ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Horror fans may have seen Oren Peli's The Chernobyl Diaries - a kind of radioactive Wrong Turn with a bunch of youths stranded in the radiation zone of Pripyat, Ukraine as night draws in...

However, due to the fact that The Chernobyl Diaries was set at the site of the worst radioactivity disaster in history, Peli had to shoot his movie in a deserted aircraft base in Belgrade, Serbia instead.

Filmmaker Danny Cooke managed to get footage from the place Oren Peli dared not send his crew to. Cooke was shooting a piece about the 1986 Chernobyl disaster for CBS News, and he sent a camera drone over Pripyat, gaining incredible footage of the dangerously radioactive nuclear fallout zone.

The Pripyat Fairground is a striking feature

Bumper cars, whirligigs and even a ferris wheel stand unused. You may see a few people in the video - some areas of Pripyat are safe to enter, but only for a very short amount of time.


Abandoned buildings are shrouded in greenery

Cooke comments, 'There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.'


50,000 people lived in Pripyat before the disaster

The town was built to house workers for the newly built Chernobyl nuclear power plant, offering 10 gyms, 4 factories and 27 cafes for the vibrant working population.


The drone lingers on a decaying swimming pool

Pripyat had 3 indoor swimming pools before it was deserted. There's something very eerie about seeing a place empty that we commonly associate with noise, activity and children.


Pripyat housed around 5,000 children in 1985

15 elementary schools were evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster. Many of the children's books, drawings and possessions were left behind.


Many scenes in Pripyat are hauntingly beautiful

Nobody expected that this vibrant little town would be so lethally disrupted, moving thousands of people from their homes.


Other imagery is dark and disturbing

Hundreds of gas masks lie uselessly on the ground.


Check out the full 3-minute video for yourself.

In case you're wondering, that lovely song is Hannah Miller's 'Promised Land,' available here.


Would you like to tour Pripyat if you found a safe way to do so?

Source: Danny Cooke, Vimeo, CBS


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