When it comes to ghost towns in Illinois doesn’t garner a lot of verbiage – but this historic state is chock full of these haunted places. From a town that sprung up and fell into oblivion around a coal mine to a psychiatric hospital that was one of the largest in the country, these eerie ghost towns offer a fascinating glimpse into an era gone by.

What is the most abandoned city in Illinois?

Located in Edwards County, Wanborough is the spectral echo of an idealistic English settlement. The town was the brainchild of Morris Birkbeck and George Flower, two British philanthropists who dreamed of creating a self-sufficient community based on principles of equality and pacifism. At its peak, the town was home to over 800 residents. But after a series of malaria and yellow fever outbreaks, the residents abandoned their homes.

In Livingston County, Cardiff is another ghost town that rose and fell with the coal mining industry. The town began in 1899 and grew quickly with a hotel, school, and stores. But as the coal mines began to wane, so did the population. Cardiff was eventually absorbed by nearby Gallatin.

The tiny hamlet of Benjaminville is an interesting ghost town with a unique past. The town was founded by three Quaker families on the principles of equality and pacifism. It once boasted a beautiful town square lined with buildings in styles such as Southern Colonial, Greek Revival and Gothic. Unfortunately, the town was plagued by high levels of crime and periodic flooding from the surrounding American Bottoms area.

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