Eerily beautiful photographs of abandoned architecture for Halloween

This Halloween, we’ve brought together the best photography of spooky spaces, including a city consumed by sand, a deserted Japanese theme park, and decaying insane asylums.

Les Sables du Temps by Romain Veillon

French photographer Romain Veillon explored an abandoned town that is slowly being consumed by the Namib desert to create these images of once-opulent buildings filled with sand dunes.

The discovery of diamonds at the turn of the 20th century prompted the establishment of Kolmanskop as a settlement for German miners, but it was abandoned just 50 years later when the resources ran out. Now little more than a tourist destination, the ghost town is gradually disappearing under sand.

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Nara Dreamland by Romain Veillon

Veillon also photographed the abandoned and overgrown landscape of Nara Dreamland, a theme park built in 1961 as Japan’s answer to Disneyland.

It eventually closed in the summer of 2006, but its attractions were left in place for over 10 years – before eventually being demolished at the end of 2016. Veillon managed to capture the decay of the structures before the bulldozers moved in.

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Abandoned Asylums by Matt van der Velde

Canadian photographer Matt Van der Velde toured the deserted and decaying hospitals in North America, once used to house and treat patients suffering from psychiatric disorders, where many patients in the 19th century spent most of their lives institutionalised.

These grand buildings were used up until the 1950s, when less isolating methods of care were introduced. The wards were left in various states – some completely empty, and others still with all the furniture and equipment in place.

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Soviet Ghosts by Rebecca Litchfield

Photographer Rebecca Litchfield has toured former Soviet countries to document the once-monumental structures around the Eastern Bloc that have fallen into decay.

She visited hospitals, military barracks, prisons, spy stations, sports halls and more – dodging security and military personnel, and risking radiation exposure to gain access to the derelict structures.

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Abandoned by Christian Richter

German photographer Christian Richter has broken into more than 1,000 abandoned buildings across Europe since 2011, to capture their “swan song”.

Aided by a network of friends who suggest new places for him to visit, he tries to keep the locations secret to prevent the structures being vandalised.

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Übergang by Josef Schulz

Disused military checkpoints and border stations across Europe are catalogued in this series by Polish-born photographer Josef Schulz.

Named Übergang after the German word for crossing, the series of images depicts transnational borders that have become redundant. Each shot has also been digitally manipulated so that the surroundings appear shrouded in fog.

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Home Less by Nelson Garrido

These images by Portuguese photographer Nelson Garrido reveal buildings left deserted in the aftermath of the last financial crisis.

First presented at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Home Less series features buildings from all across Portugal, from holiday villas to mass housing blocks. Some were left deserted after completion, while others were abandoned before they were even finished.

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