Spanish moss dangles from trees and blows in the wind – an eerie reminder of the life that once thrived in Cahaba, Alabama. The former state capital is now a ruin, you see, with markers for the homes, church, courthouse and businesses that stood here in the 19th century. Yes, nowadays Cahaba is a ghost town – and one with lots of frightening stories to tell, too.
It’s worth noting, however, that debate rages about exactly what constitutes a ghost town. Some believe, for instance, that such places shouldn’t have any remnants of the buildings that once stood there. Others say, by contrast, that a settlement isn’t deemed worthy of being called a ghost town if it doesn’t contain clear ruins.
Perhaps one of the most poetic descriptions of ghost towns, though, comes by way of author Lambert Florin, who labeled each as being “a shadowy semblance of a former self.” But while the precise definition of ghost towns remains debatable, the reasons that said places may come to be have more or less stayed the same for years. For starters, economic activity – or lack thereof – may cause a once-booming locale to eventually empty out.