Nothing says ‘horror movie’ like a hike gone astray leading to a creepy, deserted town deep within the woods. The eerie remains of a life lived, and the spine-tingling feeling that maybe some of those residents haven’t left, some might even be watching you. For the thrill lover, North Carolina has quite a few abandoned towns that remain more than a figment of memory. The energy here is palpable, and if you’re looking for a different type of day trip, pay them a visit.
1. Lost Cove
Located in Yancey County on the TN/NC border, Lost Cove is an eerie abandoned mountain town. Moonshining dominated the town's income, but when a boundary dispute arose, many residents left Lost Cove. They headed towards new beginnings, cities, towns, and more easily accessible places. The last few residents remained until 1958. Today, Lost Cove is a haunting placed filled with the decayed remains of houses, buildings and even a car.
Mortimer was once a thriving mill town, but after a flood of epic proportions, the surviving residents were forced to abandon their homes and lives. Today, many skeletons of buildings remain. From the old mill, machine, and building foundations, Mortimer whispers echoes of life. You'll find it in Caldwell County.
Located in Swain County on Hazel Creek, Proctor nearly vanished due to the creation of Fontana Lake. The once bustling mill town was submerged and flooded to provide electricity. Today, 'Proctor' gets notoriety from a (probably fake) image of a 700-pound snake that was said to have been pulled out of Lake Proctor. If you're not scared of Photoshopped snakes, Proctor is an eerie place to take a stroll through the woods. You'll see brick foundations and haunting remains. It's as if the people never wanted to leave - and that energy is very present in this place.
4. Henry River Mill Village
While you might know Henry River as Hunger Game's District 12, this ghost town is an eerie reminder of an industrial past. The village had its own mill, dam, and water source, and even began to get walkways and a company store. After the mill shut down in the 1960s and eventually burned in 1977, many residents left and left the town was abandoned. Today, former mill houses remain and the town is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can take a Hunger Games walking tour, or visit for yourself.
The only time you'll know Judson ever existed is when the Fontana Lake is extremely low. The submerged town fell victim to flooding after the creation of Fontana Dam. Like other mountain towns on this list, foundations, remains, and hauntings of life remain beneath the surface.
Today, Catalooche is known for beautiful scenery and recreational activities - but there's also a whole lot of remnants, despair, and remains deep within the beautiful wilderness. Cataloochee was once a thriving Cherokee hunting ground turned pilgrim settlement. Over the years, the settlers found much prosperity due to fertile grounds. During the Civil War, all able men left to fight. The town was raided by Union soldiers and many residents were forced to flee in fear of their life. After the war, remaining residents returned to try and establish prosperity. Catalooche became a successful logging town and by the early 20th century, 95% of households were estimated to be selling or making moonshine. By the early 90s, the few remaining residents were forced to move or sell their land due to a strict enforcement of logging laws. Today, the area is a national park, but there is a certain feel that also speaks the remains of a prosperous area, a place where people lived and called home.
7. Brunswick Town
This thriving Colonial Town was home to the first Royal Governor and a popular trading port. Due to its prime location, Brunswick Town suffered attacks during the Revolutionary War. The remaining residents were forced to flee - and the town was nearly destroyed. It was used during the Civil War, and apparent damage from the battles still remains on the Church and other structures. While it's more beautiful than eerie, it's still an interesting place with a unique energy. Some have even used the ruins as a one of a kind wedding venue. This is one place on the list I'd say is not 'too' scary to visit solo.
Although they look eerie in pictures – a little adventure (and thrill) is never a bad thing. These are also perfect places for a different kind of photoshoot! Have you visited any for yourself?