, but those attempts always end in tragedy.
  • Hazmat's main setting is an abandoned warehouse that Jacob's dad worked in.
  • Heavy Metal segment "Harry Canyon". The meeting between Rudnick and the girl occurs on a bridge that has a sign: "Police Warning: Enter At [your own] Risk"
  • In Jurassic World, the original park is located deep within the Restricted Area and has mostly been reclaimed by the jungle at this point. Even the Indominus and Velociraptor enclosures are located far away from it.
  • In Mr. Ricco, fugitive Frankie Steele lives in the small undamaged part of a burned-out, condemned church.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, the Turtles stumble across a buried, abandoned Subway Station that they quickly convert into their new lair. Said station was inspired by the real-life New York City Subway "City Hall" station, which was decommissioned in 1945.
  • The Theatre Bizarre: Down a seedy city street in her neighborhood, young Enola Penny is obsessed with what appears to be a long abandoned theatre. One night, she sees that the front door is slightly ajar and impulsively decides to sneak inside.
  • Unlike the theatrical version, the fictional Russian city of Pozharnov where Steppenwolf sets up his base is abandoned in Zack Snyder's Justice League, due to a nuclear plant incident ala Chernobyl.

  • An abandoned construction site features prominently in Animorphs.
  • In Born Behind Bars, the orphan Rani lives in a tree behind an abandoned mansion. She sleeps tied to a branch so people and animals can't get at her, and eats fruit from the garden. She doesn't sleep in the mansion itself because being inside makes her feel trapped.
  • In The City and the Stars:
    • Downplayed in the city of Diaspar — there are areas where nobody lives, but the automated systems of the city keep everything just as clean and tidy as the inhabited areas.
    • Played straight with the fortress at Shalmirane, long abandoned and reverted to nature.
  • Coaster Spirits begins in an abandoned lumber mill... which is soon revealed to just be part of a theme park attraction.
  • In The Coral Island, the three castaways keep finding evidence that a European was on their island before, like a tree stump with initials carved into it and an elderly cat that Peterkin adopts. Eventually they find a small, run-down hut that's on the verge of collapsing. When they go inside, they find the skeletons of a man and a dog lying together on a bedstead.
  • In the Dolphin Trilogy, John spends his infancy on Crab Island in the Caribbean. After his parents are killed in an explosion, he's raised by dolphins in the nearby waters. When he's older, he returns to the now-deserted Crab Island with no memory of when he lived there, teaches himself to walk on the beach, and explores the island, including the ruins of his parents' house and laboratory.
  • The Eagle of the Ninth has the deserted Roman military outpost at Trimontium, abandoned when the Empire pulled out of the territories beyond Hadrian's wall.
  • In Eden Green, many areas of Eden's city have been abandoned due to a decades-long recession, giving needle monsters many dark places in which to nest.
  • Garfield and the Teacher Creature: After running away from home, Garfield and Odie find themselves in a neighborhood nobody's lived in for years. All the signs are faded, and the grass is overgrown.
  • ''Ghost of Spirit Bear: Cole and Peter go to an abandoned apartment building to roll bowling balls down it. It's also where a particularly odd homeless man lives.
  • The Golden Hamster Saga: In Freddy in Peril, Freddy, Sir William, and the guinea pigs hide from Fleischkopf in an empty house scheduled for demolition.
  • Harmonic Feedback: After Naomi runs away, she and Scott hole up in a boarded-up Victorian-style house. By the time Drea, Justin, Roger, and Kari find them, Naomi has overdosed on meth.
  • The Heechee Saga novel Gateway is about, obviously, Gateway, an abandoned alien space port.
  • In If I Fall, If I Die, Jonah and Will spend a great deal of time searching the abandoned grain elevators and warehouses by the harbor. They even build an indoor skatepark during winter, when it's too icy to skateboard outside.
  • I Will Fear No Evil portrays the future United States as being filled with "AA's," i.e. Abandoned Areas, which are lawless no-man's lands that one doesn't travel through except in an armored vehicle.
