Every once and a while, you may be passing through a rural highway on a short cut to the big city, and notice something is a bit off.
There isn't a soul in sight. No cars, no pedestrians bustling down Main Street, hardly even a squirrel or bird skittering by.
You're in one of America's many abandoned cities -- a ghost town.
While some of the towns may be more recent, abandoned due to a bypassed highway causing business to die down, others were left long ago, in the time of the Old West, when the Gold Rush drove residents from town to town searching for the next big find, leaving whatever buildings they had in the dust.
If you've ever wanted to walk through a town feeling like you're completely alone on the planet, check out one of these coolest ghost towns America has to offer.
With over 100 structures still preserved in this old mining town, it is one of America's best-kept ghost towns. Upkeep by the California State Parks system, buildings include dozens of saloons, numerous brothels, gambling halls, and opium dens. Bodie is located in the Basin Range of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Just over 100 miles away from Sin City, the remains of a once-booming city lie. With full electricity, piping and freshwater in 1907, Rhyolite was a rich mining center, but by 1920 the business decayed and the residents fled. Used for the set of multiple 1920s silent films, this ghost town left behind opera houses, stock exchanges, and a building made out of beer bottles.
Glenrio, TX, and NM
Originally a railroad town, Glenrio was located on Route 66. Many of its structures are adobe and still remain in-tact for visitors to tour.
This ghost town is so spooky, the 2006 horror film "Silent Hil" was based around it. Since 1962, a mine fire has been burning beneath the borough, but eerily enough, seven people still reside in the otherwise abandoned town. The fire slowly releases carbon monoxide into the town, but the residents insist on their rights to remain living in Centralia. Many urban legends insist that Centralia is a physical manifestation of Hell.
North Brother Island, NY
Perhaps the spookiest part of this ghost town is that it's not far at all from one of the most populated cities on the planet. Located between the Bronx and Rikers Island, North Brother Island was once the site of Riverside Hospital for Smallpox and other quarantinable diseases, confining the famous Typhoid Mary. A second center for drug addicts expanded on the hospital, but both shut down in the 1960s. The hospital still remains, and is a hub for urban legends and exploring (though trespassing is illegal on the site).
Seattle Underground, WA
Turns out that in the mid-19th century, Seattle resided at ground-level. After troubles with flooding, the city decided to rebuild itself -- on top of the old city. Now, in Downtown Seattle, entire networking of tunnels, old rooms, and old homes resides underground. In 1907 the city condemned the Underground to prevent Bubonic plague. Some of the rooms then became illegal houses for the homeless, speakeasies, gambling halls, opium dens, and prostitution rings.