Spanish moss dangles from trees and blows in the wind, a reminder of the life that once thrived in Cahaba, Alabama. The former state capital is now a ruin, with markers for the homes, church, courthouse and businesses that stood there in the 19th century. Indeed, nowadays, it’s a ghost town with lots of scary stories to tell.
Meanwhile, what constitutes a ghost town has been the subject of debate. Some believe that a ghost town wouldn’t have any remnants of the buildings that once stood there. While others say that a place cannot earn the title if it doesn’t have clear ruins contained within it.
Perhaps author Lambert Florin defined a ghost town best – he said each one was “a shadowy semblance of a former self.” And, although the definition remains debatable, the reasons that ghost towns come to be have more or less stayed the same. For starters, economic activity – or, the lack thereof – can cause a once-booming locale to lay empty.