  • The abandoned mall plays a semi-significant part in John Dies at the End.
  • The Light Jar: The mansion where Kitty claims to live actually hasn't been inhabited in fifty years. Most of the windows are boarded up, and the ceiling has collapsed in several places. Nate's mum went inside to look for firewood, and fell through a hole in the floor. Nate finds her, injured and dehydrated but alive, when he goes into the mansion to look for Kitty.
  • Mermaids of Eriana Kwai: Two totem poles and a nearby cultural centre used to be the main port of entry for tourists on Eriana Kwai, but ever since the merman king Adaro began his war against the island, the area has been roped off because it's dangerously close to the water. When Meela, Annith, Tanuu, and Blacktail go there in Ice Crypt, they find a parking lot that's little more than gravel, an overgrown lawn, and a crumbling building with a hole in one of the windows.
  • The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly: Charlie and Ana spend much of their time exploring the deserted industrial area by the shoreline, full of crumbling buildings and even a boarded-up salt mine. The only place they avoid is the burned-out New York Asylum for Orphaned Children, whose ruins have been left standing for the last 170 years.
  • Pilgrennon's Children: In Pilgrennon's Beacon, Pilgrennon lives in hiding with Alpha and Peter in an abandoned World War II base on the tiny, uninhabited island of Roareim off the coast of Scotland. The base was obviously meant to be secret, and Pilgrennon doesn't know what its original purpose was.
  • Post-High School Reality Quest: There's an area of Buffy's hometown that used to be full of businesses, but became largely deserted when Buffy was in middle school after the new town center was built closer to the highway. Now her mom avoids the area because it isn't safe. At the end of the book, Buffy goes to the abandoned arcade across the street from the abandoned nail salon her mom used to visit in the hopes that going there might help her get rid of the Text Parser in her head.
  • Sirena: The island of Lemnos used to be inhabited, until the women rose up and killed the men. They only left one survivor so he could warn other men away from the island. Now the women are also long dead, leaving behind run-down buildings, overgrown gardens and groves, and some domesticated animals like roosters.
  • Underdogs: When the Underdogs travel through the countryside after most of Britain's population has been herded into prison cities, they stay in people's empty homes. The houses have been invaded by insects but are usually just as the owners left them, since Grant has little interest in anything outside the prisons.
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts: Aster has turned a mess hall on the Generation Ship's Deck X, which was abandoned after a massive flood, into her own illicit botanarium to grow medicinal plants, store her secret research notes, and get some privacy.
  • In The Vazula Chronicles, Heath, Reka, and Merletta discover the long-deserted tropical island kingdom Vazula, which is full of old stone buildings that have been overgrown by jungle. Reka finds evidence that dragons have lived there, too. But every sentient inhabitant, human or dragon, is long gone. It turns out that some of the inhabitants of Vazula could turn into merpeople and others couldn't, and when non-merpeople had children with merpeople, their children were always merpeople. In the end almost all the humans on Vazula could turn into merpeople. Sometime after the dragons left Vazula and traveled east, the Vazulans moved into the ocean and became the ancestors of today's merpeople.
  • In Warrior Cats:
    • Sites abandoned by humans - old houses, for instance - usually are a benefit, as Clan cats occasionally find shelter in them during journeys. The most prominent ones are in ThunderClan's lake territory: their camp is in a long-abandoned quarry, and the abandoned workman's house still stands with healing herbs such as catmint growing in its garden, and it was also used as a quarantine in one book when a large portion of the Clan got greencough.
    • After the Clans leave the forest, their camps still stand and are considered to be fairly creepy. Graystripe travels to them upon his escape from Twolegs (not realizing that the Clans have left), and Ravenpaw and Barley also take a look around the old territories a few years later.

    Live-Action TV 
  • CSI: NY:
    • The Cabbie Killer from late in Season 4 lives in an abandoned firehouse and "works" in an abandoned brewery, thus eluding capture for longer than the average perp.
