If you’re planning to visit a fabricated haunted house for Halloween, or to attend a party in a costume that’s anything but frightening, I have an alternative: Go to an authentic ghost town. These abandoned places teem with vacated, decaying buildings and with the spirits of a long-vanished population. You’re unlikely to run into a vampire or a sexy French maid; a rolling tumbleweed is more probable, or the hint of an odd susurration carried on the wind that blows through the silence of these eerie, deserted places. You can find them all over the globe, from Chile to Italy to Japan, and they will give you a thrill, and a chill, like no other locations in the world. Read about the top five ghost towns >
One of my favorite cities in the United States is located smack in the middle of nowhere near the California-Nevada border. It’s not on a main — or even a secondary — road, and its permanent population is zero. You can’t get there by train or bus, direct or connecting flight. No art galleries are open for browsing, no parks for an afternoon stroll will greet you, and you won’t be able to refill your tank because there are no gas stations. You can’t book a room for the night, and forget about grabbing something to eat — restaurants don’t exist.
Why on earth is this seemingly godforsaken place one of my favorites? Because it’s Bodie — the largest, best preserved, and most fascinating ghost town in the country. And exploring an abandoned city that used to have a population of about 10,000 more than satisfies my fascination with ruins: What was this place? How did it come into existence? What happened here? Who lived here? And why did it end? Read more >