Most of us can only dream of living in a mansion someday. So when we hear that one has been abandoned completely and left to rot, it is usually shrouded in mystery. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. What happened to cause these beautiful places to fall to ruin? Here at Home Addict, we’re going over some of the most fascinating stories about mansions, castles, and manor houses that were all abandoned by their owners for years on end.
30. Hamilton Palace is The 40 Million Pound Abandoned Mansion
This next abandoned mansion called Hamilton Palace in Kent, United Kingdom is so huge, it’s actually bigger than Buckingham Palace. A British multi-millionaire named Nicholas van Hoogstraten started building the home in 1985, but it was never finished. Hamilton Palace cost 40 million pounds to begin construction. This became the most expensive house built in Great Britain over the last century. Very few people have ever been inside the building. Van Hoogstraten made all of his money by being a real estate mogul. In the 1980’s, he owned over 2,000 properties, and sold 90% of them by the early 1990’s. This is how he could afford such a lavish home.
But this construction project was brought to a halt. Dealings with his business partner went south, so he paid a gang to kill him. He was caught, and convicted of manslaughter. His lawyer managed to appeal the decision and set him free, but he still paid civil damages to the victim’s family. Now, Hamilton Palace is in a state of suspended animation. Construction came to a halt. No one ever had the opportunity to move in, but people who visit the property say that it gives you such bad vibes, it must be haunted. Van Hoogstraten is still alive. He still pays landscapers to maintain the property, and keeps security on duty to make sure no one tries to break into the uninhabited mansion.
One of the first abandoned properties on this list is the Disney castle in Portugal. This has become a very popular go-to-spot for photographers and adventure-seekers. Rumor has it that the castle was built by the leader of a drug cartel called Noguera. He wanted his daughter to have a replica of a castle from Disney World in their own backyard. So he got the identical architectural plans for a castle from the theme park. On the inside of the castle, everything is hollow, making it perfect as a massive playhouse for kids. However, he didn’t have permission to build this house at all. In fact, it’s several miles off the main road in the middle of a national park. The idea was that he could have this idyllic home for this family in total secrecy.
Once the cartel boss was caught by the local authorities, he and his family were forced to go on the run and abandon the mansion completely. Now, several YouTube channels, including Bros of Decay, have filmed the grounds. The mansion is spectacular. Everything is floor-to-ceiling marble, which helps keep the place cool, even in the middle of Portugal in the summertime. They said it felt like the place was air-conditioned. There was also an indoor pool, balcony, and a gorgeous garden with a massive fountain. The property also has a gardener’s cottage for the employees to live.
Many of you are probably familiar with the millionaire rapper, Nelly, who became famous after his hit single “Hot in Here” went viral in the early 2000’s. Now, Nelly is worth $40 million. During the height of his fame in 2002, he bought a Tuscan style mansion for $2 million in St. Louis, Missouri. On the surface, the property looks impressive. It’s sitting on 12 acres, and it has everything you could imagine for a luxurious lifestyle. Nelly bought this mansion as a real estate investment. He planned to do some repairs, and try to flip it for a profit. This had mountain views, a basketball court, pool, walking trails, and so much more. In Los Angeles, this would easily be a $2 million home. But he clearly didn’t know until it was too late that real estate prices are not equal across the country.
Nelly already overpaid for what the property was actually worth, so there was zero equity. Any amount of money he put into the property would be a waste. For almost 20 years, the house sat empty. In the real estate photos, you can see how they began renovations, and then completely gave up halfway through. Nelly didn’t want to put any more money into the house, but he wasn’t in a hurry to sell it, either. However, he decided to finally list the 6-bedroom house in February of 2021 when the housing market was at its peak. Even then, the house only sold for $600,000.
27. Pablo Escobar Built a 5-Star Prison For Himself… Now It’s Abandoned
Pablo Escobar is famous for being the leader of the Columbian drug cartel. He was worth $30 billion, making him the wealthiest criminal in history. The cartel and the local authorities exploded into an all-out war. Eventually, Escobar agreed to stop this violence by turning himself in. Instead of being extradited to the United States prison system, he agreed to stay in Columbia and live in a prison he designed called La Catedral. He stayed in this place for 13 months, promising to stop trafficking…But of course, he still continued his crimes on the side, even when he was supposed to be in custody.
