With Halloween on the horizon, many of us will be actively embracing a playful interpretation of what frightens us.
While that typically equates to visiting haunted houses, carving pumpkins and watching horror movies, we here at UsingMiles.com thought it would be fun to show you some places that are scary year-round due to their isolation, abandonment and history. Some of these places you can actually tour!
Centralia was once a small town, now it’s a much smaller one. While entering this city, which has been “on fire” for decades, is somewhat restricted, there are still a few people brave enough to live in Centralia.
Prior to 1962 the town of Centralia had thousands of residents but because of a mine fire, which continues to rage to this day, now there are only 10 people living there.
No one really knows how the fire got started though some speculate that waste disposal too close to abandoned coal mines is to blame.
Whatever the case, due to the coalmines, this fire still burns underground and is evidenced by cracked and opened streets, billowing pillars of steam and the undeniable heat emanating from the earth. Because the ground is unstable there is a chance that the earth will burst open, releasing toxic gasses and swallowing up anyone who treads upon it.
Why are people still living there? Apparently the remaining residents feel that there is governmental conspiracy to steal their land/mineral rights, which they claim to be worth billions. Currently the town has been repossessed by the state but the residents have been trying to get the city legally reinstated for years.
You can actually tour this abandoned island, which was populated by Mitsubishi workers during the industrial revolution in Japan.
The Mitsubishi Company purchased Hashima is 1890 with the goal of excavating coal from underwater mines. Here the first gigantic concrete buildings were erected in Japan to protect against typhoon destruction but now their unkempt, dilapidated state carries a gloomy air.
Why was this island abandoned? Well when petroleum took the place of coal in the 1960s, Hashima was simply outdated. It was officially closed in 1974 and remained unoccupied until 2009, when Japan opened it up for tourism.
There is something inherently scary about early mental hospitals and this asylum has the word “Hell” embedded right into it. Making it far scarier is the fact that is has been abandoned for years.
In 1903 Hellingly Hospital (centered in the village of Hellingly) was constructed by GT Hine, one of the most prominent asylum architects of the time. This vast and well-equipped hospital even had its own railway.
In 1994, due to policy changes across the UK, Hellingly was permanently closed though left to rot for about 18 years. Here, brave urban explorers have toured its halls and rooms which have an eery atmosphere given its history and state of disrepair.
It’s not hard to imagine the fear-factor here. With memories of the archaic mental-health techniques used in the late 1800s along with its huge, empty spaces, this is probably not a great place to spend the night.
The Biltmore Estate, Asheville N.C
In this gargantuan, Gothic style castle, people claim they can hear eerie laughter and see a headless cat and a ghostly woman in black.
Built by George Washington Vanderbilt in 1895, the Biltmore Estate remains the largest privately owned residence in America (it is 135,000 square feet).
The origin of the haunting of the Biltmore stems from the death of the estate’s caretaker, George Vanderbilt, in 1914. Several servants witnessed his wife, Edith Vanderbilt, having full conversations with him long after his death. Though this maybe a sign of Edith’s degrading mental health, some current residents claim to see apparitions at Biltmore and hear maniacal laughing echoing through its 250 rooms.
Regardless of whether these sightings are real or encouraged, The Biltmore Estate is well worth seeing for its grand architecture and long history. You can tour the Biltmore here.
What could be scarier than a place abandoned because of nuclear radiation?
Chernobyl was suddenly and indefinitely abandoned in 1986 due to the tragic failure of a nuclear reactor. Now the creepy remains of a hastily abandoned city have been slowly reclaimed by new forest growth leaving the area looking like a sci-fi nightmare.
Following the event, those who chose to remain in and around Chernobyl have continued to suffer due to generations of birth defects. In short, we wouldn’t suggest taking a tour here.