    • Another perp lives in the back of the now-closed funeral parlor where his mother had been the mortician. When the team show up to question him, they enter through the front door and find everything covered in dust.
    • "Death House" centers around a penthouse that has been unoccupied for 80+ years. As the investigators puzzle through various booby traps, they find two corpses (one recent, one from back in the day) and rescue an almost drowned woman.
    • The victim in "The Untouchable" lives in the enclosed archway spanning two abandoned buildings, one of which is a department store. The cashmere sweater she's wearing when her body is discovered has a price tag of $5 on it, along with a few chips of paint no longer in use. These clues help point the detectives to the location.
  • Doctor Who: Wester Drumlins, an abandoned house in "Blink". In the episode, Sally Sparrow explores the house and discovers a message from 40 years earlier warning her to duck as well as an infestation of Weeping Angels.
  • The broken Ascension Point in The Fades is located in an abandoned shopping centre.
  • Grange Hill: When not in school, scenes of pupils wandering off away from anybody else are often in building sites, or run-down houses.
  • JAG: In "Sightings", the Naval Air Station at Del Rio, which was shut down after the Cold War. Truth in Television for many military installations, which have a history of being shut down and reopened and shut down again depending on the needs of the military. Some get turned into civilian airports or put to other uses if there is any demand for the real estate, but others simply gather dust.
  • Life After People is about what would happen to the Earth if people suddenly disappeared, and uses a lot of real abandoned places to illustrate how things will decay.
  • The Professionals. CI5 used the former Wembley Palace of Engineering for training, and of course scenes take place in the usual Abandoned Warehouses, derelict dockyards, and decommissioned WW2 airfields. Parodied in "Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown" when our heroes find the Docklands are being redeveloped.
    Bonehead: Where's all the wasteland and the disused factories, Foyle?
    Foyle: Where's all the rusty girders?
    Bonehead: Dammit, there's no puddles to run through!
  • The abandoned space station Empok Nor in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • A trip to Spain on Top Gear (UK) finds entire towns empty thanks to Spain's devastated economy. They spend the night in a new, unused house and turn another town into a circuit course. The boys even find an abandoned international airport at Ciudad Real, where they take advantage by racing their supercars down the now unused runway. The Scenery Gorn aspect is surprisingly non-existent since sadly everything was left when it was more or less new or unused.

  • In country music, now-abandoned homes are used to recall fond memories of childhood and life that once filled the area:
    • “Traces Of Life,” a 1974 song by Lonzo and Oscar. Differing from the usual comedy material they had been known for, this sentimental ballad, about a middle-aged man visiting his childhood home and remembering his parents and neighbors who made an impact on his life, is set along a stretch of area that’s been since abandoned. These one-time farmsteads included his own home and that of an elderly widow, their inhabitants having since died.
    • “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Loretta Lynn, who at the end of the song notes that her childhood home is now no longer there, and only the fond memories of her childhood — sung about in a three-minute song — remain.
    • “Mama Sang a Song,” an early-1960s first-person ballad/recitation about growing up in a strong Christian household, has the young man in the song driving by his old childhood home (shortly after the death of his mother, the main character in the song) only to find it abandoned and starting to fall in disrepair. The song was a No. 1 country hit in 1962 by Bill Anderson and was recorded by many other early-1960s country stars.

  • The entire playfield for The Walking Dead gives off this vibe... except for the horde of zombie walkers advancing towards the player.

  • This Is War The abandoned warehouse Robyn and David meet again in coincidentally.


    Tabletop RPG 
  • Blades in the Dark has the Lost District of Duskwall: a formerly-wealthy area that was abandoned to the ghosts of the Death Lands when the current lighting wall around the city was built (presumably, the city didn't have the resources to extend the wall to cover the district). There is also the Old North Port, which was abandoned long before even that, due to relocation of the main port to the North Hook Channel, and was therefore never protected by the lighting barrier and is currently used as a haven by smugglers.
