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Haunted Underwater Houses: The Deep House (2021) & Sunken American Cities

The Deep House follows a youtube couple who is known for exploring abandoned, creepy, and “haunted” places. They find themselves underwater, exploring an incredibly creepy house. Several red flags and warnings later, they become trapped. A fun found-footage-y film that triggered some of the Ghoul's fears (claustrophobia and underwater) but doesn't quite make it to our favorites list. Gabe has many questions and shares details on how this unique film was made. Kat talks about the real horrors of sunken cities that we are missing in this film.


Media from this week's episode:

The Deep House (2021)

A young and modern couple who go to France to explore an underwater house and share their findings on social media undergo a serious change of plans when the couple enters the interior of a strange house located at the bottom of a lake and their presence awakens a dark spirit that haunts the house.

Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury


The Deep House: Underwater Horrors and Supernatural Threats by Gabe Castro

RED: Quotes, someone else's words.


The film follows a youtube couple who are known for exploring abandoned, creepy, and “haunted” places. We first see them exploring an abandoned asylum. We learn fairly quickly what kind of Youtuber Ben is. He jumps out at partner, Tina and immediately establishes himself as the true villain of this film. Ben and Tina decide they are going to explore this sunken town in France, Tina’s home country. It’s clear Tina is in this strictly for her …love??? for Ben (though the lack of chemistry between them is palpable). The film is a mix of found footage, drones, and regular cinematography which I think added to the film. Tina has been training for this dive but is clearly uncomfortable with the challenge. She times herself holding her breath in a tub and reluctantly explains to Ben she’s reached “about 3 minutes,” which informs us just how much time she is going to be left with under the water at the end. Ben makes jokes constantly about her wanting to get out of it. He confirms our suspicions that he is a villain by invading her privacy and filming her while she is peeing (yes, seriously).

Eventually, they get to the town (the part that’s above water). Ben wanders around and pretends to be a real vlogger, explaining the town is practically abandoned even now and is dying. Only to have it revealed, quite quickly, that the town is bustling. It’s just that everyone was already down in the water, enjoying their summer. The sunken city they sought, the supposed abandoned, creepy place that no one has ventured into is actually a popular tourist and summer spot. Ben is deflated while Tina is silently elated. Only, Ben gets to talking to a local, Pierre, and learns there’s still yet something to explore, an abandoned singular house tucked far in the woods and down the water a ways. The adventure is back on! (It’s for the views!)

They arrive at the destination after a hike from the main road (big red flag, but white people be white peoplin). You could not catch me lugging my oxygen through the woods to then go do more physical activity underwater. Couldn’t be me. Ben lets Tina know they have one hour of air which is entirely too little time to do an explore. Throughout the entire underwater adventure, I was constantly yelling to Kat, “How long has it been?” It had to have taken like 20 minutes just to get to the house and inside it. Then they explore it for like ever. They never account for their return trip or like any thoughts about actual diving concerns.

We start our journey underwater and get fun glimpses of cars and other usually above-water things now underwater (and therefore cooler). Ben continues to be the worst. Laughing at Tina when she gets caught on something and becomes panicked. Later, he blares heavy metal music that scares the fish and me (again, he is the villain). When they arrive at the property, the front gates are adorned with religious warnings and paraphernalia. Tina remarks, “I forgot how religious they were back then.” and they both completely ignore or rather shut off their deep-thinking parts of their brain, moving inside without a wonder as to why it appears the townsfolk were trying to keep something evil in. They reach the house and it's oddly sealed up. Why would you need to seal up a house that is being drowned? They spend not a single thought on this query before working to find a way in. One jumpscare-by-fish later, they find the one way in and are excited to make their way through the house. Again, never stopping to think about the fact that there is ONE WAY IN and therefore ONE WAY OUT. If this ONE WAY OUT were to become inaccessible? We don’t worry about that, honey. Eventually, while exploring the house they encounter some unsettling, spooky, and haunted things. The children’s room is eerie and not in the usual way that a child’s bedroom completely submerged underwater and frozen in time would be. But rather, this particular child had some odd hobbies such as stabbing photos through the antlers of a dead deer? They also have video equipment amidst the dolls and girlish delights. Ben thinks he sees a silhouette of a girl on the bed but shrugs it off when nothing is there. Maybe it was the fish?

