For some reason, we as humans are fascinated with ghost towns, small towns, abandoned towns, and towns owned by one person. Why? It really doesn’t matter. Perhaps we secretly either want a town of our very own to rule, away from everyone who drives us crazy or loves us. Or we really want to believe in the paranormal. And for some reason, it feels like if there are no people in a specified town that means there must be…something else. You have to admit that you believe a little. Perhaps you’ve seen something yourself. You don’t have to tell me…I know.
But don’t worry if you don’t, not all of these places are even rumored to be haunted. Some are abandoned for other reasons and some just had a history that led to one person living there. It can happen. People want to live in a place with better job opportunities, more people, better Internet. Just the necessities at least. You may not want to live in any of these towns, but it sure is interesting to hear the stories of people who live there, or person…or the history of the people that used to live there. Or the ghosts that still live there…who knows? Not many people. That’s why I’m here sharing their stories with you! They are interesting no matter how you look at them. So no matter why you’re here, sit back and enjoy these 7 Towns That Have A Population Of 1 And 8 That Are Completely Abandoned!
15 Bonanza, Colorado (Pop. Of 1)
The Town of Bonanza is located deep in Saguache County, Colorado. It was once known as Bonanza City, but has downsized since the silver mining era has begun to dissipate.
In 2010, it had a population of 16, but with deaths and young people moving away, it has reached one on multiple occasions. The town was built when in 1880, Tom Cooke of Salida found ore deposits while looking for wild horses! Now that’s legit. At its peak, during the first two years it had a population of 1,500. This is when 36 saloons and 7 dance halls were present in the town, which at the time, decided population.
The town was such an attraction that they had their own token coin with the value of $1.00, issued by the Rawley Mine Commissary in Bonanza.
14 Beelitz-Heilstätten (Abandoned)
What happens when Hitler is treated at a hospital in Germany? Probably some pretty paranormal stuff 100 years later.
Beelitz-Heilstätten is a district in Beelitz that was used primarily as a hospital complex in the early 1900s. It was originally a sanatorium until World War I when it was converted into a military hospital of the Imperial German Army.
About 90% of the district is abandoned, but what’s even creepier is that a section is used today! It's used as a neurological rehabilitation center and a center for research and care for victims of Parkinson's disease. Now that is great for mental health. Many visitors, some with paranormal backgrounds and purposes, have claimed it is 100% haunted and hosts dark spirits, some associated with Hitler, others ghosts of those who were mistreated by the staff in the early-to-mid 1900s.
13 Tomioka, Japan (Pop. Of 1)
In 2010, Tomioka had a population of over 15,000...so what happened to leave it with only one resident? Well, you may have heard of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Let’s just say bad things happen when you pair an earthquake and tsunami. Havoc was released unto the city and in March it was completely evacuated…well, almost completely. One man refused to leave.
A 58-year-old fifth-generation rice farmer Naoto Matsumura and his dog stayed. He just couldn’t pull himself away so he stayed to feed the animals.
Two years later, half of the former residents said they would never return and the other half said they didn’t know if they would. The radiation in the town was too great a risk to be exposed to. The evacuation ruling is still valid today for one zone with the highest levels of radiation. Which Naoto Matsumura pays no mind to.
12 Oradour-Sur-Glane (Abandoned)
What’s worse than a facility that housed Hitler? Maybe Oradour-Sur-Glane that was once a commune powered by Nazis in France.
You see, back during the war, a battalion officer had all inhabitants assemble in the village to have their identity papers examined. Even those who were not residents, but were nearby the village, just passing through.
The women and children were locked in a church as the men were led to barns where machine guns awaited to end them. They first aimed for the legs and shot until the men were handicapped. Then they covered the bodies in fuel and set the barn on fire.
Afterwards, they set the church with the women and children on fire. If anyone peeked their head out the only opening, the window, they were shot with a machine gun. There was only one survivor, Marguerite Rouffanche, who managed to hide in a bush and lived to tell the tale.
11 Buford, Wyoming (Pop. Of 1)
Although it was purchased in 2013 and renamed PhinDeli Town Buford, everyone calls it Buford to this day. It can be found between Laramie and Cheyenne on Interstate 80. The town was built in 1866, as a place for Transcontinental Railroad workers to rest. At one point the town had 2,000 residents.
The Vietnamese owner does not reside there and didn’t bring in any more residents, so as of 2013, it has but one resident. Who is that one resident? His name is Don Sammons and he moved to Buford in 1980 with his wife and son. But in 1995 his wife died and in 2007 his son moved away. This made him the sole resident.
To this day, the town has a non-productive convenience store, gas station, and modular home on 10 acres of land.
10 Hashima Island, Japan (Abandoned)
Here we have a likely haunted town called Hashima Island, or Battleship Island. In 1810, coal was discovered on the island and until 1974, it was permanently populated as a coal mining facility. But not in the way you’d see in the old west.
You see, in less than 100 years time, 15 million tons of coal were extracted from the island. On top of that, a large facility, a school for the miner’s children, a hospital, a town hall, and a community center for recreation were built. But in the 1930s, Korean civilians and Chinese prisoners of war were forced to work in 100-degree weather at 95% humidity. Like many PoWs and workers of the time, they were abused harshly and untreated. Over 1000 workers died simply from work-related causes, some from malnutrition when they weren’t allowed breaks.
Today, it is steered clear of for many and serves as a reminder of the darkness surrounding the early 1900s.
9 Centralia, Pennsylvania (Abandoned)
Now here is a town with a dark past. At one time, Centralia had over 2500 people, but now it is completely abandoned most of the time. It is technically under eminent domain.
