Abandoned mansion: Unbelievably expensive abandoned mansions | loveproperty.com

13 Abandoned Mansions With Crazy Stories Behind Them


Lennox Castle

treasuregalore//Getty Images

We’re starting out strong with this doozy. Lennox Castle in Scotland was built in 1812 for John Lennox Kincaid Lennox. He was supposedly a distant relative of the Clan Kincaid, who were descendants of some of the notable ancient Earls of Lennox. Long story a little shorter, the castle was home to an important Scottish family—until it was converted into an asylum for the mentally ill in the 1930s and a hospital during WWII, when the existing mentally ill patients were transferred to other buildings on the property.

Apparently, fights among the patients were common, and in one particularly bad fight, much of the staff (along with uninvolved patients) ran from the hospital. But the rioters were locked inside and, in the end, they significantly damaged the ward. The hospital was vacated by the 1980s and officially closed in 2002. There’s now talk of converting the building into flats.


Lynnewood Hall

Wikimedia Commons

Oooh, how the mighty have fallen. To say Lynnewood Hall is massive would be a massive understatement. Indeed, it’s the twelfth largest historic house in the U.S. It features a whopping 110 rooms (like a ballroom that can accommodate 1,000 guests) outfitted in neoclassical architecture, and it once held the most important private art collection of European masterpieces in the country.

Unsurprisingly, it’s from the Gilded Age. It was built in 1900 for Peter Arrell Brown Widener, a businessman who became wealthy from investing in public transit and meat packing, among other things. He had three sons (one of whom died on the Titanic) and lived in the house until he passed in 1915. His son Joseph inherited the mansion and lived there until he died in 1943 and no surviving members of his family, even his children, wanted to take on the responsibility of the place. By 1945, Widener’s estate was valued at $98,368,058!

A developer later tried to sell Lynnewood, but the only taker was a fundamentalist preacher, Carl McIntire, who bought the home in 1952 for $192,000. It went into foreclosure in 2006 when the McIntire organization couldn’t pay the mortgage.


Elda Castle


Built in the 1920s by David T. Abercrombie, the co-founder of Abercrombie & Fitch, this Ossining, New York mansion sits on a whopping 50 acres. Abercrombie’s wife, Lucy Abbot Cate, was the architect behind the home, and she decided to name it after their four children, Elizabeth, Lucy, David, and Abbott. Right after it was completed in 1928, a series of tragedies struck the family: First, their daughter Lucy died in an accident at her dad’s factory, and then the patriarch himself passed away from rheumatic fever in the home, at which point Lucy Sr. moved with her eldest daughter until her own death in 1955.

Left alone, Elda soon fell into disrepair. Strangely enough, part of it was designed to look like the ruins of a Medieval castle. So perhaps the stately home has a mind of its own and is simply determined to fulfill its fate as a place of decay. Little is known about the home’s history between then and now, but, several different owners tried to revive the home to its former glory before falling on hard times themselves. Which begs the question: Is it cursed? Probably not, but you never know!

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Ashlar Hall

Google Maps

From the outside, this 11,000 square foot Memphis, Tennesse mock castle doesn’t look like it boasts a history too different from that of Elda. And its earlier history is relatively similar: A wealthy man, Robert Brinkley Snowden, built the property in 1896 for his family and dubbed it Ashlar Hall. They lived there enjoying its eight bedrooms, six bars, five bathrooms, and indoor pool until his death in 1942. After about a decade of grueling upkeep, the family decided to turn it into a place of business, operating it as a restaurant. At some point after that, Ashlar Hall and the surrounding land were purchased by investors who built skyrises around it and left it to rot.

But the inside looks completely different today, telling a decidedly less conventional tale. Fast forward to the 1990s, when Robert Hodges, a.k.a. the self-proclaimed Prince Mongo, transformed it into a nightclub, The Castle. Mongo believes he is an alien ambassador from the imaginary planet of Zambodia and famously sports steampunk goggles, a long white wig, and rubber chickens around town. Among many of his bizarre decisions, he filled the parking lot with sand so it could be used as a “beach” to take the party outside when the fire marshal shut down the nightclub due to repeated overcrowding issues.

