I grew up riding a bus to school that passed a mental hospital called Central State on the west side of Indianapolis. It was abandoned in the mid 90s, and has been around for over 100 years. People still tell stories of hauntings at the hospital, and it became especially frightening after it was abandoned. You can still drive past it and peer between the iron bars of the fence to see the old brick buildings that used to house the mentally insane.
Apparently Central State had a very violent history. Who knows what used to happened inside those rotting old hallways. These thoughts prompted me to research the hospital’s history online, which led me to a wealth of sites devoted to “urban exploration” – the exploration of man-made abandoned sites, structures, buildings, mines, and tunnels. Popular destinations seem to be mental hospitals, factories, and even Soviet-era research facilities.
Two days of researching this stuff and I’ve barely uncovered the tip of the iceberg. I’d like to share with you 10 of the scariest abandoned building facades I have come across so far. This isn’t a list of buildings with the scariest histories, creepiest inner hallways and rooms, or most frightening locations, but simply abandoned buildings that have the most chill-rendering, foreboding external facades. Enjoy!
Le Triage Lavoir Coal Plant – Belguim
It’s just an empty shell of a building with all its guts ripped out. It almost looks like a cage for a huge monster. More Photos
Buffalo Central Terminal – New York
Looks like an old school attached to Grand Central Station. Who knows all the comings and goings that took place in this building throughout the years. Now it’s just sitting there staring at the city from the outskirts of town. More Photos
Littoral Ceramics Factory – Belgium
This one looks even older. I bet there is something staring out through one of those top floor windows. More Photos
Lakin Industrial Home for Colored Boys – West Virginia
Half projects, half orphanage, all scary. More Photos
Michigan Central Station – Michigan
These are some of the most visually compelling abandoned photos I’ve seen. Do people really drive by this in Detroit every day without getting freaked out? This one’s totally ominous and foreboding. It looks like a ghost mansion. More Photos
Fort Steendorp – Belgium
As I’ve stated before I have a fear of voids and caves and such things. The entrances into this underground structure are very cave-like and frightening. I would never crawl into one of these dark passageways alone. I have to admit, this would be awesome to accidentally stumble upon in the deep forest. More Photos
Meiderich Steel Mill – Germany
Giant twisting rusted abandoned towers of metal that once processed liquid steel. This thing looks like it would growl at you if you ventured too close. More Photos
Hasard Cheratte Coal Mine – Belgium
Why does Belgium have all the scary looking buildings? More Photos
Marquette – France
Someone purposefully designed this monster to look like an orphanage sanitarium where demons are manufactured. I don’t know what this building actually used to be since I could not find much information about it. I do know one thing that it is: crazy scary. More Photos
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant – Ukraine
This one tops them all. It’s just sitting there, emitting contaminated radiation from when it melted down 22 years ago. Did I mention it still has 95% of it’s nuclear supply? The only way to get rid of such a humongous death trap is to completely encase it in a steel shell and try to forget about it. You heard me, they’re building the ginormous steel canopy as we speak, which will be hoisted over the treacherous factory and bolted down forever upon completion. More Photos
I guess I’ll end with a question. You know how when you were growing up there was that one house at the end of the street or that one abandoned lumber yard down by the railroad tracks that you and your friends would always try to sneak into but got too scared to do it? If you could choose any of the freaky buildings in this post that would be the scariest one to have to sneak into alone while your friends waited outside, which would it be? Oh boy this is a doozy!