Tuesday, July 4, 2023

ABANDONED ..............50 PLACES PART 1........


Not sure about the  rest of ya! ...... but i love to look at the  amount of  abandoned places.......  and  how eerie they are .......and of course the total amount of  wasted money .......

World’s Most Expensive Abandoned Structures

Inactive Naval Facility, New York ©vJelson25 / Wikimedia CommonsInactive Naval Facility, New York ©vJelson25 / Wikimedia Commons

Grandiose projects can cost an incredible amount of money, but bringing ideas that are true feats of engineering to life is never a cheap business. While the amount of money poured into a palace, a luxury resort, or a stately home can be quantitatively measured, the longevity of the structure is almost entirely unpredictable. 

A building can stand for a hundred years before falling into disrepair in a mere decade. Entire Olympic villages can cost billions, only to be left to rot once the last javelin has been thrown. From theme parks that once buzzed with the footsteps of thousands to stately homes that are only shells, there’s a whole world of forgotten places out there.


Can you imagine pouring over $40 million dollars into a project that only ends up lasting a handful of years? It’s certainly not a business to be in if you aren’t willing to take the risk. Read on to discover the true stories behind some of the world’s most expensive abandoned structures. 

1. Ryugyong Hotel

Location: North Korea
Year: 1987
Cost: $750 million* 

We all know that hotel chains like Hilton 

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have made fortunes from their never ending string of locations – but have you ever heard of the Ryugyong Hotel? The answer is most likely a resounding no. Construction on the 1,080 foot tall towering structure in Pyongyang, North Korea started back in 1987. 

Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea @Torsten Pursche / Shutterstock.comRyugyong Hotel, North Korea @Torsten Pursche / Shutterstock.com

Despite dropping over $750 million on the hotel, known as the 105 Building, developers never opened it. Work was halted in 1992 before the exterior was finished in 2011. Although plans were made for a partial opening in 2018, the insanely expensive hotel remains an empty vessel looming over the rest of the district. 

Will the Ryugyong Hotel ever be the place that developers wanted it to be, or is it just too late now for the tide to turn? Given how much money has been dropped on the project, it could be a losing game no matter what happens next.


2. Land of Oz

Location: North Carolina
Year: 1970
Cost: $5 million*

There are fewer spots in the world more eerie than North Carolina’s abandoned theme park, Land of Oz. Based on the 1939 movie and the original novels, the resort was designed by Jack Pentes at a cost of $5 million. Over 44,000 bricks were glazed yellow to give theme park guests the ultimate Oz experience. 

Land of Oz @architecturaldigest.com/Pinterest.comLand of Oz @architecturaldigest.com/Pinterest.com

Disney’s Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher opened the park back in 1970, but by 1975 disaster had struck. A fire destroyed two buildings containing the lion’s share of equipment. After struggling on for a further 5 years, the park closed its doors in 1980 and lay to waste for the next 40 years. Some of the park was restored in 2019, with limited open days occurring throughout the year.

Now, visitors can walk through certain parts of the theme park on specific days annually to get a taste of what the park was like in its heyday. Although it has a long way to go, it’s good to see that Dorothy and her pals haven’t Toto-ly been forgotten…

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3. The Aquatics Stadium

Location: Rio de Janeiro
Year: 2014
Cost: $38 million*

When Rio de Janeiro won its bid for the 2016 Olympics, the city spared no expense in creating a world-class Aquatics Stadium for the swimming and water polo finals. After all, if you’re going to be featured on Comcast’s NBC Sports, you need to look sharp. $38 million went into constructing the venue, with work commencing in 2014. 

The Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro@Sufian Farrukh / Pinterest.comThe Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro@Sufian Farrukh / Pinterest.com

The building took an enormous amount of capital and an enormous amount of work to complete. Although the government initially said they would repurpose the venue or at least salvage the pool for use elsewhere after 2016, it never happened. The entire structure lays abandoned and crumbling.

Sadly, this Olympic structure isn’t the only one of its kind across the world that has faced such a fate after the games have come and gone. Many different host cities have struggled to find uses for buildings erected for the games in the years following. 

4. San-Zhi Pod City

Location: Taiwan
Year: 2010
Cost: $50 million+*

For over three decades, the San-Zhi Pod City in Taiwan, lay absolutely desolate and incomplete. Construction on the brightly colored, oddly UFO-shaped houses started back in 1978, when avante garde buildings were all the rage. Initially planned to be a vacation spot for U.S. military officers, the project was never finished. 

San-Zhi Pod City, Taiwan@Susannah Lois / Pinterest.comSan-Zhi Pod City, Taiwan@Susannah Lois / Pinterest.com

A series of strange occurrences and accidents meant that by 1980 investors were losing money at a rapid rate. Instead of completing the project they left the site as it was and moved on. For years it became a popular destination for urban explorers, many of whom uploaded videos to Google’s YouTube. 

These videos showed the strange interior of the pods as little self-contained apartments complete with an open plan kitchen and living space, with a small bedroom leading just off to the side. Could this project have been successful if given half the chance? 

5. Buzludzha Monument

Location: Bulgaria
Year: 1981
Cost: $35 million (adjusted for inflation)*

The Buzludzha Monument has a complex past. It sits atop the Buzludzha Peak in central Bulgaria as a reminder of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Building first commenced in 1974 as designs created by Georgi Stoilov started to take shape. By 1981 it was finally finished, although it cost an eye-watering $35 million. 

Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria @Milen Dobrev / Shutterstock.comBuzludzha Monument, Bulgaria @Milen Dobrev / Shutterstock.com

Many fine details including extensive mosaics that cover over 900 square meters are housed inside, but the monument has been abandoned since 1989. Weather, vandals, and other factors have all impacted what’s left of Stoilov’s impressive design. A project is currently underway to try and preserve what’s left. 

