Seeing glorious abandoned homes can send chills running down anyone’s spine, even without knowing their sinister histories. There truly is nothing like abandoned houses to get the imagination going. These monuments of the past have seen history unfold. The crumbling walls are steeped in all kinds of secrets and tales… Keep reading to find out about some fascinating stories that happened right in these homes.
Carleton Island villa, New York, USA
This villa on Carleton Island, New York, has been sitting empty since 1927. In fact, some people claim that it’s haunted by the ghost of its former owner, typewriter entrepreneur Willam Wyckoff and his family. The pricey mansion was commissioned by William in the 1890s. However, disaster struck when he passed away from a heart attack on the first night in the mansion. Just a month later, his wife passed away unexpectedly.
Mansion, Chernobyl, Ukraine
There aren’t many places in the world as eerie or heartbreaking as Chernobyl. It was there that the nuclear disaster happened in 1986. As a result of the catastrophic power plant accident, the city was completely evacuated and entry is strictly regulated by the Ukrainian government. This abandoned mansion is only one of the many derelict houses that remain in the toxic town. They all serve as a lingering reminder of the thousands who’ve lost their lives as a result of the disaster.
Greek Revival home, Alabama, USA
The spooky Greek Revival home hides a rather haunting secret within its crumbling walls. It’s been decimated by two storms that left it open to the elements. It turns out that the Alabama mansion used to house a family funeral business back in the day. What’s spookier, some of the rooms inside as still littered with various coffins and undertaker’s equipment. If you really want a good scare, this is the place to go.
Leap Castle, County Offaly, Republic of Ireland
This castle was once a grand stately home, but its story has a rather grim ending. Built by the O’Bannon clan, it was the seat of the ruling O’Carroll chieftains for centuries. Following the demise of clan patriarch Mulrooney O’Carroll in 1532, both his sons got into a bitter struggle for the leadership of the clan. Local legends claim that the struggle came to a violent end when the priest was killed by his brother. He’s said to haunt the chapel to this day.
Moosham Castle, Salzburg, Austria
Built on the foundations of a Roman fortress, this castle dates back to the late 1100s. It might look like something out of a fairytale, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality, the estate was used as a prison for the local area and was the location of the terrible Salzburg Witch Trials that took place in the 17th century. Many innocent people lost their lives in this very castle. Over a century later, it’s said that several locals were accused of being werewolves. According to local lore, some were tried and executed there for their supposed crimes.
Château Miranda, Celles, Belgium
Another castle that looks like something out of a fairytale, Château Miranda did not have a very happy tale to tell. The medical castle was built in the 19th century but was occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War. After the war, it was turned into an orphanage and holiday camp. However, the crumbling palace was too expensive to upkeep and was closed for good in 1991. A few years later, there was a terrible fire, destroying the castle. Eventually, the palace was demolished.
The Villa de Vecchi, Italy
Known as the “House of Witches”, this villa dates back to 1854-1857 and has a rather grim history. It was originally built as a summer home for Count Felix De Vecchi and his family. In 1862, the Count came home to find his wife has been killed and his daughter was missing. He spent a year looking for his daughter before he took his own life out of despair. His brother then lived in the house until the First World War but then left it empty. In 2002, an avalanche destroyed all the other houses in the area, but the villa remained standing.
The Minxiong House, Taiwan
This house in Taiwan, the Liu family mansion, has been deserted since the 1950s when the wealthy family abruptly fled. Local legends claim the family’s maid was having a secret affair with her employer, Liu Rong-yu. When these rumors spread, the maid was so consumed by shame that she jumped down a well. Some people claim the ghost of the girl returned each night to haunt the family.
Houska Castle, Czech Republic
This castle has no fortifications, no kitchen, and was never occupied. It does, however, have something inside that no other castle in the world has – a large hole in the ground that many believe to be a gateway to hell. Houska was built strategically over the hole to seal the gateway and keep demonic creatures from entering the world. The story gets even creepier, however. Before sealing it off, prisoners were granted pardons if they agreed to be lowered into the hole by a rope and reporting what they saw. When the first prisoner was lowered, he began screaming a few seconds in. When he was raised back up, it’s said that he appeared to have aged 30 years.
Bran Castle, Romania
Dracula’s castle – it doesn’t get creepier than this. Bran Castle is (loosely) linked to the historical character who inspired author Bram Stoker – Vlad III Dracula, otherwise known as Vlad the Impaler. Yes, that means exactly what you think it means. Some believe Bran Castle was one of the sites where Vlad II reigned terror on Transylvania. Nowadays, the castle is a museum and it contains a rather spooky artifact – a golden casket that holds the heart of Romania’s Queen Marie.