Technically, this isn’t an abandoned mansion. But it might as well be. This “prison” was like a 5-star resort. They had a casino with a stage for performances, a pool, and they often had parties. Sure, there were holding cells like a prison. But they were used to hold and execute Pablo’s enemies, instead. Eventually, he decided he was tired of staying in this resort, and time to escape the prison. But once the word got out that he escaped, the whole town was filled with police who were after him. When he was finally killed, locals knocked down many of the walls of the prison. Now, there is a shell of what it once looked like. If you’re curious to see a video about it, check out the video tour on the Yes Theory YouTube Channel.
Nestled on 700 acres in the Scottish Highlands, there is a mansion that was once a secret getaway of Coco Chanel. In the 1920’s, Chanel re-designed all 22 rooms of the mansion. This should be a priceless and historic property. She once invited her friend Winston Churchill to stay. He wrote a letter to his wife saying that Chanel spent most of her days outside fishing in the nearby river.
Even though this mansion was well-loved by Chanel when she was alive, it needed to move onto new ownership when she passed away. However, the new owners left it virtually untouched. It spent 4 years on the market, and was eventually purchased for $3 million. The new owners plan to turn it into a luxury hotel. Even though it has new owners, it still remains empty. A YouTube channel called Sam and Jess Explore visited the abandoned mansion in December of 2020, and it was still empty. The mansion is filled with Coco Chanel’s old furniture.
25. Lennox Castle Went From Lavish Home to an Abandoned, Haunted Asylum
Lennox Castle was originally built in Glasgow, Scotland in 1812 for a man named John Lennox Kincaid. He was a part of the Clan Kincaid, who were the ancient Earls of Lennox. This castle was built in the Neo-Norman style, and it took over 4 years to complete. However, in World War I, the house was converted into a military hospital. By the 1930’s, the house was purchased by the City of Glasgow and converted into an asylum for the mentally ill. During World War II, the house was used for the war yet again, and the mentally ill patients had to live in the other buildings on the property.
The castle could only realistically fit 60 men, and 60 women, for a total of 120 patients. But by the 1980’s, they somehow crammed in 1,700 patients into cramped wards. Even the director of the hospital called it a “pit”, and many of the patients are malnourished. Because of these awful conditions, there was a very bad fight between the patients and the staff. This caused a massive riot, and the patients locked the front door. While they were alone, they did damage to the castle. It was clear that this hospital was dysfunctional, and it eventually closed in 2002. Now, it’s an abandoned mansion filled with lots of bad karma. There are rumors circulating online as to what will happen to it next. But so far, it has remained abandoned.
24. Bannerman’s Castle Was Abandoned For Decades Before Becoming a Tourist Attraction
In the year 1900, a rich businessman named Francis Bannerman VI purchased a small island in New York’s Hudson River. He became wealthy after he created a military surplus business following the Civil War. The land on the island was used for his warehouses full of weapons that the US had captured during the Spanish-American war. Bannerman decided to build himself a lavish home on the property. After his death in 1918, the state of the island began to decline. Even though his company was still functioning, there was a major storm that destroyed the ferry that was used to go back and forth from the property. On top of that, there was an explosion with some of the old weapons.
It became clear that this island wasn’t the best place to house the business. Because of so many misfortunes in a row, the company decided to leave the island abandoned. In the 1960’s, the state of New York bought the property, and it finally got a bit of TLC from the Bannerman Castle Trust. Now, this is a historic landmark, and tourists can come to visit the island once again. Technically, this property is no longer abandoned. But this is now a tourist attraction for the state of New York, and it’s no longer used as a private house.
