ST. ELMO, Colo., Nov. 1 (UPI) — National Geographic’s “Secret Journeys of a Lifetime” book has named St. Elmo, Colo., the world’s top ghost town.
The Colorado destination, which was once a mining town and trading post but was abandoned when the railroad shut down in 1922, is popular with tourists because many of its original structures remain and several are filled with the possessions of their former occupants, National Geographic said.
No. 2 on the list of the Top 10 Ghost Towns was Chaco Canyon, N.M., which boasts dwellings and kivas, circular ceremonial structures, left behind from the Chaco civilization between A.D. 800 and 1100.
The book also cited Bodie, Calif., which contains 150 buildings from the location’s tenure as a mining town in the 1880s, and Humberstone and Santa Laura, Chile, which were abandoned in 1958 and still contain houses, a theater, stores and a cast-iron swimming pool made from the hull of a ship.
Bhangarh, India, was cited for its ruins, including temples, pavilions and a fort, dating back to the 17th century and earlier.
Kayakoy, Turkey, which was abandoned when its Greek residents were repatriated following the 1923 end of the Greco-Turkish war, contains hundreds of homes and two Greek Orthodox churches, while Pyramiden, Norway, a former Soviet-owned coal mining town abandoned in 1998, still contains a stocked library, a theater and the world’s northernmost grand piano.
Also on the list were Herculaneum, Italy, which contains ruins from the A.D. 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius; Belchite, Spain, which was reduced to ruins by a Spanish Civil War battle in 1937; and Kolmanskop, Nambia, a mining town abandoned in the 1950s that has since become partially buried in sand.