Well, it seems that financial decline is one of the prominent causes of this phenomenon. Some locales that lie abandoned today may have had prosperous beginnings, but changes in fortune have left them in degradation. For example, features of places that had once brought in tourists or businesses – such as mills or mines – may have become obsolete, leaving the towns shadows of their former selves.
Other sites may be abandoned for far more sinister reasons, however. Take, for instance, the infamous Lake Shawnee Amusement Park in West Virginia. In the 1920s the owners chose to build this attraction on an ancient indigenous burial ground – which, as it turned out, was a very bad idea. Six fairgoers reportedly died after the place opened, in fact, and it subsequently fell into disrepair. These days the only visitors to Lake Shawnee’s overgrown rides are those looking to get spooked on one of the Halloween tours that are conducted there.
Another particularly creepy abandoned location is the one in which photographer Jordan Liles found himself in 2013. The spooky site in question lies in the region of Elkmont, Tennessee, which is hidden deep within the woodlands of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Memphis native is no stranger to the Smokies; he spent 26 years living in the area, in fact, and still visits the park frequently in his downtime. And it was during one of his hiking expeditions that Liles happened upon a forgotten treasure.