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7 Lesser-Known Ghost Towns Around the World

The most famous ghost town in the world is probably Pripyat in Ukraine. Most people know about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that led to the city’s evacuation and we've all seen the haunting photos of the deserted city being slowly reclaimed by nature. Although Pripyat’s story is very famous, it is far from being the only one of its kind. 

History is filled with cities and towns that were once brimming with life but are now abandoned and forgotten. The reasons why they were abandoned vary, but each story is fascinating in its own way. Here are 7 lesser-known ghost towns around the world.

1. Dudleytown, Connecticut, USA7 Lesser Known Ghost Towns Around the World, Dudleytown, Connecticut, USA

 Dudleytown's former station platform, taken in 2011, Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

There is quite a lot of folklore around the abandonment of Dudleytown. The small village is located in a valley, known as the Dark Entry Forest, which was named that way because of the shadows created by the mountains surrounding the town and the road that leads to it. 

Dudleytown was founded in 1747 by the Dudley family. Just like the rest of the region, Dudleytown was converted from forest to farmland. Since the town was built on top of a hill, Dudleytown was not ideal for farming. Therefore, when more fertile and spacious land opened up in the Midwest in the mid-19th century and the local iron industry wound down, the entire region’s population started to decline, and Dudleytwon was left completely abandoned by the early 1900s. The land was purchased by Dark Entry Forest, Inc. and is owned by them to this day. 

This sounds like quite a logical and ordinary story, but there is also an alternative version of the town's history. It started as a local rumor, and has now spread far and wide thanks to the internet. The rumor alleges the founders of Dudleytown were the descendants of Edmund Dudley, an English nobleman who was beheaded for treason during the reign of Henry VIII.

From that moment on, the Dudley family was placed under a curse that followed them across the Atlantic to America. This curse was to blame for the constant crop failures and mental illness in the village. Local historians have found no generational link between the Dudley family in Connecticut and the English nobleman, but the story persisted. The 1999 movie The Blair Witch Project, about a haunted forest, prompted increased interest in Dudleytown and its surroundings. Eventually, the owners had to close the site to the public, after several cases of vandalism.

2. Adaminaby, Australia7 Lesser Known Ghost Towns Around the World, Adaminaby, Australia

Image Source: Wikipedia

In 1957, the residents of Adaminaby, Australia, had no choice but to leave their town forever. The Australian government relocated all 700 of them to make way for the manmade Lake Eucumbene, a part of the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme, one of the world's biggest civil engineering projects. Some homes were physically moved, but most of the town's original structures were enveloped by the lake. 

In 2007, after five years of heavy droughts across the country, the lake had shrunk significantly, and the ruins of Adaminaby resurfaced in their entirety. Greg Russell, whose family had lived in Adaminaby for four generations, shared with The Independent what an eerie experience it was to walk among the ruins of his former home. "It makes me feel nostalgic for a place that doesn't exist anymore," said Mr. Russell. "Me and my wife virtually grew up there. To see it like that, it makes us feel sad."

Related: The History of These Abandoned Places Is Captivating

3. Consonno, Italy7 Lesser Known Ghost Towns Around the World, Consonno, Italy

Image Source: Flickr

Consonno was originally a medieval town set on the foothills of the Alps in Lombardy, northern Italy. The village survived for centuries with a small population of around 300 people. In 1962, a real estate developer named Mario Bagno concocted a plan to convert the rural community into a Las Vegas-style resort town. He convinced the locals to let him demolish the original village, with false promises of development and wealth. 

In 1976, a landslide destroyed the road connecting Consonno and the nearest town, blocking access to the village. It was the end of Bagno’s ambitious plan. The decline was rapid and irreversible, and despite Bagno’s initial efforts, Consonno became a ghost town. In 2016, the town was used as the site of the Italian hide and seek championship. 

Related: 10 Stunning Abandoned Islands and Their Eerie Histories

4. Trellech, Wales7 Lesser Known Ghost Towns Around the World, Trellech, Wales

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

In early 2017, newspapers around the world excitedly reported the discovery of the ruins of Trellech, Wales’ largest city in the 13th century. Trellech never disappeared completely, it still exists today in the form of a sleepy village of about 2,000 people. That, however, cannot be compared to the bustling city Trellech once was. “We're talking about a population of maybe around 10,000 people. In comparison, there were 40,000 in London, so it's quite large," said archeologist Stuart Wilson to the BBC.

Archeologists have grounds to think that ancient Trellech was an enormous weapons factory, funded by the lords of Glamorgan to make iron for the endless wars that shaped medieval Britain. Tax rolls from the late 13th century indicate that nearly 400 buildings once stood in the city. So why was such a big and prosperous city abandoned? The city suffered quite a lot of instability due to political unrest and a breakout of the Black Death in the 14th century. The last straw was a rebellion for Welsh independence, which drove nearly all the citizens out of the city in 1400.

5. Glenrio, New Mexico, USA7 Lesser Known Ghost Towns Around the World, Glenrio, New Mexico, USA

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

On the border between Texas and New Mexico is the forgotten ghost town of Glenrio. Although the population never exceeded 30 even in its heyday, Glenrio was a popular destination in the first half of the 20th century. The film adaptation of John Steinbeck's ‘Grapes of Wrath’ was filmed there in 1938, and with the post-war economic boom of the 1950s that increased recreational travel around the country, Glenrio’s location along Route 66 further boosted its prosperity.

However, when Route 66 fell out of favor, and a new interstate was built bypassing the town, the number of visitors gradually started to decline. Eventually, the town's residents had no choice but to leave in order to make a living. By 1980, only 2 residents remained in Gelnrio. Today, the town is only visited by travelers wishing to relive the history of Route 66. The long-closed Little Juarez Cafe still stands in its original spot, a remnant of the past.

Related: 10 Abandoned Castles From Around the World

6. Taxila, Pakistan7 Lesser Known Ghost Towns Around the World, Taxila, Pakistan

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Taxila is an ancient building complex of Achaemenian ruins that dates back to the 6th century BC. It is located in the province of Punjab, Pakistan. Although largely forgotten, Taxila holds great historical importance. Its ruins are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and by some accounts, it was home to one of the earliest, if not the first, universities in the world. 

The city was conquered by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. At the time, it was a major center of Buddhism. In the 5th century, it was invaded by the Ephthalites, a group of nomadic people that proliferated in the area at the time. They are sometimes referred to as the White Huns. The Ephthalites destroyed much of the city, including its famous Buddhist monasteries. They were eventually defeated. Alas, the city was already largely abandoned by then, and history shows that it would never return to its former glory.

7. Thurmond, West Virginia, USA7 Lesser Known Ghost Towns Around the World, Thurmond, West Virginia, USA

Image Source: Wikipedia

The now-abandoned town of Thurmond in West Virginia is a well-preserved slice of American coal mining history. Even in its most prosperous days in the early 20th century, the town was very isolated, with its only connection to the outside world being a single rail line. No roads led in or out of the town until 1921 when a single-lane bridge crossing the New River was constructed. By this time, the town’s coal-dependent population had already begun to dwindle. The town’s fate was sealed in 1935 when Thurmond’s only bank had collapsed. 

According to a 2019 census, the current population is 6, and the town remains as isolated as it was in the 1920s. Thurmond is a popular tourist destination, as it is surrounded by miles of scenic nature and most of its prominent structures, including the main street, are very well-preserved. 

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