Google Maps has captured a place in the USA that may look perfectly ordinary now – but the location hides a terrifying past. The town in Ohio was known as Boston but came to be known as Helltown. Its demise first came when National Park Service (NPS) decided, in 1974, to turn the areas into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Citizens were made to leave their homes and the abandoned properties were boarded up.
However, the government stalled in their efforts and the town ended up lying neglected, covered with “No Trespassing” signs.
Urban legends soon began to circulate about the abandoned town. Sinister rumours were further fuelled in 1985 when the NPS acquired the Krejci Dump.
Rangers who visited the dump became mysteriously ill and broke out into rashes, according to Atlas Obscura.
It soon transpired that toxic chemicals had heavily polluted the dump after being improperly disposed of.
The poisonous dump soon gave birth to stories that a mutant and monstrous snake had evolved there, known as the “Peninsula Python.”
The myths did not stop there. A Presbyterian church which featured upside down crosses was said to be built by devil worshippers.
An abandoned and derelict bus was allegedly haunted and inhabited by ghosts.
However, there are, in fact, rational explanations for both the church and the bus.
The upside-down crosses on the church are simply part of the architectural style and have no link to Satan.
Meanwhile, the bus was simply the temporary home of a family which was due to be repaired.
Images from Helltown as it once was do undeniably look fairly sinister – however, all abandoned houses were torn down in 2016 and the majority of the town is now part of the national park.
The legends of the area have not been forgotten though. According to Atlas Obscura, Boston, Ohio still celebrates “Python Day” in honour of the monster snake.
Many abandoned towns can still be explored on Google Maps Street View. For instance, Pripyat in Ukraine was completely devastated in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 1986 – and is now a ghost town frozen in time.
The horrible accident happened when Chernobyl Nuclear Station exploded during a reactor test.
Pripyat was a neighbouring town to Chernobyl and was once a beautiful and luxurious city. It had been founded in 1970 to house workers from Chernobyl.
The town was just three kilometres from the explosion and the population of over 49,000 residents was forced to evacuate in just three hours afterwards.
Pripyat has remained abandoned by humans ever since, after being declared too radioactively dangerous for human habitation for at least 24,000 years.