Haunted Mining Towns of Chile

In the Chilean desert, two abandoned mining towns earned their reputation as two of the scary sides of earth. Local residents refused to step inside La Noria and Humberstone as paranormal activities happened inside the haunted mining towns.

haunted mining towns
Remains of Humberstone, Chile (Tours and Hotels)


Humberstone in the Atacama Desert was named after James Humberstone, a British chemical engineer. He immigrated to South Africa in 1875 and made his fortune from saltpeter. James dug up the saltpeter, a chemical used for fertilizer from nitrate rich desert. Unfortunately, in 1920s saltpeter became outmoded due to the discovery of synthesized ammonia.

La Noria also flourished in 1872.  However, after the Great Depression, the mining business hit down low. Most residents of La Noria including children suffered horrible deaths from accidents and poor living conditions. Due to its far-flung location in the middle of Atacama Desert, residents chose to leave the place.

haunted mining towns
La Noria Cemetery (Incontrolaveis Palavras)


Historians accounted that people who lived in these towns existed under dreadful and ghastly situations. Miners were treated as slaves. Following the awful deaths of miners and children, people abandoned La Noria and Humberstone.

Locals dreaded to go near the La Noria cemetery. Nearby residents believed that at night time, the dead rise from their graves and walk the streets of La Noria. People reportedly see apparitions wandering the streets while some heard footsteps near ruined buildings. Open graves and coffins and human bones reinforced the tale.

haunted mining towns
Abandoned water tower at Humberstone (Atlas Obscura)


In Humberstone, residents of nearby towns testified seeing phantoms of children at abandoned schools. They heard voices of children playing. People also heard screaming and disembodied voices of tortured souls. They also said that whoever come here never return.

The haunted mining towns Humberstone and La Noria are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. However, terrified local residents and guests avoid exploring the ghost towns especially at night for they do not know what strange phenomenon awaits them.


Sources: Hub Pages   Stories of the World   Peru for Less

Further Readings: Abandoned Places
Lonely Planet Chile

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