This incredible mansion, about 20 miles from Disney’s Magic Kingdom, technically belonged to Osama Bin Laden’s brother, but it’s been reported that Osama Bin Laden himself was often living there, too, at least whenever he was in the U.S. Not much is known about this house, other than the photos you see and the fact that it’s a 17+ acre property worth $1.5 million or more. It was originally built in the 1920s.
We do know this: Khalil bin Laden purchased the home in 1980 for $1.6 million as a wedding gift for his wife. The estate was abandoned post 9/11, after the U.S. government ordered the Bin Laden family to leave the country. The deserted mansion soon fell apart and was riddled with broken windows and bizarre bullet holes. The house spent a few years on the market after that, but there were no takers for a long time (no surprise!). Khalil finally sold it in the mid-2000s.
Soon after the purchase, the new owner, Aleem Hussain, a majority holder of a development company, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2007 for running a $9 million dollar real-estate scam. It just gets more bizarre with each owner.
Vice Magazine decided to visit the mansion in 2012 to see who lives there. The writer on assignment met the new tenant, a regular Joe named John LeClaire, who told the magazine that he often rents out the mansion for weddings.
“You can take it off my hands right now for $2.5 million,” he then propositioned Vice. “You got a rich family? Friends who are rich? I’m looking for a partner in this thing, I got an $8,000 mortgage payment—hell, it’s only money.” All very bizarre.
We assume John LeClaire still lives there, and we imagine that Osama’s ghost definitely haunts his former American getaway mansion and its new (and very strange) tenant.