10 Hauntingly Beautiful Abandoned Places

Abandoned places don’t always have to be creepy. In fact, some of the world’s most breathtaking sites have been left in the dust for decades. Over time, these places have stood empty and uncared for, but that isolation has contributed to their beauty and their intriguing history. From African ghost towns to Chinese lakes to surreal lighthouses, you’ll be awe-struck to discover these 10 breathtaking abandoned places.

Kolmanskop, Namibia

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Who knew a ghost town could be so eerily beautiful? The rocketing rise and fall of this tiny desert town took less than 50 years and was all due to the accidental discovery of diamonds in the region. The first shiny stone was plucked from the sand by a railway worker in 1908 which started a chain of events that lead to the area being quickly developed. For decades, people flocked to Kolmanskop in search of fortune. Eventually, though, even larger diamonds were discovered in another nearby town. And as quickly as Kolmanskop was created, it was abandoned for the promise of even greater riches. Today, the empty buildings are filled with windswept sand dunes, creating an oddly whimsical place in the middle of the Namib coastal desert.

Craco, Italy

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Residents abandoned this hillside town in the southern Italian Province of Matera after one too many natural disasters endangered their lives. The medieval village was built on a perilously high hill for defensive reasons which, ironically, led to its demise. Craco’s lofty perch made it vulnerable during earthquakes and landslides. Slowly but surely, residents started leaving their precious homeland. However, it wasn’t until 1963 that the last of Craco’s residents were forced to completely abandon their village due to compromised personal safety. Today, the ancient village continues to stay present by finding fame as the filming location for several Hollywood movies such as The Passion of the Christ and Quantum of Solace.

Houtouwan Village, China

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The deserted fishing village reclaimed by nature is one of the most beautiful forgotten places in China. Remotely located on one of the hundreds of Shengsi Islands in Hangzhou Bay, this fishing village was totally vacated in 2002 by the fishermen-residents who grew tired of its hard-to-access location. Since its abandonment, Houtouwan has succumbed to Mother Nature who has refurbished the village with lush, creeping vines and plants. The village only recently reached fame in 2015 when some photos of the emerald Peter-Pan-like land went viral.

Dome Homes, Florida, United States

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The futuristic 1980s vacation home of successful oil tycoon and businessman, Bob Lee, now lays cast aside off the southern tip Cape Romano (near Marco Island) in Florida. What looks like overwater igloos in the middle of the Gulf were actually originally built on the land. After erosion – and 1992’s Hurricane Andrew and 2005’s Hurricane Wilma — took its toll, the domes now sit 180 feet offshore with two of the original six domes fully submerged. The decrepit remains now serve as a canvas for graffiti artists and an artificial reef for marine life. Although somewhat depressing to watch such an extraordinary vacation home waste away, the Dome Homes have become a landmark in southern Florida.

Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, Denmark

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This lighthouse surrounded by swirling sand dunes certainly deserves a spot on this list. The 23-meter lighthouse was built in 1900 on the high coastal slope on the North Sea, roughly 200 meters from the water’s edge. Over the decades, the sea crept closer and strong winds whipped sand from the nearby cliffs which slowly piled up around the lighthouse. Try as they might, locals were unable to suppress the dunes. They eventually got so high that the light could not be seen from the sea. Residents finally threw in the towel in 1968 and relinquished the lighthouse to the sand. What’s left is a strangely spectacular sight and proof of just how much influence Mother Nature has over the shape of our world.

SS Ayrfield Shipwreck, Australia

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Although contaminated with toxic waste, Homebush Bay still attracts tourists thanks to its four floating shipwrecks. These ships were all abandoned when they were sent to Homebush Bay to be stripped and reduced to scrap metal after being decommissioned. When the price of scrap metal declined, the stripping of the remaining vessels came to a halt and the remaining boats were left bobbing in the bay. The most impressive of the floating wrecks is SS Ayrfield, a WWII ship-turned-coal-transportation-vessel that now sprouts lush-greenery and dense mangroves from its deck.

