The photos and videos of this rotting Indiana city don't seem real.

I remember hearing a joke about Gary, Indiana many times in the 90s that went like this, "if you're sleeping in a car that's driving through Gary, the smell will wake you up."  That smell came from the steel mills.  Gary was known for two things back in the day.  The Northern Indiana city was a leader in steel production and it was the home of the Jacksons.  Of course, I'm talking about Michael, Janet, and the rest of the Jacksons.

Jackson 5, the Jacksons, Michael Jackson, Gary, Indiana
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Back in 1960, this industrial town on the Southern tip of Lake Michigan with an incredible view of Chicago had a population of 178,320.  That made Gary the 70th largest city in the US according to  The population has dropped a whopping 62% since then.

A 2019 article from USA Today points out that Gary has the most abandoned homes in the United States of America.  Nearly 20% of all standing homes in this once-thriving town are abandoned. Below are the Midwest towns that landed in the top 20 most abandoned homes:

  • #1 Gary, IN - 19.4% of homes are abandoned.
  • #3 Flint, MI  15.7% of homes are abandoned.
  • #4 Detroit, MI 222, 11.2% of homes are abandoned.
  • #11 Cleveland, OH 4.5% of homes are abandoned.
  • #12 Dayton, OH 4.3% of homes are abandoned.
  • #13 Indianapolis, IN 4.1% of homes are abandoned.

There are an estimated 13,000 abandoned buildings.  At least 20 of those buildings were once schools.  Below you'll find photos of empty schools, churches, and businesses that seem to be rotting from the inside out.

Ghost Town Gary, Indiana

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Gary, Indiana is not technically a ghost town.  However, it does feel like we are witnessing the process of Gary becoming a ghost town in real time.


Craziest Home Invasions in the Midwest for 2021


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