Ghost Towns Around The World That You Didn’t Know Existed

From UK shores to remote parts of the African deserts, it seems us humans are really good at upping and leaving our settlements.

So we’ve rounded up the weirdest ghost towns around the world…

1. Capel Celyn, Wales

If you’re old enough to remember Capel Celyn, you’ll know that it was a village purposely flooded in 1965 to help develop a reservoir. Among the things lost in the flood included a chapel, school, post office and 12 houses and farms – it was widely controversial, not just because it meant many lost their homes, but because it was one of the last Welsh-speaking settlements.

A8RB57 Tryweryn Valley land flooded to form Llyn Celyn Reservoir near Bala Gwynedd
Capel Celyn was one of the last Welsh-speaking communities (Picture: Getty Images)


2. Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast

It was the French colonial capital during the 19th century until a heavy bout of yellow fever hit the city. For years it has been inhabited only by squatters, as companies moved their businesses elsewhere following the outbreak.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CHRISTOPHE KOFFI This picture taken on May 17, 2012 shows an old building in Grand-Bassam, a historical town, 40 km east of Abidjan, threatened by coastal erosion and willing to join the UNESCO World Heritage List.  AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO        (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/GettyImages)
Grand Bassam boasted  beautiful buildings in the 19th century (Picture: AFP/Getty)


3. Grytviken, South Georgia

This British settlement looks like it could be anywhere, but in fact this little unused town is just east of the Falkland Islands – the most southern territory in the world. Now it serves as a tourist stop for travellers on cruises around Antarctica, while its original purpose was as a whaling station.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mint Images/REX (3588015a).. Whale catcher boats sunk at the moorings at Grytviken, South Georgia Island.. VARIOUS.. ..
Abandoned boats moored in South Georgia (Picture: Mint Images/REX, Flickr / AahYeah)


4. Agdam, Azerbaijan

During a war in 1993, the entire population of Agdam was forced to flee eastwards – the enemy then destroyed much of the remaining town. One of the only remaining pieces from the ghost town is the mosque, which, although damaged, it still mostly in one piece.

14 (seriously spooky) ghost towns you didn't know about
(Picture: Flickr / Maxence Peniguet, Flickr / TheOnlyMikey)


5. Varosha, Cyprus

Varosha is part of the Cypriot city of Famagusta, which, during the 70s, was one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations – welcoming celebrity guests such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. During the Turkish invasion in 1974, all its inhabitants were forced to flee and nobody has ever returned since.

(FILES) A picture taken on May 5, 2003 shows a general view of Famagusta's coast with the deserted hotels of the fenced-off touristic area of Varosha appearing in the background in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus. Anorthosis Famagusta fans are to hold up 2,000 coloured cards before their Champions League match against Werder Bremen on November 26, 2008 to highlight the demise of their "ghost town." The refugee team hails from Famagusta, which lies in Turkish-held northern Cyprus and where the town's once-popular golden beach resort of Varosha remains fenced off in a UN-protected area. AFP PHOTO/LAURA BOUSHNAK (Photo credit should read LAURA BOUSHNAK/AFP/Getty Images)
Varosha used to be one of the most popular seaside destinations (Picture: Flickr / Siekutera, AFP/Getty)


6. Pyramiden, Russia

This coal-mining community based on an island just off of Norway was originally owned by Sweden but later sold to the Soviet Union. In 1998 the 1,000 residents quickly fled, leaving much of the settlement exactly as it was – which, judging by this picture, makes it feel even creepier.

14 (seriously spooky) ghost towns you didn't know about
Pyramidens facilities still look exactly the same(Picture: Getty, Wikimedia / Bjoertvedt)


7. Chaiten, Chile

The town was evacuated in 2008, when, after 9,000 years dormant, the volcano on which the town is situated erupted. As a result, the local river burst its banks and even now, six years on, the extent of the damage is unknown – much of the population relocated to other nearby settlements.

14 (seriously spooky) ghost towns you didn't know about