The abandonment was really set in action in 1962 when a fire took place. But back in the 1800s, Centralia was just another coal mining town. That is, except for one bloody thing. You may have heard of the Irish society, the Molly Maguires that ran around during the 19th century. The town’s founder was murdered by the Maguires. Some believe a Catholic priest even cursed the land in retaliation to the Maguires heinous activity. He blessed just one church and cursed the rest of the land.
Today, not much remains, but with so much destruction and reports of hauntings, we’re beginning to see that curse as a fact rather than a tale.
8 Cass, New Zealand (Pop. Of 1)
Cass can be found in the Canterbury region in New Zealand's South Island. But if you blink while driving through you may miss it.
There may be five houses, but as of today, there is only one resident. Around 1910, there was a population of 800, but today that has dropped to one. The Cass railway station which was painted in 1936 by Rita Angus is a big attraction however, it is even considered "one of New Zealand's best-loved works of art."
The resident’s name is Barrie Drummond who has been responsible for Cass’ section of the KiwiRail for over 30 years! He has become attached to the “neighbors” that pass through and says he never wants to leave. That and, you know, rent is about $100 a month!
7 Shicheng City (Abandoned)
This city is no doubt the most amazing abandoned town in the world! Why? Well, for one, it’s underwater! Shicheng City, also known as China’s Atlantis or Lion City, is completely underwater. Hence the “Atlantis” tag.
Years ago, for thousands of years, the city was a beautiful city of white marble temples and pathways. But get this. In 1959, the Chinese government put in a new hydroelectric power station and flooded the city to make a lake called Qiandao Lake.
For over 50 years, people forgot that the lake wasn’t natural and that there was a town underneath it. It wasn’t until the 2000s that someone happened upon it, recognizing the immaculate, majestic dragon carvings in the marble that were over 1000 years old.
6 Villa Epecuen, Argentina (Pop. Of 1)
Villa Epecuén was once a flourishing tourist village in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. But when a flood hit in 1985, it was abandoned. For several years, it had zero residents, but in 2009, one man returned.
His name is Pablo Novak, born in 1930, and he returned to make his home, home again in 2009. His story was so grand that in 2013, a documentary called Pablo's Villa was filmed.
The town was formed in the 1920s and was a resort for those riding the Buenos Aires, but after the flood, it reached a level of devastation with no return. That is, according to everyone except for Pablo who still remembered the town that held 5,000 tourists through the flooded town where waters reached over 30ft.
5 Kolmanskop, Namibia (Abandoned)
Kolmanskop is a ghost town in Namibia, which is located in southern Africa. As with many abandoned towns, this one was a mining town at one point. What made it different was that it was a diamond mining town…with a dark past…just kidding, it’s normal.
After World War II, the mining field started to deplete and by the second war, it was nearly nonexistent. What drew away the final residents was a bigger deposit nearer the shore. Not only were they bigger, but safer. The deposits were in the sand instead of the dangerous caves and stone.
The town today is almost completely covered in sand and is thus a popular tourist attraction with 0 residents. To reach it, you must be physically healthy and up for the long trek in knee-deep sand!
4 Lost Springs, Wyoming (Pop. Of 1)
This one is tricky. According to the population sign, Lost Springs only has one resident. But this is debatable as that data is from 2000. Lost Springs was named after a spring that was mapped but couldn’t be found, and to this day it’s an enigma.
The mining town once had 200 residents, and in 2000 it had one. Off and on, it will grow to five or so before dropping down to one again. After all, the total area is 0.09 square miles of land! There are no families there, but a definite one person, sometimes four in three different households. The only consistent resident is the mayor, Leda Price, though she claims the population is a definite four. Though she’s the mayor and she can say whatever she wants.
3 Craco, Italy (Abandoned)
This one is actually pretty cool. Craco was built on a very steep summit for defensive reasons, and it looks amazing. But…it wasn’t exactly safe.
It is on a 1,300ft cliff and is thus susceptible to landslides and breaking down. Somehow it has lasted since about 1060 AD, though the Greeks had inhabited the area since before 500 BC. At one point during the middle ages, Craco was a prison. That’s great, put the prisoners in a landslide.
It reached its peak in the 1500s when it held 2,500 people. But when in the 1600s, a plague struck, hundreds were killed, reducing the population greatly. But it wasn’t until a 1963 landslide that left Craco a dangerous place. Then there was the 1972 flood followed by the 1980 earthquake. That’s what really set the place over the edge.
2 Pripyat (Abandoned)
The abandonment of Pripyat is pretty scary. In 1986, a catastrophic nuclear accident, that you know as the Chernobyl disaster, took place at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near the Ukrainian city of Pripyat.
When someone had a mix up at the plant, a power surge led to a reactor vessel rupture and many explosions. For weeks, plumes of radioactive gas spread throughout the town. In the end, over 350,000 people were evacuated due to the radiation.
But that wasn’t the end. Over 30 deaths are confirmed to have been caused by the radiation with up to 40,000 are suggested to develop cancer because of it. This is due to the fact that, mysteriously, 4000 people who used to live there have developed cancer. There is no doubt that if hauntings exist, Pripyat will be haunted.
1 Monowi, Nebraska (Pop. Of 1)
Probably the most famous “small” town in the US is Monawi, Nebraska. The town reached its peak in population in the 1950s when it provided homes for 150 people. But today, it has but one resident and is considered an incorporated village.
The name Monowi means "flower" in an unknown Native American language. One of the first buildings built there was a post office which was built in 1902 but shut down in 1967. As children got older they moved away for more stability and better jobs, but one older couple stayed, giving the town a population of two. But in 2004, the man died, leaving his wife as the sole resident.
This makes her the Mayor, so she has the ability to grant her own liquor license and pays taxes to herself. She runs a tavern and a library with 5000 books for visitors.