And if you liked this post, be sure to check out these popular posts:
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An abandoned structure on Isla Holbox, Mexico, tilts toward the ocean. Its exterior wall bears the image of a man looking toward the water, with a stork upon his head.John Hult/Unsplash
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The abandoned remains of what appears to be a houseboat in Louisiana. According to Reddit, it was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina.kitti__/Reddit
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Two people sit on the windowsill of what appears to be a once-elegant yellow house.Facebook
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This Victorian mansion in New Jersey, judging by the area code on the sign out front, certainly looks like it's had better days. Today, it's a ghost of its former self with a broken staircase, shattered windows, and a boarded-up door. Facebook
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The ancient McDermott’s Castle in Lough Key, Ireland, a 12-century structure that was once the subject of bloodshed.monomotive/Reddit
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An abandoned home in the Arctic.simonnorfolkstudio/Instagram
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The remains of a once elegant house deep in the woods. Though the roof has fallen in, the many chimneys suggest it was once a place of comfort and warmth.solenegdsn/Instagram
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The remains of a structure in Russia, possibly a church, allegedly from the 17th century.carmensax/Reddit
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Nature has overtaken this abandoned house in Karelia, Russia.themurashka/Instagram
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The remains of a once grand house in an undisclosed Nordic region. The pillars out front suggest that its original owners had high hopes for the property, but the deteriorated roof indicates that it's since fallen into disrepair. abandoned_nordic/Instagram
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A donkey stands in front of an abandoned house in Ireland.roya ann miller/Unsplash
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An abandoned house covered with street art in Teriberka, Murmansk oblast, Russia.Masha Koko/Unsplash
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An abandoned apartment building on the former coal mining island of Ikeshima (sometimes spelled Ikejima) off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan.
The island was once home to thousands of people, but most of the buildings are empty today.Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images
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This abandoned mansion was built in 19th-century Cincinnati, Ohio, as the "country" estate of Adam Edward Burkhardt, a furrier. Though various owners have enjoyed its 33 rooms over the years, and the house was later converted to a nursing home, it has since been abandoned.Jonathan Haeber/Flickr
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The rosy pink remains of a structure in Lacul Cinciș, Romania, possibly a church.Stefan Cosma/Unsplash
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This sunny yellow house looks like it once had brighter days. Today, it's one of many abandoned homes in Detroit, Michigan.Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images
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This striking building in Armenia looks like it's been abandoned for decades, if not longer. Wikimedia Commons
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Built at the end of the 19th century, the Mary A. Wolfe house in Cincinnati, Ohio, was once grand — and even boasted 25 rooms. But it fell into disrepair over the years and, despite a stint as a nursing home, was eventually demolished.Warren LeMay/Flickr
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Sellers Mansion in Baltimore, Maryland. Built by a millionaire named Matthew Bacon Sellers in the 1860s, the handsome house has since been abandoned.Wikimedia Commons
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The sun sets over Castiglione di Sicilia, an Italian village filled with abandoned houses. Castiglione di Sicilia raised its profile in recent years by offering up its houses for sale for just one euro.Getty Images
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Château Miranda, also called Château de Noisy, in Belgium, was built in 1866 for the Liedekerke-De Beaufort family. World War II cleared the family out, and the mansion was briefly transformed into a children's camp before it was demolished in 2017. Tom Blackwell/Flickr
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A pink house in New Orleans that appears to be at least partially abandoned.jcb23/Unsplash
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An abandoned house in France.ksenia_hound/Instagram
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One of the thousands of abandoned homes in Gary, Indiana.nickyjxx/Reddit
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The vivid green wall of this abandoned house somewhere in France is in shocking contrast to the decay that surrounds it.Twitter
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Hamilton Palace in East Sussex, England. Construction of the $36 million estate began on the command of millionaire Nicholas van Hoogstraten in the 1980s, but the project has since been abandoned.Chris Gorman/Getty Images
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A house consumed by the Californian desert.DrFetusRN/Reddit
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Deep in the forest of what might be somewhere New England, this house with boarded up windows clearly has had better days.Facebook
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Ice crystals have invaded this abandoned home north of the Arctic Circle in Russia.Maria Passer/Reddit
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An abandoned castle on Darby Island in the Bahamas. As of 2017, the island — castle included — was up for sale for $39 million.young-oldman/Reddit
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Mere bones of this abandoned house in Joshua Tree, California, remain. Barthelemy de Mazenod/Unsplash
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The Minxiong Ghost house in Thailand was infamously abandoned in the 1950s by the family who built it. As the story goes, homeowner Liu Rong-yu was having an affair with the family's maid. When his wife found out, she made the maid's life a living hell, until the maid took her own life.
