If you’re looking for the spookiest ghost towns in Missouri, then you’ve arrived at the right place!

Ghost towns in Missouri are some of the most fascinating parts of the state!

If you’re doing some research on the spookiest ghost towns in Missouri, then hopefully we can give you plenty of ideas and places to explore.

But why visit the spookiest ghost towns in Missouri?

Well it’s like exploring a part of history!

The ghost towns in Missouri are fascinating, not just in a creepy and eerie way, but because they tell stories of the past!

So, let’s get into it!

Here are the spookiest ghost towns in Missouri!

Georgia City

Our first suggestion for the spookiest ghost towns in Missouri, it’s Georgia City.

Tucked away near Joplin lies Georgia City, otherwise known as one of the best-known ghost towns in Missouri.

This town was founded in 1868 and had a population of 200 or so by 1870. However, people gradually moved away, and the population massively dwindled until there wasn’t a single soul left here. It’s a really unique ghost town in Missouri.

Although you can still see the remains of a couple of farms and the Georgia City Cemetery, there’s no sign that this place ever truly existed – spooky indeed.

It certainly looks a bit creepy (it is abandoned, after all!), but this is one of the ghost towns in Missouri that doesn’t have any grisly history to boast. 

Sure, the cemetery is slightly haunting, but that’s par for the course! 

You can easily walk through the town, but it’s worth noting that there’s not much to see as it’s mainly used as farmland these days. 

Still, if you’d like to check out one of the most famous ghost towns in Missouri, it’s totally worth adding Georgia City to your itinerary.

Read more spooky travel inspiration: 14 spooky abandoned places in Indiana

Times Beach

Times Beach is our next suggestion for the spookiest ghost towns in Missouri.

Times Beach is slightly younger than Georgia City and is tucked away in St. Louis County. Founded in 1925, this is one of the ghost towns in Missouri that had a decent start. 

Not only was it a popular destination for rich travelers that were passing through on their way to St. Louis, but it was even regularly advertised in the St. Louis Times!

This place is among the ghost towns in Missouri that were rather popular with holidaymakers, but when the Great Depression hit, few people could afford to stay in their bougie Times Beach holiday homes. 

As residents couldn’t maintain a decent standard of living without the help of tourism, roads quickly deteriorated, stores closed, and people moved on. 

It didn’t help that a lack of road maintenance also led to some serious dust in the air which naturally turned people away from this ghost town in Missouri!

In addition to the poor tourist trade, the citizens paved the streets with a toxic chemical mix that gradually made people sick. 

Sadly, they had to evacuate the area in 1983, turning Times Beach into one of the official ghost towns in Missouri. After all, no one wants to live in a toxic wasteland, right?!

Ghost towns in Missouri: Arlington

Next on our list of the spookiest ghost towns in Missouri, it’s Arlington.

Editorial credit: BD Images / Shutterstock.com

Located just 13 miles from Rolla, is Arlington, the next place on our list of ghost towns in Missouri. 

The town was established in 1867, and it was originally a popular pitstop along Route 66 for celebrities, passersby, and travelers that were heading southwest. 

As this area was once home to glorious buildings, cafes, dance halls, and some seriously impressive swimming pools (yep, you read that right!), it became one of the most popular summertime hotspots in the state.

This place didn’t become one of the ghost towns in Missouri until much later in its life. 

As Route 66 was improved to allow for better traffic flow, Arlington struggled to get visitors in (and locals struggled to get around too as the town essentially became a dead-end!). 

Although a few businesses remained open for as long as they could, this charming spot by Little Piney River eventually closed shop and was added to the growing list of ghost towns in Missouri by the late 1940s.

Read more spooky travel ideas: Top 10 spooky abandoned places in New York

Red Oak

Next on our list of the spookiest ghost towns in Missouri, it’s Red Oak.

Editorial credit: BD Images / Shutterstock.com

Red Oak was once a quaint small town located 20 miles northeast of Carthage, but it quickly became one of the ghost towns in Missouri that couldn’t properly establish itself. 

