Wonderland Amusement Park. Beijing, China
In the ‘90s, before Disney was the untouchable giant that it is today, China attempted to go to war with Disney World. On a hundred-acre stretch of land, they attempted to build Wonderland Amusement Park, China’s largest amusement park and a rival to their American competitors.
Sadly, a dispute over land prices in 1998 halted construction. Now, the place is as eerie as the abandoned castles it’s modeled after.
House of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Mount Buzludzha, Bulgaria.
In the height of the world movement towards communism, Bulgaria built a massive, ornate headquarters for their Communist Party. Less than a decade later, communism around the world crumbled, and so did the building. Paneling has been stripped from the roof, leaving the building’s interiors exposed to the elements. Graffiti is rampant. The building is in disrepair, in large part because of the local's disdain for the building.
The Bulgarian government considered repairing it for the sake of tourism or tearing it down so that they could, as one vandal painted above the front doors of the building in bright red lettering, forget their past. Both routes are too expensive, so the building is left to the whims of both the locals and the elements.
Michigan Central Station. Detroit, Michigan.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Detroit was a thriving city. By the end of the century, it had fallen into disrepair. The Michigan Central Station highlights this perfectly. Back when trains were still frequently used, the station was one of the best. Since the railroad industry fell by the wayside, so has the station. It closed in 1988.
The city sees it as a reminder of their past greatness and their huge failure. It’s an 18-story eyesore. Nobody can decide on what should be done with it, but they all agree that something needs to happen.
Olympic Bobsled Court. Sarajevo.
Like many Olympic venues, the Sarajevo Bobsleigh Track has fallen into disarray. After the games, people just don’t use them. Unlike most venues however, the track has not been forgotten. It had a much grimmer future.
When the Yugoslav wars broke out in 1991, the track was caught in the crossfire. Literally. Amongst the colorful splashes of graffiti, you will find the bullet holes that come from war.
Hotel Del Salto. Columbia.
This grandiose building is about as eerie as it gets. An architect built it as a personal mansion in the first quarter of the 20th century, but by 1928, five years after construction was finished, it was remodeled and repurposed to be a hotel. Overlooking the cliffs, waterfall, river, and forest that it does, it’s easy to understand why people would flock to it.
Sadly, others chose it as their final destination. That, along with the pollution of the river it sits on and the subsequent disrepair of the hotel lead it to be closed in the early '90s. Now, it’s just as haunting as the cliffs it sits on.
Dadipark. Dadizele, Belgium.
In 1950, what would become the oldest amusement park in Europe opened in Dadizele, Belgium as a simple park for local church children. By 1980, it had transformed into the amusement park it would be for the next few decades.
Sadly, it seems that was the last time significant work was done on the park. The park began to fall apart and was shut down in 2002. By 2012 demolition had begun, although there are still remains of the park scattered throughout the area.
Witley Court. Worcestershire, England.
In Victorian England, Witley Court was grand. It was a country party house – or castle. It was built in the 17th century and was passed around from owner to owner.
Sadly, a fire devastated the place in 1937, thereby creating some of the largest ruins in England. Now, the place is open for tourism, providing an odd mix of modern tourism and eerie abandonment.
Rolling Acre Mall. Akron, Ohio.
In the '70s, malls were a huge hit. They remained a massive industry for decades. Teenagers frequented them as hangouts, looking for the trendiest clothes and the hottest tech. The birth of the internet drastically changed things for them, though, and by the late '00s and early 2010s, malls everywhere began closing.
Rolling Acre mall in Akron, Ohio is a prime example of this. Its lights were shut off in 2008 when they failed to pay their electrical bills, and in 2011 an abandoned places photographer named Lawless posted photos online that went viral. Demolition began in 2016.
Land of Oz Theme Park. Beech Mountain, North Carolina.
The Library of Congress has said that the Wizard of Oz is the most watched film — ever. The 1900 book was made into a movie in 1939, and by 1950, it was regularly broadcast on TV. Unsurprisingly, a theme park featuring the Magical Land of Oz. Five years after it opened, a fire destroyed much of the park, including Emerald City and the Museum.
The park would then open sporadically, for the next few decades, but for the most part, it became overgrown. In fact, you could say that it almost felt like you really were stepping into a scary new world, much like Dorothy herself.
