Bright Side

7 Celebrity Mansions That Were Abandoned or Put Up for Sale

Surely you’ve thought about what your dream house would be like. There are actually many spaces that can inspire you, for example, the houses of celebrities. Their homes are usually full of fascinating details, and some appear to have come out of a fairytale. However, some stars decide to sell them out of nowhere, and at very high prices. Despite the costs, when a house like this is available, it usually sells very quickly, except for some cases where no one wants to purchase it, and it ends up abandoned.

Bright Side wants to share with you the stories of some of them. Some spent a long time in oblivion, others are still for sale, and some were remodeled into something else.

1. Mike Tyson’s mansion in Southington

The house was built by Ted Vannelli, a politician from Trumbull County. Mike Tyson bought it for $300,000 in 1989. However, years later, the boxer had some personal and legal issues that affected his career and lifestyle. Although he tried to return to the top of his career, problems regarding his inappropriate behavior kept coming to light. His house was full of luxuries, from a basketball court to a large pool. He also owned 3 Bengal tigers.

In 2003, Tyson was not in a good position financially so the mansion was sold to businessman Paul Monea, but he never lived in the house. Ironically, the new owner also faced legal problems, and the estate became open to purchase again. In 2010 it was acquired by businessman Ron Hemelgarn, who did some restorations to the mansion; however, he didn’t move in there either. After many months in abandonment, the property passed into the hands of the religious organization Living Word Sanctuary. They worked on the house for 4 years, only on weekends, to remodel it.

2. Bruce Lee’s mansion

When Bruce Lee passed away, he left a great legacy in the form of movies, books, and objects that could be used to understand his training methods and his philosophy on life. In addition to that, he left a mansion in Hong Kong, where he lived his last year with his family. After his departure (1973), the house passed into the hands of businessman Yu Pengnian. He was known as the “Love Hotel King” because many of his properties ended up as hotels. So, even though people begged that the kung-fu legend’s mansion be transformed into a museum, it was turned into a hotel by the late 2000s.

In 2009, businessman Yu announced that he would remodel the place and make it a tourist center, but the plan wasn’t carried out because details were not fine-tuned, and he couldn’t come to an agreement with the government. Years later, in 2015, Yu passed away. In 2018, his grandson announced that the place would be converted into a school to offer Mandarin and music lessons for children. But in 2019, what used to be Bruce Lee’s house was demolished. A Chinese study center was built in its place. Some specific architectural details, like a mosaic and a few window frames, were preserved for posterity. Sadly, some YouTube videos expose how abandoned this property was for many years.

3. Aleister Crowley’s Boleskine House

This Scottish property has survived the passage of time and even flames. It belonged to Aleister Crowley and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Long before the writer moved into the mansion, the area already had a history of strange incidents that went way back into the 13th century. The place used to shelter a church and a cemetery. The legend maintains that the church caught on fire and left no survivors. The Boleskine Mansion was built in its place in the 1760s by Colonel Archibald Fraser and was expanded by the Fraser family around 1830.

The house had 4 bedrooms, all on the same floor, a kitchen, and a bedroom for the servants. In addition, it had a library, a hall, and some believe that it had a tunnel that connected the mansion to the cemetery. Crowley bought the house in 1899, thinking it was perfect for performing special rituals. Some believe this is why mysterious occurrences used to happen there. Eventually, he left the property in 1913. Despite all the stories surrounding the estate, Jimmy Page bought it in 1970, as a collector of things related to Crowley. After restoring it, he left his friend, Malcolm Dent, who also experienced strange events inside the mansion, in charge of the house. Some chairs would change places, doors opened and closed all by themselves, and rugs rolled up without explanation. The owners, who followed him, left behind some of their own horror stories. In 2015, the house caught fire, and was severely damaged. In 2019 there was another fire, and much of the mansion was destroyed. The Boleskine Foundation acquired the ruins that same year. They plan to restore the mansion to its original state and open it to the public.

4. The Minnelli Mansion

After the famous Vincente Minnelli passed away, word got out that his last wish was for the property, located in Beverly Hills, to pass into the hands of his daughter, Liza. However, only under one condition: that Minnelli’s last wife (Lee Anderson), the girl’s stepmother, could stay in the house until her death or until she decided to move. In addition, if Liza sold it, then she would have to move her stepmother into a retirement home. In the beginning, there was no problem, and Lee spent over 10 years in that house. However, in 2002, Minnelli tried to sell the mansion, and that’s when the problems arose.

After Liza attempted to sell the property, she and Lee got stuck in legal conflicts over the house. Although Minnelli had offered to transfer her stepmother to a condo, Lee preferred to take action and proceed legally. She accused her stepdaughter of cutting off her utilities and firing some of her service staff, which made her have to endure stressful, worrisome, and humiliating moments. For whatever reason, the accusation was dropped a month later. Lee continued to live on the property until she died in 2009, although it was officially sold in 2004, and Liza paid the new owners’ rent.

After Lee passed away, the house was supposed to be remodeled, but that day never came. Some YouTube videos show the abandoned mansion and the last images available (2017) portray what’s left of what was once the Minnelli mansion. They also show that the place is no longer accessible and that it is undergoing some work.

5. Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch

It wasn’t just a home, it was also an amusement park exclusively for the singer’s guests. The facilities were designed to entertain terminally ill children, and more than 2,700 acres of fun were opened for them in 1990. Michael Jackson named it “Neverland,” like the island from Peter Pan. It was his favorite place, and he regularly spent time there, enjoying life with his family and friends.

Located in California, the estate was like a dream come true filled with places for entertainment, like a movie theater, a zoo, and a theme park. Despite everything, in 1993, the singer began to face legal problems and a house warrant. In 2005, disputes continued, and he decided to get rid of the property. When businessman William Bone purchased Neverland Ranch, it was priced between $16.5 to $30 million. In 2015, it was sold for $100 million. In 2019, after the documentary Leaving Neverland, the value of the ranch went down to $31 million.

6. Hook End Recording Studios, the mansion where Pink Floyd once recorded

It was bought by singer Alvin Lee to make way for Space Studios. While he was in charge of the house, he managed several recordings there. Later on, the mansion passed into the hands of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, and it was in this house that parts of the album The Final Cut were recorded. Gilmour sold it to Trevor Horn, who put it up for sale after his son, Aaron and his wife had an incident in the garden. Then it passed into the hands of Mark White.

In 2017, the furnished property was reported to be in an abandoned condition. Some people have even shared their own tours of the place in videos uploaded to YouTube.

7. Pablo Escobar’s Hacienda Nápoles (Naples Estate)

This hacienda was built by Pablo Escobar and his cousin after purchasing various estates, that together made a total of 3,000 hectares. Immediately after closing the deal, the Escobars began beautifying the place by building rooms, roads, swimming pools, artificial lakes, and an airstrip, among other things. With time, a zoo, a bullring, race cars, and other attractions were added to the ranch to entertain guests. After his death in 1993, the property fell into abandonment and disrepair, and it was repeatedly occupied by security forces.

After a long battle, it was confiscated by the Colombian government. It wasn’t until 2006 that a company proposed to buy the hacienda and transform it into a theme park. A project that would turn the place into the Hacienda Nápoles Theme Park began the construction of water attractions, museums, and a wildlife sanctuary.

If you had a mansion, what would make you abandon it? What other interesting stories do you know about famous houses? Tell us below!