On the one hand, you have outcries about how the overpopulation is leading to crowded living spaces and cities expanding to provide for them all – and on the other, you have some grand architectural wonders that have been left abandoned for years now, even decades. Depressing to the eye, and creepy as hell, these are the most chilling abandoned places on earth.
1. Overgrown Palace, Poland
Sobański Palace, constructed in the late 19th century, used to originally house the Polish royals before it came to be used as a hospital during the First World War. By WWII, the palace had been looted and ripped apart by vandals and thieves. It now lies abandoned, with a garden overgrown with weeds and thickets – earning its name Overgrown Palace.
2. Jet Star Rollercoaster, New Jersey, USA
Part of the Casino Pier, an amusement park by Seaside Heights, the Jet Set Rollercoaster was ripped apart from the rest of the park and fell into the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 – and was demolished in May 2013. For six months, it lay in the middle of the ocean – rusting and reminding everyone of the horrors of the previous year.
3. Church of the 9 Ghosts, Netherlands
Definitely one of the creepiest, this church is an abandoned building lying in its own ruins in the Netherlands. There are these propped up figures (we hope) that are covered in white sheets left in the pews that look like mourning parishioners. Fancy a visit there?
4. Doll Factory, Spain
Thanks to photographers who revel in visiting the most abandoned places on earth and treating netizens with their prized pictures, the internet definitely has become a creepier place over time. Not much is known about this place, but it is an abandoned doll factory with the disembodied doll heads still on the assembly line. Perfect for another ‘Child’s Play’ sequel, we say.
5. Tanglooma Wrecks, Australia
These wrecks are mistaken to be shipwrecks in the Bermuda Triangle – but sometimes the back story is not that dramatic. These ships were deliberately sunk to form an artificial harbor for smaller ships by Moreton Island, Australia. However, we cannot help but feel uncomfortable with the aerial view of the whole wreck.
6. Floating Forest, Sydney, Australia
If you ever happen to travel to Sydney, this is a sight you definitely should not miss. A ship more than a 100 years old, overgrown with local flora, silently floats on the west side of the city’s Paramatta River. Originally a cargo ship used to transport coal – also called a collier – the ‘floating forest’ never went to be dismantled and became a tourist attraction over time.
7. Spreepark, Berlin, Germany
Also known as Kulturpark Plänterwald, this was the only amusement park in East Germany before the Wall came down. After the end of the Soviet rule, bigger and better entertainment parks were opened, and Spreepark has been lying abandoned since its closure in 2001.
8. Abandoned Library, Russia
This is probably the most heartbreaking photo of all bibliophiles. And if you were to look for abandoned libraries online, you will find that this is not the only one. But the sight of not one single soul amidst hundreds and hundreds of books lying in such a disheveled state certainly makes one wonder how people could have just left this place and never come back.
9. Nara Dreamland, Japan
Without a doubt, one of the most terrifying abandoned places has to be amusement parks. And Nara Dreamland in Japan certainly figures among the names. Built in 1961 and inspired by Disneyland, California, it did not do very good business and eventually was shut down in 2006. Nobody is allowed inside the park anymore – and neither has anything been done about the place since then.
10. Fun Park Fyn, Denmark
Another amusement park that went to the dogs because of financial trouble, Fun Park Fyn was functional for about two decades before being abandoned in 2006. Interestingly, this park is in the island of Funen – the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, author of so many of our childhood fairytales. This water park has not been revived since – and lies deteriorating and forgotten to this day.
11. Driverless Bumper Cars, Chernobyl
Much need not be said of the Chernobyl disaster, which has completely ruined this Ukrainian city for years to come. Dutch photographer Niki Feijen, well known for his photography collections of the most abandoned places on earth, captures the essence of the nuclear tragedy that occurred here amazingly well. To think there was a time when Ferris wheels and bumper cars even operated in this godforsaken area.
12. Kindergarten, Chernobyl, Ukraine
Another picture by Feijen, this is another macabre side of the Chernobyl disaster – taken at an abandoned kindergarten there. Someone must have had a sick sense of humor to put a gas mask over a doll’s head – and it was apparently not manipulated by Feijen himself, as he maintains on his Facebook page.