What is the attraction of ghost towns?

Do you find yourself fascinated by the idea of walking through a deserted town once inhabited by an ancient civilisation? For many people there is the allure of solitude and isolation of being alone in a place that once thrived. A chance to reflect and learn from the past so that they can move forward into the future. Ghost towns have the ability to offer people a chance to be be mindful away from the noise of the outside world.

A place for reflection

We often assume that human life automatically moves on and progresses by people. However, that appears to not be the case when you visit a ghost town and reflect on what once was. Here is a place where life has not worked for one reason or another; some would argue that there was a failure to make something work. The town that once thrived with people is suddenly taken over by nature. 

As you reflect, it is a chance to see the full human impact made on the town. You walk down the main street passed empty buildings that once were a hive of activity. Banks, post offices, grocery stores, boutiques, petrol stations, etc. All once had an ever revolving flourish of activity suddenly vacated and overgrown with nature and the occasional wild animal. 

It is like the town has been frozen in time. Yet time continues to move on but humanity, at least in that ghost town, has ceased to exist. You reflect on how temporary life actually is and even what the future has in store for you.

The fascination derived from your visit may seem dark and this can be explained y the concept of schadenfreude. People are motivated by others’ misfortune. Instead of feeling afraid, ghost towns are reassuring because it happened to someone else in another place.

Creativity and imagination

Your imagination can run wild as you walk through a ghost town sparking your creative juices. Towns become mysterious and you can make them your own, inventing the lives and history of those that once lived there. The only limit to your creativity is your imagination.

An abandoned town can reveal so much about itself if you let it. Taking a walk down the street will allow you to gain insight into the daily lives and history of the people who once lived there. How they worked, lived and played. You almost take on a voyeur role, eavesdropping on conversations as you walk through the empty building shells. Although you don’t know these people, you start to feel as if you do just by being present in a space they once thrived.

Mindful in Solitude

Being present is just one way to experience a ghost town. Many people are drawn to these places because of the way they can be alone for just a moment. A moment to reflect, regroup and reenergise their wellbeing. Abandoned towns are a much needed secluded place some people seek out to escape their busy lives and the constant noise from the outside world. It is calming to sit down in one of the abandoned buildings and just observe the space you are in. Listen to the silence and notice what is around you, what you feel and sense. An empty home or office building in ghost towns allow you break up the busy in your life. It allows you to fully appreciate what you have in the here and now.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay 2021

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