Rumor has it that the maid's ghost haunted the family so fiercely that they decided to abandon their grand house.Pinoy Formosa
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The Italian estate once owned by Napoleon Bonaparte's younger sister, Pauline.explorationofdecay/Reddit
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Trees have grown through this abandoned house in Norway.Reddit
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An abandoned house in Poland.Facebook
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An abandoned brick house in Detroit, Michigan. Street artists have added a pop of color to its boarded up windows.sj carey/Flickr
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Judging by the tomato-red car outside of this abandoned home, it's been deserted for a long time.Facebook
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Sand dunes fill this abandoned home in southern Namibia.jean wimmerlin/Unsplash
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Château Nottebohm in Belgium. Built between 1908 and 1909 by the Nottebohm family, the house was first abandoned during World War II. After the war it became a hotel-restaurant, then a theme park called "Ponyland," before being abandoned for good in the 1970s.Facebook
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The stunning stained-glass windows in this abandoned house located somewhere in the U.K. suggest that its former occupants had hoped to make it a home. Instead, it's clearly been deserted.the_sparkler/Instagram
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Villa de Vecchi is an abandoned home in Lake Como, Italy, with a heartbreaking story. Built by Count Felix de Vecchi in the mid-19th century, it was abandoned after de Vecchi's wife was murdered and his daughter possibly kidnapped.
The count died by suicide after fruitlessly searching for his daughter, and the house slowly fell into disrepair.MellifluousMongoose/Reddit
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Vines cover this eerie abandoned house somewhere in France, which looks like it belongs in a horror movie.Facebook
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Wyndcliffe, near Rhinebeck in Dutchess County, New York, was built in 1853 as a summer home for socialite Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones. Sadly, it was abandoned in the 1950s.Jess Mann/Wikimedia Commons
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Abandoned houses covered with overgrown vegetation in Houtouwan on Shengshan island, located in China's eastern Zhejiang province.
Once a fishing village, Houtouwan is now abandoned and its houses are completely overgrown.JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images
Charmed, Cursed, And Definitely Haunted: 44 Abandoned Homes From Around The World
There's nothing quite as haunting as an abandoned house. Amid the dirt and decay, they often bear clear signs of happier days, like cheery wallpaper, elegant stained-glass windows, and even items left behind by their former occupants. It makes you wonder — what happened?
Two Eerily Abandoned Houses In Italy And China
In some cases, the answer is well-documented. One of the most heartbreaking abandoned houses featured in the gallery above is Villa de Vecchi, a palatial building in Cortenova, Italy, that's sometimes referred to as the country's most haunted house.
According to Atlas Obscura, the mansion was built between 1854 and 1857 by Count Felix De Vecchi, a war hero and the head of the Italian National Guard. But shortly after he and his family moved in, De Vecchi came home one day in 1862 to find his wife brutally murdered — and his daughter gone.
RedditVilla De Vecchi has a tragic history, and is known today as Italy's most haunted home.
When his desperate search turned up nothing but dead ends, de Vecchi took his own life. Though his grand house was taken over by his brother, it wasn't long before the Villa de Vecchi fell into disrepair. At one point in the 1920s, the mansion was allegedly briefly occupied by occultist Aleister Crowley.
Other abandoned houses in the gallery above have similar stories. The Minxiong Ghost House in Taiwan, for example, was allegedly so fiercely haunted by a former maid that its occupants fled in terror. Round Taiwan Round notes that while there may be nothing to the haunting but rumors, the mansion has sat empty for decades. Now, it's covered in gnarled trees.
Are These Abandoned Mansions Prettier In Their Decay?
But the stories of other abandoned mansions have been lost to time. In the gallery above, you'll see photos of elegant Victorian mansions tagged with graffiti, half-submerged houseboats, lonely island castles, entire communities overgrown with vines, and plenty of boarded-up windows.
Some are clearly dilapidated. They have trees growing through the roof and window or are mere skeletons of their former selves. Some have been overtaken by nature entirely. Yet others look like their owners merely stepped out and, despite the disrepair, could return at any moment.
Some houses, like those in Detroit, Michigan, or Gary, Indiana, are one of the hundreds of homes that were tragically abandoned in each city over the years. Now, their empty husks are a poignant symbol of a city's rise — and ultimate, devastating fall.
What happened to these homes? Sometimes, a few scant details are known. Other times, the stories of the abandoned mansions above are simply a mystery. Whether it was a haunting, a tragedy, or the passage of time, most of the houses in the gallery above are mere ghosts of their former selves.
In the gallery above, look through 44 photos of abandoned mansions from the United States, France, England, Russia, and beyond. Learn their stories — or try to imagine what led to their tragic abandonment.
After looking through these photos of abandoned houses and abandoned mansions, check out what Chernobyl today is like, decades after its infamous nuclear meltdown. Or, discover the stories behind nine "real" haunted houses in the United States.
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Kaleena Fraga has also had her work featured in The Washington Post and Gastro Obscura, and she published a book on the Seattle food scene for the Eat Like A Local series. She graduated from Oberlin College, where she earned a double degree in American History and French.