There are places all over the world that have been abandoned by humans, be they homes, buildings, or even entire towns. Some of these places have background stories to go with them that are eerie enough to make you cringe and your skin crawl.
Here are six abandoned places with eerie backgrounds.
1) Isla De Las Munecas, Mexico City, Mexico:
La Isla De Las Munecas, or the Island of Dolls, lives up to its name as it is literally an island full of dolls dangling from trees. The island is located just outside of Mexico City, in the Xochimilico Canals. The island did have a single resident at one point. That resident was Don Julian Santana. Santana left his family – a wife and a child – in the 1950s, to live on the island alone.
While living there, he discovered a young girl who had drowned. Santana believed the girl haunted the island and to honor her spirit, he began placing dolls all over the island – all of which were mutilated in disturbing ways as they’d been found in the canals or in the trash. Fifty years later, La Isla De Las Munecas had lost its single resident. Don Julian Santana had drowned in the canal – in the very spot he had found the girl.
2) Centralia, Pennsylvania, USA:
Fifty-four years ago coal mines just outside of Centralia, Pennsylvania caught fire. That fire still burns today and just keeps spreading. The fire is 300 feet below the surface of the ground. It spews poisonous gases and has flames powerful enough to open holes in the ground. These aren’t itty bitty holes, they are big.The fire is not going to peter out any time soon, either.
It has been estimated that the fires will continue to burn for at least 250 more years, reaching as far as eight miles. The United States government – both federal and state – originally tried to put the flames out of business. Right now, however, they’re sitting on their butts as far as the case of Centralia, Pennsylvania goes and they have been since the 1980s.
The federal government did offer the townspeople compensation for their properties. So, the residents left. Most of them, anyway. Centralia wasn’t left totally abandoned; a few residents continue to refuse to leave their homes. Other than those few, the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania has been utterly abandoned.
Related Post: 6 Menacing Bad Omens
3) Oradour, France:
On June 10th, 1944, German soldiers attacked the small French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. The troops first reasoned with the villagers that they were just there for a simple identity check and had everyone gather at the fairgrounds. Once everyone was gathered at the fairgrounds, however, the reason for the soldiers’ visit went from an identity check, to a search for hidden weapons and explosives.
Before they did their searching, the soldiers separated the women and children from the men. The women and children were led to a church, while the men were separated into several barns. A gas bomb made to suffocate the inhabitants of the church was set off, but failed to work, so the soldiers instead used their guns and hand grenades to kill the women and children.
They then proceeded to pile all their victims up with wood and then lit the pile on fire. They stood there while the few who were still alive screamed as they burned. One woman did manage to escape and hide in a nearby field.
While that horror was occurring in the church, other soldiers were shooting at the men in the barns. They aimed low on purpose; merely wounding the village men.
Then, as with at the church, the soldiers piled wood and bodies together before setting them on fire. Five men did manage to get away, but even still, on that day in Oradour, 642 men, women and children were killed.
4) Villisca Ax Murder House, Villisca, Iowa, USA:
While no one currently lives in the Villisca Ax Murder House located in Villisca, Iowa, the home has been turned into a tourist attraction. Why would anyone be interested in an old house in the tiny Midwest town? The interest in the home may have something to do with the murders which occurred there in 1912 – murders which remain unsolved today. In the middle of the night of June 10, 1912, some unknown person, armed with an ax from the shed out back, stole into the two-story home of Joe and Sarah Moore.
The intruder skipped past the downstairs bedroom at first and headed for the second store where he, again, ignored one bedroom and instead entered Joe and Sarah’s room. It is believed Joe Moore died instantly, his skull crushed in by the ax. Sarah was next as she too suffered a blow to the head from the ax.The horrifying night in the town of Villisca did not end there, however.
The intruder then slipped into the second upstairs bedroom where he or she proceeded to kill Joe and Sarah’s four children. Again, it is believed that all four children died instantly, as their parents had. The murderer was apparently able to work silently as he or she went back down the stairs and entered the first bedroom which had been skipped, where two of one of the Moore children’s friends slept peacefully.
