At this point it’s public knowledge that once the Olympics are complete, the stadiums of the host site quickly become unused and oftentimes abandoned entirely. While this is a shameful waste of resources considering how outrageously expensive the venues are to create, these sites also have the capability to become quite eerie after years of neglect. The following are the 10 creepiest abandoned Olympic sites. While these stadiums are wonderful to look at during the Olympics, the aftermath of years of withering and decay causes the once-beautiful area to become unpresentable.
10. 1948 London Summer Olympics
Many of the venues that housed the 1948 Olympic Games were destroyed, but there are still some decaying remains located in London. The 1948 Games followed a 12-year hiatus for the Summer Olympics due to the Second World War. They were the first Summer Olympics to occur since the infamous Games in Berlin during 1936. As such, it was quite a privilege for London to host this monumental affair and the pride was evident in the construction of the stadiums. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to these out-of-date buildings that now appear downright scary. The Wembley Palace of Engineering, which held the fencing competition, is a perfect example of a creepy leftover building from the Olympic site. The building was partially demolished, but, inexplicably, a rusty portion remains that serves as warehouse space and also happens to be incredibly creepy.
9. 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics
Sapporo, Japan, home of the 1972 Winter Games, hosted an incredible set of Games taking place in the beautiful winter landscape. The aftermath of the Olympics brought the harsh reality of disregard on the area and it is now unkempt and unappealing. A particularly horrifying sight is the ski area, where the lifts are rusted beyond belief and have clearly not been maintained. It’s a shame these Olympic Sites quickly become abandoned because they are very expensive to build. Of course, they are also very expensive to maintain, so it is a harsh reality that they will quickly be discarded. Mt. Teine, a mountain in Sapporo which hosted alpine skiing events, still bears marks of the creepy lifts that remain scattered around the area. It’s an eerie sight to be sure and remains easy for tourists to visit, despite being abandoned and unused.
8. 1956 Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Olympics
Cortina d’Ampezzo, commonly referred to simply as “Cortina,” is a town situated in Italy that was selected to host the 1956 Winter Games. The grounds contain a magnificent ski jump that was used until 1990 for international competition; however, the ski jump lost its certification in 1990 and has been abandoned ever since. There is now a glaring abandoned area with a magnificent ski jump standing tall. It is depressing in a best-case scenario and hauntingly eerie in some aspects. The majority of the Olympic Site has been demolished, but what remains is a rusty, creepy reminder that Olympic venues don’t age well. Cities need to be sure to get their money’s worth on initial use because they are often abandoned extremely quickly. The 1956 Winter Olympics in Italy actually proved to provide some useful buildings that were certainly used for a longer period of time than the buildings of other Olympic events. However, eventually the area succumbed to the “Olympic curse,” and just like many sites that preceded it and that followed it, Italy now has an abandoned Olympic site that is very creepy indeed.
7. 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics
Helsinki had previously been selected to host the 1940 Olympic Games, but when they were cancelled due to the Second World War, Finland’s capital city re-gained the honor to host and this time acquired the 1952 Games. Helsinki embraced the proud moment of hosting the Olympics because they knew the feeling of having that privilege taken away from them. Helsinki presented a gorgeous venue in a tremendously festive light and pleased every viewer. It was a crowning return to form for the Olympics and set the stage for a beautiful set of record-breaking games. Unfortunately, as with many other venues, it’s the aftermath that is often forgotten but remains very noticeable for passersby. Viewing the abandoned swimming pools sends chills down spines because of how tremendously eerie the area now feels. Nearly entirely rusted and decayed beyond belief, the venue isn’t appealing to the eye and is now a sore spot in a great tourist city.
6. 2004 Athens Summer Olympics
When the Olympic Games returned to Greece during 2004, host city Athens famously spent over $15 billion U.S. dollars preparing one of the most spectacular events of our generation. Unfortunately, Athens proves a very obvious reminder of what can occur after the Olympic Games are over. With the economy in Greece famously crumbling, a large portion of the venues were left abandoned very quickly. Expensive stadiums that were built for one sport, such as the baseball stadium, softball stadium and kayak center were abandoned essentially the day the Olympics ended. That’s the risk involved in hosting the Olympics, because many stadiums are built to house sports that have zero local interest in the city. Athens is still a relatively recent entry to the Olympic sites, but its current appearance is already one of the creepiest. One can only imagine what the venue will look like in another twenty years.