I forgot to mention they have an underwater compatible drone that follows them around named Tom (like a peeping Tom). This camera was a fun tactic for them to send into a room first to scope it out and make sure it was safe. In the kitchen, Tom glitches. When the couple explore the room, they find a giant Jesus statue hanging on the wall. But it’s not a wall but actually a hidden door. Again, without asking, “Why would people want to hide this secret door with literally Jesus?” they take Jesus from his perch and head on in. In there they find more rolls of footage and a couple hanging above a pentagram. (Hey, who dropped these red flags here?)

A creaky door opens and Ben finds body parts in jars. This is all the last straw for Tina who asks that they leave. Big surprise though, their ONE WAY OUT is now a brick wall because of… satanic witchcraft? Things spiral out here as they continue to make more bad decisions and Tina becomes increasingly appropriately panicked.

Truly Frightening:

I was excited to watch this film and genuinely enjoyed it. Even with its silliness and how angry I was at Ben through the entire piece. Kat is afraid of the ocean, we don’t know what’s down there. But I get claustrophobic. So films in space or certain underwater films like Underwater or The Deep House really frighten me. We don’t belong underwater and you are at the mercy of the equipment. You are always one malfunction, one cave-in, one false step, or one creature away from death.

Things that scared me about this film.

  • One hour is not enough oxygen to be exploring a whole house and you don’t even know where it is exactly. You need to map out how long it takes for everything!

  • No one knows where you are. Pierre, who turns out is a villain (Ben is THE villain but Pierre is bad too), brought you here. It is far from your original intended location. You are in the middle of the woods and now underwater. You have disappeared.

  • They went into the house when there were no exits other than one precarious window that could at any time become obstructed, barring your only escape.

  • They never discuss the issue of swimming too fast to the surface. At least 47 Meters Down explains that. These two never took a diving certification class. No use of sign language or such, used by divers.

  • Tom is an evil robot and I don’t know why he was evil but he was. He was all glowing red, “I can’t let you do that, Tina.”

  • The unanswered question of why everything was in good shape despite being submerged underwater before the protagonists were born.

Things that didn’t scare me.

  • The ghosts were spooky at first. Seeing them preserved was interesting. And I absolutely understand the challenges of filming people without suits underwater and trying to be scary. But to be honest, I could’ve done without them completely. The real horror was being underwater, period.

  • Any of the satanic cult??? plot. It was messy. The family was sacrificing farm kids to ?Satan? for ?reasons? There were scratch marks on the inside of the barricade that was put in there right before they flooded the house. Why? One child was dead, one had escaped (Pierre) and the parents were chained up in the basement. I think they were trying to say this was from the kids they abducted but it makes no sense it would be at the front door. Also, what do Pierre and these ghosts get from this? Do they get to live again? Or is it that killing is fun?

Things that scared me that I am ashamed to admit:

  • That damned fish. Popping in and out and always looking creepy. No thanks.

The Making of:

But here, we wanted the audience to have this visceral feeling of being in this element and that it can be as scary, as dreamlike. - the directors

I think the film's most interesting part and why I enjoyed it so much was the actual filmmaking aspect. I found myself wondering how any of it was possible and what the challenges may have been with having a film shot almost entirely underwater. Thanks to a helpful interview on Bloody Disgusting, ‘The Deep House’: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury On the Challenges of Filming a Haunted House Movie Underwater by Meagan Navarro, I found answers!

Here are some of the challenges and experiences as explained by the directors.