  • In Dark Conspiracy, areas filled with otherplanar monsters are called "Demonground" and are avoided by humans.
  • Shadowrun. You don't want to go into areas rated Z security unless you're heavily armed, armored, and in numbers. You don't actually want to go into such areas then, either, it's just not instant suicide at that point.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • The 99 Rooms plays with this as an art project, using photographs of real abandoned sections of East Berlin's industrial sector and making bits and pieces of them interactive, with just a touch of added surrealism.
  • The Old Yharnam from Bloodborne is a section of the greater Yharnam city that has been abandoned to the Beast Scourge long before the disease became widespread in the rest of the city.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has two levels (a sniping mission and an escape mission) in Pripyat. They're really unnerving, especially when you see a teddy bear, and hear the echoing laughter of children.
    CPT. MacMillan: Look at this place. Fifty thousand people used to live in this city. Now it's a ghost town. I've never seen anything like it.
  • Most of Condemned: Criminal Origins and Condemned 2: Bloodshot take place in a variety of different abandoned buildings.
  • In Darkwood, a forest in Poland has grown out of control due to a supernatural plague that made trees grow and spread fast, while also mutating the wildlife and making them violent. The situation led to the Polish military forcing people in nearby towns to abandon the area, leaving many derelict towns to be taken over by the green and becoming part of the forest. Only one populated town remains and it’s cut off from the rest of the world, soon to join the fate of the other towns.
  • Disco Elysium: Most of Revachol qualify. Even many buildings which survived the war intact have fallen into disrepair over the half-century since. The coast is dotted with empty skyscrapers, old boardwalks, and fishing shacks, and with the strike ongoing and the harbor closed, many lorry drivers have been forced to abandon their lorries on the road into Martinaise. Most prominent are the Doomed Commercial Area, with its shadowy hallways packed with forgotten wares, weathered taxidermy, and creepy mannequins, and the old church on the coast, abandoned to the elements after a shootout between local gangs and the RCM, now a squat for junkies and "spookers", according to a group of local ravers. Martinaise proper has had this reputation post-war, still bearing enough scars both obvious and subtle and often going completely unpoliced and unsupported.
  • The Rudshore Financial District of Dunwall in Dishonored was colloquially renamed to Flooded District after the dam separating it from the Wrenhaven River collapsed and the whole place was submerged underwater and abandoned. It became even more abandoned after the government started dumping the corpses of The Plague victims there.
  • In the second half of Everhood, pretty much every area that was once populated will turn into this when you kill every last soul.
  • In Fable II you travel through Wraithmarsh which was once a pleasant little village called Oakvale before everybody was killed so one villager could become immortal. The surrounding marsh has recovered much of the village and it's populated by all manner of foul things. It also has many other examples like the heroes guild, the temple of Light/Shadows, and the forsaken fortress.
  • Nearly all of the areas you explore in Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon are Abandoned Areas since the game takes place After the End.
  • Several of the levels of Half-Life 2 and its subsequent episodes, including one in the abandoned part of a prison and one in an Abandoned Hospital. The latter, incidentally, being modeled after Pripyat.
  • Everywhere you can visit except the tube stations in Hellgate: London. Includes warehouses and cityscapes. In the late game, a depot is set up in an aboveground courtyard, but even that's expected to be temporary.
  • Indigo Park is a theme park that was abandoned for 8 years after a horrific incident. The park is completely withered, with the only living things being plants and the mascots that have grown violent.
  • In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Kirby, along with the Waddle Dees, were transported to a new world containing ruins of a forgotten civilization.
  • Last Window: The 4th floor of Cape West apartments was left abandoned for 13 years, left to look like a ghost hotel rather than apartments when the rest of the apartment complex was converted.
