18 of the Creepiest Ghost Towns in the US for a Chilling Road Trip

0 shares Are you a fan of spine-tingling horror? For a truly eerie adventure, why not explore some of America’s ghost towns? Steeped in history…

A Terlingua Ghostown sign MSN

Are you a fan of spine-tingling horror? For a truly eerie adventure, why not explore some of America’s ghost towns? Steeped in history and abandoned mysteries, these towns offer a chilling glimpse into the past. Here’s a list of ghost towns across the U.S. that are worth a visit for anyone looking to add a little thrill to their travels.

1. Rhyolite, Nevada

An abandoned building in Rhyolite Nevada MSN
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Near Death Valley, Rhyolite’s financial rise in 1904 was due to a gold discovery. However, its prosperity faded quickly as gold reserves dwindled. Deserted by 1916, the town fell silent and dark, becoming the eerie ghost town it is today. Today, you can pose by Rhyolite’s old train depot for a good remembrance photo.

2. St. Elmo, Colorado

Wooden houses on the main street in St. Elmo Colorado MSN
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St. Elmo was formed in 1880 when the mining industry was booming. In 1922, all the miners left the town and have yet to return. As a ghost town, St. Elmo houses structures with wooden storefronts, giving it a creepy vibe. 

3. Independence, Colorado

A wooden home in the forest of Independence Colorado MSN
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Wander through the town of Independence along Highway 82’s Independence Pass. It was abandoned almost two decades after its founding in 1880. The Winter of 1899 was so horrible that miners had to abandon the town and look for food and lodging elsewhere. They had to destroy their homes and use them as skis to escape.

You can now visit the remnants of the past, from old stables to cabins. Late June to late August is the best time to visit Independence, Colorado. This period has ideal weather conditions with warmer temperatures.

4. Thurmond, West Virginia

Former train depot at Thurmond West Virginia MSN
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For an authentic feel of an abandoned town, visit West Virginia’s Thurmond. The town dove into bankruptcy during the Great Depression, forcing residents to leave and look for greener pastures. The town of Thurmond remains frozen in the past and is a perfect spooky town to explore. 

5. Nevada City, Montana

An abandoned wooden building in Nevada City Montana MSN
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Montana’s Nevada City, located near Yellowstone National Park, features well-preserved log structures you can check out. You’ll see some of the past’s most elegant and interesting pieces, from antique pianos to music boxes. 

Stay at the Nevada City Hotel for an authentic historical experience. Inside the ghost town, pay $8 for adult admission and $6 for kids. 

6. Goldfield, Arizona

Apache junction at Goldfield Arizona MSN
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Goldfield, Arizona, was filled with miners in the late 1800s because of the gold rush. In 1898, the town was abandoned. In 1921, it was renamed Youngsberg, hoping to re-energize the town. However, in 1926, it was abandoned again. Now, it’s a tourist destination, offering museums, saloons, and activities like ziplining and horseback riding. 

7. Terlingua, Texas

A Terlingua Ghostown sign MSN
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Terlingua was a mining town in Texas when founded in the 1880s. By 1942, all residents had abandoned it and it started its years as a ghost town. Today, you can visit the area and look into old jails and the town’s ruins. 

8. Spokane, South Dakota

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South Dakota’s Spokane is located in the Black Hills near the popular Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The town houses one of the country’s most abandoned buildings, dating back to 1890 when it was founded as a gold mining mine. The Spokane mine flourished in the 1920s but started to decline in 1940 and was fully abandoned in the 1980s.

To reach this destination, you need to hike for a half-mile to the town. If you want to stay the night, you’ll find hotels in Keystone. 

9. Bodie, California

Bodie ghost town in California seen from afar MSN
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William Bodie and several gold miners went to this town in 1859 to mine for more metals. After finding nothing, the miners abandoned the place, and it became a ghost town.

It was well-preserved 150 years after its abandonment. You will even still see tables that are set and full-stacked shops. 

10. Centralia, Pennsylvania

St. Ignatius cemetery at Centralia Pennsylvania MSN
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Centralia became a ghost town after the residents were forced to evacuate the area due to an out-of-control burning in the landfill. The landfill continues to burn with all the toxic fumes and sinkholes, making the town dangerous.

11. Goodsprings, Nevada

Ghost town of Goodsprings Nevada MSN
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If you want a break from Las Vegas’s glamor, you can go to Goodsprings for a total vibe change. In Goodsprings, you can visit the popular haunted Pioneer Saloon. You can also join the Haunted Lockdown tour for Ghost Adventures behind the scenes. 

12. Kennecott, Alaska

Old buildings in Kennecott Alaska MSN
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Kennecott is a copper mine located near St. Elias National Park. In the early 90s, it functions as a mill town with 300 mines and equally as many employees. It houses everything, from a hospital to a skating rink, for its employees. When the ore ran out, everyone abandoned the mind leaving everything behind. You can contact the National Park Service and tour operators to explore this mill. 

13. Nelson, Nevada

Plane crash in the hill side of Nelson Nevada MSN
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Nevada’s Nelson, previously known as El Dorado, has produced ore since the Spanish settled in the 1700s up to 1940. Now a deserted town, whispers of violent disputes over the mine haunt its streets under the hot sun.

14. Blue Heron, Kentucky

Wooden walkway in the cracks in Blue Heron Kentucky MSN
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Blue Heron, found along the Big South Fork River, is an abandoned mining town. Visit this ghost town and check out the history behind its abandoned buildings.

You can also join the Big South Fork Blue Heron Ghost Train for an exciting cruise to an eerie abandoned camp. The train travels at night, setting the scene for horror stories.

15. Bannack, Montana

Bannack State Park in Montana MSN
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Montana’s Bannack began like any other ghost town—a mining town. The difference, though, is that many stories of paranormal activities have been passed down through the years. It also has an interesting history, where many cases of murders and robberies were discovered to be caused by the town’s sheriff. 

16. Santa Claus, Arizona

Rusty mining equipment in the desert of Arizona MSN
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Santa Claus is a Christmas-themed ghost town in the middle of a desert. It was located in the Mojave Desert and was meant to attract buyers and investors by boosting the Christmas spirit.

No one went to the town after people stopped passing Route 66. This lead to the town being abandoned and it became a ghost town. 

17. South Pass City, Wyoming

Abandoned building in Wyoming MSN
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South Pass City is considered one of the largest historical sites in Wyoming. It features some of the most well-preserved 19th-century buildings and over 30 gold mines. The expansive ghost town accepts visitors annually, from May to October.  

18. Glenrio, Texas/Mexico

Glenrio next to New Mexico and Texas state line MSN
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Glenrio Historic District is between Texas and New Mexico. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, especially because of its proximity to Route 66.

It served as a road stop for many travelers from the 1940s to the 1960s, filled with motels, gas stations, diners, and bars. Today, there are 17 abandoned structures you can explore.

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