Russia is a very old country, even ancient. With the massive size and scarce occupants, Russia has a lot of places that now practically empty and abandoned for different reasons. A lot of towns in Russia are industrial which started off as a mine or a plant which then grew into towns to accommodate the workers and their families. When some of the mining stopped or the plants got shut down, people left the towns because there was nothing else to do there and so they turned into ghost towns. We will now take a look at 7 eeriest towns in Russia that are almost forgotten:
1. Kadykchan Village
Located 65 kilometers to the northwest of Susuman of Magadan Oblast, Russia, Kadykchan Village has been empty since 2010. It was first built as a coal mine by Gulag prisoners during the World War II. Two mines and apartment buildings were erected for accommodations and then it became a village. In the 1970’s the census recorded more than 3,000 people lived in Kadykchan. However, after the Soviet Union was dissolved, the mines fell out of profit. One was closed in 1992, and the other in 1996 after an explosion killed six workers. The government of Russia then took steps to spread the residents of Kadykchan into several neighboring towns and major buildings got demolished. It is now deserted but can still be visited.
In 1937, a discovery of Tin and Tungsten happened in this part of Chukotka Okrug. The region was very isolated from the rest of the Chukotka that when they started to mine there the supplies must be brought from 400 kilometers away by a convoy of tractors. The first 73 inhabitants of Iultin must endure the harsh winter weather in tents and plywood houses. In 1946, prisoners were sent to the region to build roads to connect Iultin to other towns and settlements. Slowly the region turns into a more civilized town with power supply followed by gas, water, and heating. In 1989 there were about 5,000 people living in Iultin. The same with Kadykchan, as the Soviet Union fell and the centralized economy system got erased, the mine was proven unprofitable and then shut down.
3. Neftegorsk, Sakhalin Oblast
There are several places named Neftegorsk in Russia. The one that is now abandoned is located in Sakhalin Oblast and formerly known as Vostok. There was an oil rig in this area which became the center of life and economy at that time. Unlike other industrial towns in Russia that turned into ghost towns because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Neftegorsk lost its life to a massive earthquake on May 28, 1995. Out of 3,197 people who lived there, 2,040 were killed by the collapsed buildings. The government decided not to rebuild the town and instead constructed a memorial there.
The story of this city is quite different and quite mellow. Situated in Yaroslavi Oblast, Mologa sat at the beginning of the Tikhvinskaya water system which connected Volga with the Baltic Sea. This city used to be one of the most important trade centers between Russia and Asia. In 1935 Rybinsk Reservoir and Rybinsk hydroelectric plant were constructed, and filling the reservoir means to flood the whole city of Mologa. In 1940 the whole city was evacuated and drowned. About 130,000 residents agreed to move but there were 294 people who refused to leave and therefore got drowned together with the town. A monument was built there 2003 to commemorate these souls. The residents of Mologa, until today, still visit the underwater city by boat to reminiscence the past.
The origin of the name of this town is already eerie; derived from Nenets language it means “River in the Death Valley” since the place was built above a burial ground of the autochtone people. This is another industrial town that got shut down in Russia. The coal mining started in 1957 and quit in 1993 before getting liquidated in 1995. Nobody lives there anymore but the ground is still used as Russian military training area.
This is one of the oldest towns in Russia since it has been around since the 13th century. Situated on the shore of Lake Vozhe, Charonda was once a very important trading place in Russia because of the route it got crossed through. In the 17th century, about 14,000 souls inhabited the town. But as the vitality of the route started to fade, the town was also losing its pulse and people began to move out to other towns that could offer them better living. Today tourists can still visit this town and see its beautiful historical buildings and waterfront establishments by boat, because that is the only way to reach this ghost town.
How the town became a ghost town is dramatic and indeed eerie. Started as an industrial community after deforestation in the Central Meshchyora, Ryazan Oblast, Russia. About one thousand wood cutters lived in this area. In 1936 a firestorm happened in the region. A train was sent to evacuate the settlers but only after the woods got loaded. The process took too long and there was not enough space for the people because of the logs, nobody – including the train – survived the fire. About 1200 people died in the accident.
So many stories behind abandoned and dead towns, but surely none are happy story. These 7 eeriest towns in Russia that are almost forgotten may sound interesting for them who enjoy hunting for supernatural forces or taping videos for creepy urban legends, but not for people who were once connected to these places. The memory of the past can linger for a long time and leave a scar in the hearts of them who used to live in these now abandoned towns.