  • Livestream: Escape from Hotel Izanami: The game is set in the titular hotel, which was closed down after Tokaezuka Fantasy Land, which was just across the lake from it, was forced to close due to lack of business. Now it's only inhabitant is a murderous person in a pig mask.
  • One level in The Matrix: Path of Neo takes place in an abandoned church with weak stairs, scaffolding, and broken windows. It gets ruined further, the windows of the bell-tower get kicked in by a SWAT team and you can take out sections of the floor by taking out the four bells.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: The Riverside Station is a deserted train station visited during Chapter 6. The Excess Express stops here to refuel before continuing its commute. The place is in total disrepair and the river that gave the station its name dried up at an undisclosed time before Mario's arrival and the area has since become a pasture. Interestingly, left over dialog within the game's code seemed to indicate you were supposed to have fought Bedlam and Marilyn again here but they were replaced by a pair of random goombas explaining why such low level enemies appear on this chapter.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon: The site for Acerola's Trial is an abandoned supermarket. Apparently, it was once part of a town that was built on sacred grounds. The Tapu didn't like that, and the town was destroyed (they let the Pokémon Center remain standing though). The supermarket now serves as a favorite playground for Ghost-type Pokémon.
  • Most of Portal 2 takes place in an abandoned research facility. This is also true of the first game.
  • In Psychonauts 2, part of the Hub Level takes place in the Questionable Area, a tourist trap that's apparently been out of business for some time. There's an abandoned diner (where Sam Boole is trying to make pancakes for Agent Oleander), a run-down carnival (near which Razputin's family has set up camp), an old funicular railway (which Raz surprisingly enjoys once he gets it working again), and the ruins of the gift shop (apparently the owner found out the hard way selling fireworks and propane gas in the same shop wasn't such a good idea).
  • Shadow of the Colossus you're the only living being in the whole place, besides the Colossi. There are majestic but slightly creepy, abandoned churches, castles, forests and an old, flooded fort among many other things.
  • The Space Colony ARK in Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog.
  • The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games are set in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a Real Life abandoned location. Several structures, both military and civilian, have been re-purposed by the stalker population, but even so, there are plenty of completely empty structures left to rot and crumble, such as the Lake Yantar industrial district and Pripyat itself, whose population of demented Monolithians can hardly be considered human anymore.
  • Space Station 13: Some servers have derelict stations or ships out in space, in various states of decay.
  • Space Station 14: The wrecks brought in by the salvage crew often turn out to be abandoned fragments of another station. The salvage crew can also find pristine sprawling abandoned complexes at expedition sites.
  • Star Stable has an abandoned farm not far from the starting stables. It's not creepy or anything; it's just...kinda dull.
  • Super Gear Quest has various different kinds of abandoned locations in the form of the Water Well, Greendome, Mokula Base and Crystal Steppe. Most of the Factorium is abandoned as well, with only a single small section still occupied.
  • Super Mario Fusion Revival has World 4-F1: Dead Air. An abandoned, decrepit airport that has been sucked into the realm of Di Yu, the Chinese hell. Wandering souls and zombies are rampant here. A crying girl is found somewhere in the airport...or is it a girl?
  • The start of Super Metroid features an expedition to the ruins of Tourian, the former nerve center of the enemy base. Some of the rusted remnants and shattered glass structures are call-backs to the prequel game. It was the protagonist who destroyed this command center in the first place.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl has The Ruined Zoo. The Opening Cut Scene gives off a sufficiently creepy atmosphere, but then the music that plays over the level are fast-paced Pokémon themes. but when you revisit the area in the great maze, the track that plays is a somewhat creepy version of the EarthBound (1994) theme "Snowman".
  • Tick Tock Isle: The isle in the year 20XX (sic) and the building, occupying most of it. With cobwebs, a bit of broken furniture, and mice and a stray cat running around. The rest of the game is preventing this Bad Future.
  • Tyler: Model 005 is set in Tyler's Inventor's house, which hasn't been lived in for so long, it's become dilapidated and overgrown with vegetation.