However, you’ll be pleased to know that this spot is among the most exciting ghost towns in Missouri, as it’s become something of a modern tourist attraction!

The town was established in 1877 as a rural settlement but officially shut down in 1922. 

Although the area stood idle for decades, artist Lowell Davis (who once lived in the area!) decided to purchase a rundown farm here after tiring of the hustle and bustle of Dallas.

Not wishing to see his former haunts fade into obscurity, he started restoring areas around town and rejuvenated the city to make Red Oak II. 

Open to the public as an exhibition, this repainted and reimagined version of Red Oak is a fascinating place to explore. 

If nothing else, it’s one of the most aesthetic ghost towns in Missouri, so you should add it to your itinerary! 

It may be a faux town without many residents, but this is one of the ghost towns in Missouri with a truly unique history and plenty of character.

Read more spooky travel inspiration: 19 things to do in Sleepy Hollow, NY

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Okay, so Columbia Bottom Conservation Area may not be one of the most exciting ghost towns in Missouri, but it’s got quite an interesting backstory.

This place is located right at the confluence of two rivers (the Missouri and Mississippi in case you were wondering!) and was initially designed to be a large community town. 

However, when developers say just how sludgy the wetlands here were, the project was quickly abandoned in 1870. 

The result? It became one of the many ghost towns in Missouri.

Even though the land here wasn’t fit for building on, this town did house several residents for a time. 

It’s impossible to say just how many people lived here, but there’s truly no sign that humans ever called this place home as most of the building work has been destroyed by the wetlands.

Read more about Missouri: 50 fun things to do in St Louis

Spookiest ghost towns in Missouri: Bloodland

The next place on our list of ghost towns in Missouri? It’s the rather creepily named Bloodland! 

Located around 45 minutes from Arlington, this is one of the ghost towns in Missouri that’s said to be haunted by residents of years gone by. 

Now, this is impossible to confirm with any credibility, but this place was destroyed overnight by the US government to make room for a WWII fort.

All that’s left of this ghost town is Fort Leonard Wood, but it’s said that several old buildings are haunted by possessed spirits and military figures. 

There’s even a (rather far-fetched!) story of a soldier named James Klown who was forced by ghosts to drink cider until he passed out. 

This story was repeated by several other inebriated soldiers throughout the town’s history, so we’re honestly not sure what to believe!

With a fascinating military history and plenty of spooks to be had, this is one of the ghost towns in Missouri that we recommend checking out!


Avilla isn’t completely abandoned, but it’s home to just over 100 people, making it well-suited to our list of the best ghost towns in Missouri. 

Editorial credit: BD Images / Shutterstock.com

The area was originally established back in the 1830s, and it once boasted schoolhouses, stores, a post office, and several successful businesses. However, things took a turn when the Civil War hit, and several residents packed up and settled in surrounding towns and cities.

Don’t count this place out quite yet though, as it had a resurgence in the 1880s when a grade school was built, and the population rose to 500 or so. 

Despite these impressive steps forward, the lack of railway routes and access points to the area made it tricky to retain residents, with most moving to larger cities for employment opportunities after WWII. 

When you add the great fire at Avilla Lumberyard in 1971 to the list of issues this place faced, it’s easy to see why Avilla became one of the many ghost towns in Missouri. 

Although the buildings are abandoned, many of them are still standing, giving you a fascinating glimpse into the past.This is a really interesting choice for ghost towns in Missouri.

Bonus suggestions!

Aurora, Missouri

Whilst the city of Aurora in Missouri isn’t a ghost town, it does have lots of fascinating abandoned buildings and locations.

Yes, it’s not your traditional ‘ghost town in Missouri’ but it’ll definitely satisfy any curiosity if you’re interested in spooky locations and spooky buildings.

Read more spooky travel inspiration: 7 reasons you should visit mystical Lily Dale, NY

We hope this list of the spookiest ghost towns in Missouri has been helpful!

Let us know which of these ghost towns in Missouri you’re most excited to visit!