Inside crumbling celeb mansions from Jacko’s Neverland to £12m ‘haunted’ stately home abandoned after air rifle tragedy

15 mins read


WE’VE all been ogling the swanky interiors of the rich and famous as they’re confined to their lavish homes during lockdown.

But down the years many mind-boggling properties been left to fall into rack and ruin after being abandoned by stars.

Mike Tyson’s former home in Ohio was abandoned for 10 years
Johnny Joo

Last week, it was revealed that Mike Tyson’s £890,000 Ohio Mansion – which featured tiger cages and a basketball court – has been converted into a church.

The former heavyweight champ abandoned the property after his rape conviction in 1992, and it was untouched for 10 years before being bought and renovated by the Living World Sanctuary Church.

Whether empty because of bankruptcy or through tragedy, these palatial piles are crumbling from neglect.

Here we look inside the eerily empty mansions left to rot by their millionaire owners – from the house that Steve Jobs ‘hated’ to Dave Gilmour’s ‘haunted’ manor.

Tyson’s bathroom and jacuzzi at the Ohio mansion have been daubed with graffiti
Johnny Joo
Mike Tyson abandoned his mansion after a fall from grace
Getty Images – Getty

Courtney Love’s graffiti-strewn ruin

Hole may be the name of Courtney Love’s former band, but it could also describe her country home in Olympia, Washington.

The three-bed two bathroom cottage, which sits on seven acres of land, was bought for £340,000 by the singer in 1995, a year after the death of husband Kurt Cobain.

The stables at Courtney Love’s Washington retreat are covered in graffiti
Virgil Adams Real Estate
The singer put the house on the market in 2019 at a considerable loss
Getty Images – Getty

But in recent years it has been abandoned and, in 2019, she put it up for sale for £243,000, making a loss of £97,000.

The real estate blurb described the property as a “major fixer” that required “a ton of work”, adding that it needed “everything” done – and that’s no exaggeration.

The property is comprised of a main house and several outbuilding including a guest cottage, which has obvious fire damage.

The eight-stall stables are covered in graffiti, with bricks on the floor, and the interior of the main house is totally neglected.

Luckily the knockdown price has now attracted a buyer, so hopefully the country house is now getting some TLC.

The main house is run down and needs a lot of work
Virgil Adams Real Estate
The guest cottage on the plot has evidence of fire damage
Virgil Adams Real Estate
Graffiti on the walls of another outbuilding
Virgil Adams Real Estate

Liza Minnelli’s childhood home

When film director Vincent Minnelli died in 1986, he left his estate – including his LA mansion – to his superstar daughter Liza.

As a child, the singer and actress spent six months a year living at the 19-room house, following her father’s divorce from her mother Judy Garland.

But a clause in the will stated fourth wife Lee Minnelli would have use of the house as long as she was alive.

The LA mansion was bought by Liza’s father Vincent in the 1950s
Getty Images – Getty
The mansion was sumptuously decorated in the past
Getty Images – Getty

In 2000, however, Liza decided to sell the house and offered her 94-year-old stepmother an apartment.

When she found a buyer, in 2002, Lee refused to move out and Cabaret star Liza stopped paying the  electricity bills and the staff — who continued to work for free.

In return, Lee took Liza to court for breach of contract, elder abuse, and infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit was dropped in 2002 and Liza reached an agreement with the new buyers – who shelled out £1.8million – that she would pay rent for Lee to stay there.

Lee died in 2009, but the home still stands abandoned and in serious need of renovation.

Urban explorer Adam the Woo found the home in disrepair in 2014
Youtube/AdamTheWoo
Liza had a fierce battle with her 94-year-old stepmum over the house
Getty Images – Getty
The house has not been renovated since Lee died in 2009
Youtube/AdamTheWoo

‘The house that Steve Jobs hated’

Steve Jobs bought the Jackling House in Woodside, California, in 1984.

The 14-bedroom mansion, built in 1925 for copper mining magnate Daniel Cowan Jackling, boasted spacious balconies, a games room, marble bathrooms and elaborate chandeliers.

Steve Jobs’ boarded up mansion in California
Flickr/Jonathan Haeber
The once grand chandeliers have fallen into rack and ruin
Jonathan Haeber/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

But the co-founder of Apple quickly fell out of love with the property after marrying Lauren Powell, in 1991, and welcoming their first son Reed.

The family relocated to a home in San Francisco Bay, in 1994, and Jobs applied to have the mansion demolished and replaced with a smaller house.

But locals – who dubbed the mansion ‘The house that Steve Jobs hated’ – were up in arms and years of legal wrangles followed.

The former grandeur of the Spanish style property began to rot away, with paint peeling, plaster crumbling from the walls and vines growing inside the rooms.

Jobs eventually won his case and the bulldozers moved in 2011, but not before locals removed chandeliers, door handles and a huge pipe organ with 3,300 pipes.