The most recent owner, property developer Juan Montoya, bought it at a tax sale for $59,000 and plans to transform the property into an event venue.


Bannerman’s Castle

Wikimedia Commons

Bannerman’s Castle is perched on an island in New York’s Hudson River. Francis Bannerman VI, whose family launched a military surplus business post Civil War, purchased the island in 1900 to use as a warehouse (they bought 90 percent of the weapons the U. S. military captured from the Spanish during the Spanish-American War, for example). He also built a smaller residential structure nearby, but construction ended with his death in 1918. A few later explosions hurt the business further.

When legislation changed in the 20th century, sales rapidly declined, and then a storm devastated the island, destroying the ferry people used to access it. It was pretty much vacant up until the late ’60s, when the state bought it. It was open to the public for tours for about a year, until another fire ravaged it, but the Bannerman Castle Trust recently started holding tours again.


Lui Family Mansion

Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1929 in Baroque style, the Minxiong Ghost House (aka the Lui family mansion) is a freaky place with a heartbreaking history. Located in the Taiwanese countryside, it’s been abandoned since the 1950s when the family fled abruptly. Like all mysterious places, there’s plenty of lore around the family and why they left the once-beautiful place.

Rumor has it that the family’s maid was having an affair with her employer, Liu Rong-yu, and when the secret became public, she died after jumping down a well (but since she did not live to speak tell the tale, it’s hard to know exactly what happened). A few years later, the property was occupied by members of the Kuomintang of China (KMT), many of whom were also thought to have died of suicide, which exacerbated its reputation as haunted.

Of course, there are also other, far less morbid narratives out there—like the idea that new business required the family to move closer to downtown.

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Casa Sperimentale


Far more beautiful both in backstory and design than some of the other featured homes here, Casa Sperimentale is an abandoned brutalist treehouse in Fergene, Italy, a coastal town outside of Rome. It’s a fascinating cluster of geometric shapes elevated in the treetops. It was built in the late 1960s by Giuseppe Perugini, his wife Uga De Plaisant, and their son Raynaldo Perugini as a holiday home as well as an experiment to see if it was a livable structure. It’s accessible by a drawbridge staircase to make it feel totally isolated from the rest of the world.

Little information is known about its abandonment, but it probably just fell into disrepair when the architect passed away.


Ha Ha Tonkna Mansion

Wikimedia Commons

Deep in Missouri’s Ozarks is the Ha Ha Tonka Mansion. Some claim the state park’s name means “laughing waters,” which could either be adorably cheerful or downright creepy, depending on how you see it. This shell of a mansion was the dream of wealthy businessman Robert Snyder. He got to work building a European-style castle on his private lake in 1906, but he soon died in one of Missouri’s first automobile accidents.

His sons continued construction until the mansion was completed in 1920. One of them lived there until he ran out of money due to a string of land-rights lawsuits. Eventually, Snyder’s son was driven off the property and it functioned as a hotel and resort in the mid 20th-century. Eventually the hotel was ruined by a fire and they finally closed down shop. The remains are now a popular site, which you, too, can visit if you get tired of waterskiing and hiking.


Mudhouse Mansion

Mudhouse Mansion

Located in Fairfield County, Ohio until recently, the Mudhouse Mansion has a bad reputation. Nobody can seem to agree on when it was built, but it dates back sometime between the 1840s and 1900. Unlike the other abandoned mansions on this list, you sadly can no longer visit it, as the home was demolished in 2015 after not being occupied since the 1930s. The last resident (at least legally speaking) was Lulu Hartman-Mast, and the current owner of the property is her relative Jeanne Mast.

Because there’s so little information about who lived here and when, and because abandoned places tend to ignite the dark side of the imagination, there are tons of legends around alleged atrocities occurring (and consequent hauntings). The sources don’t seem to be very credible, though.

