Oh Brothel: 12 Abandoned Houses Of Ill Repute

The world’s oldest profession ain’t what it used to be as these abandoned brothels, bordellos and bawdy houses so sleazily show.

Oh brothels, where art thou? Brothels can be found just about anywhere regardless of any local legal injunctions prohibiting their existence. Where they ARE permitted – the state of Nevada, for example – savvy owners often locate as close as possible to places that ban them. Flickr user Joel Childers (Vacant West) brings us these artfully (and eerily) lit images of Janie’s Ranch taken in early 2010.

Janie’s Ranch is situated on Nevada Highway 6 between Tonopah, Nevada and Bishop, California. Janie’s, which closed in the 1990s, used to advertise their sleazy services in California border towns including Bishop and Mammoth Lakes.

The Caged Bird Swings

Brothels were commonplace in the oft-lawless Old West. Precious few of these then-essential establishments have been preserved as well as the Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona.

Operating from 1881 through 1889 (Wyatt Earp met his third wife there), the combination brothel, saloon and casino was shuttered until 1934 when new owners discovered a lost world frozen in time. Over 120 bullet holes (some with embedded slugs) can be found in the building’s walls, floors and ceilings. The place’s motto should’ve been “wham, BLAM, thank you ma’am.”

Ghosts Of Pleasures Past

The ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada exploded into being in 1905 when gold was discovered nearby. The mines quickly played out, however, causing the town’s population to plummet from a high of about 5,000 to just 1 in 1922. The small but solidly-built brothel above, captured in 2008 by Flickr user Jitze Couperus, boasted an innovative roof made from flattened kerosene cans. Now that’s hot!

It’s Curtains For Ya

Bobbie’s Buckeye Bar & Brothel had been closed and abandoned for quite some time when Flickr user Bradley Fulton (escapo) chanced upon its remains in 2006. The Tonopah, Nevada brothel appeared to be a rather large and well-organized business with “nicely” furnished quarters for the working girls.

The warm & fuzzy atmosphere infusing these photos was achieved through the photographer’s use of cross-processing on expired film – appropriate for an expired brothel. Of course, nothing can beat the cheesiness of those painted-on curtains!