North Wilkesboro Speedway. Wilkesboro, Speedboro.
The North Wilkesboro Speedway was built in 1946 to help abate the boredom that comes with living in the backwoods of North Carolina. It grew extremely popular and became host to a hundred fast races. However, NASCAR grew at a rate that far outpaced what the Speedway could handle, and it was soon left in the dust.
The track closed in 1996. The people who bought it after the original owners passed away could not agree on what should be done. Now, the ghost track can be seen from the interstate just a short walk away.
Dinosaur Theme Park. Irish Hills, Michigan.
Much like the dinosaurs themselves, reports of this amusement park are hard to come by. It’s believed to have opened in 1963 and closed in 1999. The park is full of stationary fiberglass dinosaurs that look like they belong in a 60s Sci-Fi movie.
Add them to the overgrown woods, crumbling roads, and fences plastered with “No Trespassing” signs and you’ve got yourself a low-budget Jurassic Park.
Orpheum Theater. New Bedford, Massachusetts.
The Orpheum opened in 1912 with the birth of the movie industry. It was not a movie theatre, however. It did not host movies, however, but very specific types of plays that now seem very odd. The theater, despite being a stunning architectural masterpiece, only stayed open until the late 1950s.
It was then used as storage for a tobacco company. Now, a supermarket lives in the back, and the front is left to sit in its disuse.
Catskills. Grossinger's, New York.
Inspiration must come from somewhere, right? For Dirty Dancing, that inspiration came from Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel. It was a beautiful hotel with an amazing pool. It would also close before the movie premiered.
Now, over 30 years later, it is obviously abandoned, as evidenced by the greenery growing around — and in — the pool. It’s abandoned, but it’s still beautiful.
Six Flags. New Orleans, Louisiana.
This parked opened in the year 2000. It flourished for five years. Then, Katrina hit. The park’s drainage systems failed, and it was flooded. It closed soon after, too damaged to reopen. YouTube, or the desire to be on YouTube, is too much for some people to resist, so the park is still heavily patrolled by New Orleans police.
Despite this, videos still surface to prove that people have made it in.
City Hall Subway. NYC, New York.
The City Hall Subway Station in New York is the oldest in the city. It was built in 1904, but the subway system has grown and changed a lot since then. It was too short for the newer, longer subway needs, and it was rarely used by the train riders. They shut it down in 1945.
Now, the lights are turned back on, you can see it if you hide on the downtown-bound 6 subway after everybody gets off on the last stop before the train heads back uptown.
City Methodist Church. Gary, Indiana.
City Methodist Church is one of the few things in the world that it’s impossible to get a bad picture of. It’s large, ornate, and crumbling. The church seems like it should belong in Europe. Instead, its crumbling ruins sit in the blandly-named town of Gary Indiana, great for all of us Americans who will never get to Europe.
It’s nine-story grandeur was built in 1926 at the cost of what would now be around $7 million, largely funded by the local steel industry. When the industry crumbled, so did the church.
Dome Home. Cape Romano, Florida.
There are few places in existence that feel like a 60s Sci Fi rendition of the future. Dome Home is one of those places.
It feels like a cross between ancient Greek architecture and a Martian colony. Dome Home was the dream home of a man in the 80s, but it was abandoned in 1992. The shore has crept up so much that it now sits about 60 yards offshore.
Astrodome. Houston, Texas.
The Astrodome was the Eighth Wonder of the World. Well, that was the nickname given to this monstrous stadium. It was constructed in 1965 and was the grandest of sports stadiums. As with everything made in the last century, it quickly became obsolete. It closed in 2008.
Now, it’s in a weird spot. It doesn’t meet safety standards, so all plans to renovate it and create something new, like a movie studio or a stadium to host the Olympics, have been rejected. It also can’t be demolished because of its close proximity to the neighboring buildings. Now, only maintenance is allowed in.
Domes. Casa Grande, Arizona.
The Domes at Casa Grande are surrounded with mystery. No one can really decide when or why they were built. We do know they were never finished. They’re a collection of now gray and yellow buildings in the middle of nowhere, one in the shape of a UFO and the others like caterpillars. Inside, they’re hollow.
Some are full of junk and others are empty, but they’re all massive. There are tunnels surrounding the place. The place is eerie, especially after dark, and locals advise you to stay away.