Towns With Harrowing Histories: These Places Are Best Known For Tragedy

Cities want to be known for immersive art experiences, prestigious schools, great food, and fantastic culture. Some towns don’t get their wish and are renowned for horrible tragedies instead. Some embrace their sordid history to draw tourists, while others do whatever they can to distance themselves from the horrendous past.

Here are towns around the world best known for horrific tragedies. 


Abandoned amusement park in Pripyat.
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Pripyat once held 50,000 people, but it became a ghost town after the tragedy at Chornobyl. The forest is slowly reclaiming the inhabitable village, but some adventurous travelers still trek there yearly to see the wasteland. 


Atomic dome at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial park.
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Hiroshima and Nagasaki survived nuclear blasts. They’re the only cities on Earth that received an intentional nuclear warhead strike. 


Ruins of Pompeii
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In 79 AD, a volcano erupted and destroyed an entire village. Archaeologists discovered Pompeii in the ashes, a well-preserved relic of an ancient time. We’ll never know whether Pompeii would have grown or perished without nature’s drastic intervention. 


The Brazos river flowing through Waco, TX.
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Waco, TX, tries to distance itself from the horrible events of 1993, but the history is too recent to hide. Authorities laid siege to a cult compound, and by the time the smoke cleared two months later, over 80 people had lost their lives. 


Holocaust musuem at Aushchwitz.

No words to describe the horrors and atrocities committed in Oświęcim, better known by it’s German name Auschwitz.


The abandoned industrail factory at Bhopal.
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Over 500,000 people were exposed to deadly toxins in one of the worst industrial disasters the world had ever seen. Though the actual death toll remains uncertain, estimates say that over 2000 people perished in the immediate disaster, while 8000 more lost their lives within two weeks. It didn’t end there, though, 8000 additional lives were lost due to exposure, and over 500,000 people suffered injuries. 


Home of one of the judges in the Salem Witch Trials as part of the tour in Salem, MA.
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The middle ages saw thousands of women burned at the stake for witchcraft. In the late 1600s, the small Massachusetts town developed a frenzy, where friends and neighbors accused each other of witchcraft. Over 200 people were accused, 19 were executed, and at least five more perished in prison. 

Hysteria about witches (and powerful women in generated) permeated the world around this time. 


aerial view of Flint Michigan
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Flint, Michigan, suffers a relatively recent disaster. The water contains such high amounts of dangerous chemicals like lead that it’s not drinkable. 

It took years for the city to solve its water crisis, and residents are still weary of using its water supply. 


A group of five menacing looking hooded figures in greyscale.
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It’s hard for a city to change its reputation when a cult moves in and decides to “transcend to the next plane” within its borders. 

Jonestown, Guyana, is where everyone drank the cool-aid, except the cult leader Jim Jones. 


The Amityville house in NY thought to be the inspiration for the movie.
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The small town on Long Island became synonymous with horror after the movie highlighted a horrific haunting. The film was based on actual events. In the early 70s, a man slaughtered his entire family in the suburb, claiming a paranormal entity drove him to it. 


The old grafiti highway in Centralia PA.
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The horror video game series Silent Hill is based on Centralia, a small Pennsylvania town destroyed by underground mine fires. The fires, which still burn today, released dangerous toxins into the air and caused numerous sinkholes, leading authorities to condemn the town and force residents out. 

Five people refused to move and still live there. 

Morbid Travel Destinations

Women dressed in Vampire cosplay to represent horror conventions.
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Some folks can’t get enough of the macabre. Here are the morbid travel destinations that see the most travelers. 

Visit a Real Haunted Hotel

An imaginary haunted house - a huge mansion with a giant full moon behind to represent one of the creepiest fall activities to enjoy
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For a real-life encounter, consider staying at one of America’s most haunted hotels

Enjoy Fictional Horror Instead

Woman making a scared face wearing horror cosplay like a painted skull from Dia de Muertos.
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Celebrate the horror genre by checking out the best horror conventions across the US

Source: Reddit