23. The Money Pit Mansion is Too Expensive For Most People to Fix
In Florida, there is a Neo-Classical mansion that has been called “The Money Pit Mansion”, because it’s too expensive to restore. The home was originally built in 1911 for just $25,000. Its original owner was a rich businessman who made his money from lumber, so it makes sense how he could build an 11,000 square foot mansion for so cheap.It was considered to be one of the largest mansions in Florida. He and his wife had 7 children, and they happily lived in the home for a few years until the owner decided to move out in 1924. The house was purchased and turned into a funeral parlor. Then, it was converted into a retirement home, and then a funeral home. But no one had the money to keep up with the repairs.
A real estate investor tried to buy the property, repair it, and turn it into apartments. But they quickly got in over their head, and fell into foreclosure. In 1992, an optimistic married couple bought the property from the bank for just $90,000. When the housing inspectors checked out the house, the new owners were told that it would take 5 years and $225,000 to fix it up. This was too much for the couple, so they asked the city to help create a non-profit organization to restore the historic home in the early 2000’s. Work began, until the 2008 recession. Now, the house still remains an abandoned mansion that no one can afford to fix up.
22. Lui Family Mansion A.K.A. The Minxiong Ghost House
This next abandoned mansion was built in the countryside of Taiwan in 1929. The mansion is built in the Baroque style, making it an incredibly luxurious and unique home for the area. However, in 1959, the family mysteriously fled. No one knows why they disappeared after living there for 30 years, and it’s honestly really spooky. The only rumor that remotely makes sense was that the husband was having an affair with the maid. When the wife found out, the maid jumped down the well and committed suicide. According to this rumor, the family left out of shame, and the body of the maid was never found. Some people still believe that the maid haunts the property, so it has been dubbed “The Minxiong Ghost House”.
After the family abandoned the home, it was taken over by the political party known as the Kuomintang of China. However, there is yet another rumor that multiple employees were pushed into committed suicide in the house. This gave even more credence to the story that the house must be cursed, or haunted. And if you live there, you just might fall victim to the curse as well. Not surprisingly, the mansion has been left abandoned, and many people are too scared to approach it.
This home is known as the Clay House, because it was owned by Harris Clay. The house is one of the nicest homes to have ever been built in Augusta, Georgia. Today, the property is 3 acres. When it was first built in 1890, it took up an entire block of the town. President William Howard Taft was good friends with the Clay family, and was often a guest of the Clay House.
Even though this property is technically “abandoned” in the sense that no one is living there, it’s still being watched over by the current owner. Right now, the house is on the market for $1,559,000. There is a fireplace in nearly every room, amazing mature gardens, and millwork throughout the property that you just can’t find anymore. Even though the property is gorgeous, it clearly needs a lot of work. It’s obvious why this hasn’t sold yet, despite it being a historic masterpiece.
This next abandoned house is unlike any of the others who have talked about it so far on this list. “Casa Sperimentale” is a geometric treehouse located in Fergene, Italy. This is a coastal town just outside of Rome, and it feels totally out of place, looking like a spaceship landed among the trees. This was built by an architect named Guiseppe Perugini in the 1960’s. The only way you can get into the house is by a red staircase that doubles as a drawbridge over their swimming pool.
It was meant to be a holiday home for Perugini’s family. However, once the architect passed away, the house was abandoned, and it has begun to fall into a state of disrepair. Today, the space has been covered in graffiti, and the plants are growing over the concrete. If you want to see a video tour on YouTube, click here.
Many of you will probably recognize the names of the supermodels Bell and Gigi Hadid. Long before they grew up, their father Mohamed Hadid was a multimillionaire. He began building a mansion on the hillside of Bel Air, Los Angeles in 2011. However, this got him in trouble with the local authorities. The house was so huge, that by 2014, the local authorities needed to step in. His building permits never stated that this was going to be such a massive 30,000 square foot home, and they didn’t want it to be built on the side of the cliff, due to safety issues. So they entered a long, drawn-out legal battle. His building permits were revoked, and Mohamed Hadid was even sentenced to 200 hours of community service for illegal construction.
