6 Abandoned Places That Will Make Awesome Supervillain Lairs

It's no secret: We love abandoned places. Maybe it's the tragic appeal of a world absent of society, or maybe it's the aesthetics of the vines reclaiming man's constructions, or maybe it's just because "squatter's rights" say that if you can stay put in one for two years it legally belongs to you -- that's like expert level, high-stakes hide and seek! But while some abandoned places are terrifying, and some are simply sad, some others are just begging to be filled with ninjas and to have a laser mounted on top of them. These ... are their stories:

#6. The Witley Park Estate

In Surrey, on the grounds of the burned and demolished Lea Park Mansion, lies Witley Park -- the kind of dignified Evil Lord setting that makes steampunk-themed mustache-twirling gentlemen squeal in character-breaking delight. At first glance, the area seems like your quintessential English landscape, but then you start to notice the little things: the doors to nowhere, the strange glasswork, the mysterious statue in the middle of the lake ...

Daily Mail
Who appears to be using the Loofah of Power.

The lake that, incidentally, lights up at night.

Used with the permission of Large Pig
And beneath it ...

That? Oh, don't worry about that. Why, that's just the giant underwater dome. Did we not mention the giant underwater dome? Oh man, we probably should have mentioned the giant underwater dome straight off. Here, have a look:

Used with the permission of Large Pig
Maybe issue the henchmen rubber bullets.

They say it was built to be a billiards room, but come on -- who believes that? All that dripping water would totally ruin the felt. No, that baby is totally a supervillain command center; it's impossible to stand in the middle of that sucker and not burst into evil laughter.

Used with the permission of Large Pig
Well, if the lasers don't get Bond, the mold will.

Today, the premises lie silent, and the glass dome under the lake sits dormant ... as if waiting for someone to rise from their grave and return it to its original glory. But while the aquatic dome is definitely the deal-sealer on any evil real estate agent's property tour, it is by no means the only interesting thing about the area: There are a thousand secret corridors, hallways, walled pool areas and mysterious skylights littering the massive underground world of Witley Park. And guess who gets to sit in the middle of it all? Maybe you! Maybe you and the mad, vengeful ghost of J. Whitaker Wright, that's who!

Just one barrel of acid and an Atkins diet away from being your No. 2.

#5. Shime Coal Mine Tower

Now this is as close as real life gets to Saruman's Isengard: a giant, elevated fortress tower in the middle of fuck all, just waiting to be reclaimed and renovated to the use it was clearly destined for -- mayhem. It's all moss, sinister angles and dramatic speech-giving platforms, equally suitable for long distance scheming, army raising, hero defense and villainous offense.

Kenta Mabuchi
Just try to stand at the top and not scream the words "... bring the world to its knees!"

That's the Shime Coal Mine Tower in Fukuoka, Japan, and it is an odd remnant from the embarrassing era when Japan forgot they made up Godzilla and started building everything to withstand his inevitable attacks. Standing 156.3 feet tall, it looms over (and presumably masters the dreams of) the nearby town of Shime. Its upper levels were all habitable offices and control rooms, and it originally came equipped with a cable-winding mechanism that sunk to a depth of over 1,400 feet.

"I was promised a bottomless pit. Wright, flog this man."

That's right: The structure used to be the winding tower for the giant coal mine below, which is now just as abandoned as the tower above it. This is excellent news for the global menace who needs a bit of room to grow in their villainy, as it is a rare doomsday weapon indeed that wouldn't fit in the miles and miles of abandoned tunnels and caverns lurking below.

Caverns, or incubators.

#4. The Moscow Metro-2


What little we do know of the Moscow Metro-2 is not so much "known" as "whispered in the shadows by only the bravest of spelunkers." Supposedly, it is a secret, government-built subway system paralleling the actual Moscow Metro ... only a hell of a lot larger, and one that goes to a bunch of places the official version doesn't -- including the Kremlin, secret airports, military installations, nuclear bunkers and even Stalin's old private residence. It's also much deeper than the actual Metro. The normal system runs, at its absolute deepest, to 276 feet, whereas Metro-2 is said to run to the somewhat insane depths of up to 600 feet. That's the comic book villain sweet spot right there: too deep for the hawkmen to get at you, not deep enough to anger the mole people.

Also too deep to sink the Internet cable. Dang.

Russian officials somehow manage to vehemently, passionately and furiously dodge the question of whether or not the Metro-2 even exists. Which basically means "Yes, this is absolutely a real thing and could not possibly exist any harder." Further, a bunch of ex-officials have gone on record saying that it's totally there, and some brave spelunkers have even been able to reach the system and take pictures. Oh yeah, and all that's omitting the trivial little fact that U.S. intelligence actually has a map of the place. Also, according to most sources, everything in the whole complex -- maintenance areas, tunnels, blasphemous labs and C.H.U.D.s alike -- are all completely abandoned.

And if some upstart mafia don has set up shop since? The core of your legion of minions is already set.

So, it's not just a proper villainous lair, but a fine selection of lairs -- a sampler platter of villainy, if you will -- all interconnected by a vast underground network. Now it's just a matter of getting the Russian government to admit that it exists, saving up the money to buy it and then making sure everybody who doubted you is sorrier than they've ever been in their lives.

"MmmWAHAHAHAHAA -- man, this thing has a great echo. ECHO."

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