Excursion Skrunda-1 – 25th November

Couple of tickets left. Join the excursion ALREADY TOMORROW and see the abandoned town. It is the biggest ghost town of the Baltic States once harbouring around 2,500 people.

Let us visit also Kuldīga. The colourful little town, with its old architecture and cobbled streets, captivates artists wandering about Kuldīga with their easels, looking for picturesque views.

Get your ticket here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1981754312095768/?active_tab=about


A murder in the Central Market

Stories can take drammatical and even unbelievable turns when hijacked by market women. Sometimes it is just innocent rumours, sometimes it turns tragicomical… So it happened in 1938 when a women from the Central Market, Anna Beņķe, met one of her many acquaintances on the street and inquired about the recent events of his life.
This is how this story went down: the man kindly informed her that on Sunday he was to attend a funeral of the wife of Jūlijs Puzuns. So Anna told these news to a friend of her. So far so good, nothing out of the ordinary. Unfortunately this fried had A LOT of other friends at the Central Market, and the story travelling from mouth to mouth suddenly got an unexpected turn – now the wife was said to be murdered and the funeral allegedly held as normal in order to hide this horrible secret! Of course, any law-abiding citizen such as Matrjona Lisis (one of the women at the market) could not keep this crime unpunished, rushed to the police and informed them of this terrible injustice! Police immediately jumped into action and turned the heaven and earth around to correct this mistake. Well, just earth – they ordered the corpse of the wife to be exhumed and sent to the forensics. Of course the forensic experts concluded that the wife had died of natural causes and no crime was present. In the end the husband sued the police and couple of other people including Matrjona. What happened next? Well, Matrjona got 7 days jail time and 10 lats to pay for the exhumation and re-burial of the corpse… And all this fuss for simply being socially active.

The Great Cemetery

19113617_462386514126783_4785934882675350815_nSymbols of the Great Cemetery: Butterfly

Probably the most widespread tombstone symbol one can find in the Great Cemetery is the butterfly (sometimes depicted as a moth). It appears first at the turn of the 19th century. The message is clear – butterfly symbolizes the victory of life over death. Why butterfly? The whole idea comes from the natural cycle of development this insect goes through that is completed by becoming an adult butterfly. The stage of a caterpillar (life) is replaced by pupa (death) from which later a butterfly emerges (resurrection). It is also used as the symbol for the soul leaving the body of the deceased.


Parnitha is a mountain located on the north of Athens, with a total area of about 300 square kilometers. In 1914 the Holy Monastery Asomaton-Petrakis offers this area to the Euaggelismos hospital to create a nursing asylum for tuberculosis patients. The area was quite remote from the urban center and the mountain climate is considered ideal for those patients. The sanatorium, worked for over 30 years hospitalizing hundreds of patients. Many of them never managed to leave the institution alive.


The Sanatorium hosted many Athenian tuberculosis patients and dozens of people from cities of Greece with many of them arriving and camping outside the premises of the building for not being able to pay the hospitalization that was 300-480 drachmas per month (today is approximately 0.88-1.41 euros). In the years 1929-1938, it is estimated that in Greece almost 100.000 people died from tuberculosis. Hunger and hardship that came with the war with Turkey and the WWII that followed, caused the spread of the disease. Although the information on medical statistics of the era are not so many, there are reports that between 1941 and 1943, 18.000 tuberculosis patients, only from Athens and Piraeus, lose the battle with the disease.


The sanatorium declined after 1950 with the discovery of penicillin and in 1965 the sanatorium facilities passed to the property of EOT (National Organization of Tourism) for 6.500.000 drachmas (approximately 20.000 euros). The building was converted into a hotel under the name “XENIA” but the layout wasn’t appropriate for a hotel so in 1967 it was converted to a school for jobs in tourism and continue operate until 1985, when it was abandoned. Since then have been born tens of urban legends for the Sanatorium of Parnitha while the building remains a landmark for lovers of the paranormal. One of those myths is the girl with the white clothes or the Kyra’s girl, it is saying that she was an inmate of the sanatorium and that because of the disease she wasn’t able to even drink a drop of water, she asked to go to a source nearby to just see it. And that is what they did, they went with her to the Kyra, but reaching there the girl died. Since then, many people reported seeing a little girl in a white nightgown, sometimes asking them for water or running up and down the halls with tears.

