Top 9 Abandoned Places In North Carolina

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

If you’ve ever gone to the South, then you know that this section of the United States is rich in lore. Such is the case with North Carolina, a state that has a rich history as well as a slew of abandoned buildings that never quite made it to the modern age. Some are haunted, while others are just haunting to look at. Are you ready to take a road trip with us and learn about some of the cooler ones we’ve found?

There are tons of amazing abandoned places within North Carolina’s borders. Some of the more famous include:

  • Dorothea Dix Hospital
  • Portsmouth Village
  • The Road To Nowhere
  • Brunswick Town
  • Ghost Town In The Sky
  • Stonewall Jackson School
  • Wilkesboro Speedway
  • Castle Mont Rouge 
  • Kildare Road

There are a lot of wild places that you can see in North Carolina, but you don’t have to drive there to soak in the creepy lore. Our article will introduce you to them if you can’t visit them yourself.

Abandoned Places In North Carolina

Care for a spooky ghost story or visually stunning photos of abandonia? These bone-chilling venues are just what the doctor ordered…

1. Ghost Town Village – Maggie Valley

It doesn’t get any more “ghost townie” than this. Ghost Town Village, also known as Ghost Town In The Sky, was once a Wild West-themed amusement park dedicated to all things cowboy. The amusement park was opened in the 1960s during the age of John Wayne, and survived all the way to 2019. So, it’s only recently abandoned.

Since the closure, nature started to reclaim Ghost Town Village. It’s eerie to walk through. But, don’t get too lax around here. It’s potentially up for sale and is regularly patrolled.

2. Brunswick Town – Brunswick Town

Abandoned towns are fairly common, but not when they are a port town! Brunswick Town was a sturdy port town that once was home to the first royal governor of North Carolina, George Burrington. Prior to the Revolutionary War, this town was one of the gems of the American East Coast. Unfortunately, things took a turn for worse when the war happened.

Once the British declared war, everyone had to flee Brunswick Town. Due to the bloodshed that happened here, it was never reinhabited. Today, only ruins exist. Despite that, this is considered to be one of the more important historic areas in North Carolina. After all, it was one of the oldest towns in the state.

3. The Stonewall Jackson Reform School – Concorde

During the 19th century, society fixed people by either putting them in psych wards for the rest of their lives or by putting them in reform schools. Shortly after the Civil War, Concorde found itself with a need for a school for boys that were labeled as “troublemakers.” In other words, it was a reform school that acted as a juvenile detention center.

At the height of the school’s popularity, Stonewall taught trades to over 500 boys. As social programs improved, the need for a place like Stonewall started to fade into the background. All that’s left of the place now are a bunch of buildings that look like they were brought in from another time.

4. Wilkesboro Speedway – Wilksboro

North Carolina has a rich NASCAR history dating all the way back to the sport’s beginnings. One of the very first racing arenas in America was Wilkesboro Speedway. The Speedway was home to some of the most significant, historic races in the earlier part of the last century. And yet now, it’s completely abandoned.

From 1947 until 1996, this was one of the fastest short-run tracks in the nation and a major NASCAR hotspot that hosts the most pulse-pounding races in the state. Today, it is all but abandoned and nature is quickly reclaiming the pavement. You can still see the busted ATMs, still waiting for fans nearby.

5. Kildare Road Neighborhood – Cary

This is a bit of a head-scratcher. Cary is a pretty bustling town, but one neighborhood consisting of over 1/2 dozen houses is entirely deserted. The homes are still in mint condition, and no one knows why they’re abandoned. The neighborhood was once just like any other, but it ended up slowly seeing most of the people walk away from their homes.

The entire region is hauntingly spooky, but what makes it even stranger is that no one knows why the houses are abandoned. There were no murders there. There weren’t any strange happenings. It was just not the right place or the right time anymore. There are plans to destroy the area and put up senior living. It’s up to you to determine if you want to visit it before it’s gone.

6. The Road To Nowhere – Bryson City

During the 1940s, the United States underwent a major facelift. There were towns being moved for major municipal projects everywhere. Such was the case for small towns in the Tennessee Valley. After the US struck a deal with TVA to create a dam for the local aluminum plant’s consumption, much of the area’s communities got flooded out.

The US decided to build a road to a bridge that would give residents of the community a way to go back to parts of their old towns and visit the cemeteries. They drilled a tunnel through some granite to do so, but the road never was fully built. The road ends at the tunnel, no bridge in sight. It became known as the Road of Broken Promises and the Road to Nowhere.

7. The Castle Mont Rouge – Rougemont

This beautiful castle was never lived in, nor was it ever finished. The castle in the woods was the brainchild of local artist Robert Mihaly. Mihaly’s idea was to have a classic European castle, out in the middle of the North Carolina woods. Unfortunately, the project never got finished and the structure itself has been abandoned for some time.

There was a Kickstarter that was alive and good back in 2014, but the castle still remains stuck in the way that it was 10 years ago today. Though the area is still rumored to be used by Mihaley as a studio, no one has seen him actually hanging out in the area since he last walked off the worksite. Spooky.

8. The Dorothea Dix Hospital – Raleigh

The Dororthea Dix Hospital wasn’t one of the largest of its kind, but it also was one of the very first psychiatric hospitals to be built in North Carolina. The asylum was known for having extremely cruel treatment of patients, and for being one of the many asylums to use electroshock therapy on them. Though not all nurses there were cruel, some of the rumors that swirled about the hospital and its campus still haunt the area today.

The hospital’s doors closed in 2012, and the buildings were left there to rot for a white. The city of Raleigh bought the hospital’s land up and converted the area to a massive park. Only the large administrative building exists, and it’s been incorporated into the design of the overall park. Rumor says that it’s haunted.

9. Portsmouth Village – Ocracoke

Ocracoke Island is said to be heavily haunted by everything from pirates to ghost ships that never made it to shore. But, there are still some inhabitants on the island despite the fact that this place regularly gets battered by hurricanes. Portsmouth, though, has a rockier history than most. At one point, it was the place to live as far as Ocracoke goes.

Shortly before the Civil War, two massive hurricanes battered the town. The residents fled the area and never returned. Now, Portsmouth Village is part of the state’s park system, which means that you are free to explore the former town. Some folks even go so far as to bring goods and camp out for the night.

Related Questions

Is it legal to explore abandoned buildings?

Yes and no. Some buildings are abandoned but are part of a park system or museum, which means that they are open to the public. Others are not. If you are caught by police traversing an area that is not public property or open to the public, Should you be arrested by police, it is likely that you will be given a trespassing charge and fined for being there.If you are caught trespassing on federal property, the penalty is usually a felony charge. So, be careful if you choose to go to one of these areas.

Is it safe to explore abandoned buildings?

Usually, the answer is no. Abandoned buildings are not usually maintained, which means that you can’t always assume that floors or stairs will be able to hold your weight. There have been cases of people who have fallen through floors or gotten crushed by a falling ceiling. While buildings are made to last, they need to be maintained to make sure they are sturdy.Moreover, there is also the concern that you might run into someone else there. You don’t know what they want to do with you or if they are friendly.

Why are there so many abandoned places?

It can happen for a wide range of reasons. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of commercial needs. There are some areas that lose their ability to attract people to their doors or become irrelevant due to new increases in technology. Sometimes, it’s a matter of something tragic happening in the area that causes people to avoid the place. At times, it can also be a matter of one too many ghost stories or superstition.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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