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Villa de Vecchi


Villa de Vecchi is foreboding, alright. Just consider that looming fog blanket! Located near Lake Como, Italy, the “House of Witches” dates back to 1854-1857, when it was built as a summer house for Count Felix De Vecchi. The family was only able to spend a few years there, as their lives were mired in tragedy right after it was built.

First, the architect died a year after construction. Then in 1862, Count De Vecchi came home to discover his wife murdered and his daughter missing. When he could not find her after a year of searching, he died by suicide. His brother then moved into the home and his family continued to live there until WWII. It’s been vacant since the 1960s, and an avalanche in 2002 wiped out all the houses in the area… except this one. Spooky.


Hegeler Carus Mansion

Hegeler Carus

Hegeler Carus Mansion in La Salle, Illinois is one of the few abandoned residences that was actually restored and turned into a landmark. It was built for Henry. C. Hegeler, a zinc manufacturer and publisher, by the same architect who completed the state capitol building and the famous Chicago Water Tower.

The Hegelers had ten children, but two of their daughters died in the same year, with another passing away at age 23. His descendants lived in the seven-floor home until the last one died in 2001. It was only empty for a little while before it was renovated and turned into a museum. Though it has the appearance of “haunted house,” it’s just old and actually has a nice, cheerful energy, some say.


The Los Feliz Murder House


And now for the one I personally find most fascinating: the Los Feliz Murder Mansion. Los Feliz is one of L.A.’s coolest, most livable neighborhoods, but it also has a very dark past with some of history’s most gruesome (and Hollywood-adjacent) murders. There’s the Sowden House, a Lloyd Wright-designed Mayan Revival home rumored to be the murder scene of the Black Dahlia; the home of the Manson murders; and then there’s this place.

It was the seemingly happy home of Dr. Harold Perelson and his family, until the horrific night of December, 6, 1959 when he murdered his wife in her sleep with a ball-peen hammer and attempted to murder his three children before drinking acid to kill himself. Fortunately, his eldest daughter let out a scream when he struck her in the head, waking up the younger children, who then walked into the hallway to find out what was going on. During the commotion, they were all able to flee.

Before the murder-suicide, he was a successful doctor who invented a new type of syringe after investing most of money into its research and production, but he got screwed out of the rights (leading investigators to blame financial problems). Other creepy details include a passage of Dante’s Divine Comedy left open on his bedside table. Two years later, it was sold to the Enriquez family, who used it as a “storage unit,” and their son continued to to do so until he sold it to a couple in 2016 who had plans to fix it up. But it seems to have scared them off because within a few years, it’s on the market again.

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John List House

New York Daily News Archive//Getty Images

If you’ve heard enough about tragic family murders, maybe stop about here.

In November of 1971, John List killed his entire immediate family in their New Jersey home, including his wife, his mother, and two children. He then proceeded to go watch his 15-year-old son play a soccer game, only to shoot and kill him when they got home. Then, he lined up all the bodies (except his mother’s) in the ballroom, which had a signed Tiffany’s stained glass skylight worth at least $100,000 at the time, tuned the radio to a religious station, turned on all the lights, cut out his face from a family photo, and fled.

The bodies and crime scene weren’t discovered until a month later when schoolmates, neighbors, and teachers started wondering where the family was. Meanwhile, List had settled in Denver under a false name, working as a controller at a factory and running a carpool service at his Lutheran church. He met a woman there in 1985 and married her, and wasn’t caught and arrested until 1989. He never took full accountability. A new house was erected on the property a few short years later in 1974 after a suspected arson destroyed the original (but it honestly looks pretty similar to the original and is just an eight-minute drive to the infamous house threatened by “The Watcher”).

Hadley Mendelsohn


Hadley Mendelsohn is the co-host and executive producer of the podcast Dark House. When she’s not busy writing about interiors, you can find her scouring vintage stores, reading, researching ghost stories, or stumbling about because she probably lost her glasses again. Along with interior design, she writes about everything from travel to entertainment, beauty, social issues, relationships, fashion, food, and on very special occasions, witches, ghosts, and other Halloween haunts. Her work has also been published in MyDomaine, Who What Wear, Man Repeller, Matches Fashion, Byrdie, and more.  

