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The Haunted Sanzhi UFO Houses

Explore the strange history of Sanzhi Pod City.

Do not adjust your monitor. These strange Martian structures are terrestrial in origin and were originally designed for tourists … until a series of mysterious events brought construction to a screeching halt.

The bizarro Sanzhi UFO houses project began in 1978, on the northern coast of Taiwan just outside Taipei. Developers were certain the seaside resort would attract moneyed travelers and provide some futuristic R&R for soldiers. Who wouldn’t want to kick back at a pool surrounded by neon UFOs or look onto this space-age vista?

sanzhi pod village
  • Photo Credit: Carrie Kellenberger

Enthusiasm was short-lived. Multiple car wrecks and even a suicide occurred during construction, severely hampering progress. Superstitious locals claimed workers unearthed the 17th century remains of hundreds of Dutch soldiers – the site of an old burial ground. Then there was the ill-omened decision to destroy a massive ceremonial dragon statue in order to widen the entrance road. By 1980, developers shut down production.

Site records were subsequently destroyed, only fanning the flames of Sanzhi’s mysterious demise. By the end of the decade, the once illustrious city of the future was a supremely creepy ghost town.

sanzhi pod village
  • Photo Credit: Carrie Kellenberger

At which point, a new breed of traveler arrived. Urban explorers and intrepid shutterbugs with a taste for the weird flocked to Sanzhi, capturing the pod village ruins in their eerie glory.

Sadly, there’s no stopping progress. In 2010, the structures were razed to make way for another resort. No word yet as to whether developers will shoot for the moon with their new design. No word, either, on the fate of those restless spirits, and whether they still haunt the grounds.

Click through for more incredible photos of the Sanzhi Pod City ruins.

Courtesy of Carrie Kellenberger

Published on 15 Oct 2014

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