53 Bone Chilling Photos of Abandoned Places You Can Visit Today (But Probably Shouldn't)

By Sarah Norman | September 4, 2023

These Sanzhi houses of Taiwan come in peace

Whether they were once hospitals or office buildings, theme parks or restaurants, a myriad of buildings have been abandoned and left to turn into beautiful ruin across the world. While many of them are awe inspiring, there are just as many that give viewers the heebie jeebies.

These abandoned structures have been reclaimed by nature, leaving nothing but a mystery as to who called these places home.

What will our architecture look like when we’ve moved on? Will it crumble into the emptiness of an abandoned city? Will our cars be covered in ivy like some of the intriguing photos found here? Some of these pictures will give you goosebumps, others will make you nostalgic for better days, but they’ll all make you want to take a closer look at the deserted architecture that exists all around you.

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During the middle of the 20th century there were a lot of architects who were dead set on the idea that people were meant to live in pod houses that resembled UFOs. These Future and Venture houses didn’t take off like the UFOs that they resemble, although many beachfront resorts in Taiwan really tried to make them a thing. There’s many a Taiwanese town that’s empty, its streets silent as the wind rustles around the pod homes that were based on designs by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. Oddly enough, Suuronen claims that there are only 10 “true” pod houses in the world, but even cursory glance around the internet shows at least a hundred pod houses around the world with no word about who built them.

A spiral staircase in a former children's asylum in Staunton, Virginia

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Supposedly the patients at this former mental institution and asylum were mostly children who were kept here under strict supervision. Records show that the asylum was constructed in 1932 as a part of the Western State Hospital. The asylum’s namesake, Dr. Joseph DeJarnette, allegedly carried out eugenics tests in the hospital where he performed tests on children in order to cure them of being lackadaisical. One story notes that he took blood from “hyperactive” children and injected it into kids that were sluggish while walking the halls quoting Adolf Hitler. Some places are just meant to be abandoned, you know?