On top of that, the neighbors were not too happy, either. The construction was at a stand-still for years. With his permits revoked, he couldn’t continue the project. So this ugly skeleton of a house was sitting there for a total of 7 years. In 2018, the neighbors finally had enough. They sued Hadid to take down the house. The home had been abandoned for so long, it was on the brink of collapse. Finally, in 2020, the neighbors won the case. By 2021, it had been abandoned for a total of 10 years, and it finally was listed for $8.5 million. On the real estate listing, they promise to demolish the house as soon as there is a new owner. In May of 2021, it was announced that he found a new buyer.
A wealthy businessman named Robert Snyder bought a huge plot of land in the Missouri Ozarks called “Ha Ha Tonka” by the Native Americans. The land was gorgeous, with its own private lake and walking trails. He built a European style castle in the middle of the woods in 1906. But tragically, he was killed in the very first recorded car accident in the state of Missouri. So he was never able to see this castle completed. His son took over construction, and finished the castle in his father’s honor in 1920. However, the family was being sued over the land rights to the area. Eventually, Snyder’s son was forced to move out of the property, and the castle was made into a hotel.
It seems like this entire project was cursed from the start because the castle caught fire in 1942. Now, there is only the stone shell of a castle that remains. For decades, the burnt castle was left abandoned in the middle of the woods, until the state of Missouri bought the property in 1978. The land became a state park in 1979. Now, it’s open to the public. Nature has reclaimed much of the land, and now people enjoy water skiing on the lake and hiking through the forest. If you can’t visit there in person, there are plenty ofvideo tours on YouTube. Some people even think that the ruins are haunted.
17. Swannanoa is Yet Another Beautiful Money Pit Mansion
Way back in 1912, a businessman named Major James H. Dooley spent $2 million to create an Italian Renaissance Revival mansion. Located in Lyndhurst, Virginia, this home was one of a kind, and it took over 8 years to complete. There are marble floors, custom made Tiffany windows, and many other features carefully crafted by 300 different artisans. Major Dooley named the mansion “Swannanoa”, and it became the jewel of the entire town. All of this luxury came to a halt when Major Dooley died in 1924, and his wife died just two years later in 1926.
The Dooleys didn’t have any children, so it was passed on to James’ two sisters. They sold it for just $300,000 to someone who wanted to convert it into a country club. The club opened in 1929, but it had to shut down in 1932, because they lost so much money during the Great Depression. The US Navy considered buying this mansion as a place to house their troops during World War II, but the repair costs would have been too massive. So it was purchased in 1944 for $60,000 by a man named Walter Russell. He planned to create a New Age university on the grounds, but it never happened. Since then, it has been considered a “money pit” to anyone who dares to buy it.
16. The Mudhouse Mansion Was Most Likely too Haunted to Live In
Originally built in Fairfield County, Ohio, no one really knows who built the “Mudhouse Mansion”, or when. Historians estimate that the mansion was erected some time between the 1840’s and 1900. It’s a beautiful home in the Second Empire style architecture. There are also several other buildings on the property- one of which is big enough to build a guest house. If this place was ever fixed up, it could have been beautiful, and worth well over a million dollars. However, the house had not been occupied since the 1930’s. It was passed down to multiple members of the original family who owned it, but no one actually wanted to fix it up and move in. It’s very strange that no one in the entire extended family was willing to fix it up, even after inheriting a mansion for free.
For decades, people thought it was haunted, and it was the source of a lot of local legends and lore. One of the legends was that during the Civil War, the family kept their slaves locked up in chains all night. Finally, the slave broke free, and killed the entire family. Another legend about the Mudhouse Mansion is that it was the woman who owned it first killed her children in the house. This went on all the way to 2015, when it was finally demolished.
15. Courtney Love’s Country Manor in Washington State
Many of you will recognize Courtney Love as the famous rockstar musician and widow of Kurt Cobain from Nirvana. Courtney purchased a house in Washington State back in 1995, which was only a year after her husband died. The home is on a beautiful wooded property. It’s surprising that she bought this house, because it doesn’t seem to match her personality at all. Maybe she wanted to get out and enjoy nature. Courtney Love was raised in the city of Portland, Oregon, and mostly lived in Los Angeles after her career took off. Kurt was from Aberdeen, Washington. Maybe by buying a house an hour away in Olympia, Washington, she was trying to pay homage to her late husband.
