Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Ghost Town of Kolmanskop

Author: Kelsey Hattaway

Kolmanskop, Namibia, from National Geographic
Looking at this photograph, one may be curious as to where this interesting location is, and how it ended up this way. This is the deserted ghost town of Kolmanskop. Kolmanskop is a town located in Southern Namibia . It is accepted as one of the creepiest ghost towns in the world, and is said to be haunted.

             Kolmanskop was once a very prosperous diamond mine. In 1908, Zacharias Lewala discovered a “glimmering stone in the sand” (Kolmanskop). This glimmering stone was actually a diamond. The discovery of diamonds led to a “diamond boom,” and many German miners flocked to the area to seek their fortune (Martin). Many miners’ families moved there, which helped to greatly develop the town. Houses, hotels, businesses, hospitals, schools, and even theaters were built.

            However, when the value of diamonds slowly began to decrease, so did the miners. They left the area one by one, until the town was completely abandoned in 1954. The once booming, profitable town transitioned quickly into a creepy, barren ghost town. Being in the desert, buildings started to completely fill with sand. Every room now has sand pouring through the doorways, halfway filling the entire building. Soon the buildings may be buried entirely (McLachlan). The desert is forcefully overtaking the whole city (Martin).

            It is an eerie site, which is now a very popular tourist attraction. Southern Africa has received a significant escalation of tourists in these past few years, solely because of Kolmanskop. Perhaps one of the reasons this ghost town is one of the creepiest and most popular in the world, may be because of how recently it was abandoned- just a little under sixty years ago (McLaughlan). Although the buildings have been halfway filled with sand for the past sixty years, the desert environment has proven to well-preserve the area (McLaughlan). No rain or natural disasters can damage the buildings. One thing is for sure: Kolmanskop, Namibia is an intriguing location. Some people find the location to be more interesting than creepy. Justin Delaney is one of these, a publisher onto a travel website, who claims “The sight of a decaying German town in the shifting sands of the Namib desert is anachronistically delightful” (Delaney). This seems like an accurate way to describe the present state of Kolmanskop, Namibia. So if you would like to take a trip to one of the world’s creepiest but yet beautiful ghost towns, I suggest Kolmanskop!

Dunes reclaim a house in Kolmanskop
Works Cited:

“Kolmanskop.” The Basement Geographer. N.p. 07 Feb. 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

“Kolmanskop Ghost Town Tour.” The Cardboard Box. Cardboard Box Travel Shop, n.d.     Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

AM. “Kolmanskop Slideshow.” Online video clip. Trip Advisor.com. Trip Advisor, n.d.        Web. 18 Oct. 2013.

Delaney, Justin. “The World’s Ten Creepiest Abandoned Cities.” Gadling.com. AOL, 27     Apr. 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

Gray, Chris. Kolmanskop, Namibia. 2009. National Geographic, New York.             Nationalgeographic.com. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.

MagicOlf. Kolmanskop Ghost Town. 2003. Flickr.com. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.

Martin, Grant. “New Photos from Kolmanskop, Namibia’s Diamond Ghost Town.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 03 Sept. 2013. Web. 10. Oct. 2013.

McLachlan, Sean. “Kolmanskop: Namibia’s Eerie Ghost Town.” Gadling.com. AOL, 17       May 2012. Web. 10. Oct. 2013.


Links for Further Research:

The link above directs you to ghost stories published by writers that supposedly occurred in Kolmanskop, Namibia.

RoomsForAfrica. “Kolmanskop Ghost Town Near Luderitz.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 23 Aug. 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.
The link above is a YouTube video explaining the history of Kolmanskop, included with a slideshow of pictures.

The King is Alive. Dir. Kristian Levring. Perf. Miles Anderson, Romane Bohringer, David Bradley. Nordisk Film, 2000. Film.
The above link is a movie that was filmed entirely in the town of Kolmanskop, Namibia.