6 Abandoned Sites That Would Make Great Supervillain Lairs

#3. Western Village

Chris Luckhardt

Let's take a trip all the way from distant Japan to ... not-so-distant Japan. Look, is it our fault the land of the rising sun cornered the market on villainous lairs?

The Western Village was designed to offer tourists a little slice of Americana -- the cowboy theme park featured saloons, general stores, horses, and gunslingers. There were even two functional steam trains and, most impressively, a one-third-scale re-creation of Mount Rushmore that you could climb inside of.

Don't beat these faces flat. These faces are perfect.

That's right -- you can do battle with your archnemesis inside the gigantic skull of Theodore goddamn Roosevelt. Sure, you'll probably be thrown to your death from Lincoln's forehead by a man with a flag on his chest and patriotism in his heart, but boy, when it happens -- you will look awesome falling.

Michael John Grist
There's probably no lava in Teddy's head. But there could be.

The park closed in 2007 and sits even now, just waiting for a master twisted enough to take charge. So if you have hatred in your heart for Uncle Sam and want to decorate your villainous set pieces with irony, maybe it's time to pack the Axis D'Evil into the transatlantic U-Haul and stake your claim.

Don't have a Nazi-theme devil-robot to call your own yet? Worry not: The animatronic figures that still litter the park, like these gigantic teddy bears, would make excellent guard robots:

Michael John Grist
"Hug delivery imminent. ASSUME RECEPTIVE POSITION."

And what better way to deliver an insane monologue than through the mouth of animatronic Abe Lincoln?

Michael John Grist
Making your fall from Rushmore all the more poetic.

Hell, part of us thinks the designers of this park knew it would one day be taken over by a madman. How else do you explain a cowboy having a tooth pulled by the looming specter of death?

Michael John Grist
An interrogation manual for illiterate henchmen?

Or the haunted house of melted ... naked bald ladies, drowning in fat?

Michael John Grist
The leg and head definitely belong to two separate victims.

You know what? This one might be too hardcore even for you, Reichstab. Maybe stick with that decrepit observatory on Mount Terror. At least you'll be able to get some sleep there.

#2. Buran Space Launch Station

Ken R. Harman

Sooner or later, your villainous plots are going to involve space. It is basically inevitable -- was one planet ever going to be enough for you? No, it's Master of the Universe or bust. And that's why you need the Buran space launch station.

via io9.com
Abandoned and disused, much like American space launch stations.

A remnant of the Soviet Union's most blatant attempt to copy NASA, the launch station is a massive abandoned space center in Kazakhstan, conveniently located near the still-operational Baikonur Cosmodrome (where all manned Russian space missions are launched) in case you want to ... expand your operation. The area comes complete with literal tons of space equipment, just waiting for you and your mad scientists to re-enact Moonraker with less wacky antics and more secret agents strapped to the bottom of live rocket boosters.

via io9.com
Don't be picky, though. The rockets can take non-secret agents, too.

The station also offers plenty of ground-based opportunities for mayhem. Facilities large enough to house space shuttles are large enough to house anything. Can you say Godzilla cage?

via io9.com
Can you say halleluiah?

The mess of rusting industrial sprawl looks perfect for converting into an intricate labyrinth filled with a series of elaborate deathtraps:

via io9.com
Dozens will die just building the traps.

And then there's the Buran mover:

via io9.com

That warship-size vehicle was originally designed to move the shuttles around the facility on special tracks, but in your hands it can be the first piece of your very own Terror Drome. Slap a few flamethrowers on there, maybe a giant golden eagle clutching the world in its claws, and boom -- you've got a mobile domination platform that'll make all the fly honeys swoon. Be careful, though: The acidic vomit of the fly-honeys is no joke.

#1. Niagara Falls Hydroelectric Plant


There's nothing like a sinister fortress behind a big ol' waterfall for sheer drama. It's like your base is protected by a force field cast by nature itself! But let's try to stay realistic -- it's not like Victoria Falls comes with a giant Fort Dread pre-installed. Niagara Falls, on the other hand ...

A Canadian base? Of course! It's the last thing they'd expect!

Yes, the Horseshoe Falls at Niagara totally has an abandoned lair lurking behind it. And it's not just some measly two-henchmen shack, either -- we're talking a 10-story hydroelectric power plant, complete with gigantic machinery and sprawling underground corridors. It has something for everyone, whether you're an evil baron, a mad scientist, or a simple screeching mutant looking for a place to lurk away from the judging stares of the normals.

This place says "villainy" right from the get-go. Here's its worn and crumbling facade, proudly standing by the falls on the Canadian side of the border:

Clearly belonging to omnicidal madmen and/or the government.

Here's the factory that lies within its depths:

Abandoned Britain
The machinery never actually produced anything other than fear.

And here's the platform you'll use to throw your treacherous second in command into the raging waters below, then watch as he tumbles helplessly into the frothing abyss:

Abandoned Britain
"Daaaaamnnn yyyyooouuuuu, Baaaaroooon Baaarrrrennnn!" *splash*

Impressed? Don't unpack your leather onesie and hydro-drill just yet, because we've only covered the literal tip. As cool as the main building is, it's actually just a tiny part of the facility -- the shaft is where all the real action happens (ladies ... and/or lady-bots).

Jon Doe/SleepyCity.net
Tread lightly. The "tailrace tunnels" are delicate and easily damaged.

Under the plant is a network of mammoth brick tunnels, perfect for a dramatic last-minute escape while cursing those do-gooders' names. The tunnel system was the biggest in the world when it was built in 1906, and we're betting it's still a pretty serious contender today. It was originally used to provide water for the plant's generators, but now the empty tunnels lie in wait for their rightful master. The complex has been abandoned for more than 30 years, visited only by the occasional spelunker who will provide your Mannigators with a steady supply of fresh meals.

Pauli is a contributor to the De-Textbook and will probably call off his army of chainsaw bears if you buy it. Follow him on Twitter.

Related Reading: Not yet settled on your lair? Click here. The Whitley Park Estate is ideal for any truly classed-up bad guy. If you prefer your creepy nightmare home closer to America, check out North Brother Island. To maximize your chance of being straight-up haunted, visit this buried World War One trench.

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