updated 03/17/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 03/17/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT
But Jackson's private playland has hit the skids: If the singer doesn't repay a loan of over $24 million by March 19, Fortress Investments will foreclose on the ranch, worth an estimated $35 million. The house has, along with a fantasyland quality, an infamous history: On Nov. 18, 2003, law enforcement officials raided the property, where Jackson lived with his three children, as part of an investigation into child molestation charges against the singer. "Afterward, Michael felt [Neverland] was defiled," says Stacy Brown, Jackson's former friend and biographer. The singer hasn't been back in over a year (he lives in Las Vegas's Palms hotel). The only resident now is a Jackson cousin. "Neverland is ghostly," says an insider. Jackson's friends and family are trying to secure a new loan to save the ranch. "Michael's got so many bad memories of it," says the insider. "But he doesn't want to be publicly embarrassed. And it's the only real home his kids have ever known."