While the history surrounding the monument may prove divisive, the sheer scale and detail that went into the build is almost universally appreciated by architects. It’s state of disrepair is understandable, but also costly when it comes to repair work. 

6. Coco Palms Resort

Location: Hawaii
Year: 1953
Cost: $135 million*

When the fabulously luxurious Coco Palms Resort in Hawaii opened its doors in 1953, Hollywood immediately came knocking. {{NSE:Sony’s}] Columbia Pictures even filmed parts of Rita Hayworth’s Miss Sadie Thompson there not long after it opened.  

Coco Palms Resort, Hawaii @Vintagepix / Shutterstock.comCoco Palms Resort, Hawaii @Vintagepix / Shutterstock.com

In its prime it was a $135 million paradise that kept visitors coming back again and again. Until one day in 1992 when it was suddenly devastated by a hurricane. In 2016 there were plans to inject Coco Palms with new investments to restore the resort to its former glory, but the deal fell through. Now, the once-pricey resort remains an abandoned ruin.  

Coco Palms also holds a special place in the hearts of Elvis fans. The King filmed Blue Hawaii there, with his character even tying the knot at the resort. To this day, people are still eager to visit the ruins and take a look around Elvis’ favorite bungalow. 

7. Istana Woodneuk

Location: Singapore
Year: 1932
Cost: $3.7 billion*

Close to the Singapore Botanic Gardens in Singapore lies an extensive palace known as Istana Woodneuk. First built in 1932, the impressive two-story building has a rich and complex history as a home for Sultan Ibrahim and his wife, Scottish-born Sultanah Helen. 

Istana Woodneuk, Singapore@Jiae Azad / Pinterest.comIstana Woodneuk, Singapore@Jiae Azad / Pinterest.com

In 1990 the government decided to purchase the estate of Tyersall Park as well as the house, but there was no restoration. Instead, the palace was just left to fall into ruin, despite being worth billions. In 2006 a huge fire ripped through the property leaving it dangerously derelict and, ultimately, beyond repair. 

Given just how much the property cost to build in the first place (an eye watering $3.7 billion including furnishings) it’s an extraordinarily sad story. Today, the palace remains an empty shell in a beautiful setting of lush greenery and unkempt gardens.  

8. NRG Astrodome

Location: Houston
Year: 1962
Cost: $300 million*

At the time the NRG Astrodome was built back in 1962, responsibility for the project was largely  placed on the mayor of Houston, Roy Hofheinz. Hofheinz fully backed the idea of a modern stadium that could be multi-purposeful and draw in crowds. Ground was broken on the $300-million-dollar project in 1962. 

NRG Astrodome, Houston @davidderueda / Twitter.comNRG Astrodome, Houston @davidderueda / Twitter.com

Three of Houston’s major sports teams called the venue home at some point throughout the Astrodome’s history. The stadium even helped shelter survivors of Hurricane Katrina, but by 2008 it began to close because of broken fire regulations. Now it lies empty, with some parts entirely demolished. Despite several different attempts, the Astrodome still hasn’t been saved.  

Instead, Houston and its various sports teams turned their focus to the NRG Stadium, formerly known as Reliant Stadium. This fancy new stadium with a retractable roof was built in 2000, ushering in a new era while making the astrodome look even older than it did already. 

9. Burj Al Babas

Location: Turkey
Year 2014
Cost: $200 million*

Back in 2014 developers were breaking ground on Burj Al Babas, situated halfway between Istanbul and Ankara. The development of pristine, pearly white homes was supposed to lure in buyers wanting a vacation home in a picturesque spot. It should’ve been an easy return on a $200-million-dollar investment. Instead, it turned into an expensive waste of time and resources. 

The Burj Al Babas, Turkey @emasali stock / Shutterstock.comThe Burj Al Babas, Turkey @emasali stock / Shutterstock.com

The French-style homes look like miniature Disney castles, but when the company that was behind the project went bust in 2018, they were left unfinished. Although 587 of the buildings were completed, the future of the project remains in limbo as the once grandiose scheme tries to find a way to move forward. 

Ideally, developers would sell all of the units and finish the ones they have yet to complete. The alternative would be a demolition project that would likely cost more than the initial build. Let’s hope there’s a cost effective solution, for the sake of everyone involved. 

10. Haludovo Palace Hotel

Location: Croatia
Year: 1971
Cost: $45 million*

When the Haludovo Palace Hotel opened its doors back in 1972, it didn’t take long to establish a reputation as the place to be for the jet-setting elite. The resort, which was so lavish it had a swimming pool full of Moet, was backed by Penthouse owner Bob Guccione. As a result, many wealthy Americans eagerly hopped on a United Airlines flight to what was then Yugoslavia to visit. 

The Haludovo Palace Hotel, Croatia @xbrchx / Shutterstock.comThe Haludovo Palace Hotel, Croatia @xbrchx / Shutterstock.com

Lush gardens, beautiful hostesses, a private casino, and constant caviar helped make the Haludovo Palace Hotel popular, but by the next year the casino went bust and closed. New management came in to try and salvage the rest of the hotel, but it was a losing game. Today, the structure remains closed as new investors plan to redevelop. 

It’s a tragic end for a place that was once the very definition of opulence for the wealthy upper middle class. The hotel later went on to become a shelter for the homeless during the Yugoslav War, so it’s history isn’t quite as cut and dry as it may seem.

11. Hudson State River Hospital

Location: New York
Year: 1868
Cost: $14 million (adjusted for inflation)*

New York City might be known for huge, expensive structural attractions like the Empire State Building but not all of the state’s structures are flourishing. Along the Hudson close to Poughkeepsie is the infamous Hudson River State Hospital. 