“The whole process of shooting underwater came step by step, all the security around it and shooting 8 to 10 hours a day underwater. It’s very exhausting. And how to deal with the fact that it’s almost three times slower underwater than a regular shoot. As soon as you want to move something in the set, you have to call through the microphone, ‘Okay, we need to move the pots on the chimney, please.’ You have a diver going down to the chimney and taking the pot and say, ‘Okay, here. No, no, no. On the left. More, more, more, more. Stop! No, too much. Back, back, back.’ It was quite frustrating in the beginning because we are the kind of directors that are on set with all the crew. We are touching everything, and we are changing stuff ourselves. We are talking to the actors, and we are playing for the actors. And here we were on the surface; everyone else was underwater. We are sitting in front of our monitors, with our microphones, and giving our orders to everyone. In the beginning, it was quite frustrating, but it was the way to do it.”

This is a haunted house film and so there are ghosts! However, the ghosts we see are regular people, underwater without dive suits. They ended up a bit funny on screen but I think using them instead of CGI or practical effects was a positive. The two leads of the film get dive suits and most likely, much training on safety. The ghosts are out there, free. When asked about how they approached their ghosts, Bustillo answered candidly, “The ghosts were a real problem at the beginning. We didn’t know how to do the ghosts. We thought maybe we could use special effects, but no. It’s too expensive. It will not work underwater. One day, we spoke with some crew members, and one suggested that maybe we could use a free diver. We started to look after free divers who could possibly play a ghost in a horror movie. We found a couple of older free divers to play the parents, but the more complicated challenge was to find the young girl. It’s very difficult to find a girl around 11 or 12 years old who could dive for real, without oxygen at six meters down. We were very lucky there, too, because we found [Carolina Massey] in Monaco. She was only 11 years old during the shooting, but she was a free diver since maybe three or four years ago; free diving is her passion. She’s trained by the world champion of freediving in Monaco, Pierre Frolla.

“Then we were able to do all the stuff with ghosts for real on the set and without CGI or special effects. All you can see on the screen was shot for real. We give her some oxygen and then action; they go underwater, they act, then up. It was very stressful for us, of course, because it’s a little bit dangerous, but it was incredible to watch on the screen. Wow, it works for real and without effects and post-production CGI. We are not dealing with a green screen. It was a real joy for all the crew to watch. It’s really, really creepy.”

In an article on Variety, 'The Deep House' Directors Chat About Making the Blumhouse-Acquired Underwater Horror Film by Elsa Keslassy, the challenges are further explored.

The helmers explain that directing the actors under the water presented another level of difficulty because they couldn’t be fully wired and “there’s no wifi down there,” points out Bustillo. “We had an engineer who took months to create a system where we had antennas placed in the water which were connected to one another. This unique system required us to work with unusual crew members and allowed us to see the dailies on the monitors above water,” says Maury.

The pair explained that the house was built on large grids and progressively plunged into a nine-meter deep water tank that was 20 meters wide. Near the water tank was a warehouse where the decors were being fabricated.

“We couldn’t leave the whole house in the water for days at a time because the decors would have been ruined, so we would immerse only parts of the house underwater, and were shooting scenes floor by floor; we could only immerse one meter per hour, which represented six meters,” says Bustillo.

“The whole process was crazy, and we owe it to Jacques Ballard, who is a master of underwater filming. Ballard notably created Beyonce’s aquatic music video ‘Runnin,'” says Maury.

In order to create the muddy look of the water and give it some density, the directors said some food items, such as mashed Brussels sprouts, were thrown in it. Bustillo says he wanted the picture to be “beautiful as well as nightmarish.”

As a found-footage-y film, I enjoyed this exploration of a sunken home. I was stressed and worried about what they would find in each room. The drone, Tom, was a great tool to explore for them and it reminded me of how I sometimes play a horror video game. Trying to use the mechanics to peek around corners before I go inside. Before any supernatural/plot points were introduced, I was having a good, spooky time. Ultimately, I still really enjoyed the film and recommend it if you are looking for a fun, thoughtless time.