But clearly, Courtney couldn’t handle the upkeep of the house and multiple outbuildings on her own. Or, this house only brought back painful memories. So she never lived in it. Courtney tried selling the house in 2011, but no one was interested. In 2018, it was announced that Courtney Love planned to sell the mansion again. At that point, she had to sell it for only $320,000, which was a huge loss, considering that she bought the mansion for $447,000. On the real estate listing, the realtor didn’t hold back from letting the potential buyer know that pretty much everything needed to be fixed up. Someone put in an offer, and it was finally sold to a new owner who was willing to put in the work to fix it.
14. Villa de Vecchi Has a Tragic Mystery Surround It
The “Villa de Vecchi” is considered to be one of the most haunted places in all of Italy. It was originally built back in 1854 by Count Felix De Vecchi. At the time, he was seen as a local hero, because he was the leader of the Italian National Guard. The architect, Alessandro Sidioli, died a year before the house could be complete. Many saw this as a very bad omen. The family was only able to enjoy a few years in their summer holiday home before tragedy began. One day, Count de Vecchi came home and discovered that someone had murdered his wife and kidnapped his daughter. Many considered him to be a hero. But clearly, he had enemies.
He spent the rest of his life searching for his daughter. When he failed to avenge their murders, he committed suicide. Count Vecchi’s brother moved in with his family, and they lived in the mansion until they left the home in World War II. Since then, the house has been abandoned; it’s been nicknamed “The House of Witches.” In 2002, there was a huge avalanche that destroyed all of the houses in that surrounding area, except for the Villa de Vecchi. Some people see this as even more evidence that it’s haunted, or protected by some sort of spirit.
13. The Hegeler Carus Mansion Did Not Stay Empty For Long
The Hegeler Carus Mansion is located in La Salle, Illinois. From the outside, the 1800’s mansion looks like something out of a movie. It was originally built by a man called Edward C. Hegeler, who was a zinc manufacturer and book publisher. He hired a famous architect to create the home, and it truly is a work of art. Hegeler’s oldest daughter Mary was the one to inherit the responsibility of running the zinc and publishing companies. She eventually married a man named Paul Carus. They had 6 children together, and the oldest child was the last one to stay in their house. He died at 103 years old, in 2004.
Thankfully, the Hegeler Carus Mansion has a happy ending, and it didn’t say abandoned for very long. It was purchased and turned into a museum before it could become dilapidated, and they established the Hegeler Carus Foundation. Even though the outside of the home looks like the sort of house that might be haunted, a lot of people say that when they went into the abandoned house, they could actually feel a happy, cheerful energy. Maybe this positive energy is why this house found a new home, while other houses with a darker past tend to stay empty for longer. Now, the home is used for small outdoor concerts, events, and celebrating local history with the public.
Everyone knows Steve Jobs as the founder of Apple Computer. You wouldn’t imagine that one of his mansions would ever be abandoned. But the Jackling House in Woodside, California has a strange story. In 1984, Steve Jobs purchased this house for $3.5 million. It was designed by a famous architect named George Washington Smith, who made Spanish Colonial Revival style popular in California. The house was originally built in 1925, and it was once owned by a copper mining millionaire. However, Steve Jobs reportedly hated that house. In 1994, he moved out, without ever trying to sell it.
In the year 2000, Steve Jobs was actually trying to get permission to have it demolished so that he could build a smaller, newer house on that land. For years, the city council tried to fight the demolition of the property, saying that the home belonged on a historic registry. So he left it abandoned for over a decade. Finally, in 2011, Steve Jobs was allowed to tear the house down. He allowed the local town historic society to take anything they wanted, like the historic door handles, chandeliers, and pipe organ. But just eight months later, he passed away. The legal battle had gone on for so long, he was never able to enjoy his own property the way he wanted.
