11 real abandoned places where your favorite movies and TV shows were filmed

Talia Lakritz
·5 min read
abandoned film locations
Hashima Island, as featured in "Skyfall." Sitthinart Susevi/Shutterstock, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group
  • The Nazi-era Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, Germany, appeared in "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Bridge of Spies."

  • The abandoned Ohio State Reformatory was the prison in "The Shawshank Redemption."

  • Henry River Mill Village in North Carolina was transformed into District 12 for "The Hunger Games" movies.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Abandoned places can provide the perfect eerie backdrops for filming movies and TV shows. Their crumbling structures have created authentic shadowy settings in films such as "Gone Girl," "Skyfall," and "The Shawshank Redemption."

Here are 11 abandoned places that became filming locations for movies and TV shows.

Henry River Mill Village in North Carolina was established in 1905 as a gold-panning town, with the mill producing fine yarn.

Henry River Mill Village, North Carolina hunger games
Derelict homes in Henry River Mill Village. MilesbeforeIsleep/Shutterstock

The village was abandoned in 1987 when its last resident moved away.

The village became District 12 in "The Hunger Games" movies.

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"The Hunger Games." Lionsgate Films

After "The Hunger Games" filmed there, attracting fans of the series, the town began offering unofficial "Hunger Games" tours.

Hashima Island was a mining town established in 1881.

Hashima Island Oceanview
Hashima Island. Sitthinart Susevi/Shutterstock

It held 5,000 residents at its peak in 1959 until the supply of coal ran out in 1974. 

The island was featured as a villain's lair in the James Bond movie "Skyfall."

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"Skyfall." Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group

The abandoned island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site in addition to an occasional movie set.

The Babcock building of the South Carolina State Hospital, formerly known as the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, was built between 1857 and 1885.

columbia state mental hospital south carolina
Ruins of the Columbia State Mental Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. nameinfame/Getty Images

It served as a more spacious replacement to the facility's smaller Mills building until all of the patients were relocated in 1990.

"Chattahoochee," starring Gary Oldman, filmed in one of the Babcock Building's abandoned rooms.

Chattahoochee
"Chattahoochee." Hemdale Film Corporation

In the movie, Oldman's character gets admitted to the hospital after a suicide attempt.

Rhyolite is one of Nevada's largest ghost towns, formed in 1904 during the Gold Rush.

Rhyolite, Nevada
The Ryholite Mercantile building. Jimtake/ Shutterstock

The mines closed in 1911 and the town was empty by 1916. 

Parts of the ghost town have been restored by Paramount Pictures to use as movie sets.

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"The Island." DreamWorks

The ghost town makes appearances in numerous films including "The Air Mail," "Cherry 2000," "Six String Samurai," and "The Island."

The now-closed campus of Caerleon was once part of the University of South Wales.

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Inside the empty Caerleon campus. Courtesy of Thomas Duke

Construction began in 1912, and the first students arrived in 1914. In 2016, the University of South Wales decided to close down Caerleon as part of a merger. 

Netflix began filming "Sex Education" at the old campus, reimagined as Moordale Secondary School, in 2018.

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"Sex Education." Netflix

The interior was redesigned to look more like an American high school.

The Ohio State Reformatory opened in 1896 and held 5,235 prisoners at its peak in 1955.

ohio state reformatory
The west cell block of the Ohio State Reformatory. Courtesy of the Ohio State Reformatory

It closed in 1990 and is now a museum, and an occasional film set

The old reformatory was the prison setting in "The Shawshank Redemption."

Shawshank Redemption
"The Shawshank Redemption." Columbia Pictures

Other projects filmed at the reformatory include "Air Force One," "The Wind is Watching," and "Fallen Angels."

Six Flags New Orleans closed after Hurricane Katrina damaged the park in 2005.

abandoned six flags
The closed Six Flags in New Orleans. KEG-KEG/Shutterstock

The park's roller coasters and rides are still standing.

"Jurassic World," "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," and "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" were filmed at the abandoned theme park.

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"Jurassic World." Universal Pictures

Its parking lot has also been used as a filming location —  the oil rig in "Deepwater Horizon" was built in the empty space by 85 welders over eight months.

The town of Craco, Italy, emptied in 1963 after landslides and earthquakes made it unsafe to inhabit.

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Craco, Italy. Stee/Shutterstock

A medieval village founded by Greeks who moved inland around 540 AD, the abandoned town is a popular tourist destination and was added to the World Monuments Fund watch list in 2010.

Craco has appeared in "Quantum of Solace" and "The Passion of the Christ."

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"The Passion of the Christ." Newmarket Films

In "The Passion of the Christ," Judas' suicide was filmed in Craco.

The abandoned Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, Germany, was built by the Nazis between 1936 and 1941.

Tempelhof
Tempelhof Airport. Business Insider/Sam Shead

The airport was used to build combat aircraft and weapons. It closed in 2008.

The airport has appeared in "The Hunger Games," "The Bourne Supremacy," and "Bridge of Spies."

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"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2." Lionsgate Films

Tempelhof Airport became District 2 in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2."

The City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana, closed in 1975.

Gary Indiana abandoned church
The City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana. Boyd Hendrikse/Shutterstock

The English Gothic-style church reportedly cost $1 million to build back in 1926, which would be about $7 million today. The crash of the steel industry in the 1970s caused an economic depression that resulted in the parish's closure in 1975.

The church has been the eerie backdrop in "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," and "Pearl Harbor."

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"Transformers: Dark of the Moon." Paramount Pictures

In "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," Robert Epps hides in the destroyed church.

The abandoned Hawthorne Plaza Mall in California opened in 1977 and closed in 1999.

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Inside the Hawthorne Plaza Mall. Trent Alexander Maxwell/Shutterstock

The 900,000-square-foot shopping center once contained stores such as JC Penney, Montgomery Ward, and The Broadway.

The abandoned mall provided spooky settings for numerous films.

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"Gone Girl." 20th Century Studios

The Hawthorne Plaza Mall appears in "Gone Girl," "Minority Report," "The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift," and "The Green Hornet," among others.

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