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Today, if you enter the place, you will see ruined walls, torn carpeting, dissolved wooden floors, graffiti and a few scattered chairs composing the scene of abandonment. Furthermore, the lack of artificial light makes the light of day the only good time to walk inside the building without find yourself fall in a trap in one of the many holes that the floor has. However, if you let your mind travel and imagine what happened here several decades ago, it is likely that you will be scared!


It’s not easy after all to walk in places in which thousands of people have suffered and died…
















It was not so long ago that the whole world was on the edge of their seats watching the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl unfold right before their eyes. The live news footage from Ōkuma in Fukushima seemed like a scenario straight from the apocalypse, as viewers across the globe witnessed Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant go up in flames after being battered by a devastating scale 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunamis. A total of three meltdowns took place within the plant due to the failure of cooling systems and ineffective crisis management on part of the local authorities.

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A couple years after the events in 11 March 2011, the town still remains uninhabited and ongoing efforts to clean up the aftermath of the catastrophe are far from finished. So far the fear of residual radioactivity has kept people away from Ōkuma, which has ensured that the town has been left mostly untouched. This is what makes Fukushima a truly unique location on the face of the Earth, because unlike Chernobyl, where locals and tourists have left their mark over the years, it has preserved its “pristine” condition. The pictures taken by various daring photographers and reporters capture the eerie beauty of the abandoned ghost town.

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Fukushima seems like a place that one day all of a sudden stopped dead in its tracks – homes and workplaces abandoned, cars deserted in the middle of the street, things left untouched in the precise spot where they were struck by the disaster. Numerous clocks and calendars hauntingly reflect the exact moment time stopped running in Fukushima.

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Horror fiction writers and filmmakers have played around with the idea of what it would be like if everybody would suddenly just disappear. Fukushima actually lets you see what it would be like.

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Currently, even six years after the disaster the tragedy is ongoing, as tens of thousands of evacuees have been denied access to their homes and possessions. Debates continue among scientists and government officials about the actual level of danger in Fukushima and whether inhabitants will eventually be allowed to return. In the meanwhile, Fukushima is slowly becoming a famous destination for “dark tourism”.

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Despite the potential risks, local inhabitants have lately begun organizing guided tours in small groups through the ruined town in order to help preserve the memory of the tragedy and send a warning about the dangers of nuclear power. While Fukushima most likely will never be an official tourist spot, the local government has acknowledged and started permitting short visits to safer areas of the prefecture with adequate safety gear. Locals claim the tours are all part of a larger long-term plan of rebuilding Fukushima in the future. For now, though, it remains a ghost town frozen in time on that faithful day of 11 March 2011.










Domino Sugar Factory

The Domino Sugar factory is situated in the neighborhood of Williamsburg in New York (USA). Today it is one the most important architectural icons of the city. The factory occupies a large area in front of the Williamsburg Bridge.

In the past this neighborhood was characterized by hipster culture, but in recent years it has become a more and more fashionable quarter of New York because of its “urban brand” that attracts artists and creative, but especially young professionals and families wishing to start a new life, different from the one in Manhattan.


The Domino Sugar Factory for several years was the most important sugar factory in the world, and for almost 150 years the most important refinery of the Domino Company.

The factory was built in 1856, but the current building, that still stays today, in 1882, because it was completely rebuilt after a fire destroyed everything. The owner, decided to combine 17 other sugar refineries and give life to one big company; this one was called Domino Sugar in 1902.

In 1870s the factory was refining more than half of the sugar consumed in the USA.

In its heyday, there were more than 5,000 employees working in the refinery, and the company produced 1.4 million kilos of sugar a day.

With fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners entering the market, the demand for cane sugar dropped. Because of this, processing of sugar in this factory ended in 2004.


In 1917 there was an explosion that destroyed part of the building and killed a lot of employees of the factory. Nobody knows what caused the explosion, but there is a rumor that German agents were to be blamed because the refinery was processing sugar for Allies. In this occasion, more than 15,000 people went to watch the factory burning.

In 2000 because of low wages and bad working conditions 250 workers started a strike that lasted 20 months. This was one of the longest strikes in the history New York.

The main building received a status of a “landmark” in 2007. There are plans for demolishing part of the plant. In place of this, several flats and public spaces for less well-off classes will be built. The community is against the demolitions because the factory is considered a piece of history.

Contributed by Artturi Hämäläinen from Finland



Inside The Domino Sugar Refinery









Jussaari is located 20 kilometres from the continental Finland, and it lies on an island bearing the same name. For hundreds of years the island has served as a brief stopping place for ships due to its vital location in the middle of sea routes. Earliest written documentation about Jussaari dates back to 1240.

