5 Reasons the Kitsault Ghost Town Is One of the Strangest in the World

Kitsault
© rick734's Images and mntnvision from Getty Images/ via Canva.com

Written by Patrick MacFarland

Published: March 11, 2024

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When you think of ghost towns, you think of abandoned buildings, houses in ruins, and this eerie sense that someone is there. For those of you who love to explore these abandoned towns, the atmosphere is quite off while you’re walking about. Things are colder and odd, and sometimes you feel different. There is a town near the Alaskan border located in British Columbia, Canada, called Kitsault. Kitsault is one of the strangest ghost towns in the world for a myriad of reasons. It has a beginning that is not any different than other towns, but the result in the past forty years has been very weird. Let’s take a look at the five reasons why the Kitsault ghost town is one of the strangest in the world.

Interesting Beginnings

Boat bluff Lighthouse on Sarah Island, Tolmie Channel, Kitimat-Stikine, British Columbia, Canada. Viewed from the water on a clear day.

The town of Kitsault is located in the Kitimat-Stikine regional district of British Columbia.

©dorinser/Shutterstock.com

The town of Kitsault started like many other towns in the 20th century. There was supposed to be a molybdenum mine established as the anchor for the town. The Phelps Dodge Corporation would be running the mine. About 1,200 people flocked from all over to live in the town. The entire town was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s where there was a shopping mall, a restaurant, a swimming pool, a bank, a doctor’s office, a library, and even a bowling alley. This town was flourishing and its residents were happy to be involved in something good and wholesome. This town, however, only lasted 18 months. In 1982, the mine went bust and eventually, all of its residents were told to vacate the town, leaving it empty.

Continued Maintenance

Chevron Molycorp Questa Molybdenum Mine, New Mexico, USA

The Phelps Dodge Corporation, which owned a mine that looked similar to the one above (located in New Mexico) hoped to bring the town back and decided to hire a caretaker for the town’s maintenance needs.

©jim pruitt/iStock via Getty Images

Of course, many towns have been abandoned over the years. This is not so strange to begin with. The weird part about the Kitsault ghost town is that it remains as it has been since it was vacated in 1983. Over the next few decades, the Phelps Dodge Corporation hoped to continue the mine’s operation. Because of this hope, they hired a caretaker and he was there to mow the lawns, fix things, and ensure that everything was in tip-top shape. The goal was to bring back what was lost in the early 1980s.

Renaming The Town

Mowing the grass with a lawn mower in early autumn. Gardener cuts the lawn in the garden.

This Indian-Canadian billionaire who bought the town has maintained it by hiring about a dozen caretakers, who do various things like mowing the lawns.

©encierro/Shutterstock.com

Hopes for the mine coming back faded and the Phelps Dodge Corporation decided to sell the town. An Indian-Canadian billionaire named Krishnan Suthanthiran bought the town for $5.7 million and poured in another $2 million to ensure its continued maintenance. To honor his mother, he renamed the town Chandra Krishnan Kitsault. Over the past twenty years, he has poured in another $20 million for the upkeep of the town. His goal was to preserve it just as it was in hopes of bringing it back to life in the future.

A Time Capsule

Blank billboard in a supermarket

If you get the opportunity to visit Kitsault, you will transport yourself back to the early 1980s, empty shopping carts and all.

©agafapaperiapunta/iStock via Getty Images

The strangest part about this ghost town is that you are transporting yourself back to 1983. Just imagine walking down the road and everything is in fantastic shape. Some houses are still furnished. There is a doctor’s office with equipment that has barely been used. There are books in the library that are collecting dust and have been barely opened. Furthermore, everything in the town is just as its residents left it. And the eeriest part is that it doesn’t look abandoned. It looks absolutely and unequivocally pristine.

Closed to the Public

Private Property.

Because the town is private property, the town has gates to ensure there is no trespassing.

©sopotnicki/Shutterstock.com

The Indian-Canadian billionaire had plans to revitalize the town. Unfortunately, in the past 20 years, that has not happened. Instead, the caretakers who maintain the pristine nature of the town have decided to allow guests onto the property. There is a program from the University of Northern British Columbia that coordinates tours for people. Every once in a while, guests are allowed to drive around the town and explore it for about two hours. you can even sleep for the night and explore even more.

A Bright Future?

White gas and oil pipeline on lush grassy background. 3d rendering.

The town’s owner hopes for a bright future and a revival of Kitsault.

©Petmal/iStock via Getty Images

The town’s owner, Krishnan Suthanthiran, has owned Kitsault for 20 years. In those 20 years, he has dreamed of the town getting another boom. He has wanted the town to be a wellness and spiritual retreat and center. Most recently, he has proposed it becomes a site for LNG — liquefied natural gas. With this proposition came Kitsault Energy. The goal of Kitsault Energy was to create a pipeline corridor for liquefied natural gas that ends in Kitsault. It is a project that may cost $25 billion and therefore, things have stalled.


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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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