In a cruel twist of fate the former Apple CEO lost his fight against pancreatic cancer and died eight months later.

Steve Jobs abandoned the house and applied for demolition
Getty
Vines encroached on the rooms as nature took over
Jonathan Haeber/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Mould has spread across the ceilings in the house
Jonathan Haeber/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Dave Gilmour’s haunted stately home

Hook End, in Oxfordshire, was built in 1580 for the Bishop of Reading and once served as a mental hospital. It was bought by Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour in 1980.

Two of the band’s albums were recorded in the studio at the house, which was sold on to music producer Trevor Horn in 1986, amid rumours that Gilmour’s wife Ginger believed the house was haunted.

The 16th century house in Oxfordshire is said to be haunted by a monk
Media Drum World
The wallpaper peeling off the walls in the ancient house
Trevor Bishenden
A once grand bathroom in the historic mansion is in a shocking state
Trevor Bishenden

The Smiths singer Morrissey, who stayed at the house in the 1980s, claimed he saw the ghost of a monk who appeared in the early hours to summon residents to prayer.

Horn used the property as a studio, with acts including Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Rod Stewart and the Manic Street Preachers recording there.

But in 2006, Horn’s wife, Jill Sinclair, was shot accidentally shot in the neck with an air rifle by their son, Aaron, and fell into a deep coma.

She never fully recovered and she died in 2014.

Following the tragic accident, Horn sold the property to producer Mark White for £12million and, while he invested in the studio, the house fell into disrepair.

Hook End now has new owners and has been renovated.

The grand staircase at Hook End, where Pink Floyd recorded two albums
Trevor Bishenden
Rocker Dave Gilmour sold the property to Trevor Horn
Getty – Contributor

Michael Jackson’s Neverland

Michael Jackson bought Sycamore Valley Ranch in California for £23m in 1988, five years after staying there with Paul McCartney to record their hit Say, Say, Say.

The Thriller star renamed the property Neverland, after the magical land in Peter Pan, and set up a fairground in the grounds, with two railways and a station, a petting zoo, a ferris wheel, pirate ship and carousel.

Jacko’s Neverland Ranch was left to rot after Jackson’s 2005 trial
Alamy
Michael Jackson was drowning in debt before his death
Getty – Contributor

The 2,698 acre also included three guest houses, a pool house, waterfall, tennis court and a 5,500-square-foot cinema and stage.

Jacko hosted the 1991 wedding of his close friend Elizabeth Taylor to Larry Fortensky at the ranch but suspicions were soon raised about the children he invited to the six-bedroom Tudor-style mansion, sometimes without their parents.

In 2003, when Jackson was accused of abusing a 12-year-old boy, Neverland was searched by police.

He was acquitted in 2005 but moved to Bahrain and abandoned the mansion. Struggling with a £215m bank loan, he closed the house as a cost cutting measure, owing staff £244k in back payments.

A collapsed fairground ride in the grounds of Neverland
Splash News
Teepees on the Peter Pan themed park at the house
Splash News

The singer stayed away until his death in 2009, and the ranch fell into disrepair. The fairground rides were removed and the stunning grounds, with formal gardens, a stone bridge and four lakes, became overgrown.

Following his death the house was renovated by property developers Colony NorthStar, joint owners with the Jackson estate, before being put on the market for £80million.

The sellers stipulated they were looking a buyer that would not turn the ranch into a “museum” dedicated to the singer.

But the famous and tainted Neverland has failed to sell – and is now on the market for the drop-down price of £24m.

The carefully manicured beds in front of the mansion were overgrown
Splash News

Boris Becker’s Spanish villa

Boris Becker bought the stunning villa the Finca de Son Coll, on the island of Majorca, for £422,000 in 1997.

The former Wimbledon champ spent a fortune adding a pool, a Moroccan-style pool house, a guesthouse and a basketball court but, in 2004, he was served a £190k fine for work that was not approved by the authorities and ordered to tear them down.

Three years later he attempted to sell for £12m but no buyer was found.

Facebook/Georg Berres
Becker appears to have abandoned furniture and guitars at the villa
Facebook/Georg Berres

Facing financial ruin, after his £11m divorce from first wife Barbara in 2001, Becker struggled to keep up the maintenance and in 2011 he was sued by his gardener for £246k owed in salary.

The property was confiscated until the money was paid and, in 2014, it was confiscated again over £312k outstanding for building work.


The German ace managed to get the property back, but lost it again when he was declared bankrupt in 2017.

After that, squatters who called themselves the Intergalactic Auxiliary and Rescue Command, moved in.

Since their eviction by court order in January the house, which is still owned by the state, has reportedly been used as a set for an adult movie.

The pool at the Mallorcan property was added by the tennis star
Facebook/Georg Berres



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