Varosha Beach Resort, Cyprus

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Why would you up and leave a stunning Mediterranean beach resort favored by the likes of Richard Burton, Bridgett Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor? Described as the French Riviera of Cyprus, the notoriously gorgeous setting was once the symbol of luxury, but that all changed in 1974. The 40,000 residents fled their stunning seaside when the Turkish Army stormed the island. While Turkish troops still control the area today, there are talks between both Greek and Turkish Cypriots to rebuild Varosha to its old glory.

Michigan Central Station, Michigan, United States

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The story of the rise and fall of Detroit’s economy can be told by Michigan Central Station, a once-gorgeous tribute to the city’s most prosperous era that now sits decaying behind Roosevelt Park. Functioning as the transportation heart and soul of the city, the station flourished for decades until finally conceding to Amtrak in 1971 and ultimately closing in 1988. The building – designed by the same firms that created Grand Central Station in New York and constructed in popular Parisian 19th-century Beaux-Arts style — is now a hangout for vandals and the city’s homeless population. Although crumbling and dilapidated, there’s no denying the grandeur this historic train station once possessed.

Shi Cheng, China

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Purposefully flooded in 1959 to make way for a new dam and hydroelectric station, the 600-year-old city now sits fully submerged in Qiandao Lake. Dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties which ruled between the 14th to 20th centuries, this underwater treasure trove is often referred to as the “Atlantis of the East.” Perfectly preserved in 40 meters of water, this ancient city is only discoverable by experienced scuba divers. For the rest of us, we can only gawk at the photos they capture and bring back.

Attitude of expectancy last YouVersion Devotional

Attitude – Implying an action or mental state.

Expectancy – The feeling that something exciting or pleasant is going to happen.

An Attitude of Expectancy is an outlook of hope.

The attitude that you have while waiting for something is a very important key. An attitude of expectancy is contagious because it can create an atmosphere of expectancy. It is important that while we wait for God’s plans, we continue to create the atmosphere.

Run and not grow weary.

Walk and not faint.

Patiently wait on the Lord.

My hope is in God, the hope of glory. The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We do not move God, our faith moves God.

I refuse to allow my attitude to go backwards, or to go up or down.

The word says to speak the tongues of angels. Making giant strides in the realm of the spirit, we can open our mouths and preach the gospel, commissioned to speak life and not death.

Our attitudes must move us upwards and forwards only. The Lord is good and his mercies endure forever. He knows the beginning from the end and we are right in the middle of Christ!

Another important piece would be surrounding yourself by the right people. Your realm of influence can and will affect your attitude. Do you have people around you that are always dragging you down, or do you have people that are around you, lifting you up? Will they holding your hand? Pray with you? Fight for you? Who do you allow to speak into your life?

Positive attitude will bring forth positive results. Having an attitude of expectancy builds the foundation for something good to happen.

What type of foundation are you building?

– Christa Jones, HR Manager

Attitude of expectancy

We live in a time where “expectancy” has almost become a buzz word. Whether it’s in our careers or everyday life, we hear the word “expectation” or “expectancy” quite often.

A few weeks ago, I was at my church for a worship practice. Before every session we always have a brief time of prayer before getting lost in the music. One of the words we brought up together was the word “expectation”. My pastor began to talk about how many hours we get to serve at church each week. He said that if those 10-12 hours we spend volunteering each week are the only hours that we spend in God’s presence, then we are missing out on so much more. My mind immediately went to Galatians 6:7, the law of sowing and reaping.

Expectation without investment is just a wish. 

I think a lot of times we are so expectant of things to come, and that is a great thing! But, I think there is a difference between expectancy and wishing. In our spiritual lives, in our business, and even in our marriages we so often expect a change but are simply not willing to invest what is necessary to see a change. You see, every person on this planet would say “I want to see breakthrough in my relationship with God” or “I want to have my biggest year financially”. But, very few people dare to say “I am willing to do WHATEVER it takes to see breakthrough in these areas of my life”. 

