New York Mansion Abandoned for Nearly a Century on the Market for $495k

A sprawling 11-bedroom villa in New York state which has been abandoned for nearly a century is on the market, with people claiming the eerie home looks like it's haunted.

The Carleton Island Villa certainly has the history akin to a tragic novel, with the original owner, William O. Wyckoff, reportedly dying on his first night in the home from a heart attack aged 60, New York Upstate says.

But his death was a double blow for the family, coming just months after his wife also passed away.

The home was built in 1895, in the isolated location of Carleton Island, in Cape Vincent, and designed by architect William Henry Miller for Wyckoff.

The former owner reportedly made his fortune helping the Remington Arms Company develop a typewriter, and settled on the location for a vacation residence.

Carleton Island Villa on the market.
Carleton Island Villa on the market. The sprawling and once majestic 11-bedroom mansion is a shell of its former self. Howard Hanna / Barry Kukowski

Following the untimely death of Wyckoff, the home is said to have been passed down to his sons. While the decaying mansion has passed through various hands over the years, it's not been lived in for the better part of a century, having been abandoned in 1927.

During the Great Depression the family sold it to General Electric, who are said to have had plans to use it as a summer retreat.

But its plans were hampered by the economic downturn, and further degradation occurred during the Second World War, when anything useful—such as doors and windows—was stripped for the war effort.

Meanwhile, the majestic cladding which once adorned the façade was also removed.

Now the structure, surrounded with barbed wire, is merely a ruin and a shadow of its former self with the shell open to the elements. Photos from the inside show crumbling edifices, once-grand fireplaces bare, and peeling walls supporting the partially disintegrated roof.

Some of the upper floors have rotted away, and various partitions have succumbed to the wear and tear over the years, with the current floorplan no longer resembling its once-grand layout.

But it was once a jewel in the area, with the lavish home boasting at least 50 rooms and a tower, which had to be removed in later years after it began to pose a risk.

The imposing villa on the St. Lawrence River, just across the border from Canada, is on the market for $495,000. But don't let the bargain price fool you: it would reportedly take millions to restore the home to its former glory.

  Carleton Island Villa on the market.
Carleton Island Villa on the market. The mansion is on the market for $495,000, but is a wreck after being abandoned for decades. Howard Hanna / Barry Kukowski

The high cost is in part due to its awkward location, with materials most likely needing to be transported via boat.

Now it's looking for a new owner who can restore the wreck, which is listed with Barry Kukowski of Howard Hanna realtors, since around 2012, Kukowski told Newsweek.

The listing boasts its selling points, saying: "This Carleton Island Villa is on 6.9 acres, has three waterfronts 198' in front of the Villa, North Bay 287' and South Bay 330'. The home has not been lived-in in over 70 years.

"It has a stone foundation and wood frame upper floors have deterioration. There is electricity to the Island and water is taken from the River, although there are no utilities connected to the Villa.

"The Villa was constructed around 1895 and was used until around 1927. Around the World War Era, contractors were allowed to go in and remove the interior and the doors and windows leaving the Villa to the elements."

The island, which has a collection of homes, is said to be used as a summer retreat for tourism, rather than having any permanent residents, houseandhistory.com claims.

Carleton Island Villa on the market.
Carleton Island Villa on the market. The home has a tragic past, after its former owner is said to have died on their first night in the home. Howard Hanna / Barry Kukowski

The mansion wreck caught the eye of Redditors, who shared snaps of the decaying property to the site earlier this month.

"This terrifying estate could be yours for only $495,000! (Demon removal costs extra,)" Missinglinksman wrote.

Thousands commented and upvoted the post, as TheKatzMeow84 claimed: "Holy hell, I want that place!"

PickleReaper0 commented: "Honestly? I'd buy it and renovate it. My creepy demon mansion now."

Drippy_Dreamer reckoned: "I'll take it even with the demons. Can't be worse than having roommates."

Bodkin-Van-Horn joked: "That's a good price actually. With the money you save, you could afford to pay someone to clean the bleeding walls at least once a week."

Casanova711 quipped: "Don't forget the price for removing the demons."

Thugnyssa said: "As someone who lives in California, that's a steal lol."

Unable_Effort_1033 quipped: "I would too but you bet those demons will leave when they realise I expect their ass to pay so goddamn rent."

Golfandbiscuits quipped: "It has good bones.. Unfortunately they are scattered and buried around the property!"

And Carnivorous_seahorse added: "Maybe if I had an bottomless bank account. That house would be cheaper to tear down and build on than it would be to fix. It's definitely a kickass house, but just from all of the water damage alone this place would be a literal nightmare."

While BelMountainman added: "Really sad that hasn't been restored."

The property, in Jefferson, is above average for the area, according to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Statistics reveal the median price for a home in the county last year was $165,000.

The asking price is slightly above the typical value for a home in the state, which is $387,069, according to Zillow. "New York home values have gone up 13.9 percent over the past year," it said.