12 Deserted mansions and their unsettling pasts
While everyone enjoys a good horror story, very few people have the courage to actually live in one. Even though it’s said that “home is where the heart is,”for some of the folks on this list, trouble actually began there. These abandoned homes’ spine-tingling histories are rife with anomalies, mysteries, and even scandal. Some tales may be better left in the past, just like these mysteries surrounding haunted houses.
The proprietors of the formerly opulent and spectacular houses and castles below realized that the house’s worth was only a small component of the overall story. Mansions are typically sold or passed down through families for years, with each owner caring for and modernizing the expansive property in a different fashion. What then triggers someone to flee their ideal home? These abandoned locations are full of amazing and nearly fantastic tales. Visit these deserted cities next to get even more into the Halloween spirit.
Mínxíong Ghost House.
Location: Mínxíong, Taiwan
The Mnxong Ghost House, which was named the spookiest haunted house in Taiwan in 2019, certainly lives up to its reputation. Whatever you believe, this mansion undoubtedly meets the criteria for being eerie. The rumors around it range from affairs to suicide to simple relocation. The Old Liu House, a palace in the Baroque revival style built in 1929 by Liu Rongyu, is concealed by overgrown vegetation. One of the most well-known legends claims that a housemaid had an affair with the homeowner, which angered his wife and caused the woman to commit suicide by jumping into a nearby well. A soldier allegedly committed suicide at the house after hearing odd sounds, as if the maid’s tale wasn’t enough. Whether or if they are actually urban legends, the enormous mansion’s majestic but dilapidated walls are home to some bizarre past.
Chaonei No. 81
Location: Beijing, China
This early 20th-century home has a much more sinister background. This three-story palace, built in the baroque style by the Qing imperial dynasty, has been vacant since 1949. According to legend, the Kuomintang politician who owned the property abandoned his wife inside the home after the Nationalists were defeated by the Communists. She allegedly hanged herself at the house because she was so overcome with pain and agony. Some claim that there is still a ghost in the house, which both tourists and neighborhood kids dare to enter to see the once- elegant but now dilapidated property. See these other abandoned homes for more eerie structures.
Odd Fellows Home
Location: Liberty, Missouri
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which was established in 1819, commissioned the construction of this home to serve as its Missouri headquarters. The fraternal organization resembled the Masons in that it sought to foster community service, loyalty, and brotherhood. Numerous of the IOOF’s “hidden rituals,”of which there were many in the Odd Fellows Home throughout the 19th century, was also practiced there. Of course, this was during the times when they weren’t caring for the vulnerable members of their community at the 200+ acre complex that houses an orphanage, hospital, nursing home, and school. The Odd Fellows left behind a “George” skeleton, which was rumored to have been used in the bizarre initiation rituals, even though the complex fell into disrepair (apart from one building that currently houses a working vineyard). This is only one of the many urban legends that exist in each state.
Villa de Vecchi
Location: Cortenova, Italy
In the Cortenova mountains, close to Lake Como, this stunning home is perched within a forest. This mansion sometimes referred to as the “Red House,”the “Ghost Mansion,”and the “Casa Delle Streghe” (The House of Witches), boasts a horrific past. The construction of this enormous Baroque structure was commissioned by Count Felix De Vecchi in the late 19th century. Sadly for the Count, Sidoli passed away a year before the luxurious villa was finished.
The Vecchi family had only been living in the villa for a brief period of time when tragedy struck: the Count’s wife was killed and their daughter was taken. The Count himself committed suicide following numerous searches. After being passed down through the Vecchi family for a few decades, the home fell victim to vandalism, neglect, and nature infiltration. The mansion is still referenced in folklore today. Locals claim that the long-gone broken piano still floats music outside the house and along the countryside, along with whispers of occult activities and sacrifices. Here are some more historic locations that are currently deserted.
Location: Pollepel Island, New York
The past of this castle isn’t particularly morbid; rather, it’s fascinating. The mansion was constructed on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River, according to Jane Bannerman, the builder’s granddaughter-in-law, as a location to keep weapons for sale. The mythology that the island was called after the tale of a girl named Pell who was saved and carried to safety on the island by her brave sweetheart is among the remnants of the island’s Indigenous nations’ folklore. The island and the waterways around it were fortified with “chevaux-de-frise,”or Frisian horses, booby traps during the American Revolution to obstruct British ships.
When the Bannerman family acquired ownership of the island in 1900, they constructed the Scottish-style home (or armory!) and even permitted various charitable organizations to visit the lovely island during the summer. Some of the island’s lovely grounds, which were cared for by Frank Bannerman’s wife, are still there today despite a disastrous fire in 1969. Currently, The Bannerman Castle Trust aims to preserve the building’s heritage, promote tourism, and rehabilitate it. Even though this house doesn’t seem to be haunted, you may get your taste of the frightening by visiting these notable houses from history and abandoned churches.
Los Feliz Mansion
Location: Los Angeles, California
According to the legend, Dr. Harold Perelson, his wife, and his three children lived in this deserted mansion on top of a hill. Perelson, a well-known physician in the late 1950s, shocked the neighborhood and, to some extent, the entire world when he abruptly brutally killed his wife with a ball-peen hammer while she slept. He attempted to kill his small daughter before taking tranquilizers and swallowing acid years, many have conjectured about his to terminate his own life. Though the estate was bought and sold numerous times over the ensuing 60 causes and the alleged “hauntings”that followed. What is scarier? The house’s owners left it substantially unchanged from 1959 to 2016—complete with the same dust-coated furnishings and unsettling emptiness. Don’t forget to visit the eeriest abandoned location in each state.
Wyckoff Villa (Carleton Villa)
Location: Carleton Island, New York
Naturally, another terrible tale is the Wyckoff Villa, which is situated on Carleton Island in the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. The villa, which many refer to as one of the Thousand Islands’ earliest Gilded Age residences, was ordered by William Wyckoff from architect William H. Miller. Wyckoff, the owner of Remington typewriters, occupied the house for just one day after it was finished in 1895. Why? Unfortunately, Mr. Wyckoff had a heart attack on July 11th, just one month after the death of his wife, Ives Wyckoff. After 30 years in the family, General Electric purchased the villa. GE finally stripped the villa of all functional (and necessary) pieces and left it in decay, despite the initial plan to demolish the home and build a golf course and retreat in its place. Still, it’s back on the market if you’re interested! And if you’re really daring, you may stay in one of America’s most spooky hotels.
Location: Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Lynnewood Hall, a Neo-classical Gilded Age palace constructed in the late 19th century, has a sordid past. The 110-room home with 55 beds was built by renowned architect Horace Trumbauer under the direction of the unfathomably wealthy art collector and businessman Peter A.B. Widener. Built soon after Widener’s wife passed away, the opulent limestone residence is decorated with renowned artwork and paintings (some by El Greco, Rembrandt and Donatello). Tragically, the eldest son who was supposed to inherit the land was traveling on the Titanic when it sank. His wife, Eleanor, survived in a lifeboat, but that Widener boy and his own son perished. Ironically, the Wideners contributed significantly to the RMS Titanic’s financing. Joseph, the younger son, oversaw the home until his passing in 1943, after which time it was abandoned and its priceless furnishings were removed. Check out these equally eerie deserted amusement parks next.