Hudson River State Hospital, New York @Sherman Cahal / Shutterstock.comHudson River State Hospital, New York @Sherman Cahal / Shutterstock.com

Built in 1868 at a cost of $800,000 ($14 million in today’s money) the Victorian Gothic building was originally used as a psychiatric hospital. The sprawling facility is a sight to behold, but it hasn’t been home to any patients since 2003. After several fires major parts of the building have been damaged, but it is currently undergoing renovation to transform into a mixed-use project featuring offices, a hotel and apartments. 

The development is a welcome resolution for local residents who have had to watch the building decay year after year. With a bright future in sight, it won’t be long before the Hudson State River Hospital starts a new life as something else entirely.

12. Michigan Central Station

Location: Detroit
Year: 1914
Cost: $15 million*

When the original Detroit train station was burned down in 1913, the local government needed to whip up a replacement. The result was a $15-million-dollar building set on West Vernor Highway. Towering above the city, the imposing structure was designed by the same people behind Grand Central. 

Michigan Central Station, Detroit @Matt Ragen / Shutterstock.comMichigan Central Station, Detroit @Matt Ragen / Shutterstock.com

As the need for such a huge train station declined, Michigan Central closed its doors for good in 1988. Ford Motor Company purchased the building in 2018, before unveiling plans to turn it into a working hub. Renovations are currently underway, after the building has lay dormant for over three decades.  

Ford will likely turn the historic location into a vibrant spot in Michigan, injecting it with some much needed capital. The building might look dejected now, but wait until the car manufacturer has worked its magic on it. Miracles can happen. 

13. Cape Romano Dome House

Location: Marco Island, Florida
Year: 1979
Cost: $20 million+*

The Cape Romano Dome House looks like an alien structure left to float out to sea. Originally built by businessman Bob Lee in 1979, the interconnecting buildings were once on land. Each dome was made out of concrete and featured under-floor heating across its 2,400 square feet expanse. 

Cape Romano Dome House, Marco Island, Florida@Ralph Krugler / Shutterstock.comCape Romano Dome House, Marco Island, Florida@Ralph Krugler / Shutterstock.com

The house remained lived in until 1992 when Hurricane Andrew destroyed the interior, leaving it unlivable. As a result, the Lee family moved out and didn’t return. The new buyer tried to save it by moving it to a new location inland, but it was too late. Now entirely in the sea, two of the domes have collapsed with the other four are terribly corroded. 

The Lee family have often talked about all the happy memories they experienced in the house, so it’s a shame that such a treasured location was left to slide. Had Hurricane Andrew not hit and the structure been placed slightly further ashore, perhaps the outcome would’ve been different. 

14. New York State Pavilion

Location: New York
Year: 1962
Cost: $14 million*

Somewhere in Queens lies an intriguing spectacle: an oddly-shaped shell of a building that doesn’t exactly fit in with the modern world. Built back in 1962 for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the structure was designed by Philip Johnson and Richard Foster at a whopping cost of $14 million. 

New York State Pavilion @EarthScape ImageGraphy / Shutterstock.comNew York State Pavilion @EarthScape ImageGraphy / Shutterstock.com

Made from concrete and steel, the New York State Pavilion was supposed to be repurposed. Instead, it became a mere background object for movies like Men in Black and Iron Man 2. It soon fell into a more dire state of disrepair until the NYC government finally agreed to restore it at the cost of $14 million. It’s expected to be completed in 2021. 

It isn’t clear what the Pavilion will be used for after restoration is completed, but it will likely emerge as a revamped event space that the area can be proud of. With so much money going into its makeover, let’s hope it’s looked after this time. 

15. Penn Hills Resort

Location: Pennsylvania
Year: 1944
Cost: Unknown

While it’s unknown exactly what it cost France Paolillo to transform a small tavern into the booming, luxury Penn Hills Resort in the Pocono Mountains, it wouldn’t have been cheap. First established in 1944, the location had turned into a 100-room hotel by the 1960s. It was home to a ski resort as well as a sprawling, well-kept golf course. 

Penn Hills Resort, Pennsylvania @StuffYouShouldKnow / Pinterest.comPenn Hills Resort, Pennsylvania @StuffYouShouldKnow / Pinterest.com

It was the epitome of luxury, perfect for young couples looking to get away. Sadly, when Paolillo passed away at the grand age of 102 in 2009, the resort died with him. Just a few weeks later Penn Hills was closed as it became clear the resort was bust. In 2017 the bulk of the once glorious building was destroyed by fire, while what remains is a wedding bell-shaped pool and overgrown shrubbery. 

Although the majority of the resort remains as an eyesore, certain parts of it have been demolished to make room for other, more pressing projects. The golf club house was flattened in 2017 to make space for the ForEvergreen Nature Preserve. 

16. Star Jet Roller Coaster

Location: Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Year: 2002
Cost: $2 million*

Star Jet delighted tourists and locals alike when it was built in Seaside Heights, New Jersey in 2002. Situated on Casino Pier, the 52-feet tall structure was a popular attraction until Hurricane Sandy came to town. 

Roller Coaster, Seaside Heights, New Jersey @Sky Cinema / Shutterstock.comRoller Coaster, Seaside Heights, New Jersey @Sky Cinema / Shutterstock.com

When the hurricane hit in 2012 it caused some of the pier to drop into the ocean. As a result, Star Jet tumbled into the Atlantic. Amazingly, it retained much of its original shape. Sadly for fans it was beyond repair and was torn down in 2013 before being replaced by a different coaster, Hydrus, in 2017. 

Makers did take note of what happened to Star Jet before they built Hydrus. Instead of erecting a new one where Star Jet once was, they moved it from the pier to the beach in order to give it a better chance at weathering any possible storms. 

