Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter: 5 Abandoned Places For Your Dark Tourism Bucket List
Places that have been abandoned and left in rumble and disarray have always fascinated me. It's probably the horror end-of-the-world author in me (or maybe just the fact that I loved disaster movies as a kid) but these places of humanity that have been reclaimed by nature is such a stunning and prominent contrast for me.
Visiting the abandoned radioactive zones of Chernobyl fascinates me (and the radioactivity doesn't bother me in the slightest) and is on my bucket list. I would adore to spend a night walking around an abandoned mental institution or discover the secrets of a haunted house. Yes, I will probably die at the hands of a derranged serial killer if I do but I honestly see more of a threat from finding homeless people or a crack house than I do an actual haunting.
But if I find an actual haunting, all the better!
Visiting these abandoned places around the world is often referred to a "Dark Tourism" which is gaining traction amongst the macabre community. A New Zealand journalist has catapaulted the idea onto the map with his latest Netflix creation, but I am less about the drug dealers in Columbia and more about the abandoned nuclear facilities. Here are a few places on my abandoned "Dark Tourism" bucket list:
Chernobyl Power Plant. Pripyat, Ukraine
Chernobyl is one of the most famous places to visit if you are after a radioactive wasteland. The city of Pripyat was a town in the Ukraine near the border of Belarus that was established as a Soviet nuclear power city in 1970. In what is known as the "1986 Chernobyl Disaster" the nuclear reactor in the plant melted and forced the city to evacuate, leaving behind a ghost town of epic proportions.
Ho Thuy Tien, Hue, Vietnam
I was so close to visiting this abandoned waterpark while I was in Vietnam last year, but unfortunately I hadn't heard about this amazing place until after I had left the area! This abandoned water park called Ho Thuy Tiuen is situated on the edge of the Vietnamese city of Hue that was opened in 2004 and closed shortly afterwards and not much is known as to why it closed. But with a giant dragon head statue on the premises, it makes it one amazing abandoned place to visit!
Nara Dreamland, Nara, Japan
I've always wanted to go to Nara for the achres of parkland and friendly deer you can feed, but once I found out that Nara boasts it's own Disneyland style abandoned park it instantly skyrockedt up my dark tourism bucket list. Built in 1961 with the classic Disneyland Anaheim feel, Nara Dreamland closed in 2006 due to low visitor numbers and was left abandoned, making an amazing place to visit if you're looking for some adventure with abandon!
The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party, Central Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria
This place has been left in all it's abandoned glory, but the real drawcard of this artichecture is the fact that it looks like a giant fucking flying saucer has landed on earth and is beaming you up! In use from 1981 to 1991, the House of the Bulgarian Communist Party (or the Buzludzha) went into disrepair soon after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is located in the Balkan Mountains and even that looks like a space ship has landed on the top of the 1,441 metre high peak.
Satsop Nuclear Plant, Elma, WA, USA
Nuclear plants are terrifying - for the environment, for the workers, and for the people. But they are also terrifying when abandoned. The photo above of these bare footprints found in a nuclear reactor are enough to send chills down anyone's spine, but after some digging I found out that it is located at the Satsop nuclear power plant which was abandoned because it was never finished - thus making the area completely clear from radiation. The bare footsteps in the plant above was actually put there for a music video called "Mechanism" by the band Endless Summer, which was filmed in this same location.
So even though it's not truely the most abandoned places, it still makes for an awesome find and a relatively safe place for the more tamer of dark tourists to go.
Want more? Visit these websites for more inspiration: