May be, not eventually. You're right to a certain point, OSM maps the current status. OHM, http://www.openhistoricalmap.org is using the OSM tools and data model but aims to map the history.
Keeping OSM in mind, end_date attribute aims to retain historical information and old_name too.
You can search for Lutèce, that's an old name of Paris in France and you'll find it because alt_name:fr=Lutèce is set, see https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/7444.
Look for Rue de La Montagne, Brest: you'll find the current Rue de la Montagne and what was also named Rue de la Montagne before (now Rue du Brigadier Le Cann).
For ghost town, normally the place name remains only the status change.
For instance place=locality (no inhabitant) diused:place=hamlet place:2000-:locality place:-2000:hamlet could describe a ghost hamlet that did exist until 2000.
The risk is if you don't properly describe the place. Then other contributors may delete your "town" because there is no "town" anymore. That's correct.
I'm member of OpenStreetMap France.