17. Mayan Ancient City of Tikal

Location: Guatemala
Year: 600 B.C.
Cost: Unknown

The ancient Mayans have fascinated modern day scholars for years, with many archaeologists becoming entirely enamored with new and old finds. Disney’s National Geographic has aired multiple documentaries on the subject over the years. Perhaps one of the most interesting sites of all is the Mayan Ancient City of Tikal in Guatemala. 

Mayan Ancient City of Tikal @Simon Dannhauer / Shutterstock.comMayan Ancient City of Tikal @Simon Dannhauer / Shutterstock.com

As one of the biggest sites of its kind, it’s believed that the capital was a powerful kingdom that thrived. However, by the Late Classic Period it had ceased to grow and the population had started to dwindle, leading to its desolation by the time the 10th century rolled around.  

Thankfully, plenty of evidence has been left behind so historians can try and get an idea of what life was like for the civilization back then. Although there is still plenty we don’t know, these ancient cities are a window into a different time. 

18. Chernobyl

Location: Ukraine
Year: 1193
Cost $1.5 billion*

Nuclear power plants are not cheap structures to build by their very nature – and if something goes wrong it’s costly on multiple levels. But Chernobyl is a prime example of all these worst-case scenarios combined. The Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Nuclear Power Plant was built just outside of Pripyat in 1972, providing lots of city dwellers with jobs. 

Chernobyl @Valeriia Manzovitova / Shutterstock.comChernobyl @Valeriia Manzovitova / Shutterstock.com

After the Chernobyl disaster occured in 1986, the surrounding area was so heavily contaminated with nuclear radiation that it had to be abandoned. 14,000 people lived in the vicinity at the time, but now only 1,000 people remain. The town is littered with abandoned homes besides ones marked with signs saying “Owner lives here.” AT&T’s HBO turned the disaster into an award-winning series in 2019.

The disaster and the aftermath holds an important place in history. Not only does Chernobyl lie in waste as a permanent reminder of the danger of nuclear power, but it just goes to show how fragile entire cities are, even if they don’t appear to be.  

19. Underwater Sculpture Park

Location: Molinere
Year: 2006
Cost: Unknown

Hidden in the Caribbean Sea just off of the west coast of Grenada is the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park. Divers wanting to see something entirely unusual and spine chilling can visit the spot for juist $2 a pop. Designed by Jason deCaires Taylor, the concrete human figures feature a ring of kids holding hands and even a man riding a bike. 

The Underwater Sculpture Park, Molinere @R Gombarik / Shutterstock.comThe Underwater Sculpture Park, Molinere @R Gombarik / Shutterstock.com

It’s not clear how much the artist would’ve shelled out to turn his underwater dream into a reality, but the sculptures have been lurking in the deep since 2006. Now heavily tarnished and marred by the tides, the tourist attraction is still visited, but strangely haunting. 

Even on a fairly busy dive day, visitors can expect to be met with an eerie sight. After all, it’s not everyday you see human-like figures at the bottom of the ocean, seemingly playing. While not entirely abandoned, the sculpture park certainly isn’t as shiny and new as it once was. 

20. Constanta Casino

Location: Romania
Year: 1910
Cost: $8 million (adjusted for inflation)

Although the original structure of Constanta Casino in Romania dates back to the 19th century, the modern shape didn’t come to fruition until the early 1900’s. The city wanted to emulate something that would draw in big crowds, like the fashionable casinos popping up along the French Riviera. 

Constanta Casino, Romania @malanca_adrian / Shutterstock.comConstanta Casino, Romania @malanca_adrian / Shutterstock.com

By 1910 they had spent $8 million on a truly impressive building complete with luxury fixtures and fittings, from sparkling chandeliers to plush carpets. Although it flourished for a time, by 1990 it had become far too expensive to run. As a result, it has been closed for over 30 years. Despite funds being allocated to try and repurpose the building, nothing has been done as of 2020. 

The building has one of the most beautiful locations in the entire city, overlooking the ocean and the promenade. Situated close to the Aquarium, it’s a perfect spot that could earn developers a lot of money if only they could come up with the cash. 

21. Disney’s River Country

Location: Florida
Year: 1976
Cost: $10 million+*

It’s easy to concentrate on the big, iconic parts of the Disney World that we can see, but it’s even easier to forget about the attractions that were once popular. Back in 1976, the park’s latest draw was River Country in Bay Lake, Florida. 

Disney’s River Country ©r/OldPhotosInRealLife/RedditDisney’s River Country ©r/OldPhotosInRealLife/Reddit

Disney marketed the park as an old-fashioned, wholesome swimming hole for all the family to enjoy. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. When Disney opened Typhoon Lagoon, interest in River Country waned. By 2005 it had closed for good and left to rot in its own moss for 17 years, until Disney announced the site would be turned into a hotel set to open in 2022.

The development is welcome news, but it just goes to show that not everything we see at Disney is always quite as magical as it looks. Attractions get pushed aside for other, newer models, and perish quicker than Walt would’ve yelled “Cut!” 

22. Hashima Island

Location: Japan
Year: 1887
Cost: $50 million*

Hashima Island stands at a length of 16 acres as one of the abandoned islands of Japan’s Nagasaki. Although more than 5,000 people lived there back in 1959, the island is now a floating ghost town with a population of zero.

Hashima Island, Japan@Grassflowerhead / Shutterstock.comHashima Island, Japan@Grassflowerhead / Shutterstock.com

Many inhabitants worked on the coal mines situated under the sea in the area, but by 1974 all of the resources had been tapped. As a result, people started to leave in droves as the mine was closed. Concrete buildings and remnants of life gone by remain, drawing in tourists as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The weather in the area can be so harsh that visiting tourists can only make their way onto the island at certain times of the year. However, those that do make it say that it’s an incredible time capsule with almost untouched housing complexes.

