Founded in 1970, Pripyat was a model Soviet city built for the Chernobyl plant workers and their families. It was the ninth nuclear-city. Its population had been around 50,000 before the accident. It was a beautiful city filled with everything that anyone could want in a community. It had high-rise apartment buildings, schools, a cultural centre, hospital, swimming pools, theatres, stores, restaurants, cafes, playgrounds, and a stadium. On the morning of April 26, the citizens of Pripyat awoke to column of smoke rising from reactor four off in the distance.
The reactor at Chernobyl had blown and Pripyat was within what would later be known as Zone of Alienation. At noon on April 27, the Soviet government informed the citizens of Pripyat that they had two hours to gather their belongings and leave on a bus for mandatory evacuation. They were told that their evacuation was only temporary, for perhaps three days at the most, and so the residents left most of their belongings behind. The 50,000 citizens left their expecting to see their hometown again in just a few days. They would never return. It took 36 hours for the residents of Pripyat to be evacuated from the city. Many say the government failed them and should have evacuated sooner and although the citizens never would return, many still suffer the ill health effects of the massive dose of radiation as a reminder of the home they will never return too. Many have suffered losses as well and grief paints the city of Pripyat with sorrow.
Pripyat was left abandoned. It became an enormous ghost city. For a while it sat in stoic silence and then it began to decay. Roofs gave way and water leaked in. Grass grew between the cracks of the sidewalks and weeds took a stranglehold on the once beautiful city. The giant Ferris wheel that once entertained laughing children rusted and turned into a skeletal reminder of everything that had died in the city. Ghost stories came with the dust and hid in the shadows of the empty buildings. Stories of ghost children seeped out like the radiation. Pripyat has become a popular location for tourists and explorers. Those with a fascination for the forgotten can get passes and travel to the ghost town with guides. Radiation levels have been reduced to acceptable levels and for short periods of time Pripyat is harmless in small doses. Destination Truth even visited Pripyat in search of the ghosts that wander its darkened shell.
What they managed to capture on film was chilling at times. Pripyat is one of the most haunting ghost towns in the world