If anyone is a true crime junkie out there, you have probably already heard of The Los Feliz Murder Mansion. The Perelson house was beautiful, and fit into the hip Hollywood adjacent neighborhood. One night, in 1959, Dr. Harold Perelson murdered his wife, and planned to kill his three children in the middle of the night. He also planned to kill himself with poison afterwards. But before he could his oldest daughter hit him over the head, and helped her two younger siblings escape the house. Criminal investigators tried to figure out the motive behind why Dr. Perelson would do this, and they decided that it was due to financial problems. The creepy thing is that on that night, the husband left open Dante’s Divine Comedy on his bedside table. In case you didn’t know, this is a poem about the journey through Hell.
Two years after the murders, the house was sold to the Enriquez family. They refused to actually move into the house, and used it for storage space. The family owned the home for decades until it was passed on to their son. He decided to get rid of the house, and sold it to a young couple in 2016 who decided to fix it up. However, they quickly decided they couldn’t handle living there either, and put the house up for sale once again. This could have been for a few reasons. Many believe that the house is haunted, or cursed.
10. Bamboo Palace, Gbadolite, Democratic Republic of the Congo
One of the most luxurious abandoned mansions of all time just so happens to be in the Congo. Back in the 1970’s, President Mobutu Seso Seko was the leader of Zaire. He used his fortune to build a $100 million palace in the middle of a small remote village called Gbadolite. The home had an amazing pool inside of a private courtyard, chandeliers in every room, and priceless artwork from Europe. He even had a nightclub, and would throw parties with 2,000 people. This mansion was so remote, it’s nearly 1,000 miles away from the capital Kinshasa. At the time that he lived there, President Mobutu flew to a private airfield near the mansion so that he could travel quickly. The airport even had the ability to accommodate international flights.
In 1997, Mobutu was pushed out of his position of power. His luxurious compound was attacked by a rebel faction, and Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo. Once he was removed from power, the palace was stripped of its wealth by raiders. The President made it out alive by flying to Morocco. But he died a few months later. Now, there is only the stone facade of what once was. Even the airport is now abandoned, because no one in the area was rich enough to use it. When reporters from the BBC traveled to the mansion, they had to drive for two days into a remote area to even find it.
This next house in Oxfordshire, England, is the oldest house on the list. Hook End was originally built in 1580 for the Bishop of Reading. One of its most famous residents, however, was David Gilmour, who was the guitarist for Pink Floyd. In the 1970’s, Gilmour added a recording studio to the barn. So several musicians recorded albums, singles, and LP’s there like Rod Stewart, The Smiths, and more. However, it wasn’t all fun and games in the house. Morrissey from The Smiths said that when he was visiting, he saw the ghost of a monk walking the hallways in the early morning, as if he was waking everyone up for their morning prayers. But things got much worse than ghostly apparitions.
In 2006, a family moved into the home. The son accidentally shot his mother with an air rifle, sending her into a coma. In 2009, a music producer named Mark White bought the mansion for $17 million. However, he was only interested in the studio in the barn. He kept up with maintaining that one building, but neglected the others. As the years went on, the mansion got worse and worse. By the time 2017 rolled around, the new owner needed to completely renovate the entire home, since it was essentially abandoned for all those years.
8. Kinmel Hall, Abergele, UK Has a Room For Every Day of the Year
This unique manor called Kinmel Hall is an 1899’s chateau called “a calendar house”. This means it has 365 rooms- one for every day of the year. The owner, Hugh Robert Hughes, was a massively wealthy copper tycoon. Over the years, the house was bought by a few different families. Obviously, this home is so massive, it’s bigger than what most families can handle. In the 1920s, it was turned into a boy’s school, and it continued to have many different lives as a health facility, and military housing.
In 2011, a mysterious wealthy investor bought the hotel for just $1.9 million with plans to turn it into a hotel. However, the plans fell through. The hotel was never built, and the owner wrote it off as a loss. Since the owner lives in the Cayman Islands, he could care less about what happened to the historic house. So the mansion started to fall into disrepair. Once people heard that the house was unoccupied, looters began to steal the valuables off of the property. In 2015, it was added to the 10 Most Endangered Builds of the Victorian Era. Now, it’s estimated that the repairs to the castle would cost roughly $25 million.