23. Bannerman Castle

Location: New York
Year: Early 1900s
Cost: Unknown

Francis Bannerman paid the handsome sum of $1,600 in 1901 to buy Pollepel Island (around $50,000) in order to house his new arsenal warehouse. Rather than build a boring concrete shell he erected a castle-like structure, dubbed Bannerman Castle. 

Bannerman Castle, Hudson, New York@littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock.comBannerman Castle, Hudson, New York@littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock.com

Designed entirely by himself, it’s impossible to say how much the investor spent on it, but it certainly was an impressive feat. Just 20 years later some of the structure was damaged in an explosion and was never repaired. To this day some of it still stands, but there are no plans to bring it back to life.

During the original explosion, Francis Bannerman’s wife was said to be lounging in a nearby hammock when she became thirsty and got up to fetch a drink. Had she not moved, she would’ve been squashed by a large piece of concrete. 

24. Submarine Base

Location: Balaklava, Ukraine
Year: 1953
Cost: $1.3 billion*

After World War II, Joseph Stalin asked a designer with an eye for top secret projects to create somewhere to store submarines. It needed to be secret and completely undetectable. They soon found Balaklava in Ukraine and started to carve out a complex underground bunker. It took eight years and $1.3 billion to build. 

Submarine Base, Balaklava, Ukraine @A_Lesik / Shutterstock.comSubmarine Base, Balaklava, Ukraine @A_Lesik / Shutterstock.com

In 1993 it closed completely and was left entirely open and unsecured, meaning anyone could come and go as they pleased. Seven years later it became the property of Ukraine’s army, before eventually being turned into a military museum with a truly fascinating (and morbidly expensive) history. 

Today, visitors can wander the strange tunnels and take in a scene that’s reminiscent of Thunderbirds. With such a rich past, it’s a must-visit location for history buffs, or simply anyone that finds themselves at a loss for something to do in the area.

25. Athens Olympic Venues

Location: Greece
Year: 2004
Cost: $160 million*

Every city that hosts the Olympics is under enormous pressure to pull out all the stops. Athens was no different in 2004. In total, the city spent an astonishing $11 billion on staging the games. $160 million of this went into preparing the Olympic Village accommodation for competitors. 

Athens Olympic Venues @forbesmagazine/PinterestAthens Olympic Venues @forbesmagazine/Pinterest

With training fields, pools, tracks, and bungalows to house guests, the site had everything athletes needed. Despite how much money was poured into creating top-level facilities, they were simply left behind when the games closed. 

The government had expressed hopes that some of the locations would be turned into housing. In reality, while some of it was repurposed, an overwhelming amount has been left unused. Considering the economic trails Greece has faced since, it’s hardly that surprising. 

26. Lynnewood Hall

Location: Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Year: 1897
Cost: $17.5 million*

Lynnewood Hall was the classiest of establishments when it was first built in the late 1800s. It took three years to build, and the mansion was chock full of gilded moldings, silk and velvet curtains and carpets, and art from all over the world. The owner of the 110-room Gilded Age mansion, Peter A. B. Widener, threw lavish parties at his estate.

Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania ©©FMS57/Shutterstock.comLynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania ©©FMS57/Shutterstock.com

The mansion was built using Indiana limestone. The ballroom was large enough for one-thousand guests. After Peter Widener died, the mansion fell into disrepair. The Faith Theological Seminary bought the mansion for $192,000 in 1952, and it let all of the interiors go to waste.

27. Mys Aniva Lighthouse

Location: Sakhalin Island, Russia
Year: 1939
Cost: $10 million* 

Built by the Japanese military in 1939 on the Russian island, Sakhalin, the Mys Aniva Lighthouse has since been abandoned. The island itself was uninhabited through the 1800s until Russia became interested in annexation. The thin island is over 590 miles long, seated between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan.

Mys Aniva Lighthouse, Sakhalin Island, Russia ©toureast65 / Shutterstock.comMys Aniva Lighthouse, Sakhalin Island, Russia ©toureast65 / Shutterstock.com

The Mys Aniva Lighthouse is seven stories high. It has diesel engines, keeper’s living spaces, storerooms, clockwork pendulums, and accumulator rooms. Aniva Lighthouse also has a 662-pound pool of mercury still sitting there. The mercury was used as a low-friction rotation surface. Now, it is still, and the only sound is the waves. 

28. Halcyon Hall

Location: Bennett College in Millbrook, New York
Year: 1893
Cost: $9 million*

Bennett College itself, a women’s college founded in the late 1800s, is abandoned, but Halcyon Hall is the main attraction for those looking to explore creepy, abandoned, and possibly-haunted buildings. Halcyon Hall was built in 1893. H.J. Davison, a New York publisher, built the 200-room structure in the Queen Anne style.

Halcyon Hall, Bennett College in Millbrook, New York @Sharon Ladonski / Pinterest.comHalcyon Hall, Bennett College in Millbrook, New York @Sharon Ladonski / Pinterest.com

The building was originally intended as a hotel, but Bennett College annexed the building after the hotel idea didn’t catch on. After Bennett College went bankrupt, Halcyon Hall fell into ruin. Even the bank that tried to foreclose on the property, Mechanics and Farmers Savings Bank, went bankrupt in 1991. 

29. Eastern State Penitentiary

Location: Philadelphia
Year: 1829
Cost: $780,000*

Eastern State Penitentiary was opened in 1829, and it housed around 400 prisoners until 1877. ESP officially closed down in 1971 after years of decline, but it is still a popular Pennsylvania tourist attraction, as the place is rumored to be haunted. ESP was a pioneer for separate incarceration, and the prison emphasized reform—not punishment.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia ©true nature / Shutterstock.comEastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia ©true nature / Shutterstock.com

Famous criminals called ESP home, including mobster Al Capone and Willie Sutton, a bank robber. The building was the most expensive, largest public structure ever built in the U.S. at the time. After the prison shut down, the prison was simply abandoned. 

