The walls of these once magnificent mansions were built on the basis of dreams and unimaginable wealth, and hide a terrifying history.
Earlier this week, an abandoned mansion called the Welsh Palace of Versailles was put back on the market for £ 750,000.
The Grade II listed Kinmel Hall near Abergele, Conwy was once one of the most prestigious properties in the country and was even visited by Queen Victoria.
However, the 80,000 m² property has tragically fallen into disrepair since its construction in 1850.
While many of the tall marble columns and arched arches remain intact, shocking photographs show crumbling brickwork and plaster falling from the walls of its vast 122 rooms.
And the fading house is far from the only glorious landmark that has gotten into tough times over the years – real estate around the world is wasted after gruesome hammer murders, Playboy scandals, and haunted legends.
- 1 “Wretched” Mental Hospital – Glasgow, Scotland
- 2 Home of the Playboy Assassination Attack – Chattanooga, Tennessee
- 3 Creepy Hammer Murder – Los Feliz, Los Angeles
- 4 Ghost Legends – Minxiong, Taiwan
- 5 Tragic Castle Dream – Ozarks, Missouri
- 6 Concrete tree house – Fregene, Italy
- 7 House of Horror – Altrincham, Cheshire
- 8 Tragic Titanic Story – Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
“Wretched” Mental Hospital – Glasgow, Scotland
On the rural outskirts of Glasgow is Lennox Castle, a once infamous mental health clinic known for its “wretched and dehumanizing” conditions.
Built in the 1830s, the building was converted into a hospital in 1936 and hailed as one of the foremost facilities of its kind in all of Britain.
Despite a £ 1 million budget that could accommodate 1,200 people, the hospital soon became severely overcrowded and there were reports of terrible atrocities against residents.
The patients were reportedly beaten with baseball bats and had to do laps of the castle for minor fines, while a man even died after being set on fire in a bathroom in the middle of the night.
The castle was finally closed in 2002 and has fallen into disrepair – although the Celtic Football Club built a new training facility on the site five years later.
Home of the Playboy Assassination Attack – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Swinger’s Tiki Palace is the glitzy hangout of strip club owner Billy Hull and is located on the hilltop of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Famous for its Playboy swimming pool with underwater tunnels leading to separate bedrooms, the house was completed in 1972. Almost 10,000 eager guests attended the open house.
But just a year later, Hull’s shabby lifestyle caught up with him. The businessman was accused of hiring a killer to murder his wife Gloria’s lover, while also pleading guilty of tax evasion.
After its owner was imprisoned for 20 years, the house was neglected and ravaged, and the two imposing tikis that adorn its entrance scribbled.
The famous pool has long since dried up and full of rotting couches, while rubble and old magazines line the halls that once held dazzling parties for Tennessee’s elite.
Creepy Hammer Murder – Los Feliz, Los Angeles
A hotspot for macabre tours of Los Angeles and one of the city’s cruelest legends, the Los Feliz murder house.
Designed in 1925 by architect Harry E Weiner, the mansion looks like any other exclusive retreat for the rich and famous of California.
But on December 6, 1959, it became the scene of a gruesome suicide when owner Dr. Harold Perelson, a renowned cardiologist, took a hammer and killed his sleeping wife, Linda, in one blow in their master bedroom.
He then attempted to murder his eldest daughter, 18-year-old Judye, while she was sleeping, but luckily his strike only woke her up and alerted his other two children.
After Judye escaped to a neighboring house, Harold swallowed a cocktail of pills and died in her bedroom.
The house was sold two years later to a couple named Julian and Emily Enriquez and served mainly as a warehouse. It is uncanny that many of the Perselsons’ belongings from the 1950s remained untouched.
Those who ventured inside reported a vintage TV on the wall and decades-old tin cans in the pantry.
Eventually, the inside of the property was removed again in 2016 and purchased by Attorney Lisa Bloom for $ 2,289,500. However, in 2019 it was re-launched for $ 3.5 million and was later reduced to $ 2.5 million.
Ghost Legends – Minxiong, Taiwan
The first time they appear, the Minxiong haunted house is beaten a bit – shrouded in snake trees that look like they’re swallowing it back to hell.