Other Media about Sunken Cities:

I am not going to go into details about these but do think if we ever decide to cover sunken cities again, we could watch horror films about the horrors of those cities. Kat is going to explain those horrors in their section. Many communities and groups of people were completely wiped out in sunken cities. Two pieces of media came to mind where I thought if we wanted to focus less on Haunted House but Underwater now and instead on Horrors of Sunken Cities, I would’ve covered. There is a terrible episode of American Horror Stories titled, Lake. It is about a mysterious drowning that uncovers secrets at the bottom of the lake. The big reveal is that the ancestors of the boy who drowned were responsible for the town being flooded. They profited off of it, despite the deaths of the residents then and the visitors now. However, the victims and villains of this episode were both incredibly white and I feel like it completely skipped over the realities of these sunken cities. The victims were almost always BIPOC folx. Which is why Kat was helpful enough to show me an episode of Atlanta.

In the first episode of Season 3, Three Slaps, we open with two men fishing, one white and one black. The Black fisherman explains that he always feels uncomfortable and frightened of the lake. He expresses his fear and recounts a harrowing story from his youth here. “This place always gave me the heebie-jeebies, man, I almost drowned in [the water] when I was, like, 8,” he explains, noting that he “felt like [he] was being pulled.” The white fisherman responds that he believes him and that it might just be true. He divulges that “It’s a whole town underneath us. This whole lake used to be a town. Houses, farms, roads, there’s a whole raceway down there. State government built a dam, flooded the place. Anyone who didn’t leave drowned,” and furthermore, he explains, “Town was Black, dude … a self-governing Black town.” Distressed, the Black man responds “So, there are Black people under us right now?”

“A lot of souls down there. That’s what pulled you under,” he says.

As the white man muses on about the sunken city, the lake’s haunted past, and the blinding effects of whiteness, his voice begins to muffle and his eyes disappear. “We’re cursed too,” the white man says as an array of dark-skinned arms ascends from the water, dragging the Black man into its depths. ‘Atlanta’ Season 3 Episode 1 Recap: Three Slaps

I am thankful that Bustillo and Maury stuck to their, albeit sloppy, Satanic plot device. The film is set in their home country of France and so their lakes aren’t ripe with the racism and violent history we have here in places like Lake Lanier. Perhaps, a young filmmaker could learn from this film. How they too could tell a truly haunting story of a sunken city, but also explore the true horrors under the water, that of the American way.


Sunken Cities: America's Dirty Habit of Drowning Communities by Kat Kushin

RED: Quotes, someone else's words.

This film was really weird, and although parts of it were really interesting, genuinely scary, and overall fun - much of the plot and some of the acting were missing entirely from it. The closer we got to the end of the film the more I just totally lost interest in what was happening because I didn’t understand what was happening. It probably didn’t help that the plot was pretty predictable, in that I called what the big reveal was about a forth of the way through the film. The filming itself was very well done, visually it was a really satisfying watch, and I think if I went into it with a different head space I may have enjoyed it a bit more. Overall with this watch, emotionally and mentally it was really lacking for me. I also think the cultural difference between the perspective of this French film and my American experience got in the way of me being able to enjoy a fun underwater haunted house film…as in America there are actual towns that have been intentionally buried under man made lakes because of racism. Also, the ghoul’s in general enter into movies with the mentality that “Horror is saying something” and that made it hard for me to actually enjoy a film that didn’t seem to be really saying much of anything. All that to say that this film was fine, and just not for me. If it was for you then awesome, hope you enjoyed it. I think also it is important to note that I didn’t want a trauma film either, it’s more that I wanted something that made me think something afterwards. I just wanted to feel something…LOL

Possible Reason Why They focused on Flooding and an underwater house in this Film:

In France, there seems to be some reasonable anxiety around sinking/flooded cities because of the threat of climate change and the resulting rise in water levels. I will say they are less at risk than some of the northern countries, but it does seem a fair amount of their coastal cities will see damage and flooding as the water levels continue to rise.

Climate Central’s warming choices map shows several districts of Bordeaux falling under sea levels if temperatures increase by 3C above pre-industrial levels in the very long-term. The Place des Quinconces, for example, would be almost largely submerged.