30. Wyckoff Villa

Location: Thousand Islands, New York
Year: 1890s
Cost: $495,000*

The island on which Wyckoff Villa is constructed, Carleton Island, isn’t abandoned—there are thirty-four homes there, and most residents get around using ATVs. The Wyckoff Villa was built in the 1890s by William Wyckoff, who was a salesman for E. Remington & Sons, a gun company. The eleven-bedroom mansion was completed in the Richardsonian Romanesque-Tudor Revival style.

Wyckoff Villa, Thousand Islands, New York @Paranormal Global / Facebook.comWyckoff Villa, Thousand Islands, New York @Paranormal Global / Facebook.com

Unfortunately, Wyckoff died just one day after moving in. General Electric purchased the property with the intent of turning it into a corporate retreat. But, WWII came along and ended those plans. The windows and doors were removed during the 1940s, and the mansion is in serious disrepair. 

31. City Methodist Church

Location: Gary, Indiana
Year: 1925
Cost: $800,000*

Dr. William Grant Seaman founded the City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana. Built in 1925, the Church was done in the Gothic Revival Style, and it cost $800,000 in 1920s-money to build. Dr. Seaman wanted to bring a church into Gary, Indiana, which was (and still kind of is) a disreputable neighborhood.

City Methodist Church, Gary, Indiana ©Tara Ashlee Photography / Shutterstock.comCity Methodist Church, Gary, Indiana ©Tara Ashlee Photography / Shutterstock.com

US Steel, the chief employer in Gary at the time, agreed to donate the site to Dr. Seaman. Dr. Seaman ran the church until the late 1920s when his congregation kicked him out because he was pushing cultural diversity. After Dr. Seaman was forced out, the church continued to decline. It officially closed in 1975.

32. Chaonei No. 81

Location: Beijing, China
Year: 1910
Cost: $1.5 million*

The municipal government of Beijing, China, has declared Chaonei No. 81 a historic building, saving it from possible attempts to tear it down. Chaonei No. 81 is also considered Beijing’s most haunted house, and it was the subject of The House That Never Dies, a popular horror movie in China.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, KentuckyWaverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, Kentucky

After that, in 2014 there came a renewed interest in exploring the abandoned property. The brick home has been there since the early 1900s, and the stories have changed over time as to what (or who) exactly haunts the house. The most common story is that a suicidal woman-turned-ghost haunts Chaonei No. 81, causing mysterious disappearances.  

33. Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Year: 1910
Cost: $8 million*

The Waverly Hills Sanitorium was opened in 1910, and it was designed to house patients suffering from tuberculosis. Jefferson County, Kentucky, the site of the Sanitorium, had been ravaged by the White Plague, an outbreak of tuberculosis that killed a lot of residents. These deaths prompted the Sanitorium’s construction.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, Kentucky @PrinceOfWade / Twitter.comWaverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, Kentucky @PrinceOfWade / Twitter.com

In 1961, streptomycin was developed, an antibiotic drug that nipped TB in the bud. In 1962, Waverly Hills was converted to Woodhaven Medical Services, a nursing home. The state closed down Woodhaven in 1982 due to patient neglect and abuse. The hospital then fell into disuse, and, as with any abandoned sanitorium, rumors of hauntings abound.   

34. Chateau Miranda

Location: Celles, Belgium
Year: 1866
Cost: $500,000*

The Liederkerke-de Beauforts, a wealthy European family, were forced out of Veves Castle, their home in France, during the French Revolution. The family decided that it wanted to live in style once again, and it hired Edward Milner to construct Chateau Miranda. In 1866, the stone, neo-Gothic castle was completed.

Chateau Miranda, Celles, Belgium ©Pel Laurens / Wikimedia.orgChateau Miranda, Celles, Belgium ©Pel Laurens / Wikimedia.org

The castle was occupied until WWII when German forces ransacked Belgium. A small part of the Battle of the Bulge was fought on castle grounds. During that time, Nazis occupied Chateau Miranda. After they were defeated, the National Railway Company of Belgium bought the property and turned it into a holiday camp for sick kids until the 1970s. 

35. Nara Dreamland

Location: Nara, Japan
Year: 1961
Cost: $5.95 million*

Nara Dreamland was inspired by Kunizo Matsuo’s journey to Disneyland in America. Matsuo, a wealthy businessman, was impressed. He met with Walt Disney to discuss bringing Disney to Japan. The talks went well initially, but then Disney and Matsuo disagreed, so the project was abandoned.

Nara Dreamland, Nara, Japan ©Jordy Meow/commons.wikimedia.orgNara Dreamland, Nara, Japan ©Jordy Meow/commons.wikimedia.org

Instead, Nara Dreamland was formed. It was heavily-inspired California’s Disneyland. It had a Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street USA, Train Depot, and Matterhorn Mountain, among other familiar Disney-esque buildings. Nara Dreamland operated for forty-five years until it closed in 2006 due to low attendance. After its closure, it was left to fall into ruin. 

36. Villa de Vecchi

Location: Lake Como, Italy
Year: 1857
Cost: $200,000*

Villa de Vecchi is also called the “Red House,” “the Witches’ House,” or the “Ghost House,” giving you an idea of what kind of reputation it has amassed since its closure. Villa de Vecchi is possibly Italy’s most haunted house. It was built in the 1800s by Count Felice de Vecchi, an Italian war hero.

Villa de Vecchi, Lake Como, Italy @Ana Maria Miranda / Pinterest.comVilla de Vecchi, Lake Como, Italy @Ana Maria Miranda / Pinterest.com

There is a rumor that Count de Vecchi came home one day and found his wife and daughter dead, but that has been disputed. What isn’t disputed is that famous occultist Aleister Crowley stayed there in the 1920s. Rumors abound as to what went on while the home was under Crowley’s and his followers’ control. Crowley’s stay earned Villa de Vecchi the “Witches’ House” moniker.