  • Lé Monde, in which all of Vagrant Story takes place.
  • Yuki Onna (2020): There's an abandoned inn in the mountains that the Player Character has been called to find some missing kids.
  • Every single area in Zork Nemesis probably fits. Each area besides the first has only one inhabitant, all of whom have been driven insane by the solitude and the Nemesis.


    Web Original 
  • The creepypasta Abandoned by Disney documents an exploration of a fictional Disney resort known as Mowgli's Palace (inspired by the real-life abandoned Treasure Island Bahamas resort, see real-life section below), with the Cruel Twist Ending of the park being haunted.
    • The sequel, Room Zero documents a forbidden area of the Disneyland park that was a bomb shelter where about 1000 people were Buried Alive when someone accidentally tripped an air raid siren one day in 1943. The patrons were herded into the shelter, then a power outage caused them all to suffocate.
  • The Chronicles of Taras begins its second act in a ravaged, underground mall from the 1950s.
  • documents abandoned, dead, and dying shopping malls.
  • Investigation of Object Nuclearity: The show takes place in a destroyed nuclear power plant.
  • Urban exploration is the main focus of The Proper People, making this a given.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-470 is an abandoned building that connects to every indoor abandoned location, including places that aren't on Earth or even from our reality.
    • SCP-823 is an abandoned amusement park which was abandoned after a bizarre event where 231 attendees were killed in bizarre accidents including, but not limited to: bizarre decapitations, dismembered bodies in the hall of mirrors, a person launched into the ground from a roller-coaster, and a couple fused together after exiting the tunnel of love deceased.
  • The Sick Land is a giant example of this trope.

    Real Life 
  • Several of Walt Disney World's theme park projects were scuttled due to external factors, and instead of dismantling the sites for good, the corporation often chose to vacate without removing the original architecture. As a result, the various sites have become favored sites for urban explorers to discover and document:
    • Following the resort's opening in 1971, there were plans to build three more hotels around the Seven Seas Lagoon to complement the Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts. Land was cleared for the Asian Resort, which was aiming for a 1974 opening, but construction was abruptly cancelled due to Disney losing tourism money as a result of the 1973-74 oil crisis. The site stood empty for more than a decade until the Grand Floridian Resort opened on that spot in 1988.
    • "Discovery Island", a small inlet just across the river from the Magic Kingdom, opened in 1974 and housed a wide selection of exotic animals and birds. When the animals were moved to Animal Kingdom in 1999, the island was shuttered and sits abandoned and overgrown with various plant species. It has also been rumored that the park was closed because the water around the island was contaminated with brain-eating amoeba. Which are a surprisingly (or not-so-surprisingly) common problem in Florida's water.
    • The Pop Century Resort Hotel spent more than a decade being unused and unfinished after construction on the project was halted due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The site was eventually completed and opened as the Art of Animation Resort in 2012.
    • WDW's original waterpark, "River Country". Most of the attractions centered around a beach on the shores of Bay Lake and there was only one treated swimming pool in the park. Due to competition from the much larger parks Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, as well as a Florida Law requiring water parks to use filtered water, the park shut down in 2001 and left untouched, making for an unusual blight in the middle of Walt Disney World's spectacle. The shower building and ticket booth were used by the neighboring Fort Wilderness campground, and only a fence separated guests from the stagnant upstream plunge pool. In 2018 Disney announced plans to build a new hotel on the site and demolition of "River Country" followed in April 2019.
    • "Treasure Island", built in the Bahamas and intended to be a major tourist attraction. The site was scuttled when attempts to re-dredge the site after the area around the island became shallow failed, and they simply packed up and left the site to be pillaged by vandals.
