The Best Alabama Ghost Towns

Find out if you're getting ripped off on your car insurance in less than two minutes.
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
No long forms · No spam · No fees
Why you can trust Jerry
Jerry partners with some of the companies we write about. However, our content is written and reviewed by an independent team of editors and licensed insurance agents, and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn more baout how we make money, review our editorial standards, reference out data methodology, or view a list of our partners
History, ghosts, and incredible landscapes—that’s what you can expect from Alabama’s ghost towns. Civil War buffs will find many exciting destinations here, but there’s plenty for families and outdoor adventurers to discover, too.
Alabama has a rich history, starting from its Indigenous people to European and Black Americans. It all comes to the surface when examining the sites of Old Cahawba, St. Stephens, Blakeley, and Spectre. 
Ghost towns are the perfect way to enjoy perfectly-preserved history. Of course, there’s also something to be said for fictional ghost towns (scroll down to Spectre if you want to visit a fake ghost town). 
Whatever you choose, make sure you have great car insurance before you hit the road. Jerry can help you find a policy that protects you from the hazards of the road—except ghosts.

Old Cahawba Archeological Park

Close up of sparse branches with small pink flowers, ominous white house on green grass in the background.
Old Cahawba, Alabama

What is the story of Old Cahawba?

Just south of Selma is Old Cahawba, an archeological site near two rivers. The city served as the first capital of Alabama in 1820. The rivers made it possible for steamboats to transport cotton—but also made the city vulnerable to flooding. Mosquitoes and disease thrived.
At its peak in 1859, the town housed a modest population of 3,000. 
A yellow fever epidemic devastated Old Cahawba and the state capital was moved elsewhere. Its true downfall, though, came during the Civil War, when the Union navy cut off supplies by blockading the river. 
The city was then transformed into a POW camp, where some 3,000 men were imprisoned by 1865. By 1900, the majority of Cahawba’s buildings had been destroyed, damaged, or dismantled. 

What makes Old Cahawba special?

Old Cahawba is a fascinating ghost town that showcases Civil War-era buildings. 
  • You can visit the New Cemetery, which hosts the ornate tombstones of wealthy whites, as well as the Negro Burial Ground.
  • Visitors can explore the exact spot where the POW camp once stood.
  • The only remaining pieces of the Crocheron family mansion are tall brick columns.
  • The Barker Slave Quarters at Kirkpatrick Mansion are a rare archeological gem. The main house burned down in 1860.
  • Cahawba’s one-room schoolhouse was one of 95 segregated African-American schools in Dallas County, in use until the 1950s.
This is a spooky, special place where the ghosts speak quietly. It’s also an archeological treasure trove for those who are willing to explore. 

How to visit Old Cahawba

The Old Cahawba Archeological Park is only 20 minutes from Selma. Take AL-22 W for eight miles and then turn left onto Dallas County 9. After 3.5 miles, turn left onto Cahaba Road
It’s a pretty walkable area, so we recommend parking and exploring on foot. The grounds are open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM but the visitor center has reduced hours. This map of the town is a great place to start your adventure.
RECOMMENDED
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
avatar
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store

St. Stephens Historical Park

Grass riverbank with small tree and brightly colored small flowers, cloudy day
Tombigbee River, Alabama

What is the story of St. Stephens?

Known as the “place where Alabama began,” St. Stephens is a historically rich area with settlements dating back to the Spanish in 1789. It sits near the scenic Tombigbee River in a shallow portion, forcing traveling ships to stop. 
While St. Stephens was originally a Spanish fort perched on the limestone bluffs, it was ceded to the US in 1799. The population then grew from just under 200 to 7,000. The city served as the seat of government in Alabama until the capital was established in Cahawba in 1820.
When Alabama achieved statehood, the city began to wither away. Today, the town’s original layout has been carefully reconstructed by academics and archeologists. 

What makes St. Stephens special?

If you’re interested in historic sites, you can find one better than St. Stephens. With so many layers of history, you’ll be kept busy exploring for hours.
  • City streets and intersections have been reconstructed and include helpful information about the original families who lived there.
  • Old wells are a fascinating archeological feature.
  • The Globe Hotel’s excavation site is on display, revealing what it was like for travelers to stop and stay over in St. Stephens hundreds of years ago.
Pro Tip If you can, aim to spend more than one day here! The Historical Park has cabins, trails, and a quarry lake—perfect for an extended holiday.