I want to be a “whatever it takes” kind of man. I want to be the kind of man who is always expectant, knowing that because I have sown, I can see the promises of God take over in my life.

Sometimes I think we forget that the law of sowing and reaping is a promise of God. It’s not some get-rich-quick formula or something you would hear at a motivational seminar, it is a promise! We need to walk as victors in every situation in life. With our head held high and expectant because we are invested! 

You want to see change? Invest, take action and watch how God changes your Life!

 – Billy Honaker, National Account Manager

Attitude of expectancy YouVersion Devotional

Have you ever anticipated an exciting event or moment? 

Perhaps going on a family vacation, celebrating a birthday, or awaiting a surprise. 

Expectation filled the air with every breath inhaled. Excitement increased awareness and brightened up the world. Walking faster with a bounce in your steps, all seemed right in the world. It is easy to have a great attitude in those moments. 

How did this expectancy build? It happened because the date was approaching on the calendar. You remembered the past moments and new that what was coming would be great. This is exactly where the disciples found themselves in Acts 1: 3-14. They were in a moment of great expectancy.

How can we develop an attitude of expectancy?

Realize that an attitude of expectancy starts and ends with JESUS! Focusing on His goodness creates an attitude of expectancy.

When Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives to His throne in glory, He left His church in an attitude of expectancy. He told them to wait for the filling of the Holy Spirit! But, what exactly did they expect? Remember, the disciples had came out of one of the darkest moments in history. Jesus had been crucified, and it had looked hopeless. Many had lost heart and ran away. They probably feared for their own lives. BUT, then Jesus arose from the dead and he appeared to them! He had kept his promise to never leave or forsake them and he had come through for them. As a result, expectancy abounded! An attitude of expectancy starts by looking at the promises and goodness of God. What has he already done in our life? When we focus on what he has done in us and through us an eager expectation is the natural result.

Wait with expectancy! Rest in Him and Wait!

For years, Jesus spent time investing in the disciples and preparing them for the mission before them. He challenged them to live for a bigger cause, and left them with what seemed like an impossible mission. After appearing to them, he told them to WAIT for the Holy Spirit and to receive power to carry out this mission.

The secret to waiting is expectancy. When you believe God will do what He says, you will not give up waiting for His timing.

Expectancy flourishes when our priorities are in order.

– Leon Landers, Sales Manager

Attitude of expectancy YouVersion Devotional

Waiting is not something we genuinely like to do. 

Many times we get anxious or frustrated when we have to wait on something or someone. When my wife is getting ready for us to go out, I am always ready before her. Often I find myself pacing back and forth from the living room to the bedroom, until she finally tells me to go back into the living room and wait on her. 

Do you find yourself feeling the same way waiting for God to do something for you? Are you waiting on Him to answer a prayer that you’ve been praying for a long time? I know the frustration of waiting on an answer from God and I will tell you that worrying about it will not make the answer come any quicker or on your time.

There is scripture in Isaiah that uses the word “wait” in a different light. It’s not the wait we are accustomed to, like pacing around or just sitting there frustrated. You see, this wait really means hope & trust. This wait is a posture, an attitude that we must have, an attitude of expectancy in God. We can find our hope only in God. Only He has the answer we are searching for. A posture of waiting looks like this; I am expectantly waiting on God to come through for me. I am going about my day with hope and joy because God loves me and is on my side. I am his child and His promises are for me. The promise is that He will renew my strength. He will cause me to mount up on wings like eagles. He will cause me to run and not grow weary and not faint. You see, an attitude of expectancy in God brings the promises of God with it.

So walk in this day with an attitude of expectancy and find your hope in God.

– Kevin Cox, Client Engagement Manager