Abandoned mansions are relics of the past, places that were supposed to be grand achievements but now have been surrendered to the elements. They are undeniably eerie, especially when their abandonment was the result of a gruesome event—as is the case with many of the ones listed below.
Located across the world, these houses all share the same characteristics: broken windows, cascading vines, and a pervasive sense of decay. Time is passing, they seem to whisper, and all that humans have made will someday become dirt, to be reclaimed by the earth.
Perhaps some of these places have been overtaken by more nefarious forces. If you've encountered The Haunting of Hill House or any of the myriad films and stories about ruined mansions, you might imagine that these houses could contain secret rooms, antichrists, strange dungeons, or other endlessly terrifying forces. With this in mind, here are 7 of the creepiest mansions in the world.
1. Halcyon Hall, Millbrook, New York
Located in the unassuming suburb of Millbrook, New York, this mansion was built as a luxury hotel in 1890; then it served as the Bennett School for Girls for many years. It was shut down in 1978, but with its broken windows, collapsing porch, and undeniably threatening aura, it still seems very much alive.
2. Château Miranda, Celles, Belgium
This castle was originally built for the Liedekerke-Beaufort family, who moved there after the French Revolution. Then, it housed sick and orphaned children until 1980, when it was abandoned. The château's landlord burnt it down in 2017, but images of its ghostly afterlife live on.
3. Liu Family Mansion, Taiwan
This mansion's backstory is as haunting as it currently looks. Known as the Minxiong Ghost House, this mansion was built in 1929. According to legend, it was abandoned in the 1950s when it became haunted by the ghost of a heartbroken maid who had drowned herself in a well. Others propose that the mansion is haunted by Japanese imperial army soldiers who died near the site.
4. The Swingers Tiki Palace, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Once intended to be a party palace and strip club, this mansion now stands as a disturbing relic of parties past. Its crumbling state has a gory backstory: Billy Hull, its owner and designer, was convicted of murder-for-hire soon after he opened the mansion to partiers was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Today, the mansion is the very image of opulence and excess gone sour.
5. Villa de Vecci, Cortenova, Italy
This mansion's backstory is as horrifying as its current appearance. After serving as a soldier, the nobleman Felix de Vecci hired the architect Alessandro Sidoli to design the house of his dreams. Unfortunately, Sidoli died before the house's completion, and his death seemed to doom everyone who entered his incomplete masterpiece. Counte de Vecci's wife and daughter were later murdered in the house, and de Vecci later committed suicide inside its elegant walls. After a few new owners (who encountered some ghostly presences, no doubt), the mansion was abandoned. Today, its peeling paint and splashes of red brick stand in ghastly contrast to the dark pine forest around it, making this a place you do not want to go after dark.
6. Pokrovskoye-Streshnevo Mansion, Moscow, Russia
Its symmetry remains intact, but time and the earth are slowly overtaking this abandoned palace in Moscow, Russia. These lands used to be owned by the Streshnevs, members of the Romanov family, but they were later left to the mercy of time and the seasons.
7. The Tyrone House, Galway, Ireland
Located in the already eerie seaside province of County Galway, Ireland, this house stands alone in a field, completely at the mercy of the elements. Destroyed by the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence, its hull still remains.