Now Many TikTokers Are Breaking Into Nelly's Abandoned Wildwood Mansion

A YouTube urban explorer seems to have spawned a wave of copycats

Feb 20, 2024 at 6:00 am
Nelly's abandoned mansion has been owned by a church group since 2021.
Nelly's abandoned mansion has been owned by a church group since 2021.
Earlier this month, a YouTube explorer with a big following put Nelly's abandoned mansion in Wildwood on blast — and now TikTok is full of copycats making their own visits.

So many would-be suburban explorers are visiting the empty mansion, in fact, that a recent TikTok video captures one set of trespassers running into another. While the place may have no permanent residents, it's increasingly hard to call it "abandoned" with so many people coming and going.

The 10,000-square-foot mansion, previously owned by pop star Nelly, was purchased by the Kingdom of God Global Church in September 2021. The church also owns a $2.1 million mansion in Chesterfield, which has been subject to complaints that it was running an unlicensed drug and alcohol rehab facility on site. The church's ambitions are such that it recently contemplated buying a former Boeing campus in Florissant.

But so far, the Wildwood property seems to be sitting empty — and, judging by some recent TikTok videos, its condition is steadily worsening. One recent video shows liquor bottles and trash carelessly strewn about; a book called Witchcraft in the Pews lies abandoned on the kitchen floor. (For the record, the book is not how-to guide; it's an expose of how the occult has "infiltrated the Christian church!" The exclamation point is theirs.)

"When I first saw the inside of this huge mansion, I got a little sad, realizing no one in two decades had ever gotten to enjoy the stunning panoramic views this house has to offer," one TikTok videographer explains on a recent visit. "It seems like it's just a waste." Well, not exactly no one. And what waste? Where else would our local would-be TikTok stars go to make content??

Sergeant Tracy Panus, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis County Police, says the mansion has spurred just one additional call for service since the one we previously reported on in January. This one took place at 11:20 p.m. on February 10, when police received a call alleging "suspicious activity" on site.

"The call for service notes stated that groups of juveniles had been inside the residence," Panus tells us by email. "Officers responded and located several doors to be unlocked. A keyholder/emergency contact for the residence did respond and stated nothing appeared to be broken but it did appear individuals had been inside the residence."

Interestingly, one of the TikTok videos shows the trespassers finding an alarm system — and suggesting in their video that it was actually on and went off. Did that actually happen, or was it just a dramatic effect? It's unclear from watching the TikTok version, but with so many recent visits, you'd have to think the church would be ready to invest in arming the system.

You can see photos of the mansion at the time of its purchase in 2021 below.

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