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Haunting photos reveal hundreds of abandoned castles left to rot in Turkey

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Is this the creepiest place on Earth?

Hundreds of Disney-like castles built for wealthy Gulf investors are now sitting empty. The haunting images are making the rounds online as developers struggle to revive the decrepit neighborhood — now the stuff of nightmares.

Located in Turkey, the abandoned village first began construction in 2014, and was initially designed as a luxury community for foreign buyers. 

Known as the Burj Al Babas project, the village — located on the base of Turkey’s northwestern mountains — appears to be a diorama of miniature villas.

The residences all look the same, with bluish-gray steeples and Gothic fixtures, calling to mind the castles in Disney films and theme parks.

But hit by a devastating economic downturn in Turkey, the once-grand plan crumbled, leaving the mini chateaus hollow. They now join the ranks of the world’s creepiest abandoned dwellings.  

Scroll through to get an inside look of what remains of the chilling village.

Hundreds of castle-like villas and houses are seen unfinished at the Burj Al Babas housing development on May 21, 2019 in Mudurnu, Turkey.
Hundreds of castle-like villas and houses are seen unfinished at the Burj Al Babas housing development on May 21, 2019 in Mudurnu, Turkey.
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Construction on the luxury housing project began in 2014.
Construction on the luxury housing project began in 2014.
Getty Images
The developers aimed to build 732 villas, along with a shopping mall and entertainment facilities in the community targeted at foreign buyers.
The developers aimed to build 732 villas, along with a shopping mall and entertainment facilities in the
community targeted at foreign buyers.
Getty Images
The future of the abandoned villas still remain uncertain after the developers, Sarot Property Group filed for bankruptcy after buyers and investors pulled out of the $150 million euro project.
The future of the abandoned villas still remains uncertain after the developers, Sarot Property Group filed for bankruptcy after buyers and investors pulled out of the $200 million project.
Getty Images

Its developers, the Sarot Group, failed to come up with the required amount of money to finish the project and sought bankruptcy protection in 2019, despite money that was left from the $200 million budget. 

The developers had intended to use the region’s hot springs to heat each home, claiming that the water had healing properties.  

“You can drink the waters, and it cures stomach ailments and kidney stones,” the Sarot Group’s CEO, Mezher Yerdelen, told the New York Times in a 2019 interview. “If you bathe in it, it heals skin problems, rheumatism, and slipped disks.”

The economic downturn and weakening Turkish lira have left many companies unable to pay large foreign currency debts borrowed to finance projects.
The economic downturn and weakening Turkish lira have left many companies unable to pay large foreign currency debts borrowed to finance projects.
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Many companies have filed for bankruptcy leaving projects such as this one unfinished.
Many companies have filed for bankruptcy amid Turkey’s crashing economy, leaving projects such as this one unfinished.
Getty Images
Initially buyers had went into contract on about 350 of the 732 villas built, which are priced between $370,000 and $500,000.
Initially buyers went into contract on about 350 of the 732 villas built, which are priced between $370,000 and $500,000.
Getty Images
The developers had intended to use the region's hot springs to heat each home, claiming that the water had healing properties.
The developers had intended to use the region’s hot springs to heat each home, claiming that the water had healing properties.
Getty Images

Homeowners also would’ve had the option to choose from three different layouts. The villas were designed to feature a jacuzzi on each level, and residents had the option to install an elevator and indoor pool.

Buyers snapped up more than 350 of the houses, which are priced between $370,000 and $500,000, depending on location, Yerdelen told the Times. Of the more than 732 villas, about 350 were sold to Arab investors.

By 2018, half the buildings were underway until Turkey’s economy took a major hit and many of the sales fell through.

Of the more than 732 villas, about 350 were sold to Arab investors.
Of the more than 732 villas, about 350 were sold to Arab investors.
Getty Images
Homeowners had the option to choose from three different layouts. The villas will have a jacuzzi on each level, and residents had the option to install an elevator and indoor pool. 
Homeowners had the option to choose from three different layouts. The villas were designed to feature a jacuzzi on each level, and residents had the option to install an elevator and indoor pool. 
AFP via Getty Images
Known as the Burj Al Babas project, the village is located on the base of Turkey's northwestern mountains.
Known as the Burj Al Babas project, the village is located on the base of Turkey’s northwestern mountains.
Getty Images
Despite $200 million that still remained in the budget, the Sarot group filed for bankruptcy.
Despite $200 million that still remained in the budget, the Sarot Group filed for bankruptcy.
AFP via Getty Images

In October 2018, Turkey’s inflation rate reached 25% — the highest it had been in 15 years, largely influenced by the decline of the nation’s currency, the lira.

“Our sales dried up,” Mezher Yerdelen added. Some customers canceled their agreements, some stopped their payments. 

Today, the village remains idle, with no plumbing, heating or any sign of human life.

Thomas Brag of Yes Theory documented his experience exploring the village last month.

“A lot of these unfinished abandoned projects, it always looks like they left halfway through a workday… like you still see some boots on the ground, and gloves, and construction equipment,” Brag said in the YouTube video.

“There is still raw materials here that are valuable and that’s always the strangest part about going to half-finished construction abandoned places,” Brag added. “[I’m] thinking about what it must be like to be a construction worker here when they were doing this and then being told to just stop what you’re doing and then you just never really found out what happened to it.”

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