Jussaaria Ghost Town

Jussaari is rich in iron ore. In fact there is so much of it that it even causes magnetic distraction for compasses which had been the main reason behind many shipwrecks during history. It has always had a reputation of a mystery island or devil island because sailors were afraid of Jussaari’s underwater rocks and games it played with compass needles. It was true especially during earlier times as sailors didn’t know that it was the iron ore that made compasses to go crazy. Thanks to its reputation, Jussaari even managed to make an entry in 17th century sailing guides which apparently did not help much anyway as the waters around Jussaari hold captive a great deal of sunken ships.

Jussaaria Ghost Town

Iron ore was precisely the reason why the island got its first permanent inhabitants. Mining activities started in 1831 and lasted till 1867. Back then Finland was part of Russia who ordered its western subjects to start mining their own minerals rather than buying them for a higher price from neighbouring Sweden. However, mining wasn’t profitable enough, even though prisoners were used as cheap labour to get the job done. Almost hundred years later mining was restarted in 1961 by a Finnish company called Vuokseniska who built all the necessary facilitates on the island. This greatly boosted Jussaari’s poor economy. Unfortunately this happy era only lasted for seven years as everything was shut down in 1967. The reason was simple – Jussaari’s iron ore couldn’t compete with Brazilians who during that time flooded the world market with cheaper and higher-quality iron.

Jussaaria Ghost Town

What is more interesting is that the mining was done not only on the island. There are over three kilometres of railroads under the see which are now flooded with seawater. Inside the tunnels large dining halls for workers can still be found. They used to spend a whole day in the mines there extracting iron.

Jussaaria Ghost Town

During the happy iron years, mining waste was dumped onto island, and the sand gradually became red. Dumped, processed by-products over time created a unique Iron Beach where sand is still of dark red colour.

Jussaaria Ghost Town

However the island was not left alone, and later miners were replace by soldiers. Due to its strategic location, Jussaari has always been of interest to the military. After mining period ended, Finnish armed forces took the island under their wing and set up some light artillery cannons there. Also a post for a coastguard was established whose duties were mainly focused on monitoring any suspicious activities on the sea and catching smugglers.

Jussaaria Ghost Town

For a long time the island has been closed to general public and only recently it was opened to visitors. As the empty mining facilities were briefly used for urban warfare training during island’s era under the military, nowadays, visitors can find plenty of used shells and other military waste lying around.

Contributed by Artturi Hämäläinen from Finland




The Barnes Hospital, also called Manchester Convalescent Home, is a former hospital, built by Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1875 in the rural area of the periphery of the city, with the intent to stay away from the industrial smog. It is now surrounded by big highways. The name of the hospital is due to a big donation from Robert Barnes who wanted a new hospital in the area of Cheadle.During the construction works, three high stone crosses were found, but today we know the location of just one: a Celtic cross head stone, dated between the 10th and 11th century, which you can now see in St. Mary’s Church, Cheadle.During the construction works, three high stone crosses were found, but today we know the location of just one: a Celtic cross head stone, dated between the 10th and 11th century, which you can now see in St. Mary’s Church, Cheadle.

During the construction works, three high stone crosses were found, but today we know the location of just one: a Celtic cross head stone, dated between the 10th and 11th century, which you can now see in St. Mary’s Church, Cheadle.

Barnes Hospital

The hospital was used through the wars as a caring house for injured soldiers, especially during the World War II. Later it became a clinic for geriatric cures and stroke patients. It’s been estimated that tens of thousands of people were treated in the hospital during its 100 years of operation.

The special type of architecture chosen contributes to make the building a gloomy place. With its large size and Gothic feeling it is surrounded by an aura of mystery. It was also described as a “great gaunt pile of a building, abandoned and all dark at night, except for the lonely light in its tower-top clock.“. Moreover, in 1974 a horror movie “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie” was made here.

The hospital was closed in 1999, and in the same year it was listed as a Grade II building, meaning it is been placed in the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Grade II is reserved for buildings that are of special interest, prescribing every effort to preserve them.
After the closure the hospital have housed some refugees from Kosovo, and later in 2007 it was briefly occupied by a group of gipsy families.

Barnes Hospital

Since its shutdown, the building has had several owners that had different plans for the hospital, but they all failed for different reasons. It is now owned by four local businessmen who want to restore Barnes hospital creating a residential development on the site, and after few years of silence the works have finally commenced in 2015. It is good but at the same time a shame for hunters of grim places, who have not had the chance to visit it during its dark years!









