Looking to do some adventurous sightseeing? Abandoned buildings are some of the prettiest (and spookiest) places to explore. Whether you’re a photographer, a history buff or a thrill seeker, these places are sure to stand out on your next trip. 

Dixie Brewery (New Orleans, LA)


“DixieBreweryNO” by Baronplantagenet at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Sreejithk2000 using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

While the interior was totally decimated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this striking red-brick example of German Romanesque architecture still stands on Tulane Avenue in the Big Easy. Today, the inside walls have been taken over by graffiti artists, but there has been an ongoing battle in recent years over whether to re-open the brewery or turn the building into a bio-research facility.

Scranton Lace Company (Scranton, PA)

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“Scranton Lace Company Scranton PA” by Smallbones – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Commons.

Scranton’s not just the setting for everyone’s favorite comedy, The Office. Way before Michael Scott and co. made it famous, the Scranton Lace Company was established in 1890 as a major textile mill that produced yarn, napkins, and tablecloths in addition to its namesake. With more than 1,000 employees at one point, the headquarters had a bowling alley, barbershop, and theater. After more than a century in operation, it was forced to close its doors in 2002.

Palace Theater (Gary, IN)

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“Gary Palace” by Kevin Miller from South Bend, IN – Gary Palace Uploaded by xnatedawgx. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.

This gorgeous venue was a mainstay in downtown Gary for 50 years before it closed its doors. While it’s depreciated significantly over the years, you can still find hints of the iconic Atmospheric design throughout the Palace’s remains. In addition, major historic touches like the original theater seats, a grand piano, and the box office remain. Perhaps most haunting is the Italian-inspired fresco that can still be seen on one of the walls.

Bennett School for Girls (Millbrook, NY)

A stately Hudson Valley institution that’s been abandoned since 1978, the Bennett School for Girls was originally built as a luxury hotel called Halcyon Hall in 1890, but became an educational facility in 1907. The school, which provided young women with a six-year curriculum, transitioned into a junior college shortly after. However, the school went bankrupt in 1977, and has been languishing ever since. It was only recently that plans were announced to demolish the school and transform at least part of the property into a park.

Rancho Los Amigos (Downey, CA)

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“Iron Lung ward-Rancho Los Amigos Hospital” by Food and Drug Administration – http://www.fda.gov/cber/summaries/cent092302pp.htm. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

This 127 year-old building is often mis-categorized as an insane asylum, when it actually served a more general purpose for the community during the hundred years it was occupied. In fact, there was a WWII army base, a post office, a zoo, and a farm all on the premises. As it was a multi-building complex, Rancho Los Amigos is a sight to see; a veritable ghost town of forgotten structures.