Abandoned places, particularly those that once housed the mentally ill, wartime inmates and even nuclear missiles have a creepy, haunted quality that some urban explorers go to great lengths to capture on film – whether they be individual structures or entire abandoned cities. These abandoned buildings, ships, railroads, theme parks and other facilities may no longer be inhabited, but they all possess an eerie, almost permeable sense of history. The uneasy feeling that one gets simply by viewing photos of these decaying structures is multiplied when personal items are left behind … including jars full of brains and skulls. See more in our collection of 100+ Abandoned Buildings, Places and Property and be sure to visit Page 2 for 10 More Abandoned Buildings, Property and Places.
This abandoned Russian water park was under construction when a deadly accident at another Russian water park, Transvaal, killed 28 people. At this point, construction was halted due to safety concerns. This 12-story structure was to include 3 underground floors, 5 pools, water slides, an athletic arena, a sports gambling palace, a hotel for nonresident athletes, offices, cafes, a medical center and a sports medicine center. The site was purchased in 2007 to make way for a shopping center, but it has yet to be demolished.
Cane Hill Lunatic Asylum
The Cane Hill Asylum in London is one of the most famous abandoned hospitals, and has been a magnet for vandals, urban explorers, photographers and filmmakers ever since it closed 18 years ago. In 2006, the site’s owners gave Hipposcope Films permission to film a documentary inside. Shooting is due to begin sometime this year.
Russian Brain Research Facility
This is possibly the weirdest, grossest series of abandoned places photography we’ve ever seen. The photos are obviously not for the faint of heart, and we’ve chosen some of the mildest ones. Entering an abandoned Russian brain research facility complete with brains and eyeballs in jars and partially disassembled animal skulls is quite brave, but we’re glad they did it.
Opko Land, South Korea
This abandoned theme park, Opko Land, proves that places once filled with the sounds of happiness can be among the most depressing once they’re empty and forgotten. Located in South Korea, Opko Land has stood silent since it closed in 1999 after the park’s second fatal accident. A vehicle dangling precariously from roller coaster tracks is suggested to be the site of the young girl’s death.
Richmond, Virginia Juvenile Detention Center
Three urban explorers curious about a boarded-up building in Richmond, Virginia made their way in after four hours of pulling boards off four doors and a window. Unsure exactly what the building was used for, they made their way through the inside and passed dozens of doors with locks on the outside. Going deeper into the building, they discovered that it was once a juvenile detention center complete with cots, a cafeteria, two gyms and admittance records labeled “Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Corrections”.
Staten Island Boat Graveyard
This collection of rusting, disused abandoned boats lies off the shore of Staten Island, New York. Salt water has caused the boats to decay more rapidly than they would otherwise, and nearly all of them are a reddish-brown that contrasts beautifully with the blue of the sky and water. This “boat graveyard” is currently being cleaned up so the space can be used for something new.
Linda Vista Hospital
The Linda Vista Hospital in East L.A. was built in 1938 as a hospital for railroad employees, and was reportedly occupied by Howard Hughes a time or two before it closed in 1990. Parts of the films Outbreak, End of Days, Boogeyman 2 and the pilot for the television show E.R. were shot in its creepy, mold-infested abandoned rooms. Writer-director Ransom Riggs took these photos while scouting the location for another film shoot.
Procida, Italy Jail
Procida is a colorful island off the coast of Naples in Southern Italy, and its decaying beauty has only recently become a draw for tourists. The island, which houses this stunning abandoned jail, has long been a lonely, sleepy locale and was used as a setting of the film The Talented Mr. Ripley. It was once a frequent target of pirate raids, including a notable one by 16th century Turk admiral Barbarossa.
Barcelona Water Park
L’Aquatic Paradis is an abandoned water park in Barcelona, Spain. It was open only for a brief period before closing, reportedly due to a number of accidents including a fatality. The photographer who captured these photos of what remains theorizes that economic reasons may have played a role as well, since tourists tend to prefer the beach. The place certainly has a lonely, forgotten feel.
This abandoned railroad in Abkhazia, Northern Siberia was built on Stalin’s orders in the middle of nowhere. Its original purpose is unclear. It was abandoned long before the collapse of the USSR, and has never been connected to any other Russian Federal Railway system. Rusting and in ruins, it’s now accessible only by helicopter.