|Ghost towns are residential areas which are abandoned by the population due to various reasons — due to the failure of economic activity, wars, natural and technological calamities. Some abandoned cities become popular tourist spots, for example, ancient Egypt cities. Ancient settlements, which were dug out by archaeologists, can be attributed to these ghost towns, in particular Troy (Ilion).
The appearance of Ghost towns has been mercilessly exploited in apocalyptic cinema for over half a century. From “Yellow Sky” starring Gregory Peck, which was directed in 1948 to “28 Days Later”, directed by Danny Boyle. The tendencies grew and became stronger and video game “Silent Hill” was born out of them, which is popular in the 1990 and post-apocalyptic novel “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, for which McCarthy received the Pulitzer Award. In general, it is a rich subject, an excellent background for shows, films, books, games and everything in the same vein.
However, nothing surrealistic exists in ghost towns – ghost towns actually exist, they can be seen, it is possible to reach them, but the truth is, it is not safe in all cases; after all solid reasons were needed to abandon an entire city.
Abandoned cities are often found in Central America and in South America and also in the south of the USA. If it is to be believed, American reviews say up to 6000 abandoned settlements including private farms and small cities can be counted in Kansas. What could have lead to such a large scale reversal of population? One of the primary factors is the exhaustion of natural resources in places far away from railways and roads. Other reasons are natural calamities. So, Paton on the river Missouri was flooded more than 30 times. The city was founded in 1845 and inhabitants who got tired of floods left the city in 1993. With government aid, the entire city was restored at a distance of three miles from the abandoned city and the new city is renamed “New Pattonsburg”.
We shall now discuss the most famous ghost towns according to US media:
Founded in 1876, Bodie California, USA - a typical American ghost town. It was founded as a small industrial settlement but the opening of new mines brought thousands of people. By 1880, Bodie had a population of around 10 thousand inhabitants. During its blossoming days, around 65 saloons worked on its central street and the city had a china town with several hundred Chinese inhabitants.
But, exhausted underground resources had a fatal influence. However, having lost the major portion of the population, Bodie was still manned in the beginning of the 20th century and even after the fire destroyed a major part of the business center in 1932.
In 1961 the city was declared a “National historical attraction” and in 1962, the area was declared a “State historical park” since it was left by the last remaining inhabitants.
Today Bodie is in a desolate condition. Only a small part of the city seems habitable. In summer, it is possible to see an apocalyptic picture of the city, as if it is just abandoned, with cups on tables and plates, thrown near roadside baskets with goods. In winter, the road leading to Bodie is completely closed due to heavy snowfalls.
Centralia, Pennsylvania, USA
Someone called Jonathan Faust opened the “Bull’s Head” tavern in 1841 in Centralia. And, in 1866 Centralia was already in the list of cities in Pennsylvania. Coal was extracted here and hence predominantly miners lived in the small town and mining continued till the 1960s when many mining companies went bankrupt. And in 1962 the coal deposits caught fire. Attempts to put out the fire were in vain and the coal smoldered under the earth for almost 2 decades. Carbon monoxide, hovering over the area, made residing in Centralia very uncomfortable and frequent poisoning cases were reported.
In 1984 the government spent 42 million dollars for resettling the majority of the inhabitants in adjacent Carmel and Ashland. In 1992, Pennsylvania preserved all buildings within the small town and now, less than a thousand people, mainly priests, live there. The fire still rages under the earth and according to the forecasts of experts, it shall continue to burn for 250 years.
Craco, Italy, is located in the region of Basilicata in the province Matera, and is approximately 25 miles inland from the Gulf of Taranto. This medieval city is typical for a given area with high hills and cultivated fields. Craco was founded around 1060, when this land belonged to Craco, which is located in the region Basilicata in the province Matera.
Earthquakes, landslides coupled with war, added to the woes caused by bad harvest years. Craco was absolutely exhausted by natural cataclysms. In 1963, the remaining 1800 inhabitants moved to the valley by the name of Cave Craco and the original Craco is gradually getting destroyed from where it stood for one thousand years.