10 Abandoned Mansions That Likely Used to Be Worth Millions

10 Abandoned Mansions That Likely Used to Be Worth Millions

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  • Even the most expensive, extravagant homes can fall into disrepair without proper care.
  • These mansions were likely worth the equivalent of millions of dollars when they were built.
  • Years later, they sit abandoned in varying states of deterioration. 

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When they were built, these lavish homes were likely worth today’s equivalent of millions of dollars. Now, they’re falling apart.

From a villa that’s been sitting empty for 70 years on an island in upstate New York to a former party mansion in Tennessee, here are 10 abandoned mansions around the world that were likely once worth millions of dollars.

Katie Warren contributed to an earlier version of this story.

The Swannanoa mansion in Lyndhurst, Virginia, was built in 1912 by railroad millionaire James H. Dooley, who reportedly built it for his wife.

Shutterstock/Jon Bilous

Source: Atlas Obscura, OnlyinyourState

When the couple passed away, the 52-room house was used as a country club for a time. Then, a scientist couple leased the mansion and turned it into a museum while continuing to live there until their deaths. Nobody has lived in the house since 1988.

Jon Marc Lyttle/Shutterstock

Source: Atlas Obscura

The Cambusnethan House in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, is one of the last remaining Gothic mansions in the country.


Source: Register for Scotland, Daily Record

The mansion was built in 1819 to replace an early 17th-century house that burned down in 1810. In the 1970s, the house was used for mock medieval banquets, but it was further damaged by fire in the 1980s.


Source: Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland

Cambusnethan House is on Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register at a “critical” risk level.

A group called “Friends of Cambusnethan Priory” was established in 2014 to try to save the building from any further deterioration.


Source: Canmore National Record of the Historic Environment, Friends of Cambusnethan Priory

It cost an estimated $200 million to build in today’s dollars. Although it’s still in relatively good condition, it could cost up to $40 million to restore the hall and its grounds to their former glory, according to David B. Rowland, president of the Old York Road Historical Society.

Austin H.

Source: Terrain.org, New York Post

Pidhirtsi Castle in the Lviv region of Ukraine was built as a leisure home for a high-ranking Polish military commander between 1635 and 1640 by Italian architect Andrea dell’Aqua.

Shutterstock/By Iryna Gyrych

Source: World Monuments Fund

The mansion prospered for years, but in the 19th century, new owners took over and neglected the castle, so that by the end of World War II, it had massively deteriorated.

Shutterstock/Julia Lototskaya

Source: World Monuments Fund

The McNeal mansion, which sits along the Delaware River in New Jersey, was built by industrialist Andrew McNeal in 1890 after he founded a pipe plant and foundry.

AP Photo

Source: Burlington County Times

U.S. Pipe bought the property in 1899 and used it as its headquarters until 1953, after which it was abandoned.

Richard Lewis Photography

Source: Burlington County Times

In 2016, the city bought the property and approved a redevelopment plan for the mansion that might include a restoration of the Victorian home, but the plan has since stalled and the home continues to sit empty.

Richard Lewis Photography

Source: Burlington County Times, Insider

This “Swingers Tiki Palace,” as it was dubbed by one photographer, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was built in 1972 by strip-club tycoon Billy Hull to be the ultimate party palace.

Abandoned Southeast

Source: The New York Post, Abandoned Southeast

The structure fell into decay after Hull was arrested for tax evasion.

The now-abandoned mansion is known for its Playboy bunny pool and its dramatic history.

Chris Condon

Source: Abandoned Southeast

The owner got 20 years in prison, and the mansion, including an empty pool, is also now home to graffiti.

Chris Condon

Source: The New York Post, AbdandonedSpaces, DMarge

The Villa de Vecchi, known as the “Ghost Mansion” of Italy, was built between 1854 and 1857.

