Destinations12 Beautiful But Scary Abandoned Islands in the World
12 Beautiful But Scary Abandoned Islands in the World

12 Beautiful But Scary Abandoned Islands in the World

There are many beautiful islands once inhabited by a large number of people. However, people don’t come to those islands anymore because of different reasons. The cause may be dangerous creatures, natural disasters, wars, epidemics, etc. For any reason, they are now the scary abandoned islands in the world that people rarely visit.

A quick summary of scary islands in the world on YouTube.

1. Ilha Da Queimada Grande or Snake Island – Brazil

ilha da queimada grande (brazil) – the snake island dangerous
Ilha Da Queimada Grande, or Snake Island, is one of the most deadly places in the world that you can’t visit.

There were inhabitants on the island before. Indeed, the settlers had made efforts to create a banana plantation but failed. Later, Brazilian authorities banned people from visiting the island because of the appearance of too many extremely poisonous Golden Lancehead Viper. As a result, it has become a famous abandoned place since 1920. Now people know about this place as Snake Island in Brazil.

2. Houtouwan, Zhoushan – China

Houtouwan abandoned village island in China
The Houtouwan is an abandoned village island in China.

Houtouwan on Gouqi Island used to have more than 2,000 people living there, mainly fishermen. In the early 1990s, the remote village had many problems related to the development of industries such as light industry, shipbuilding, and tourism. As a result, locals leave the island and migrate to other places. A while later, mother nature swallowed up the whole island, making it one of the creepiest abandoned places in the world.

3. Baljenac – Croatia

Baljenac island was a farm in Croatia
Baljenac island was a farm for grapevines, figs, and citrus trees.

Like a fingerprint from the air, the island of Baljenac has 23 km of dry stone walls known as “Suhozid“. Actually, for hundreds of years, the inhabitants of the nearby island of Kaprije have used Baljenac for agriculture. They built walls to divide crops and protect them from the wind. From the aerial view, Baljenac is truly among the scary abandoned islands in the world.

4. Spinalonga, Crete – Greece

spinalonga island crete greece
You can take a boat to Spinalonga from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, and Plaka.

The Venetians built fortifications on Spinalonga island in the late 16th century to protect trade routes from pirates and the Ottoman Empire. From 1903-1957, the island was the place of exile of the leper. Then, it has been abandoned to this day.

5. Ellidaey – Iceland

the house at Ellidaey island
The house at Ellidaey Island is said to be the loneliest house in the world.

The island was inhabited until 1930. In the past, the small community on Ellidaey Island lived by fishing and raising cattle. As life gets harder and harder than on land, they decide to leave. The large white building in the pic was built in 1953 as a resting place for hunters.

6. Middle Ground Coastal Battery – India

Middle Ground Coastal Battery one of the abandoned islands
Middle Ground Coastal Battery is a heritage site off the coast of Mumbai, India.

This island is located near the port of Mumbai. It was built by the British East India Company in 1682 to fight pirates. During World War 2, the island was also supplemented with many anti-aircraft artillery and combat weapons. Today, the island is controlled by the Indian Navy.

7. Gaiola – Italy

Gaiola island history relates to the deaths of its owners
The status of the Gaiola island curse was created by a series of its owners’ misfortunes.

Gaiola’s location is only a few meters from the city’s shores. According to the inhabitants of Naples, the island of Gaiola has been cursed. Indeed, this rumor was obtained after the tragedy of the island owner’s family, causing many family members to lose their lives.

8. La Isla De Las Munecas or the “Island of the Dead Dolls” – Mexico

La Isla De Las Munecas is one of the scary abandoned islands in the world
Many people believe the Island of the Dead Dolls is haunted.
Island of the Dead Dolls story curse
The Island of the Dead Dolls story truly scares people.

