Updated: 14/10/2011 16:35 | By Amy Watkins, contributor, MSN Travel
World's spookiest abandoned places

Humberstone, Chile

Humberstone, Chile (© Alamy - Leonid Plotkin)
  • Craco, Italy (© Getty - Nicola Filardi)
  • North Wales hospital: Denbigh, north Wales (© Alamy)
  • Imber: Wiltshire, England (© Alamy)
  • Oradour-sur-Glane: Near Limoges, France (© Alamy - Clément Philippe)
  • Bodie: California, US (© Alamy - Brad Mitchell)
  • Kolmanskop, Namibia (© Alamy - Hein von Horsten)
  • Humberstone, Chile (© Alamy - Leonid Plotkin)
  • Pripyat, Ukraine (© EMp - Efrem Lukatsky)
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Slowly rusting in the arid Atacama Desert of northern Chile are the skeletons of the Unesco-protected Humberstone and Santa Laura saltpeter works. Saltpeter (nitrate) was used in explosives before World War One, and in the early 1900s Humberstone was home to a booming workforce of Chilean, Peruvian and Bolivian men. Workers were paid in coupons that could only be used on site and - although the works have been abandoned for more than 50 years - original beer and coke bottles are still stacked in the bodega, splintered desks line old classrooms and the town swimming pool, constructed from a ship's hull, gently flakes in the desert sun.

Find out more about Humberstone

06/10/2011 15:24
Why when we have a huge housing shortage do councils not even think that the main part of the structure is there, why don't they refurbish them into flats at affordable rents instead of letting them rot.  Where I live a beautiful Georgian building was once a college, they closed the college and left it to decay until some one did them a favour and burnt it to the ground.  The council were given so many hundred thousand pounds to landscape the area but the money went to a different area miles away to help with the landscaping of a park which already had a large budget.  These are the people who represent you and I.  What a waste !
06/10/2011 09:08
I ran away from the North wales Hospital about 30 years ago and have been on the run ever since!! It was the scariest place then and as a 16 year old not the place to be. Im not suprised it is haunted - years of misery and abuse there.
Apart from that its a beautiful building that deserves preservation and should be turned in to a museum for the mad?

06/10/2011 15:52
With all these abandoned asylums it is no wonder there are so many asylum seekers entering the country. Ha,Ha
06/10/2011 19:41

Sherri, not a problem. Unfortunately left school when  I was 14yrs old. Despite my obvious spelling errors I still educate myself as best as I can...At 63 I have just enrolled myself into  Adult Education Classes. Your never too old too learn.

(And thank God for Spellcheck).


The people of Oradour-sur-glane were massacred because some german soldiers were killed in an ambush by free french freedom fighters.

The SS entered the village and as said put all the women and children in the church, lined all the men up and shot them.

They did not gas and shoot the women and children as reported here.  They threw hand grenades through the windows and set fire to the church. They then set fire to the rest of the village by using explosives and flame throwers.


I do wish these reporters would read up on their history properly before they report things.

06/10/2011 21:11
Abandoned funfairs are always scary looking. I must have seen too many episodes of Scooby Doo !
06/10/2011 12:26
Thumbs up if you've ever trekked through Pripyat in a ghillie suit
06/10/2011 12:04
this abandoned welsh asylum would be a great setting for a horror movie!
06/10/2011 16:14
A prime location for implimenting the government housing plans,( affordable )? How do they decide what the figure will be, it is only affordable, if you can afford it !
06/10/2011 19:21

IMBER,,START A PROTEST I SAY!!!!!  Yes! these brand new houses are just right for the Dale Farm Travellers who are just about to be evicted by Basildon Council. Tax free houses for 400 No income tax, council tax,road tax ,vat or gas,water,sewage or electricity bills, I can't wait for them to take this once in a lifetime opportunity.

06/10/2011 07:46
This is just as sad as the villages of Tottington, Stanford, Sturston, Langford, Buckenham Tofts and West Tofts in Norfolk which were evacuated in 1942 when the Stanford Battle Area was created. The residents were promised they could return after the war, but here we are 70 years later and its still a MOD training area (now called STANTA) see the Stanford Battle Area entry on Wikipedia for more info

The land was compulsory purchased post-war at pre-war prices nearly all of owned by Walsingham family, still domiciled in nearby Merton.

Having been born and brought up in Merton i was used to the sound of guns firing and shells exploding in my youth.

06/10/2011 18:41
Did anyone else notice the deliberate mistake in the question - Where in England is this (building)?". Funny, I always thought North Wales was in Wales! Has someone moved it  over the border when nobody was looking? Gill, Neath, South Wales WALES. ( At least, it was, last time I looked ) 
06/10/2011 14:07
An  old Uncle was a peacekeeper in Cyprus when the troubles were on there , he always said it was another forgotten war . A few years ago a local car dealer sued for his vehicles back , and made a small fortune selling them as new but classic cars . What a waste a nice place abandoned , just for politics .
I bet it would be class to have a game of paintball in most them places.
06/10/2011 15:34
I visited Oradour last june. It was a very moving experience and a very full day. The day I visited, there were a lot of visitors from many countries but when you walked round the place, you didn't see anyone talking to each other. 
06/10/2011 15:15
COR!!!!!!!!! I SEE SOME NICE HOT ROD MATERIAL SITTING IDLE!! However on the darker side there are some chilling reminders of mans need to be cruel to each other, go to france and stand in a war cemetary, i have, it takes a lot of taking in when all you can see is graves up to the horizon! my polish uncles are there somewhere dad never found them but somewhere out there they rest compliments of the SS i am told,,,,,,I think without them we would quickly forget..

Westpark Asylum is also on the list of Britain's most haunted buildings.


06/10/2011 08:57
Great stuff, pripyat is what dreams are made of urbex wise, (URBEX) "The art of exploring abanoned sites" but they should of most definatley included West park asylum in epsom, Now mainly reduced to rubble i had the chance to explore and photograph before its demise....Have a look at it here.... www.photobucket.com/westparkasylum  Open-mouthed
06/10/2011 00:44

Imber is an uninhabited village in part of the British Army's Training grounds on the Salisbury Plain ,Wiltshire,, England. IMBER is situated in an isolated area of the Plain, about 2.5 miles (4 km) west of the A360 and is now accessible only by military tracks. The entire civilian population was evicted in 1943 to provide an exercise area for American troops preparing for D-Day during the WWII. After the war villagers were not allowed to return to their homes. The village, which is still classed as an urban entity, remains under the control of the MOD. despite many.many  attempts by former residents to return to their farms and homes.

. Non-military access is limited to several open days a year.....???????...


The picture shown of Imber is one of many house that was built at the expense of the MOD.

They built a whole village of houses the same as the one seen here for training troops in urban warfare.

The original village has mostly disappeared now, due to natural decay.  I do know that the church is still standing and maintained. As it is consecrated ground the army have never used it for exercise purposes.  As for the pub, it may still be standing but I do not think so.


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