While ghost towns may be caused by other catastrophic events, such as a natural disaster, government action or war, the term “ghost town” is most frequently associated with mining.
As mines are stripped of useful ore or gems and then abandoned, the towns that rose up to support them and provide for the miners are also quickly abandoned. This leaves a series of ghost towns dotting the land in mining country.
Ghosts towns are of a great deal of interest to many people, particularly historians, because they can give a snapshot of the past.
In some ghost towns, there is not much left above the surface of the ground. Any information about the area, the people or the history is learned through excavation.
Other ghost towns have been well-preserved and have many buildings above the ground. The ghost town in Bannack, Montana, for example, has many well preserved buildings. It is a state park in Montana, and accessible to tourists.
There is a small industry built up around touring ghost towns. Many people who are not necessarily scientists or researchers but are fascinated by the past will visit ghost towns on a regular basis.
If visiting ghost towns is of interest to you, it is important to note that some ghost towns are dangerous or difficult to access. In this case, they may be off-limits or illegal to visit.
There are ghost towns all around the world, including many in the western part of the United States. Canada also has a large number of ghost towns. Some people make a habit of traveling around to see the various different sites in different states and provinces around western North America.
There are similar ghost towns in Australia, in Queensland and South Australia and New South Wales, and others in Europe. Many ghost towns in Europe are older than those in North America, and are more likely to be linked to natural disasters or political uprisings.