As one of the extremely scary abandoned islands, it is also known as the “Island of the Dead Dolls“. In fact, this is an artificial island built near Laguna de Teshuilo, Mexico. Starting in 1950, thousands of dolls were hung on the tree by the owner of the island, Julian Santana Barrera, to ward off the spirit of a young girl who died nearby.

9. Mamula – Montenegro

Mamula is one of the abandoned islands in the world
Mamula island has a long history with a fortress built-in 1953.

On the island of Mamula, there is an abandoned fortress built in 1853 by the Austro-Hungarian general, Lazarus von Mamula, for the purpose of protecting the Bay of Kotor (Southeastern Montenegro). During World War II, the fort was used as a place to hold prisoners of war by Benito Mussolini.

10. Fort Alexander – Russia

Fort Alexander is one of the abandoned islands in the world
Fort Alexander is one of the most scary abandoned islands in the world.

Built-in 1838-1845 on an artificial island in the Gulf of Finland, this fortress was tasked with protecting St Petersburg and the port of Kronstadt. In 1899, it became a laboratory for the study of plaque and bacteria. Nevertheless, the deaths of two workers caused the place to close completely.

11. Gemiler – Turkey

gemiler island is one of the abandoned islands in the world
You can hire a private boat to shuttle from Ölüdeniz beach to Gemiler Island.
Gemiler island history relates to Christians church
Gemiler island history relates to a prosperous Byzantine community formed by early Christians.

Archaeologists believe that the remains of the first Christian bishop – St Nicholas – were laid to rest on Gemiler island in 326. However, the island had to withstand many attacks from the Arabs so the saint’s remains were brought to the mainland in 650. Later, church buildings on the island were then abandoned to this day.

12. Alcatraz, California – USA

alcatraz prison
Alcatraz prison is well-known for its superior security.

This is an island with a haunting history. It locates about 2 km off the coast of San Francisco. From 1934-1963, Alcatraz island was the site of a federal prison. The strong current around the island was the reason that not a single prisoner was able to swim out.

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12 creepy abandoned islands around the world - the broad life pinterest board
12 scary abandoned islands in the world - the broad life pinterest board

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Anonymous

    I would love to visit all of these places. Abandonded areas are so much fun to explore. They really have their own unique vibe.

  • Stephanie

    I knew about Alcatraz but had no idea there were so many abandoned islands around the world. The stories get crazier and crazier! It’s so neat to hear why so many of them became abandoned.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      I love to discover more about their stories. For sure I will share it here on my blog so everyone will know.

  • A Nation of Moms

    These are all such interesting places. The island in Croatia with the farming looks so odd with the walls built in it. I wasn’t familiar with most of these, just Alcatraz.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Alcatrax seems like a place that many people can visit. The others are truly new to know to many people.

  • pacioalita9

    Wow, Ive never know any of these islands until now. They are indeed creepy but beautiful.

  • Neely Moldovan

    We did an Alcatraz tour a few years ago! It was super interesting!


    Oh wow, that’s a fair few abandoned islands. I’m not surprised with the one in mexico if some think it’s haunted.

  • Ntensibe Edgar

    Wow…indeed these places have been abandoned! It’s my first time seeing any of them. The island in China looks like my favourite place to reside in.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Haha, I don’t think you will want to stay in the island especially at night.

  • Kelly Bolen

    I have been to Alcatraz! I used to live near San Fran and it was incredible to tour! I loved reading about all the other islands, some very creepy stories!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      I’m gonna write more stories about these creepy islands so everyone can know more about them.

  • Pooja

    These places do look scary and strange, would like to visit them. Atleast visit a few of them to gather scary memories

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Hehe, please come back here and share to me your experiences after you visit them.

  • Jennifer Prince

    Ah!! What an amazing trip idea. I didn’t even realize there were abandoned islands. So cool!!

  • Lyanna Soria

    Those all look wonderful and there’s something about abandoned places that nature has taken over that makes them looks astonishing.

  • Taj Mahal Tour

    Dear, Thanks for the post all the good information has been posted in this article.

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