I remember back when I was young that I saw an episode of Smurfs featuring a castle that disappears and reappears each few centuries and when, more recently, I thought about the whole concept of something disappearing and reappearing like this I became somewhat interested in stories with it. So are there any such stories (you can also include movies or tv series that involve such disappearances but it's optional) and where can I find them?

EDIT (In order to clarify some things): By disappearance I mean vanishing into thin air in such a way that something no longer is anywhere in this world (not even behind fog/mist, under water or hidden in general). It's seemingly non-existent or in some kind of "Nothingness" area.

  • 2
    Castlevania also has this concept.
    – Tom Sol
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 7:26
  • 1
    I think the closest you will come to this is the way the fairies in the British Isles would vanish, and someone who vanished with them might come back to find that a century had passed in what seemed like a single night. Not no time, though.
    – Mary
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 22:23

4 Answers 4


My sense is the Smurfs were probably inspired by Brigadoon, a famous Broadway musical (Lerner & Loewe) that was adapted into a very famous film starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse.

The story involves two American tourists who stumble upon Brigadoon, a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every 100 years.
Brigadoon (wiki)

The name Brigadoon derives from the real Brig o' Doon, a bridge near Alloway, Scotland, and a feature of Robert Burns' folkloric poem Tam o' Shanter.

It's possible the Brigadoon story derives from folktale, but I'm not finding any reliable online sources. I did an excerpt attributed (without specific citation) to a book Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms: Sunken Continents, Vanished Cities, and the Kingdoms That History Misplaced which reads: “the spell that was cast over Brigadoon was put in place to protect it from advancing English Redcoats during the Jacobite Rebellion.”

  • @Dominictheinquisitive Non-existence because no time passes in Brigadoon when it is not in the real world.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 20:19

This sounds reminiscent of Vineta, a city on the coast of the Baltic sea, which was supposedly flooded as punishment for the inhabitants' ungodly ways. Some versions of the story have the city reappear at intervals, either by rising from the bottom of the sea, or just by being visible to seafarers.

The city is linked in the original manuscripts with the Viking stronghold Jomsborg, which supposedly housed an unusually belligerent group of Vikings.

The story of Vineta has been used by several modern authors. One retelling can be found in Selma Lagerlöf's The wonderful Adventures of Nils.


This is not only found in mythology. In Shintoism, it is customary to break down and rebuild shrines at intervals of decennia.

In Arthurian mythology, Avalon could be hidden from the world. Inspired by this, in the lore of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth, Valinor could be made to dissapear at the whim of the Valar.

There are many references to cities and islands that can be hidden at the whim of the gods in Homer's Odyssey.

  • I'm sorry for the inconvenience but I am concerned with disappearances and reappearances that happen magically and in which the object/build/place in question completely vanishes from sight and then reappears, but is not hidden (either behind mist or however else) or destroyed and remade. If Homer's Odyssey has such instances, is it alright if you link me to them? Thank you.
    – user5459
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 18:31
  • @Dominictheinquisitive in that case, no - Homer's Odyssey would fit into the category you're not looking for then.
    – Codosaur
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 17:30

The castle in Krull (80s fantasy film) where the Princess is kept prisoner disappears each night or morning (can't remember which) and reappears each day in a completely different, random place. The whole point being it's a race against the clock to rescue her as, if they don't get there in time, they'll never find the castle again.

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