  • Haikyo refer to "ruins" in Japanese, specifically, ruins and abandonments from the modern era. Some of the haikyo are a relic of the Japanese Economic Bubble, which, during the 1980s, led to an era of growth, and companies expanded and built in the hopes of capitalising on the profit, but since the bubble burst, the financial strains of these projects meant that they were no longer viable. Demolishing these facilities were also costly, so they are just left behind to be reclaimed by mother nature. There are other haikyo in Japan arising from the end of a mining era; once newer resources and mechanisms were developed, the need for older mines and factories disappeared. 'Haikyoing' is the act of exploring these old ruins, and is something of a popular hobby in Japan, although as with most urban exploration endeavors, a degree of risk is present, whether it be laws, structural stability, and the like.
    • A somewhat unusual example is the Tama Hills Recreation Area, a former munitions factory and arsenal used by the Japanese during World War II which was cleaned out, mostly-torn-down, and turned into a golf course and campground for the US military. While it is certainly not abandoned (it's quite popular as a weekend getaway), bits and pieces of its former life remain, in the form of overgrown smokestacks, concrete walls and bunkers, and abandoned buildings scattered around.
  • High on the list of places urban explorers visit. The legality and safety of such is debatable, as abandoned buildings tend to be still privately owned and covered in pigeon poo, syringes, or both.
  • Pripyat, Ukraine, a worker town for the Chernobyl Power Plant about eighty miles from Kyiv, and evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster. It's more or less a perfectly preserved Soviet ghost town. You can actually visit it under supervision, but you wouldn't want to live there. The picture on this page is from the amusement park in Pripyat.
  • Centralia, Pennsylvania, evacuated due to a massive underground coal fire, which has been described as "the real-life Silent Hill". Today, all but a tiny handful of buildings and homes have been demolished, leaving very little for the curious to see or explore aside from a bunch of partially caved-in roadways and streets.
  • The Six Flags park in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It was scheduled to be torn down on January 2011, but those plans have since fallen through, so it still stands today, empty and creepy as fuck. In 2012, it served as a filming location for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and parts of it were cleaned up and some of the rides were re-wired to light up and have since fallen into an even worse state.
  • The "lost theme park" Splendid China, in Kissimmee, Florida, which went out of business in 2003, is now an "attraction" for local skateboarders who brave potential arrests for trespassing in order to skate in the abandoned park.
  • Dead malls are a subversion of this. A dead mall is a mall in which huge majority of the store spaces are unoccupied and there are very few patrons (if any), but the mall is technically open for business. One filmmaker, Dan Bell, even has an entire series chronicling dead malls he has found throughout the country, some of which are legitimately abandoned and boarded up.
    • The Ur-Example is Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois. After only a decade and a half in business, the mall closed and a year later it was used for the Mall chase scene in The Blues Brothers, and then it was left to rot for 33 years before finally being demolished in 2012. Despite a police station being built across the street, it was a very high crime area and the site of several rapes and even a murder, which sealed its fate of never being reopened. A number of residents of Harvey even tried to sue John Landis for $75,000 for failing to make good on promises of reopening the Dixie Square Mall, which he never made. The suit was thrown out of court.
    • One of the most extreme versions of this is the New South China Mall. It's one of the largest malls in the entire world, with 2300 store spaces and amusement park-like attractions such as a roller coaster and a replica of Venice...yet fewer than 20 store spaces are in use and patronage is abysmal to the point where photos of it give the impression that the mall is closed for good. During the 2010s, however, the mall underwent extensive renovations and as of 2020 it was announced to have 91% occupancy for its store spaces.
    • Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio sat abandoned for close to a decade, and numerous attempts to demolish the property had been stalled due to a lack of buyers and a complicated rights battle with a largely-defunct real estate developer. The site, which closed in 2008, was a frequent target for urban explorers, resulted in at least one known suicide outside the mall itself, was the burial site for the three victims of a pair of serial killers, and was subject to strange weather-related events inside the mall itself (either from plants that have become overgrown or snow that has fallen inside of the mall due to the skylights being broken). After a long, drawn-out process, the city of Akron finally seized control of the property and tore it down by the end of 2017 — this didn't stop people from breaking in again and taking tours of the site during demolition.