Further south, Anglet (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) would also be partially submerged, with the Cavaliers beach falling underwater.

The Côte d'Azur would also be hard hit, with the city’s airport shown, surprisingly, as partly submerged in the long-term future, even at 1C (less than today, which is 1.1C) and almost entirely covered at 2C.

Other popular towns and cities in the area, such as Cannes and Antibes and the principality of Monaco will also be impacted by rising sea levels.

In the north, virtually all of Calais and Dunkirk will fall under the sea even with temperatures increasing by just 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the maps show.

The timeframe for when these dramatic changes could take place remains vague, with Climate Central saying that “diverse research indicates that these sea levels could be realised between 200 and 2,000 years from now.”

Benjamin Strauss, president and CEO of Climate Central, has recently co-authored a paper titled 'Unprecedented threats to cities from multi-century sea level rise’.

There have also apparently been some floods in France recently that have left damage. The River Seine in Paris has a history of flooding as well as other rivers in France which could be why the topic of flooding and a house being taken by water may have seemed like an interesting plot point.

As a more random fun fact, I also read something on a source that may or may not have been accurate based on it being a random wordpress site, but that there were filmmakers in the 1960s that built a miniature underwater city for a film they were making, that still exists today.

If you look from the port of Golfe Juan towards Île Saint-Marguerite you will see a small striped lighthouse, La Pierre Fourmigue, mid-way in the bay. Thirty metres underwater near this lighthouse, lie the remains of a 1000 m2 French town complete with remparts, church, hotel, hairdressers, town square and amphitheatre.

Sunken Towns in America:

The first time I heard about this was in the viral video from Amber Ruffin, on the Amber Ruffin Show, where they discuss the drowned Black towns that were destroyed to make way for Lakes and Parks.

There are unfortunately MANY towns in America that were “vacated”, demolished and flooded to make way for dams, reservoirs, and lakes. This list doesn’t include communities that were forced to relocate for other non-water based infrastructure projects, and that list is even longer. I say many in all caps because the amount of locations I found in my search was way more than we could cover in 30 minutes, so I’m going to touch on some, and then list other locations where people can follow up and look into themselves. It seems that these forced relocations happened largely, although not exclusively in the west, and predominantly impacted BIPOC communities. There were some articles I found that discussed the sunken towns in a way that was kind of uncomfortable in that they mention who is impacted but discuss it in such a way that doesn’t give enough respect in my opinion to the devastation that was attached to those forced relocations, using words like “development”, “progress” and other gross words that America uses to euphemism away hate crimes.

From The Center for Land Use Interpretation’s newsletter: The Lay of the Land Spring 2005, #28 Titled: IMMERSED REMAINS: TOWNS SUBMERGED IN AMERICA is one instance of this, as it seems the documentation was kept more as a record of human land excavation and less of a critique on the why.

“ELBOWOODS, NORTH DAKOTA; KENNETT, CALIFORNIA; ENFIELD, Massachusetts; Neversink, New York; Butler, Tennessee; St. Thomas, Nevada. Each of these towns represents a different element of America’s development. Yet they all share the same fate: they, and hundreds of other communities like them, were vacated, demolished and flooded to make way for dams and reservoirs. Their remnants persist, preserved underwater, and sometimes emerge, as reminders of what was not allowed to be.”

Elbowoods, ND - The Flooded Plain

Elbowoods was one of several Native American towns along the Missouri River which were permanently flooded following the completion of the Garrison Dam in North Dakota in 1953. The town was established in 1891, to be the local Indian headquarters for the region’s Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara tribes. By the 1950’s, many of the natives in town had become Christians, and operated the gas stations, stores, post office, and other businesses typical of a rural town of a few hundred people, as well as the reservation’s main school and hospital, also located at Elbowoods. The reservoir that formed behind the Army Corps of Engineers’ Garrison Dam was named after Sacajawea, the legendary Shoshone Indian woman who guided Lewis and Clark through the mountains of Montana. 200 mile long Lake Sakakawea, the third largest reservoir in the country, flooded a quarter of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, forcing the relocation of 325 families, nearly 80% of the population on the reservation at that time. Many moved to a newly established community called New Town, where now 1,500 members of the Three Affiliated Tribes live a modern life with a large casino.

