Abandoned Castles

Old mansions are the perfect setting for classic ghost stories from Macbeth to The Woman in Black, yet many of us in America have never actually been to one*. You have to wonder how these huge feats of eerie architecture and wealth fell into such derelict states and now lay cold, empty. What happened? What wickedness left the families destitute (or dead)?

The closest "castle" that I know of near Northern California is Hearst Castle which I am finally visiting this summer. It's not allegedly haunted but I'm fairly certain if I were a ghost, I would go straight to that huge mansion. Of course, hauntings probably happen in vacant buildings that don't offer daily tours, like the ones on this fascinating list of abandoned castles from around the world, posted on iO9.com.  Naturally, most were erected in Europe, including this one in Belgium:
Château Miranda was built in 1866 by an English architect for the Liedekerke-Beaufort family. The family lived there until World War II, when it was taken over by the National Railway Company of Belgium. It's empty since 1991, in part because the family refuses to turn it over to the municipality of Celles.

*Technically, I've been to Castle Brittahytta in Santa Clara, CA, and it's quite impressive.


Haha! Castle Brittahytta isn't abandoned, but it is definitely haunted. ;)

There are a few others than Hearst in California, but some are hidden in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We should take a road trip to find them. :)