It was meant to be the summer home of a Count named Felix De Vecchi, who was head of the Italian National Guard. The home had all the modern amenities of the time, including indoor heating pipes and a large pressurized fountain.


Source: Atlas Obscura

But it was home to a mysterious family tragedy. In 1862, the Count killed himself after he came home and found his wife murdered and his daughter missing. Relatives continued to live at the mansion until World War II, but the mansion was left uninhabited by the 1960s.

The home’s grand piano is said to be played at night by “a ghostly entity.”


Source: Atlas Obscura

A 2002 avalanche destroyed nearby homes, but the once-lavish and now battered “Ghost Mansion” remains standing.

Shutterstock/Orso Pedriali

Source: Atlas Obscura, New York Post

These ruins that resemble an ancient European castle actually sit just outside of Kansas City, Missouri, and are the results of a dream of businessman Robert Snyder, who wanted to build a European-style castle in Missouri — dubbed “Ha Ha Tonka.

Shutterstock/Jon Manjeot

Source: Atlas Obscura

Snyder started building in 1905, but the next year he was killed in a car accident and never saw it finished. His sons took over construction and lived there until the family ran out of money because of several land rights lawsuits surrounding the castle’s property.

Google Maps

Source: Atlas Obscura

After the youngest brother was forced to leave the home in poverty, it was turned into a hotel until 1942, when it was destroyed by a fire.

In the 1970s, the state of Missouri bought the property and did some restoration work, but the former mansion remains largely in ruins. It’s known to be a popular hiking attraction.

Shutterstock/Eifel Kreutz

Source: Atlas Obscura, KYTV, Newsbreak

The Pineheath House in Harrogate, England sat abandoned for about 40 years.

Bethany Clarke / Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Independent, Mirror

It was purchased in 2013 by a local businessman after spending over a quarter of a century untouched.

Bethany Clarke/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Independent

The mansion dates back to the 1920s and was originally owned by wealthy aristocrats Sir Dhunjibhoy and Lady Bomanji.

Bethany Clarke/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Daily Mail,Independent

After Lady Bomanji died in 1986, the home remained untouched with the couple’s items still scattered around.

Kitchen items that were left behind by the couple.

Bethany Clarke/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Daily Mail

The mansion was left to Lady Bomanji’s daughter, Mrs. Mehroo Jehangir, who left the home as it was prior to her mother’s death. She passed away in 2012.

A dusty telephone that was left in the mansion.

Bethany Clarke/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

A doll that appears to have been left behind by the couple was found in one of the home’s 40 bedrooms …

Bethany Clarke/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Getty Images


.. and a playlist of songs was left in the ballroom.

Bethany Clarke/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

The couple lived in the home during the colder months of the year and spent their summers at their home in Windsor, England.

Bethany Clarke/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Daily Mail

The current owner has vowed to turn the mansion back into a luxury home.

However, after his initial planning application was denied in 2020, he said plans to sell the property.

Bethany Clarke/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Independent, HouseDigest

Read next



Abandoned house (photo).

A man broke into an abandoned mansion and this is what he found

The abandoned house, decorated with marble and built in 1990, looks terribly beautiful even now.



Interesting stories

Interior Design



Social media

An abandoned £3.6 million mansion was abandoned for unknown reasons in such a hurry that even the children’s Lego was forgotten. YouTube blogger and urban researcher Kaiser Glick visited a luxury home in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, ahead of its demolition.

“If I could choose any home I have ever explored to live in, that would be the definition of my dream home. The main eye-catching feature of the house was when I entered it… it is filled with mirrors and marble. I thought it was very cool as they make the house look like a party house. Then you pass into the main room overlooking the lake, which was very large and also attracted attention. The house has an indoor pool, an indoor cinema, a wine cellar, a safe and a gym.”

The video shows an amazing, huge exterior, with dozens of windows and a long driveway. Kaiser then enters the house through the back door that was left open. The entrance hall and main rooms are entirely finished in marble with stunning floor-to-ceiling windows. It also features balconies, children’s bedrooms where you can spot Lego bricks, and a large lobby with marble floors and walls. Then you can see the incredible swimming pool, completely empty, but in amazing condition.

