Most of the ghost towns in USA are a result of the gold rush. Several communities showed up around profitable mines and abandoned it when the profit was no more. Most of these had become a tourist destination. Though not all of them has a haunted story, they all have that creepy feeling. Although if you really want to visit one with some haunting reputation North Brother Island, in N.Y. and Elkmont in Tennessee said to have that.
1. Kennecott, Alaska:
Brave miners to this remote Alaskan place in the early 1900s. There was $200 million worth of the metal resting there. The established the Utah Copper Company in 1903 and in few years the place became a “self-contained company town”. One of the five mines contained the world’s richest copper concentration named Bonanza. But the coper supply started to run low and by 1938 the mines shuttered. Kennecott has become a National Historic Landmark within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
2. Bodie & Calico, California:
California has a few ghost towns, Bodie, Calico, Bombay Beach at the Salton Sea are some of the most famous creepy abandoned towns in California. Bodie is the largest unreconstructed ghost towns in America. The thousands building along with hundreds of restaurants have been perfectly preserved. After William S. Bodey discovered gold in the town, Bodie boomed from 20 to 10,000 miners between 1859 to 1880.
But as the gold ended, the town was getting abandoned by the miners. Today, it’s a National Historic Site protected by the California parks system and in a state of “arrested decay.” Calico also has a similar story of gold mining. You can see the Maggie Mine, take a ride on Calico Odessa Railroad and participate in one of the spooky ghost tours.
3. Virginia City & Garnet, Montana:
Montana has several ghost towns you can visit including Virginia City, Bannack, Nevada City and Garnet. Virginia City was the home of the famous frontierswoman Calamity Jane. Established in 1863, this gold-mining town was known for its rough-and-tumble ways. The town didn’t have law enforcement or a justice system. The town now has become a tourists destination rocking live music and cabaret shows. Before half of Garnet was burned by a massive fire, it was inhabited from the 1860s through about 1912. Garnet has remained as the same way it was left.
4. Cahawba, Alabama:
From 1820 to 1825, Cahawba served as Alabama’s state capital. But flood drove people out of the town. It became a hub of cotton distribution and during the Civil War, there was also a prison called Castle Morgan. There were thousands of Union soldiers were kept between 1863 and 1865. Then another massive flood broke out driving most of the residents out of town.
5. Centralia, Pennsylvania:
Centralia isn’t totally abandoned, in 2017, the town had some 10 residents living there. In 1980, the borough had around a thousand residents. The coal-mining town has been on fire since 1962. An abandoned coal mine caught fire in 1962 and it has been burning up underground since. The coal fueling the fire is said to last for another 250 years.
6. St. Elmo & Ashcroft Colorado:
Formerly known as Forest City, St. Elmo was a bustling mining center with a population of 2,000 at its peak. But soon the people started to abandon the town and by 1930 only seven people lived there including the family who ran the general store and the hotel. The person who ran the hotel is rumored to haunt this town. St. Elmo is now privately owned and maintained and has earned a paranormal reputation. Ashcroft became known in the ’80s because two men found silver and created Miner’s Protective Association. Within five years, the town had more than 3000 residents 20 saloons. But by the end of 1885, only 100 residents remained.
7. Rhyolite, Nevada:
Founded in 1904, Rhyolite, a gold rush town was abandoned by 1916. It was the third-largest city in Nevada once. Rhyolite had hotels, a hospital, an opera house and symphony, and even its own stock exchange and a red-light district too. Known for its many bottle houses, sitting on the edge of Death Valley, Rhyolite has become a place for tourists.
8. Glenrio, Texas/New Mexico:
If you live in Texas and have a thing for creepy and abandoned places, you can explore Glenrio or Orla or Terlingua. Glenrio was a tiny town on the border of Texas and New Mexico. When Route 66 was packed with travellers, Glenrio used to offer them gas stations, diners, bars, western-themed motels, and even a dance hall. Since the route closed, the town also faded away. It’s now listed among the National Register of Historic Places.
9. Goldfield, Arizona:
Goldfield was crowding with miners in the late 1800s but was dried up by 1898. The town remained inhabited in 1921 but became a ghost town again in 1926. Then it became a tourist attraction with zip line, a reptile exhibit, and horseback rides.
10. South Pass City, Wyoming:
A well-preserved mining town, South Pass City was founded in 1867 because of large Carissa gold deposit near the Sweetwater River. It had about 2000 residents at its peak time. By the mid-1870s, only 100 people remained. And in 1949, the last of the pioneer families also moved away. The South Pass City has become a Historic Site featuring more than 30 preserved historic structures dating from the city’s heyday.