37. Canfranc International Railway Station

Location: Canfranc, Spain
Year: 1928
Cost: $453.9 million (refurbishment)*

Canfranc International Railway Station was an opulent railway station constructed as a major hub for traffic traveling from Spain to France. The Station was constructed in Beaux-Arts style, and it has hundreds of windows and doors. The Station has been interrupted by the Spanish Civil War and WWII, but half of it is still up and running.

Canfranc International Railway Station, Canfranc, Spain ©peresanz / Shutterstock.comCanfranc International Railway Station, Canfranc, Spain ©peresanz / Shutterstock.com

Only a few trains run on the Spanish side. The French side of the station has fallen into disuse and neglect. The site is derelict. Though local governments on both sides have stated their willingness to reopen and renovate the station, little action has occurred.

38. Elda Castle

Location: Ossining, New York
Year: 1927
Cost: $3.2 million*

The Elda Castle (originally named the Elda Estate) was built in the late 1920s. David Abercrombie, one of the founders of the clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch, built the castle. Elda sits on 60 acres, and it took sixteen years (from 1911 to 1927) to build. Elda is constructed in the English Cottage style.

Elda Castle, Ossining, New York @imgur / Pinterest.comElda Castle, Ossining, New York @imgur / Pinterest.com

The massive estate is made almost entirely of cut and live granite. The exterior of the house looks like a Medieval castle, with arches and vaults. David Abercrombie allowed police officers to use his estate for rifle training. The estate fell into disrepair after Abercrombie died in 1931.

39. SS Ayrfield

Location: Sydney Australia
Year: 1911
Cost: $68.03 million*

SS Ayrfield started its life as the SS Corriman, a 1.14-ton steel warship that the UK constructed in 1911. The warship was then changed into a steam collier, and SS Corriman transported supplies to American troops in the Pacific. After WWII ended, the SS Corriman was renamed to SS Ayrfrield. Little did its builders know that it would go from warship to floating forest.

SS Ayrfield, Sydney Australia ©Duncan Struthers / Shutterstock.comSS Ayrfield, Sydney Australia ©Duncan Struthers / Shutterstock.com

In 1972, SS Ayrfield was sent to Homebush Bay, which is where Australia sends the ships that it no longer needs. It floated there for decades and, during that time, it was taken over by nature. It now is home to a veritable forest of lush mangrove trees.

40. Wyndclyffe Castle

Location: Rhinebeck, New York
Year: 1853
Cost: $120,000 (purchase price)*

Wyndcliffe Mansion was built in 1853 by George Veitch, who completed it in the Norman Style in New York’s Hudson River District. The brick mansion was first called Rhinecliff, and its principal owner was Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones. The mansion was so opulent that it inspired the famous phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses.”

Wyndclyffe Castle, Rhinebeck, New York @ARTANDHOME/Twitter.comWyndclyffe Castle, Rhinebeck, New York @ARTANDHOME/Twitter.com

Wyndcliffe changed hands and names throughout the next century. It was officially abandoned in 1950. The property originally sat on eighty acres, but that acreage was later reduced to just 2.5. Parts of the mansion have collapsed from neglect. It was bought in 2016 for $120,000, and it is likely going to be demolished.

41. Spreepark Amusement Park

Location: Berlin, Germany
Year: 1969
Cost: $65 million*

Spreepark Berlin is an abandoned amusement park in Germany. At its peak, it had 1.5 million visitors per year. Spreepark covered nearly eighty acres. It was founded in 1969, and it was the only amusement park in East/West Berlin. In 1991, it got a big expansion. The park did extremely well until 1999.

Spreepark Amusement Park @BerlinTourism / Twitter.comSpreepark Amusement Park @BerlinTourism / Twitter.com

In 1999, debt and low visitation began to cripple Spreepark economically. To handle the debt, Spreepark had to increase admission fees. That caused visitor numbers to drop even more. In 2001, Spreepark declared bankruptcy. Since 2002, it has been abandoned. The original founder, Norbert Witte, fled to Peru. He was arrested for drug smuggling in 2004. 

42. Liu Family Mansion

Location: Taiwan
Year: 1929
Cost: $6.5 million*

The baroque-style Liu Family Mansion is also called the Minxiong Ghost House. It is one of Taiwan’s most famously-haunted locations. The Ghost House sits in the countryside, right near Chiayi. The three-story home is now covered by vegetation on the outside, and no one has lived there since the Liu Family abandoned the mansion abruptly.

Liu Family Mansion, Taiwan @rjimenez1xi8 / Twiter.comLiu Family Mansion, Taiwan @rjimenez1xi8 / Twiter.com

There are many stories as to what exactly caused the Liu Family to up and leave. One popular one involves a maid and an affair, which caused the Liu matriarch to go insane. Another involves Japanese soldiers seeing ghosts in WWII. The truth is unknown, but the legendary status of the Liu Family Mansion cannot be denied.

43. Holy Family Orphanage

Location: Marquette, Michigan
Year: 1914
Cost: $2,552,492*

The Holy Family Orphanage was built in the early 1900s for a price of $100,000 (which, in today’s money, is over $2.5 million). The Michigan orphanage housed 200 parentless children. At first, only 8- to 14-year-olds were permitted, but Holy Family allowed in older kids and babies later on.

Holy Family Orphanage, Marquette, Michigan @Kyle Carter / Facebook.comHoly Family Orphanage, Marquette, Michigan @Kyle Carter / Facebook.com

Holy Family was a source of colonization and forced assimilation at the hands of the Roman Catholic Diocese. In 1914, sixty Native American children were kidnapped from their homes and taken to the Orphanage, where they were assimilated and then adopted to white families. Other than the Native children, only white kids were allowed. 

