North Carolina has plenty of amazing, eerie and haunting ghost towns. Between dark pasts and memories of now left in the form of ruins – the explorer in all of us would love a few days to venture into the abandoned parts of North Carolina. Luckily, we’ve constructed a
whole map that routes you through North Carolina’s most infamous ghost towns.
This road trip takes you through all of North Carolina’s historic, haunted, and creepy abandoned places. Stop along the way and plan other sites to see, or spread the trip out – one to the coast and another through the mountains. The
road trip starts you at Brunswick Town and ends at the haunting, submerged ghost town of Judson. Buckle up; it’s going to be a scary ride!
1. Brunswick Town
The trip starts you in the Colonial Ghost town turned Civil War fort Brunswick Town / Fort Anderson. Once a thriving Colonial Town home to the first Royal Governor and popular trading port, Brunswick Town fell victim to attacks during the Revolutionary War. Many of the residents fled for safety or to more prosperous cities like Wilmington and New Bern.
Today, you can walk through the structural remains of St. Phillips Church and even see indentations where cannon balls struck the church during the Civil War. Read all about Brunswick Town and learn the full history
2. Henry River Mill Village
While Henry River is now known 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 moved on to more prosperous cities and towns. When you walk through Henry River and it seems as if all the residents simply left overnight. The remains of buildings, walkways, houses...it's eerie for sure. You can choose to take a Hunger Games walking tour or explore by yourself.
Mortimer is a bit hard to find, and you might find the third destination on your list leads you down bumpy roads (but don't worry, that's NOT banjo music you're hearing). This thriving mill town was destroyed by a flood of epic proportions. All surviving residents fled the town. On your stop, you'll see many skeletons of remaining buildings - like the old mill, machines, and building foundations.
4. Lost Cove
Located in Yancey County on the TN/NC border, Lost Cove might be the most creepy stop on your list. You'll need a good four-wheel drive or SUV to access the remains. During its heyday, moonshining dominated the town's income, but when a boundary dispute arose, many residents left Lost Cove. The last few remained until 1958. Today, Lost Cove is a haunting placed filled with the decayed remains of houses, buildings and even a car. Bring your camera for this one!
Visiting Catalooche is a nice break from the decayed, because it's filled with beautiful scenery and recreational activities. But behind the beauty there's despair, decay and displacement. 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. You can explore this gorgeous national park and also look at the remains of a church, barns, and even a few houses hidden behind the dense greenery.
Proctor is infamous for a larger-than-life snake pulled from Lake Proctor, but you won't have to worry about too many (prob. fake) jungle-sized snakes here. Located in Swain County on Hazel Creek, Proctor nearly vanished due to the creation of Fontana Lake. The mill town was submerged and flooded to provide electricity. 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 here.
7. Fontana Lake
While Judson is rarely, if ever, visible, Fontana Lake displaced many residents who called the area home. All in all, it's almost as if this gorgeous lake is one giant ghost town. From the
Road To Nowhere
or even witnessing the remains of Judson when the lake is low, this beautiful place is full of haunting energy.
Now you’ve experienced the best abandoned North Carolina has to offer. Gorgeous, haunting, and always memorable. Have you been to any of these destinations before?