7. Liza Minnelli’s Evil Stepmother Ruined This Beverly Hills Home
Many of you might recognize Liza Minnelli as the daughter of Judy Garland. But she was also a famous actress and singer in her own right. Back in the 1950’s, Liza’s father Vincente Minnelli purchased a home in Beverly Hills. This house was designed by a famous Hollywood Regency architect named John Elgin Woolf. As a young girl, Liza grew up in that house, and had fond memories attached to the property. In 1986, Liza inherited the house from her father. However, in his last will and testament, her father wrote that his fourth wife Lee would be allowed to live in the house for as long as she lived.
For 14 years, this was fine. Liza was even generous enough to give stepmother #3 money every month to continue living her luxurious lifestyle. But things got ugly in 2000 when Liza Minnelli wanted to sell the house. She offered to buy Lee a new condo, but she refused to leave the mansion. Liza went through with the sale anyway, since the property was in her name. Two years later, the house sold, but Lee refused to move out. Liza stopped paying any bills, including the full staff Lee had helping her. Even though Liza was forced to pay rent on Lee’s behalf to the new owners. Since Liza had refused to pay for any more upkeep, and the new owners didn’t want to get near the problem, the mansion began to fall apart. It’s in such bad condition now, that it’s still abandoned.
6. Only a Billionaire Could Afford to Buy Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, USA
Nearly everyone has heard of Michael Jackson’s famous home in California, Neverland Ranch. It is a massive property that contains his own amusement park. The mansion on the property has 6 bedrooms, and he even had his own zoo. Throughout the home, there is a Peter Pan theme, and Jackson claimed that he created this children’s paradise because he never wanted to grow up.
In 2003, Michael Jackson was charged with child abuse, and he was accused of using Neverland Ranch to lure in these kids. After the police searched his property, they couldn’t find any evidence, so he was acquitted. However, the situation made Jackson feel “violated”, so he decided to leave the property and never live in it again. In 2006, he fired all of the staff who were maintaining the house. He died in 2009, and the house remained abandoned until 2015. When the house first went on the market, the Jackson estate was asking an insane amount of $100 million. Not surprisingly, no one wanted to buy it. Five years later, a billionaire named Ron Burkle purchased the home for $22 million, because he wanted to develop the land.
Sunninghill Park was a country house with a massive 665 piece of land located in Berkshire, England. It was owned by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and his wife Fergie, gifted to him from his mother. The mansion had 12 bedrooms, a huge reception room, horse stables, a swimming pool, and so much more. This house is also very close to his mother, The Queen’s Windsor Castle. Sunninghill Park was famous in the 1980’s and 90’s. It was considered to be one of the most flashy royal homes, with people giving it nicknames like “Southyork” and “Dallas Palace”, because people thought it looked like a ranch house. Basically, a lot of people made fun of how small and oddly American looking it was compared to most homes owned by English nobility.
Things started going downhill in 1996. Andrew and Fergie got a divorce, but they still lived in the same house for the sake of their two daughters. But in 2002, Prince Andrew moved into the Royal Lodge in Windsor, which was his grandmother’s former home. When the daughters grew older, they put Sunninghill Park on the market in 2006, and it sat empty. After all of the scandal involving Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein, no one wanted to touch the property. It was eventually purchased by a billionaire named Timur Kulibayev, but he has done nothing to fix or maintain the property. Finally in 2016, the house was torn down and replaced with a new mansion.
4. The Abandoned Stonewall Jackson Reform School Could Become an Epic Mansion For a New Owner
Before the 1900’s, child criminals were sentenced to the same punishments as adults. In one famous trial, a 13-year old boy was sentenced to 3 years of hard labor in prison, all because he committed petty theft. The citizens of Concord, North Carolina felt that this was unfair, so they created the Stonewall Jackson Reform School. At its peak in the 1920’s, the reform school had over 200 students. The boys who went there would learn like any school. But they also had classes to teach them practical skills that could help them get a job later in life like farming, mechanics, barbering, shoemaking, and tailoring. Sadly, this wasn’t all good, and the school houses many horrors. At the time, North Carolina had a Eugenics Board. They sterilized boys who they considered too “feebleminded”.