How to visit St. Stephens

St. Stephens is in the southwest corner of Alabama, about 65 miles north of Mobile. From Mobile, take US-43 N and then turn left onto Mobile Cut-Off Road. You'll arrive in just over an hour. From Montgomery, it’s nearly three hours if you take I-65 S, US-84 W, and US-43 S.

Historic Blakeley State Park

Large oak tree coming out of smooth ground covered in small brown leaves and rocks, branches overhead
Canopy of Oak Trees, Alabama

What is the story of Blakeley?

The long history of human settlement in Blakeley dates back to the Paleo-Indians about 4,000 years ago. In the 1500s, Europeans settled here. Eventually, a businessman named Josiah Blakeley saw the potential of Blakeley as a seaport and bought 7,000 acres.
In 1814, the town was officially established. Blakeley hosted a major fort during the Civil War and was the site of a final major battle in the war.
Mosquitoes are an unfortunate part of daily life here. They infested Blakeley’s creeks and bayous, triggering a series of yellow fever epidemics. By the mid-1800s, the city was wiped out and abandoned. 
In 1974, the ghost town was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

What makes Blakeley special?

For Civil War aficionados, Blakeley is bursting with history. But for everyone else, there are plenty of cool buildings and natural features to enjoy, too.
  • Blakeley is located in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. It has 260,000 acres, making it the second-largest delta in the country.
  • The old town courthouse has been excavated and you can meander past 400-year-old oak trees on the abandoned streets.
  • The Civil War battlefield is breathtaking in person, and the entrenchments, cemetery, and other historic exhibitions are well worth the visit.

How to visit Blakeley

The ghost town of Blakeley is just under 30 minutes from Mobile. Take US-98 E and AL-225 N. Turn left at Historic Blakeley State Park. The town offers hiking, camping, and Civil War-related activities.

The Town of Spectre at Jackson Lake Island

Red kayak on reflective water, bright blue sky, puffy clouds, trees on either side
Kayaking in Alabama

What is the story of Spectre?

We’re cheating a bit with this one, as Spectre is a manufactured ghost town created for the 2003 film Big Fish. However, it’s a remarkable place to explore if you’re willing to pay the $3 entrance fee. 
Spectre was built on Jackson Lake Island for the first half of Tim Burton’s film, which depicts the town as alive and thriving. Then, it was altered to look abandoned for the next sequences in the film. Almost 20 years later, it still stands. 
Visitors can access the privately-owned island by kayak or by driving across Cypress Lane. 

What makes Spectre special?

Movie buffs will appreciate the opportunity to explore a real film set here in Spectre. 
  • Visit a real-life Hollywood movie set with leftover set pieces.
  • Enjoy views of Gum Chute and Jackson Lake.
  • Kayak over and enjoy day use for only $3, or spend the night in an RV or tent for $10.
It’s worth pointing out that, sometimes, authenticity is not the most important characteristic of a ghost town. You’ll have to visit Spectre and decide for yourself.

How to visit Spectre

Plan your visit ahead of time. If you like to kayak, bring yours along and enjoy a quick trip across the lake. Luckily, Spectre is only 20 minutes from Montgomery, so you are never far from goods and services. 
From Montgomery, take I-65 N to AL-143 N. Turn right onto Jackson Lake Road and follow the signs.

Get good car insurance before your trip

These four ghost towns will provide plenty of excitement for your group—so don’t let a surprise flat tire or car accident spoil your trip!
Jerry can help you find an affordable policy with the coverage you need, including towing and labor coverage to protect you during those unexpected incidents.
Jerry helps you compare prices from top companies to make sure you’re always getting the lowest price. If you find a policy you like, it’s easy to switch. The app does it all—from helping cancel your old policy to filling out registration paperwork.
Plus, the average Jerry user saves nearly $900 a year on car insurance!
“My Jerry rep was efficient and professional. It took about 10 minutes for them to find me my new Nationwide plan. Thank you, Jerry, for a wonderful, stress-free experience.” —Tonya R.
RECOMMENDED
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free