  • The Ambassador Hotel In Los Angeles (notorious for being the location of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination), despite enjoying a very active afterlife as a movie set for various films and TV shows, still steadily decayed for two decades to the point where spores grew through the floor and carpets. Ironically, its final role was a younger version of itself in the Day-in-the-life movie Bobby, even as it was being demolished.
  • Forgotten Ohio is filled with pictures of abandoned locales within the state of Ohio that the author has paid visits to. They run the gamut from factories, warehouses, and schools to ghost towns, drive-in theaters, and weird houses. Unsurprisingly, these places usually come with ghost legends.
  • Varosha, a quarter of Famagusta on the island of Cyprus. Formerly one of the top resorts in the world, it remained in Turkish hands following Turkey's 1974 invasion of the island, but a UN resolution forbids them from populating it. Only the Turkish military and UN officials are allowed in, and it is tightly guarded, so unlike most abandoned places, it's relatively untouched by urban explorers and vandals.
  • The Fair Company department store in the small town of Union Springs, Alabama. The owners retired in 1992 and, unable to find someone to take over the store, just closed it one summer day, leaving all the merchandise inside. More than 20 years later, it's still abandoned, with everything inside completely intact.
  • Frequently, when a farmer moves off their land, their neighbors will buy them out to extend their crop yield, but do nothing with the buildings left behind.
  • More than a dozen New York City Subway stations and portions of existing stations were closed down for several reasons, including an unwillingness to maintain the station, low patronage, and track alterations that rendered portions of a line unusable. Urban planners state that the city-owned Independent Subway System was overbuilt with redundant exits and mezzanines, though some of them were built for future expansions that never came to light. Many of the old elevateds were removed because a nearby subway essentially duplicated their route and/or were seen as blighted. While discussion remains strong to this day for the subway's expansion, they are largely ignored due to funding problems or political bickering.
  • Since 2014, the town of Picher, Oklahoma has been officially classified as an abandoned town. Due to a half-century's worth of devastating natural incidents (including, but not limited to, mine cave-ins, toxic contaminants that were kept in piles next to public spaces, groundwater contamination, a massive spike in negative health effects, possible permanent damage due to long-term lead dust inhalation, and a tornado), the city underwent a forced evacuation in 2006, with most of the remaining residents fleeing after said tornado touched down in 2008. The last surviving resident (and town pharmacist), Gary Linderman, passed away in 2015, and the site has been officially earmarked for future cleanup by the Environmental Protection Association. As it currently stands, though, Picher is uninhabitable and many of its buildings are left in serious disrepair.
    • The nearby towns of Cardin and Douthat, Oklahoma, and Treece, Kansas, are similarly abandoned due to lead contamination.
  • Countless Drive In Theaters have been left reasonably untouched since their decline in the 1970s and 1980s, and in many cases (particularly in smaller towns), the fixtures have been largely intact. It's not unheard of to find a drive-in "graveyard" where the snack bar/projection booth or even the screen is still standing, despite having not been used for a long period of time.
  • In 1968, the Pennsylvania Turnpike was rerouted east of Breezewood, PA in order to bypass the Ray's Hill and Sideling Hill tunnels, two narrow tunnels that created traffic backups. This left a 13-mile stretch of old turnpike abandoned to public use, but still visible to this day. Part of the old turnpike became part of the interchange into Breezewood, which makes an abrupt left turn just before a long since abandoned bridge. The abandoned stretch also includes Cove Valley Travel Plaza, a rest area serving westbound travelers which was torn down after its abandonment. A third tunnel, the Laurel Hill Tunnel west of Somerset, PA, was also bypassed due to traffic demands but remains visible.
  • Six Gun City or as it was last known Fort Jefferson in northern New Hampshire is completely abandoned and overgrown. Even creepier is the fact that the still open Santa's Village is a stone's throw away down the road. No effort has been made to remove anything and all the rides are mostly intact.