American academics have attempted to get even more specific about the definition of "ghost town." Professor T. Lindsay Baker of Tarleton State University in Texas has issued two defining characteristics of ghost towns: (1) there is no more reason for this town to exist and (2) there are tangible remnants of the town for visitors to see.
In America, the notion of a "ghost town" became popularized largely following the California Gold Rush, when a variety of mining towns and camps sprung up across the Western and even parts of the Southern US that were later abandoned when the local resources were used up. Some of these ghost towns entered the popular culture, including Deadwood, South Dakota (which inspired the HBO TV series of the same name) and Cripple Creek, Colorado. Many of these ghost towns have been preserved and serve as state parks, while other former ghost towns have been slowly repopulated over time (such as Aspen, Colorado).
Centralia is a borough and a near-ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 7 in 2013 as a result of the Centralia mine fire that has been burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia is the least-populated ...moresee more on Centralia
Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States, about 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe. It is located 12 mi east-southeast of Bridgeport, at an elevation of 8379 feet. As Bodie Historic District, the U.S. Department of the ...moresee more on Bodie
Tombstone Historic District
Tombstone is a historic western city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. The town prospered from about 1877 to 1890, during which ...moresee more on Tombstone
Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding ...moresee more on Rhyolite
The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. William Kelso says Jamestown "is where the British Empire began ... this was the first colony in the British Empire." Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 4, ...moresee more on Jamestown
Calico is a ghost town and former mining town in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Located in the Calico Mountains of the Mojave Desert region of Southern California, it was founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, and today has been converted into a county park named Calico Ghost ...moresee more on Calico
Bannack is a ghost town in Beaverhead County, Montana, United States, located on Grasshopper Creek, approximately 11 miles upstream from where Grasshopper Creek joins with the Beaverhead River south of Dillon. ...moresee more on Bannack
Gold Run was a former settlement in Placer County, California. ...moresee more on Gold Run, California