I love the South— its lakes, its river, its natural beauty, and even its abandoned buildings, churches, and forgotten plantations. There’s something fascinating about seeing these man-made places that nature has reclaimed. The glory days of these places are long since gone, leaving only overgrown ruins, but it’s that hint of glory that only adds to the mystery and makes you want to see these places for yourself.
9 Coolest/Scariest Abandoned Places in the South:
1. Baker Hotel // Mineral Wells, Texas
The Baker Hotel had its heyday in the 1920s and ’30s, when it was considered a top tier spa destination with 450 guest rooms, a swimming pool (the first one ever built in Texas) and a meeting room with capacity for up to 2,500 guests. The hotel went through a financial roller coaster through the ’50s and ’70s and finally closed its doors in 1972. In 2010 plans were announced to renovate the Baker Hotel, but as of today, the hotel lies untouched as in the pictures below.
2. Dogpatch USA // Marble Falls, Arkansas
Dogpatch USA was once a successful theme park in Marble Falls, Arkansas. It opened in 1968, but when its investors decided to build a sister park called, “Marble Falls,” the venture failed and the park was forced to shut its doors in 1993. Soon thereafter the park fell into disrepair.
3. The Dome Home // Cape Romano, Florida
Seeking seclusion in his retirement, Bob Lee, an oil producer and businessman, built this 2,400-square-foot vacation home for his family. It included three bedrooms and three bathrooms. He sold the home 2 years later to another family, but the entire interior of the home was ultimately destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It’s now a favorite site for snorkelers, fisherman, and explorers who are intrigued by its fascinating design.
4. Kisatchie High School // Kisatchie, Louisiana
In 1962 two schools consolidated into one, leaving Kisatchie High School abandoned. The past 50 years it has been slowly deteriorating away into what you see pictured below.
5. Old Charleston City Jail // Charleston, South Carolina
The Old Charleston City Jail operated from 1802 to 1939 and housed many criminals as well as Civil War prisoners of war. Today, the Old Charleston City Jail is one of the “Save America’s Treasures” projects of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the White House Millennium Council.
6. Old Taylor Distillery // Frankfort, Kentucky
This abandoned distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, was built to resemble a medieval castle and sat dormant for four decades, but it’s now undergoing transformation after being bought by a new venture, Castle and Key Distillery .
7. Sheldon Church Ruins // Yemassee, South Carolina
This historic site, built between 1745 and 1753, was originally known as Prince William’s Parish Church. It was burned by the British in 1779 during the Revolutionary War and was rebuilt in 1826. History differs as to what happened next. Some say it was burned by Sherman’s troops as part of his “March to the Sea” campaign in the Civil War, and some maintain that it was gutted by Southern families who needed the materials to rebuild their homes, which had been burned by Sherman’s army.
8. Six Flags New Orleans // New Orleans, Louisiana
Six Flags New Orleans was once a major 140-acre theme park, complete with several steel roller coasters, a log flume ride, and lots of other merry-go-round type rides for kids. It was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and is now overgrown with brush and weeds and swampy places where alligators like to hang out. The park has been used as a film set for films like “Jurassic Park” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” To this day it is still abandoned.
9. Windsor Ruins // Port Gibson, Mississippi
Twenty-three Corinthian columns are all that remain of an elaborate four-story Southern mansion built between 1859 and 1861. It was used by both Confederate and Yankee troops during the Civil War. A fire destroyed the home February 19, 1890, leaving only the stately columns.