44. Rum Orphanage

Location: Turkey
Year: 1898
Cost: Over $12 million*

Rum Orphanage, also called the Prinkipo Palace, was a huge wooden building located on Buyukada, which is one of Turkey’s Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara. Rum Orphanage is the second-largest wooden building in the world and the largest in Europe. It measures 65,617 square feet. It was built in the late 1800s and officially opened as an orphanage in 1903.

Rum Orphanage, Turkey ©aydngvn / Shutterstock.comRum Orphanage, Turkey ©aydngvn / Shutterstock.com

Rum Orphanage had 206 rooms, a library, kitchen, school, and many workshops. The Orphanage itself was constructed atop Isa Tepesi, a 656-foot-tall mountain. It closed in 1964 amid tensions between Turkey and Greece. It fell into disrepair, and its condition was only worsened after a fire ravaged the site in 1980.

45. Willard Asylum

Location: Willard, New York
Year: 1869
Cost: $900,000*

Willard Asylum (full name: Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane) was built in 169 by George Rowley, who designed the Asylum in the “Second Empire” Style. It is a former state hospital that was used to house people with psychiatric disabilities. The hospital was located in Willard, New York, right by Seneca Lake.

Willard Asylum, Willard, New York @Beth Charlette / Pinterest.comWillard Asylum, Willard, New York @Beth Charlette / Pinterest.com

Willard had a revamp in 1995. Willard Drug Treatment Center opened on the Asylum’s campus, but the Asylum itself has remained untouched. The National Register of Historic Places gave it a spot on its list in 1975, preventing it from destruction. There are many rumors of hauntings in Willard State, and it is a big UrbEx site.

46. Kolmanskop

Location: Namibia
Year: 1908
Cost: Unknown 

Kolmanskop (which is Afrikaans for “Coleman’s Head”) is a ghost town. It was founded in Namib, Namibia. It was named after Johnny Coleman, a transport driver who abandoned his wagon on a small hill near what was, then, a settlement. In 1908, diamonds were discovered at the settlement.

Kolmanskop, Namibia ©Kanuman / Shutterstock.comKolmanskop, Namibia ©Kanuman / Shutterstock.com

The German Empire declared the property theirs (even though it, rightfully, was Africa’s), and the settlement became a small, yet incredibly wealthy, mining village. During WWII, the Germans had leached all of the diamonds from the fields. The town went into a decline, and it was abandoned in 1956. The town’s inhabitants, oddly, left their homes and possessions behind when they took off.  

47. Enchanted Forest Playland

Location: Toledo, Ohio
Year: 2000
Cost: $35,000 (land cost)*

In 1947, R.W. Bishop bought a Woody Wagon. That began his interest in the amusement park industry, and that interest would culminate in the development of the now-abandoned Enchanted Forest Playland. Bishop bought a large plot of land for $35,000 in 2000.

Enchanted Forest Playland @slatemagazine/PinterestEnchanted Forest Playland @slatemagazine/Pinterest

He then added rides and attractions, and the Enchanted Forest was in operation for five years before it shut down due to financial problems. Now, all that is left are bits and pieces of the park, including a giant clown ride. During its heyday, Enchanted Forest Playland had rides, a mini-golf course, picnic areas, and a river walk.

48. Maunsell Sea & Air Forts

Location: UK
Year: 1942-1943
Cost: $15,500 each*

The Maunsell Forts lay abandoned in the Mersey and Thames estuaries. They were constructed as armed towers during WWII. These towers operated as naval and army forts, protecting the UK. The Maunsell name came from the forts’ designer, Guy Maunsell. The Maunsell Forts were officially decommissioned in the 1950s.

Maunsell Sea & Air Forts, UK @Maunsell Sea & Air Forts, UK / Pinterest.comMaunsell Sea & Air Forts, UK @Maunsell Sea & Air Forts, UK / Pinterest.com

Since then, they have been left alone, save for a few activities like pirate radio broadcasting. Boats visit the Maunsell Forts for exploration purposes, and the Maunsell fort a Red Sands is the subject of a conservation attempt by Project Red Sands. Only some are (officially) open to the public. 

49. Rhyolite

Location: Nevada
Year: 1905
Cost: $3.7 million*

Located in Nevada’s Bullfrog Hills, just a few miles from Death Valley, Rhyolite is a ghost town. The town was founded in 1905. It was one of a few mining camps that emerged when gold was discovered in the Bullfrog Hills. Thousands of gold seekers settled in the town, and Charles M. Schwab, an industrialist, developed it into a residential area, putting in piped water, railroads, electric lines, and other amenities.

Rhyolite - Nevada @daytrippen/PinterestRhyolite - Nevada @daytrippen/Pinterest

Rhyolite was a flash in the pan, and it disappeared almost as quickly as it sprang up. The 1906 Earthquake in San Francisco, the Financial Panic of 1907, and the depletion of gold ore reserves caused people to leave in a hurry. By 1920, there were no people left. 

50. Ross Island

Location: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
Year: 1857
Cost: $2 million*

Ross Island was part of over 500 islands off the coast of India. It was used as a prison by British colonizers during the Indian Rebellion. The Indian prisoners were confined to decrepit jail cells, while the British built churches, tennis courts, and fancy bungalows on their part(s) of Ross Island.

Ross Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India ©Adwait /commons.wikimedia.orgRoss Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India ©Adwait /commons.wikimedia.org

In 1941, a large earthquake hit the island, killing almost everyone living there. The Japanese took over Ross Island in WWII, turning the buildings into bunkers. After WWII, the Japanese abandoned the island, and it has since been overtaken by roots, vines, and plants—though it is open to the public.


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