Abandoned Places, Part 1: A New Hope

(For shame, a Trekkie quoting Star Wars? DEAL WITH IT)

So one of the things I’ve been obsessed with as of late are abandoned places. Not just any old abandoned places, but the kind that really creep me the hell out. This is widely regarded as a “bad idea” because I’m the kind of person who goes into weird mental states where I think I’m the only person left after a nuclear/zombie apocalypse and living in a dream as a result, but eh. Your mileage will vary.

Since I was a little girl I’ve been enamored with Chernobyl. The reactor blew nearly seven months before I was born (it went in April ’86 and I was born in October ’86) but I always kind of knew about it. A few years ago, when Life After People started airing, I got back into thinking about it and doing my own research on it.

Things I have learned about Chernobyl:
+ Chernobyl is only the name of the power plant. The surrounding town is named Prypiat, and it was abandoned immediately following the disaster.
+ Prypiat was scheduled to open an amusement park shortly after the disaster. There is, however, some video footage of the Ferris wheel operating, so it is suspected that the equipment was run at least temporarily.
+ Some people still live in Prypiat.
+ As of 2011, Chernobyl is being opened as a tourist attraction and I WANT TO GO. WHO IS TAKING ME?

Most importantly, because Prypiat and Chernobyl have been abandoned, they’ve been left to decay mostly peacefully for the past 25 years or so. This leaves amazing imagery and beautiful decay as such:

Remains of the Prypiat Funfair

The bridge leading from the reactor back into town

The corridor of the hospital, where many workers were treated immediately following the disaster. Every rescue worker who attended the initial explosion was killed by radiation poisoning.

So basically, it’s gorgeous and creepy and I WANT TO GO. Also, I want a gas mask.

A bit closer to home, though, and a story I have recently been made aware of, is Six Flags New Orleans. I was first made aware of this because of this horribly haunting video (warning, creepiest use of Godspeed You! Black Emperor ever, you may want to watch this without sound):

This is what triggered the aforementioned zombie apocalypse dream state, but damn. Searches bring up a plethora of pictures, mostly from people who have snuck in the park to capture its haunting beauty and its decaying statues and flood lines…oh man.

Are there any creepy abandoned places you’d like to share? Places you’ve seen for years and years and never really knew how they got that way?

4 responses to “Abandoned Places, Part 1: A New Hope

  1. Have you ever watched any of the series, Life After People? One of the episodes featured that town, I believe. Many of their episodes include a look at an abandoned place as a “living” example of places abandoned by people already to extrapolate what would happen if we all vanished from the world in an instant. The History Channel’s website has excerpts, iTunes has complete eps. If you have Netflix, they have all of the first two seasons eps up for streaming 🙂

  2. I was living somewhere in Africa when Chernobyl happened and didn’t get much news about it then so some what I’ve learned of it is from history, but mostly from folks who worked for the U.S. Gov. at the time and were involved in tracking it. I have no more interest in going there than I do in going back to Africa.

    But I love ghost towns, especially in the desert. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring them. Never found any of them really creepy… maybe with the exception of the Barker Ranch, the Manson Family’s home for a while. Never know what you might dig up around there…

  3. Sort of along the same lines as Six Flags New Orleans, I want to revisit Dogpatch USA, which was a theme park I remember my parents taking me to when I was about four or five. It’s been abandoned for about 17 years now.

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