Kaiser also found an indoor theater in the basement with a huge movie theater-like TV.

“While looking around the house, although I forgot to film it, I also noticed Hebrew letters along the walls. Highland Park is a predominantly Jewish city. A man my age commented on my video saying that he used to live there and that I “played with his Lego” as a joke. I thought it was great to talk to a former resident. I looked it up to confirm, and it really was him.”

Upon reviewing the history, Kaiser discovered that the house was built in 1990 and was recently sold in 2022 for $4.5 million.

“It is currently demolished. I was on the demolition team and watched it being demolished myself. The new owner is a cool guy and wants to build a mansion to his liking on the site of the old mansion. Now construction has begun, and nothing remains. What struck me the most was how new it was for its demolition. The demolition company salvaged all the furniture and metal inside, but it was still a shock to see a 20-year-old mansion being demolished. They did a good job of taking everything they could in the time it took to start demolishing it.”

See also:

The Lost World: Reportage from Abandoned Castles

where to find it and what to see nearby

Far in the Caribbean Sea, behind the white tourist beaches, there is an island where the way of life has hardly changed for hundreds of years. About 800 islanders live on Isla Grande, who are mainly engaged in fishing and agriculture. The island is cut off from the modern world, has no running water and power lines. But this idyll attracted the attention of a vacationer who built a palace here, now abandoned. It was the infamous king of cocaine, “El Patrón” Pablo Escobar.

On the far side of the island, surrounded by rainforest and the Caribbean Sea, is a grandiose complex of luxurious buildings. The dilapidated buildings, in a sense, symbolize the fall of the Colombian drug lord.

At the height of his success, Escobar controlled about 80% of the world’s cocaine trade. He led the Medellin cocaine cartel and smuggled over 15 tons of the drug into the US every day. By 1989, Escobar’s fortune was estimated at almost $30 billion. As befitted one of the richest men in the world, he lived a luxurious life. In addition to countless expensive cars, the drug lord had 15 planes and 6 helicopters. His posh home in Puerto Triunfo, Hacienda Napoles, had its own zoo with rhinos, giraffes, elephants and a dinosaur park made from real prehistoric bones.

The atmosphere at the party house on Isla Grande was no less pretentious. The giant complex consisted of a mansion, waterfront apartments, a palm grove around a huge swimming pool and a heliport. Savings were not felt anywhere: the house had 300 rooms for guests and partygoers, and the bathrooms had golden showers. The playground was reminiscent of a strip from Miami’s South Beach during its heyday in the 1980s.

After several hours of wandering through the Caribbean forest through dense tropical thickets, you will see white concrete. The forest glade will be replaced by an old, skillfully tiled path, which will lead you to Escobar’s palace. Here you will see a luxurious 9-meter boat, lying on its side and overgrown with tropical flowers.

The estate on Isla Grande is now owned by the authorities and is gradually falling into disrepair. This complex, similar to the Shandu of the Caribbean, has already been swallowed up in places by nature: once lush gardens have become home to a family of giant wild pigs. Pastel blues and coral pinks are still visible on the cracked walls at the entrance to the main mansion, decorated with white tiles and marble. The lobby leads to a huge palm-shaded courtyard overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Almost the entire yard is occupied by a huge pool without water.

Behind the pool are ruins of ruined chalets overlooking the ocean. This is the place where speedboats moored and armed guards were stationed. Like larger buildings, chalet apartments have long been falling apart under the influence of the relentless Caribbean trade winds. But life on Isla Grande flows the same as it did before the arrival of Escobar.

Good to know

To get to the small island, which is only a few kilometers long, you need to find a boat to take you here from Cartagena. The island is not in Panama: it is part of the Islas de Rosario archipelago off the coast of Colombia. The exact location of the villa is shrouded in mystery – try to search the Internet, but you are unlikely to find out anything.