Like most of these abandoned buildings, its use had a limited time span. In the 1970’s, the need for the reform school changed. Now, only kids who were violent offenders were sent to juvenile prison. And with the welfare system and child protective services now in place, fewer impoverished children were committing petty crimes like stealing food. They created a new building, and the school was no longer used as it once was. The original 1909 school building was added to the National Historic Register, so it won’t be torn down. It still waits for a potential buyer to come along. Many people believe the building is haunted, and almost no one wants to tackle the amount of work required to restore the building.
3. Tennis Champion Abandons His Mansion “Son Coll”
A few of you might recognize the name Boris Becker, because he was a professional tennis player from Germany. After winning multiple tournaments, he used that money to purchase a mansion called Son Coll on the island of Mallorca, Spain for $598,000 in 1997. Becker began doing huge renovations like adding a pool, basketball court, and guest house. However, he never got a building permit from the local government. He was forced to pay $255,000 in fines and tear down all of the additions. Unfortunately, like a lot of professional athletes, Becker went through his winnings without making smart investments. And the house was clearly a huge burden on his finances.
Clearly, this experience put a bad taste in Becker’s mouth. He no longer wanted to live in that holiday home, so he tried to sell it in 2007 for $18.4 million. Then, Becker failed to pay his gardener and contractors for their work, so they sued him. When he couldn’t come up with the money, the Spanish government had the right to confiscate his home until building work was paid. He had to declare bankruptcy in 2017, and lost Son Coll along with it. Afterwards, it remained abandoned. In 2018, The Sun reported that German hippies had begun squatting on the abandoned property, because they wanted to save it from ruin. In 2019, the court ordered the squatters to leave, and they were forcibly removed by police in 2020. The house is still abandoned, even now.
2. This Abandoned Mansion is a Now-Debunked College
This beautiful abandoned building in Elizaville, New York is the last remaining building of Clavernack College. Never heard of it? That’s because the school was only open from 1869 to 1902. Once the school closed, a family moved into the building, and it became a privately owned home. Then, it became a school once again, as well as a foster home for children. From 1988 until now, a Russian artists purchased the property. He transformed the 12 acres into a park-like setting with sculptures and walking trails. There is even a guest cottage and a theater on the property.
Now, when you see the photos of the interior of the mansion, it has been gutted. It’s no longer in a liveable state. There are some major issues, like a hole in the ceiling that would need to be repaired. Unfortunately, with properties like this, the longer it stays abandoned, the worse it will get. I truly hope someone buys this gorgeous property.
Since he was only 18 years old, Mike Tyson has been a heavyweight champion boxer. He became a multimillionaire at an early age, and purchased a mansion in Southington, Ohio in 1980. The mansion had a massive swimming pool, zebra carpets, crystal chandeliers, and more. At this peak net worth, Mike Tyson had $400 million. This epic lifestyle came to an end in 1992 when Tyson was imprisoned for sexual assault. Then in 1998, he was in a traffic accident. He got out of the car and physically assaulted the other drivers. Again, this got him in trouble with the law. Tyson’s life began spiraling downwards, and he began running into financial issues. By 2003, Mike Tyson declared bankruptcy. He called himself “totally destitute, and broke.”
The mansion was purchased by a millionaire named Paul Monea for $1.3 million. Unfortunately, Monea had ulterior motives behind buying the famous mansion. He was trying to sell a diamond called The Golden Eye, and set the price of the house for $20 million as a sort of package deal. He ended up getting caught by an FBI agent who was posing as an agent of a drug cartel leader, and this put Monea in jail for money laundering. In 2010, a millionaire health club entrepreneur named Ron Hemelgarn bought the property for just $600,000. Eventually, he gave up trying to build a health care club there, and donated it to a small church with 200 members called Living Word Sanctuary Church. Finally, after years of waiting, they were able to open in 2019.