There’s something oddly romantic about the visual impact of abandoned homes. I suppose it’s similar, in some ways, to the fascination we have with shipwrecks. Although these homes have been left to decay for entirely different reasons than being sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
Sometimes there is a history behind the abandonment, but often these once fine and noble homes are abandoned for reasons we may never know or understand, and perhaps that is part of the mystery that intrigues us.
For me, part of the fascination with abandoned homes comes from my love of Horror Movies. I love ghost stories, and I find that many of these are set in the most beautiful houses. I suppose it makes sense, a home has to be old and interesting enough to have been around long enough to have ghosts (Poltergeist not withstanding).
But a house does not have to be haunted to become abandoned. Some are simply too expensive to maintain and fall into disrepair. Once a house has hit a certain tipping point, the cost to return it to its former glory far outweighs the benefits of doing so.
You can see what once would have made for beautiful interior architecture wasting away, for some unknown reasons.
Some of these abandoned homes have a fascinating history behind both the occupation of the house and the eventual abandonment. These abandoned houses have a story. It’s not always a ghost story, but it’s a fascinating story non the less.
Take the Winderbourne Mansion, for example
Source: The Washington Post
Built in 1884, Winderbourne Mansion sits on a 9.3-acre property surrounded by the sparkling waters of Lake Seneca in Boyds, Maryland. To the naked eye, the house looks like it’s in grand decay. The windows are broken and boarded. The once inviting front porch is sagging and rotten. One can’t help but wonder how a lovely Victorian style farmhouse in such a beautiful location ended up sagging, empty, and alone.
But the Winderbourne Mansion holds its share of secrets, including a fascinating history of wealth, parties, and deep sadness. However, despite its now creepy exterior which has given it an unwanted label of being a “Haunted Mansion”, there have never been any reports of any unusual happenings in or around the house. It may be a combination of the dilapidated exterior and these inaccurate labels that has kept the house vacant since 2009, despite several attempts to find a new owner.
The Isolated & Abandoned Tillamook Rock Lighthouse
This building was home to the lighthouse keepers who worked there. Known to many as “Terrible Lilly” because the conditions for workers were notoriously rough, this lighthouse still stands off the coast of Oregon. During its time of service, from 1881 to 1957, Terrible Lilly served as a beacon against the rocky outcroppings that claimed the lives of 16 sailors mere weeks before it opened.
When it closed, the last lighthouse keeper made one final entry into the logbook.
Farewell, Tillamook Rock Light Station. An era has ended. With this final entry, and not without sentiment, I return thee to the elements. You, one of the most notorious and yet fascinating of the sea-swept sentinels in the world.
Decades after the lighthouse was decommissioned it was converted into a columbarium, which was a very odd choices, as this does not strike me as a peaceful resting place to be used to store urns of cremated remains. To this day, the remains of 30 people are still stored inside this foreboding lighthouse.