The three-story house in Taiwan was once inhabited by the Lui family, but in the 1950s they mysteriously departed without warning and had to be reclaimed by nature.
In the absence of conclusive answers, a number of popular legends have surfaced about why the family raised the sticks.
A popular story is that a maid who had an affair with the householder Liu Rong-yu was so ashamed of the relationship that she fell into a well. Her spirit is said to have returned to haunt the family every night until they fled in desperation.
Another far-fetched ghost story goes that a group of Japanese soldiers stationed at the house during World War II inexplicably pointed their guns at one night, while another claims that Taiwanese soldiers got sick and died within their walls.
Whatever the real story, the once proud house is slowly being engulfed by the surrounding forest, inside of which is a shell of stagnant masonry pushed out by branches.
Tragic Castle Dream – Ozarks, Missouri
It was a really great design from a Kansas businessman who wanted to build a European style castle in the heart of Missouri.
Wealthy Robert Snyder bought 5,000 acres of land, including his own lake, in Ha Ha Tonka State Park in 1905, but tragically would never live to fully realize his dream.
Just a year later, Snyder was killed in one of the state’s first car accidents, but his sons continued to work on the castle until its completion in the 1920s.
His youngest son settled, but after the family’s funds ran out, the property was sold and turned into a hotel.
Unfortunately, another disaster struck in 1942 when a fire pierced the building and burned it down almost to the ground.
Today all that remains are the proud walls designed by stonecutters from Europe – although the state has since bought the castle to preserve it as a memorial to Synder’s vision.
Concrete tree house – Fregene, Italy
Casa Sperimentale is an incredible “concrete tree house” on the outskirts of Fregene, a coastal town in Italy.
The brutalist masterpiece was built in the 1970s by the ambitious architect Giuseppe Perugini and his wife Uga de Plaisant and features a drawbridge staircase. It is held together by three buildings that blend with the surrounding forestry.
It is not known why the building was a rural retreat for the bohemian community of Italy and was at the mercy of the elements during the long, hot summers.
Today, many of its rusty metal brackets have put the incredible house at risk of structural failure.
Even so, it has become a tourist attraction and, unfortunately, a graffiti artist’s haven.
House of Horror – Altrincham, Cheshire
A five bedroom mansion in Cheshire became known as the “House of Horror” in 2005 after its owner launched a frenzied attack on its master bedroom.
Christopher Lumsden stabbed Ms. Alison about 30 times after she announced she was leaving for a family friend.
After the wild murder, the house in Altrincham – called Oakleigh – saw its immaculately manicured lawns, tennis courts and carriage house standing empty and falling to rubble.
However, last year the house went up for sale for £ 3.25 million after a 10 year restoration project.
It was first built in the 1880s and listed as a “striking 19th century handicraft villa” with an underground swimming pool, sauna, cinema room and triple garage.
Tragic Titanic Story – Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
One of America’s truly historic mansions, Lynnewood Hall was the grand residence of Peter Arrell Browne Widener, now recognized as one of the 100 richest men in the country.
The sprawling estate in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was built aboard their family yacht after the death of his wife Hannah and was completed in 1900. It is surrounded by 480 acres of land.
After living there for 15 years, Widener died and the house was to be inherited by his eldest son George.
However, three years earlier, George and his family had invested in the doomed HMS Titanic and were proud to have a spot on their maiden voyage, where they allegedly had dinner with the captain.
Both George and his son Harry were killed when the ship struck an iceberg in 1912 and the property was consequently passed on to Widener’s only surviving son Joseph.
Although Joseph kept the mansion in pristine condition, it was neglected when his children refused to take responsibility for it after his death in 1943.
In the 1950s it was bought by a group of Evangelical Christians for $ 192,000, but they robbed it of its fortune and sold all but 33 acres of land.
Much of its size has remained to this day, and a historic art gallery is still beautifully preserved, though pictures show that the lavish pool and bathroom have deteriorated for years.
A campaign is still ongoing to save the property, which, like its Welsh counterpart, has been dubbed the “American Versailles”.