They too died quickly.You would think that it would have already been an eventful enough night for the intruder. What with the eight murders and all. Apparently it fell short of quite enough. The murderer went back up the stairs after taking care of the visiting children and beat in the heads of all six members of the Moore family, to the point where the people of Villisca could no longer recognize their friends’ faces.
The killer then covered each victim with a piece of fabric before going back downstairs to deal out the same treatment there. After apparently determining that everyone in the home had been sufficiently beaten, the intruder went through the home and covered up every mirror and piece of glass.
For some strange reason (as if this all wasn’t already strange and horrifying) he or she then removed a slab of bacon from the icebox, wrapped it in a towel and left it on the floor of the bedroom that the two visiting children had been sleeping in. The intruder felt comfortable enough to prolong his (or her) stay in order to wash all the blood of his hands. Then, after locking the doors to the Moore home, the murderer disappeared into the morning light.
It has been thirty years since the Chernobyl nuclear plant blew up. The Chernobyl plant had four reactors built-in the 1970s and 1980s. An eight and a half square mile reservoir, which got its water from the Pripyat River, was created as a source of cooling water for the plant. The nearby town of Pripyat had a population of about 50,000 people, while the town of Chernobyl numbered around 12,000.
The reactors that had been built for the facility were flawed. They used U-235 uranium fuel to warm the water, which creates the steam powering the turbines and generating electricity. In order to moderate the core’s reactivity the type of reactor Chernobyl had used graphite; this caused the core to be more reactive, instead of less.
On April 26, 1986, the reactivity became too much for the nuclear core of reactor number four to handle. An explosion blew the covering off the core, letting radiation out into the atmosphere and stopping the flow of cooling water into the facility. Not long after, there was another explosion, which turned the reactor building to rubble.
The next day, the Pripyat citizens were evacuated, a lot of whom were already experiencing symptoms of radiation sickness. An area of 18 miles surrounding the nuclear plant was closed off. Within four months of the incident, 28 workers from the plant had died and another 31 people from the surrounding area also died from radiation exposure or other effects of the explosions.
The Chernobyl plant actually continued to operate for years after the explosions, until it was closed down in 2000. Now, the facility, along with the towns of Pripyat and Chernobyl, sit empty.
6) Pompeii and Herculaneum:
Pompeii and Herculaneum have remained abandoned since August 24, 79 AD when they were buried under tons of volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius, along with all of their citizens. Although, thanks to the accounts of Pliny, a Roman administrator and poet of the time, it’s apparent that there were warning signs of the coming volcanic eruption, the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum were just in no way prepared for what was to come.
Pliny’s accounts describe earth tremors prior to the eruptions, but to the people in the area, those tremors were not something to freak out about because they were somewhat common in the region. At the time, the Roman people did not have the knowledge to connect the tremors to possible volcanic activity.
Nowadays, scientists keep track of seismic activity, not of just Mount Vesuvius, but of all volcanoes, and most of the time they can predict when one will erupt months ahead of time. Pliny describes a scene of intense panic all around him when it became apparent how large of a disaster was occurring.
Mount Vesuvius blew its top for 24 straight hours beginning the morning of August 24th. Those individuals who left the area immediately may have actually survived. The first several hours found a mix of ash, pumice and stone falling through the air and that wouldn’t have been lethal for a short period of time. Most citizens did not flee.
Most thought they could wait it out. Unfortunately, they were the ones who were horribly wrong. At about midnight, when the calendar rolled over the August 25th, the first pyroclastic surge and flow occurred. The occurrence of a pyroclastic surge and flow meant that an avalanche of hot ash, pumice, rock fragments and volcanic gas were about to make their way down the side of Mount Vesuvius at speeds of at least 100 km/hr.
All of that came down on Herculaneum and then to Pompeii. Anyone who hadn’t left died; their corpses were left behind for all time encased in blankets of ash.No one knows for sure how many people died in Herculaneum and Pompeii. They did not keep the same records we do today and it is difficult to count the ash-covered corpses. It is worth noting, however, that at the time, Romans were used to large losses in wars.
By large losses, we’re talking in the tens of thousands and even the Roman people were horrified by how many lives were claimed in the wake of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption.