The Spookiest Abandoned Place in Every State
Do you dare visit these creepy locations? (It’s OK if the answer is no—some of them are off-limits anyway…)
Alabama: Memorial Mound
Memorial Mound was a new burial concept gone wrong. The underground mausoleum (we use the term loosely) was opened by former gravedigger Clyde Booth in Bessemer, Alabama in 1992. Bessemer kept racks and racks of caskets with their occupants stacked on top of each other. Here’s where it gets really weird: relatives of the deceased were not allowed inside for visitation. After Booth died in 2009, Memorial Mound quickly became abandoned and turned into nothing more than a mound of rotting corpses. The “mausoleum” wasn’t locked and it was vandalized many times—someone even stole a skull from a casket. When the matter was finally looked into by police, they were able to identify the remains of just one infant and seven adults. Give yourself more chills by diving into the spookiest ghost story from every state.
Alaska: Kennecott Mines
The Kennecott Mines became an instant money-making institution in 1911 when it was discovered that the land held a mind-blowing amount of copper. The Kennecott Copper Corporation mined approximately $200 million worth of copper until the place ran completely dry in 1938. No one bothered to take possession of the giant mines, mills and other buildings there, so for the next few decades, the structures simply deteriorated. The National Park Service acquired the land in 1998, so it is no longer abandoned, but if you visit the historical landmark you’ll still see many of the ruins.
Arizona: Vulture City
The silver and gold mines in Vulture City attracted thousands of people in the mid-1800s; from its inception until 1942, the mine produced 260,000 ounces of silver and 340,000 ounces of gold. That’s when the U.S. government declared a shutdown of all “non-essential mines” in order to focus on the World War II war effort. This bustling town was then quickly abandoned and left to rot. Today, it’s a spot that is so creepy that people actually host ghost tours and paranormal events there. Be sure to check out The Hanging Tree, where 18 men were supposedly sent to their deaths for pilfering precious minerals from the mine.
Arkansas: Peppersauce Ghost Town
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The ghost town of East Calico, nicknamed Peppersauce, an old slang term for moonshine, which proliferated here back in the day, is actually part of Calico Rock, a currently thriving town. The exact history is murky (drinking moonshine will do that to you), but as fires and floods ruined buildings and some businesses changed or closed down altogether, the residents moved to a new part of town on higher ground. Curiously, no one ever bothered to demolish the abandoned buildings in East Calico—now, they just sit in plain view.
What about this formerly functioning prison isn’t spooky? An island all its own off the coast of San Francisco, Alcatraz was once home to some of the country’s most notorious prisoners, including Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. This was where the Justice Department sent criminals other prisons couldn’t handle, as it was believed that no one—not even the most dangerous of dangerous—would be able to survive an escape attempt in the perilous waters. It was abandoned in 1963 when the institution could no longer keep up with the costs of running the facility. Now, you can take tours of the creepy (and supposedly haunted) prison. While you can’t spend the night in Alcatraz (not that you would want to), you can stay over in these 10 luxe hotels that used to be jails.
The town of Ludlow was the site of an infamous workers’ rights battle in 1914. The families living and working in the town were employed by Colorado Fuel & Iron, owned by the Rockefeller family. When the working conditions became unbearable, the underpaid workers went on strike. Tensions between law enforcement, the Rockefellers, and the workers soon turned deadly and the National Guard massacred approximately 66 men, women, and children. Now, all that remains are a few old structures and a lonely memorial.
Dudleytown in Litchfield County is one of the scariest ghost towns in the country; founded in 1747, it was totally deserted at the turn of the 20th century after a series of terrible misfortunes befell the residents there. Crop shortage, madness, evil curses—you name it—have all been blamed for the abandonment of the village. It makes our list of spookiest urban legends from every state.
Delaware: Fort Delaware
The island of Fort Delaware (aka Pea Patch Island) had several uses in its day, including serving as a prison for more than 12,000 Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The fort was used sporadically during the two World Wars before eventually becoming abandoned. Today, the island is a state park.
Florida: Temple of Love
Once known as the First Baptist Church, this South Florida religious building built in 1935 was bought by a man named Yahweh ben Yahweh in 1985. A prominent member of the community, Yahweh was also an accused cult leader who asked his followers to murder white people and bring back fingers or ears as proof. In 1992, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison. The church building was ultimately abandoned.
Georgia: Georgia Lunatic Asylum
“Calling all lunatics, idiots, and epileptics!” That’s essentially what Georgia’s lawmakers said when they sanctioned the building of the Georgia Lunatic Asylum (later known as Central State Hospital) in Milledgeville in the mid-1800s. Lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and even metal cages were used to “help” people who were mentally ill in what was once the world’s largest mental institution. To make matters worse, there were actually no psychiatrists on the premises. In fact, an investigation in the 1950s found that some of the patients were asked to help keep the asylum in order. And this wasn’t long ago, either; the last patients were taken in in 2010. Today, the majority of of the asylum’s many buildings sit vacant and it’s as chilling as these 25 creepiest abandoned buildings around the world.