Creepy Castles: 13 Abandoned Places You Need to Visit

Bannerman Castle

When Francis Bannerman emigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1854 at the age of three, he probably never dreamed that he would one day build his own Scottish castle set on a tiny island just up river from New York City.

Bannerman was the founder of a massive army surplus conglomerate – he founded it when he was just 14. By the time he was 36, Bannerman had so much money that he bought his own island just north of New York City as a safe place to store his munitions.

Designed by Bannerman himself, the castle was never actually finished. Sadly, a series of unfortunate events lead to the castle being abandoned completely, although you can still see the words “Bannerman’s Island Arsenal” on the side of the castle while on the Metro-North Hudson train line.

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Fort Mahon

This majestic sea fort, which sits on the bay overlooking the English Channel, was originally built in the 17th century to defend the port of Ambleteuse. It’s located in the Pas-de-Calais in northern France.

Technically, it’s called the Fort of Ambleteuse, but because of a British clerical error in the 1840s, it’s most commonly called Fort Mahon. It was saved from complete ruin in the 1960s by a dedicated group of volunteers who bought and restored the fort, reopening it to the public in the 1970s.

Christophe Cappelli / Shutterstock

Said Halim Pasha’s Palace

This magnificent palatial estate in Cairo, Egypt was once the home of Said Halim Pasha, a wealthy statesman who commissioned the house from revered architect Antonio Lasciac in 1899. Pasha wanted an opulent home that would impress his family and coworkers, so Lasciac imported most of the building material and furniture from Italy.

Pasha only got to live in his opulent home for 20 years – he was exiled to Malta as a punishment for his role in WWI. The palace, along with the rest of his assets, was seized by the government. It was turned into a boarding school for boys before being abandoned in 2004.

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