The Nostalgic Romance of Abandoned Homes

Abandoned Houses | The Hauntingly Beautiful Remnants of Lives Unknown

There’s something hauntingly beautiful about the visual impact of abandoned houses. I suppose it’s similar, in some ways, to the fascination we have with shipwrecks. Although these abandoned homes have been left to decay for entirely different reasons than being sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

While some people find themselves drawn to abandoned houses for a variety of reasons, the evidence of human life on this Earth is, indeed, disturbing. It is not an unfamiliar sight to see manmade structures demolished and a sad look of disappointment paint over the faces of those left behind. Abandoned houses provide one of the few remaining tangible remnants of the sheer magnitude of life. Whether it be home ownership, human connection, or the ideals of our society, the homes we build and then abandon tell us a great deal about who we are as a people. These abandoned structures are overgrown with flowers, shrubs, and weeds. They are filled with books, decorations, and children’s toys. They may be neglected and broken down, but there is still life inside them.

In some cases, abandoned homes offer a stunning glimpse into the past. These dark spaces reveal the beauty of decay. Have you ever found a beautiful abandoned house that you loved? Have you ever found yourself wanting to rescue and refurbish these once-beautiful homes? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – I have too.

With pictures to back it up, and to provide a visual tour of some of the most incredible abandoned buildings in the world, even if I have no idea where that house even exists (or if it still exists) on earth. These decaying houses may inspire you, they may creep you out, or they may make you feel a sort of nostalgic sadness for something that was once loved.

But there is a beauty buried beneath the decay and devastation. Some of these buildings have stood the test of time, while others are are only the smallest remnants of once-great structures.

And, no, although some of them look creepy now, they are not always haunted.

The abandoned houses that you find along forgotten rural roads aren’t necessarily haunted. Some people have simply moved away, others were forced out, some lost their homes due to financial troubles, others were caught for so long in a legal battle that they were no longer worth living in once the matter was settled. And often, sadly, abandoned homes are not alone, as entire neighborhoods, cities, or states, can end up with a larger than normal number of abandoned houses simply because the economic foundation in those areas crumbled as well.

It is estimated that there are over 6 million abandoned properties in the United States alone. Some of these have been abandoned for decades, while others have only been abandoned recently. Even though some may be just a bunch of old nails and some rotting timbers, some abandoned buildings are actually inhabited – even though they shouldn’t be.

But most have been left alone to fall apart into the camera lenses. These abandoned houses look eerily inviting. It’s almost as if they are silently pleading for people to come and live there again, or at least investigate their existence and the reasons for their decay. But, it’s very unlikely that any of these abandoned houses are ever going back to being homes.

Some abandoned buildings have a vague past; one that offers a hint of the hopes and dreams that once surrounded them. But in almost every case, these were once homes.

Check out this uniquely wonderful collection of abandoned houses below…

The Nostalgic Romance of Abandoned Homes

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.

The Nostalgic Romance of Abandoned Homes

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 notwithstanding).

The Nostalgic Romance of Abandoned Homes

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.

The Nostalgic Romance of Abandoned Homes
Interior rundown manor home
Abandoned Mansion Interior

You can see what once would have made for beautiful interior architecture wasting away, for some unknown reasons.

Collecting Remnants with Pictures on Pinterest

Pinterest is one of my favorite places to discover and explore abandoned buildings. Here is a just a preview of some of the unique and wonderful abandoned places I’ve discovered through Pinterest.

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 none-the-less.

Image Credits (where available) include:

  • Ontario Exploration – Thanks to Laura at Ontario Exploration for the photo on the bottom right of the gallery above.

Would you spend the night in one of these abandoned homes?

Take the Winderbourne Mansion, for example

Winderbourne Abandoned Mansion

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.

Webster Wagner Abandoned Mansion in Palatine Bridge, New York

Webster Wagner Abandoned Mansion in  Palatine Bridge, New York

Source: Facebook

Located just west of Amsterdam in the quiet town of Palatine Bridge, New York, this beautiful home was once owned by a wealthy railroad tycoon and for his terms as a state senator.

Webster Wagner was an American inventor best known for creating the elegant sleeper cars (otherwise known as “Pullman Cars”) and parlor cars onboard trains in the 1800s and for his .

Having amassed a large fortune for himself and his family, and successfully running for state senator for 6 terms, Wagner’s future seemed all too bright.

However, on an unlucky Friday the 13th in 1882, Wagner was sleeping soundly aboard one of the sleeper cars he helped design when the train broke down near New York City.

Unaware of the stalled train on the tracks, another train rounded a curve and plowed into the rear of Wagner’s stalled train, resulting in a catastrophic train pile-up that killed Senator Wagner and nearly a dozen of his fellow passengers.

His stately mansion has since fallen into decay and has earned the nickname “the monster house” because of its mouth-like porch with dangling “teeth” above the entrance.

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.

Abandoned Tillamook Rock Lighthouse


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.

12 thoughts on “Abandoned Houses | The Hauntingly Beautiful Remnants of Lives Unknown”

  1. 5 stars
    Generally, I don’t comment on blog posts, һowever I have to say that your writing has amazed mе. Thanks, very nice post.

  2. My photo, in this collection, was taken from a house in Bradford, Ontario (Canada). On the edge of the town, near the main highway. You can’t renovate it though. It was demolished about a year after I took the photos of it. Nothing left now but a silo which must have been near a barn that was long gone.

    1. Thanks Laura! I love hearing about the history of these houses, even when it’s sometimes only to find out that the building is lost forever to the progress of time. I have updated the article to include a direct link to your site, which is always better when I can find the original source!

  3. I want to know so much about these homes….where are they, how old are they, why are they abandoned……they are so intriguing!

    1. Restoring one of these fallen gems is a lovely idea! But I’m sure if you looked around locally, you could probably find a handful of abandoned beauties to tackle!

    2. Picture 25 with the curved arches inside is in Romania,city of Constanta. It was Romanias Casino Royal ,sit on the shore of the black sea , I remember as a child this beautiful place was the memory of my ancestors who not only helped build it but lost their land, homes Mansions ,castles and their monasteries not decay or have my family history collecting dust ,ruining scroll and paintings of our family members and one day we shall be forgotten as our history is being usupered by frauds of our ancient blood line ,there is only few of us left and as we get older our beautiful land and homes will be as we will too. I wish someone would buy this beautiful place as I tried in 2010 for $1 mil but lost all do to divorce and then lost my dream to have something for my girls to hold on to from my native land ,from our people and family so they can walk the floors and remember their roots , their family they never had a chance to know and I their mother who cried many tears upon leaving her country and cry to see time and people disrespect not only the culture ,people but our honorable history . Please if anyone buys this casino or the many castles of Romania I would be so happy and feel like we live on in history through the love of ones desire to be a part of history .
      Many Blessings,

  4. These old homes are so beautiful. But it is so sad to know the people who lived them are probably dead, along with the heart of these homes. Still, I wish I could snap my fingers and see when it was all in its prime! Imagine how grand it all was!!!

  5. I am fascinated and obsessed with abandoned homes. It’s uncanny because I’m very practical otherwise. I like to imagine the people that lived in the homes.

  6. Knowing who built them, who loved them and who left them is every mystery buffs idea. Sometimes fantasizing about a mystery is a good thing too. I love, love, love big old homes of all kinds.

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