Plokstines Missile Base – threat to the Europe

The Soviet missile base in Lithuania was a big threat to the Western Europe during the Cold War. It was able to destroy any city in Europe. From 1963 to 1978, 4 mid-range ballistic missiles SS-4 equipped with 2 megatons of thermonuclear power were located at Plokstine’s base in Lithuania. In comparison, the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima was ready just for 13-16 kilotons.


The base was built at Ploksciai village, next to Plateliai Lake. This location was chosen because of the perfect surrounding of lakes and forests, which made hard to locate a secret base. Infrastructure was changed according to the needs of the base.

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Plokstine Missile Base

The whole compound was completed in 2 years (1960 – 1962). More than 10,000 soldiers worked on the necessary facilities during its construction, most of them from Estonia. During the construction period all the people who lived nearby were evicted. The whole base was under rigorous security conditions and had 6 different security lines around it.

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Entrance to the bunker

A missile launched from the base was able to reach any destination within 2,000 kilometres range. For the most of the time the missiles were pointed towards Norway, Denmark, United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey and West Germany.

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Lay-figure 2

The base was closed in 1978 when the US intelligence learned about its location. All the missiles were brought back to Russia. After that the base was left abandoned.


In 2012 it was opened for the tourists and since then anyone can come to the base and see by themselves the destructive power the Soviet Union was ready to launch against the Western Europe. The tour gives you a chance to feel real Soviet Union atmosphere and see how tons of money were spent to create an underground base. Every year thousands of tourists come to visit this place and have only the best to say afterwards.

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Plokstine Missile Base 2




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Soviet Propaganda


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Lay-figure 3
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Soviet Guns
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Plokstine Missile Base Landscape

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Author: Dovydas Cincius

Nara Dreamland – an abandoned theme park in Japan

Disneyland has always been a symbol of theme parks that many countries try to replicate and build their own one based on the layout of Disneyland. And Japan is not an exception. In 1961, Japan experienced a post-war economic miracle when the country started plenty of megaprojects and land developments. After a Japanese business man Kunizu Matsuo, the president of the Matsuo Entertainment Company, visited Disneyland in Anaheim near Los Angeles on the second half of the 1950s, he wanted to bring Disneyland to Nara, the old capital of Japan.

Nara Dreamland
Nara Dreamland – an abandoned theme park in Japan

However, Disney could not agree on license fees for some famous characters such as Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck and Goofy, so the idea about Nara Disneyland was replaced by Nara Dreamland where the Japanese created their own characters. You can see the resemblance with Disneyland. Here you can find similar structures such as Sleeping Beauty Castle, Adventure Land, Main Street USA, Tea Party Cup Ride, Submarine Voyage, Dream Station… Noticeably, the main attraction of Nara Dreamland was Aska roller coaster opened in 1998 that could reach the speed of 80 km/h. The length of the track was 1081 meters, and the height was 30 meters.

Nara Dreamland
Nara Dreamland – an abandoned theme park in Japan


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Nara Dreamland – waterpark 


Nara Dreamland was opened in 1961 and after more than 20 years of prosperity, the theme park suffered a downfall due to the appearance of many outstanding new theme parks such as Tokyo Disneyland (opened in 1983) or Universal Studios Japan (opened in 2001). The Nara Dreamland was forced to shut its doors on 31 August 2006 due to the low number of visitors. The park has not been demolished, it was just abandoned and everything began to sink into oblivion. Nara Dreamland has become a legendary abandoned place that attracts many curious explorers taking risks to break into the spooky land. The whole park is surrounded by fences and barbed wire. Any unexpected intruders are reported to police and face a large fine.

Nara Dreamland
Nara Dreamland – an abandoned theme park in Japan

The entrance, the ticket booths, the tracks of the roller coaster, the monorail, cars, streets… still stand there, nothing has been moved or taken apart. That makes you feel like being lost in a land devastated by the power of time. The oblivion can be evidenced through the rust, peeled off paint and growing weeds.

Nara Dreamland
Nara Dreamland – an abandoned theme park in Japan
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Nara Dreamland – Disney
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Nara Dreamland – The Sunrise
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Nara Dreamland – A giant fiberglass witch
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Nara Dreamland – An abandoned carousel
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Nara Dreamland – The ride
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Nara Dreamland – Abandoned aquapark
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Nara Dreamland – A theme park