North Carolina 6 Abandoned Ghost Towns You Can Visit in 2024

There’s nothing quite like a misadventure during a hike that leads to an eerie, deserted town hidden deep within the woods to capture the essence of a horror film. A sense of the past lingers in the air, hinting at the possibility that some former residents may still be present, quietly watching. North Carolina provides a variety of abandoned towns for thrill-seekers to explore, offering a unique day trip experience.

Lost Cove

Lost Cove is located on the TN/NC border in Yancey County and is an eerie abandoned mountain town. The economic scene was mainly focused on moonshining, but a boundary disagreement led many people to leave in search of new beginnings in easier-to-reach places. Only a few people remained until 1958, creating Lost Cove, an eerie location with deteriorating houses, buildings, and a car.


Mortimer was once a thriving mill town, but was later abandoned by residents who were forced to leave their homes due to a devastating flood. Today, the skeletal remains of buildings, such as the old mill, machines, and foundations, reflect the past vitality of Caldwell County.


Located in Swain County on Hazel Creek, Proctor was almost completely destroyed by the construction of Fontana Lake. The busy mill town was flooded to produce electricity, and now it is known for a story about a massive snake supposedly found in Lake Proctor. Proctor takes you on a spooky walk through the woods, uncovering brick foundations and eerie remnants that suggest a lingering presence.

Also Read: 5 South Carolina Counties Has the Fastest Population Decline

Henry River Mill Village

Some people refer to Henry River as District 12 from the Hunger Games series, portraying a deserted town with a history rooted in industry. Following the mill shutting down in the 1960s and a fire in 1977, the town was deserted as residents moved away. Currently, the village has retained former mill houses, which have contributed to its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors have the option to join a Hunger Games walking tour or explore independently.


Although Cataloochee is now famous for its stunning landscapes and things to do, it also holds hidden traces of the past and secrets within its wild surroundings. Originally a prosperous Cherokee hunting area that later became a settlement for pilgrims, the town encountered difficulties during the Civil War, resulting in the residents being forced to leave. Even though efforts were made to improve the situation, Cataloochee eventually fell victim to logging regulations in the early ’90s, forcing the remaining residents to move away. Today, the region is now a national park, filled with the sounds of a community that thrived in the past.

Brunswick Town

Brunswick Town was a vibrant Colonial settlement where the first Royal Governor resided and it operated as a busy trading port. Yet, assaults in the Revolutionary War compelled the remaining inhabitants to escape, nearly decimating the town. Remnants of battle damage from the Civil War can still be seen on the Church and other buildings. While not exactly spooky, Brunswick Town has a special charm that draws in visitors who enjoy its historical ruins, with some choosing it as a unique wedding location. This destination is quite approachable for solo adventurers.

In conclusion

North Carolina has a rich historical landscape filled with abandoned ghost towns, each providing a unique look into the past. Explore a variety of historical sites, from Wild West-themed parks to colonial settlements and submerged communities. Every ghost town has a unique story, making them must-visit spots for those intrigued by the mysteries of the past.

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