Kennett, CA - Boomtown Sunk

Though the old mining town of Kennett was a faded relic of its boomtown self by the time it was flooded by Lake Shasta in 1944, it was still home to a hundred people. Like other “gold rush” towns in northern California, it was established for mining and prospecting in the region in the 1850s, though it wasn’t until a railroad camp was built in 1883, with over a thousand Chinese laborers, that the population began to rise substantially. Gold was discovered nearby the next year, and a post office came in 1886. The largest copper smelter on the west coast opened in 1905, and by 1911, 3,000 people lived in town. The hills around the town were exfoliated and denuded by the acid fumes from the smelter, and farmers in the valley 15 miles away began a suit against the company that operated the smelter, for destruction of their crops. The mines closed after the end of WWI, the smelter soon followed, and Kennett’s population fell over the next two decades. The town now rests beneath 400 feet of water, along with many of the region’s smelters, paint factories, and mines, and their surrounding despoiled soils.

Neversink, NY - Gotham's Thirsty Reach

Neversink (whose fateful name is said to be derived from the Indian word “ne-wa-sink,” meaning “continuously flowing”) was the larger of two communities that were removed from the reservoir site in 1942. The other town was called Bittersweet. A total of 340 people were evicted from the valley and 6,149 acres condemned. Some buildings were relocated to nearby towns, though most were bulldozed and burned in a “final harvest.” Trees were removed, cellars were filled in, privies disinfected, and even barnyard manure was said to have been dug up, to maintain New York City’s reputation for having the finest quality drinking water possible. The Neversink Reservoir began to flood the land on June 4, 1953, and took two years to fill.

Enfield, MA - Valley of the Dammed

The scenic New England villages of Dana, Prescott, Greenwich and Enfield were disincorporated on the same day, April 28, 1938. Over the next year the valley was demolished and deforested by over a thousand “woodpeckers,” immigrant workers from Boston, who at times ran amok in the doomed landscape, living in the vacated houses along the Main Streets, burning churches without authorization. Some of the old buildings were moved to other towns, but most were bulldozed into piles and burned, as was 30 square miles of forest. The valley was on fire for months. In all 2,500 people were relocated. 7,000 bodies from local cemeteries were reinterred on higher ground. The Quabbin finished filling in 1946. It has no flood control, electrical generation, or navigation functions. It was built for one purpose only, to serve the drinking water needs of Boston, sixty miles away. Still called the largest single purpose reservoir in the nation, it is the city’s primary water source.

Butler, TN - The Deep South

Butler was the largest single community, and the only incorporated town, removed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) throughout that entire massive, depression-era public works project to modernize and electrify the rural parts of seven southeastern United States. Butler was the commercial center for the Watauga Valley, in eastern Tennessee, and the only real town in the region, with a population of around 600. It was a typical southern town, with two barbershops, two beauty parlors, markets, the Blue Bird Cafe, hardware store, drug store, a few service stations, a few hotels, three churches, a rail station, Masonic lodge, a brick City Hall, bank, and doctors and dentists offices. Located in the forested hills of Appalachia, local industries were mostly wood related, and included a lumber company, a crating company, a furniture company, and a casket company. In 1948, when the floodgates were closed, the Watauga Dam and Reservoir began flooding 458 square miles along the Watauga River. 735 families had been displaced. Around 175 buildings, including shops, barns, churches and homes, were moved to higher ground, to a new town site named New Butler. Most buildings were demolished on site, and 1,200 bodies were moved from the graveyards. Some families opted to leave the graves of their ancestors undisturbed, so they are still there, along with a reported slave graveyard that TVA crews never found. When “Old Butler” was exposed in the 1983 drawdown conducted to service the dam, Don Stout’s shoe store, made of stone, and the one room jail house, made of concrete, stood out from the other foundations and building pads along the muddy streets, still lined with trees, long dead but preserved by the water.