5. 1972 Munich Summer Olympics
The abandoned train station is the focus for this creepy landmark. A train station was built specifically to accommodate the 1972 Summer Olympics. Once the stop, named “München Olympiastadion” Station, was no longer required, it quickly fell into disuse as service was stopped. Eventually, the tracks leading to the station were removed, leaving the area with an incredibly eerie feeling. The area was abandoned due to increased costs associated with its upkeep, and the area is now in complete disrepair. It looks hideous and is a shell of the former monumental station constructed to accommodate transportation in 1972. These Olympic Games were largely overshadowed by the “Munich Massacre,” a horrendous terrorist attack. The history behind the 1972 Summer Olympics is harsh and vivid, and the abandoned venues and train station serve as a reminder of this horror.
4. 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
There may not be a more horrifying Olympic Site than 2014’s venue in Sochi, which after hardly two years is already one of the creepiest Olympic Sites ever. The area was abandoned almost immediately following the conclusion of the Olympics. Famously warm for a host city of the Winter Olympics, Sochi offered a pleasant February temperature averaging 8.3 degrees Celsius (42.8 Fahrenheit). The humid area managed to successfully present the Olympics, but it’s the costly aftermath that will define the legacy of the Sochi Olympics. What was once a glowing, beautiful winter arena of sports palaces are now desolate, abandoned ghettos. The buildings have barely been used but already appear in disrepair. The post-Olympic blues have hit Sochi hard, as the Olympics seem to have brought nothing but poor fortunate to the Russian city. Transportation is as bad as ever and the city has seen none of the benefits it was promised in return for hosting the Olympics. Instead, an eerie site will continue to haunt the area for the foreseeable future.
3. 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics
Beijing’s 2008 entry is a relatively new Olympic site but is already a deserted wasteland of abandoned stadiums. Many of the stadiums required to host the Olympics were entirely unknown to the Beijing community and were built with the intention of being temporary. China’s massive investment in the Games appears even more foolish now with the knowledge that new stadiums such as the baseball complex have been destroyed. However, the complex remains covered with leftover wreckage, meaning the destroyed venue contains a massive footprint and remains very visible. Years of neglect have rendered the remainder of the area quite creepy, as the majority of the buildings have long been abandoned and the ones that operate are very seldom used. The stadiums were expensive and serve as a poster child to show cities what the aftermath of the Olympics looks like. It hasn’t even been a decade yet, but 2008’s Beijing venues are already considered among the shadiest abandoned Olympic sites around.
2. 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics
The host site for the 1984 Winter Games was known at the time as Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, but is now present-day Bosnia-Herzegovina. While Sarajevo housed a pleasant winter affair, the aftermath has been anything but appealing. The bobsled venue is a particularly creepy abandoned site as it served as an artillery stronghold during the Bosnian War.
That war that destroyed the former Yugoslavia is the main culprit in reducing the majority of the 1984 Olympic venues to rubble. What remains is a chilling site that is one of the creepiest abandoned Olympic venues in the world. Nearly the entire construction was never used again after it became a battleground, rendering it a part of history. The site still bears the marks of war and that feeling will never disappear, making it an obvious inclusion as a truly creepy abandoned Olympic site.
1. 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics
Without a doubt the creepiest abandoned Olympic site belongs to the infamous 1936 Games. Hosted in Berlin, Germany, the Games were hosted and officially opened by the most evil man in history, Adolf Hitler, as he was rising to power. The entire venue has a haunted feel surrounding it, as history flows throughout. The dormitories that housed the athletes would be used as barracks for the German army shortly afterward, highlighting how terrifying this site must feel. The Olympic Village actually rests just outside of Berlin and is located at Estal in the municipality of Wustermark. Today, the village is abandoned and in ruins but serves as a constant reminder of our terrifying history. The site is certainly haunted enough to qualify as the creepiest abandoned Olympic site. There are ongoing efforts to restore the site into a living museum, but to this point they have been unsuccessful. Remaining undisturbed, the 1936 site continues to be avoided, but will never be forgotten.