St. Thomas, Nevada - Draught and Drought

Like most of the early settlements in the desert southwest, St. Thomas was established in an area of available water, in this case the comparatively lush Moapa Valley, fifty miles northeast of where Las Vegas is now. The town started as a Mormon outpost in 1865, and was later part of a chain of agricultural communities in the valley following the Muddy River, including Moapa, Logandale, and Overton, that were otherwise surrounded by arid desert. St. Thomas had a peak population of around 500 people, and for a while was known for producing cantaloupes and asparagus. A railway spur served the valley, and US 91, the main highway to Los Angeles before Interstate 15, went through town, making it a stop for motorists. In 1938, however, as Lake Mead crept northward, filling in behind the Boulder Dam, St. Thomas, located at a lower elevation at the southern end of the valley, was flooded. At the moment, due to regional drought conditions, portions of forty buildings are visible at the exposed remains of St. Thomas, including the old school and the Hannig Ice Cream parlor. Also visible is the foundation of the Gentry Hotel, where former president Herbert Hoover stayed in 1932, while inspecting the nearby construction project he had helped to create. The Boulder Dam, which flooded the town, was later renamed in his honor.

Some communities are now lost completely, just notations in history books. Others survived, at least in part, as tiny lake-side towns. A few examples are:

Easonville was submerged when Logan Martin Lake was created in 1964. The St. Clair County town was near Pell City and Cropwell.

Benson was a community of mostly black residents founded in 1895 by Will Benson. It was flooded in 1926 when Martin Dam was completed on the Tallapoosa River to form Lake Martin.

Susannah, or Sousana, was also flooded by Lake Martin. According to a story in The Montgomery Advertiser, more than 900 bodies were moved from cemeteries before the land was submerged. The town once included a gold mine, a school, two mercantiles, a grist mill, a flour mill, a sawmill, a blacksmith shop and a church.

Waterloo, a tiny patch of Lauderdale County that takes up less than 1 square mile, is still home to about 200 people. For more than 100 years from its beginnings in 1819, Waterloo was a small-but-bustling town on the banks of the Tennessee River, but many of its homes and buildings were moved in the late 1930s to avoid being submerged when Pickwick Landing Dam was built by Tennessee Valley Authority.

Riverton was a small Colbert County town flooded when Pickwick Dam was built on the Tennessee River in 1938. The town was a strategic point on the Tennessee River, leading to several bombardments during the Civil War. The old Riverton Cemetery, where some residents of the town were buried, remains above the flood plains.

Irma was a tiny Elmore County community now located beneath Lake Martin. According to a blog for scuba divers, a church was submerged in a very deep part of the lake and is marked on maps.

Bainbridge was a Colbert County community submerged when Wilson Dam was built in 1924 to create Wilson Lake on the Tennessee River. It was built by Hugh L. Cooper but, after the formation of TVA, it was placed under its operations.

Prairie Bluff, or Dale or Daletown, was a Wilcox County town submerged in the Alabama River. It was settled in 1819 and was largely submerged by the Dannelly Reservoir when the Millers Ferry lock and Dam was constructed in 1963.

Falls City was already a ghost town by the time it was flooded in 1961 after Alabama Power built a dam at the Sipsey Fork tributary on the Warrior River to create Lewis Smith Lake, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama. "The projected flood zone was sparsely populated, although Clear Creek Falls--actually a pair of falls about a quarter mile apart in southeast Winston County--was a popular recreation spot for generations," Alabama Power historian Michael Sznajderman wrote in the encyclopedia article. "In 1853, a post office was established near the falls and a small village, later known as Falls City, developed. But well before the dam's construction the town dwindled, a victim mainly of its remote location. In 1953, the U.S. Postal Service abolished the Falls City post office altogether. It is unclear from historical records just how many families were displaced by the dam project. In addition to buying out residents, the company also paid to have 78 graves relocated from four cemeteries that were in the dam's flood zone." See a YouTube video of Clear Creek Falls below.


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