One doesn’t generally associate castles with America, but not only does the United States have its fair share, some of those it does have are abandoned. Stories of hauntings surround these derelict castles, which have little to no hope for renovation. Every castle on this list has had death associated with it, so we wouldn’t suggest an overnight stay.
10. Dundas Castle
Construction of the medieval-style Dundas Castle was begun by Bradford L. Gilbert in Roscoe, New York in 1910 but not completed until 1924. Gilbert built the castle for his wife Anna Maria Dundas, but she never had the opportunity to live in the house. Gilbert died before the castle was completed, and his wife lived the rest of her life in a sanatorium.
This magnificent stone castle has remained untouched since 1950, when it last served as a retreat for the Prince Hall Grand Lodge. All of the rooms have deteriorated, although the structure remains intact. Dundas Castle could stand a chance for a complete restoration if it weren’t for one small factor: the castle is reputed to be haunted by Anna. Today Dundas Castle is privately owned and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
9. Wyckoff Castle
Built in 1895, it seemed like Wyckoff Castle was doomed from the start. Its owner, William O. Wyckoff (inventor of the Remington typewriter), died in his sleep from a heart attack the first night he spent in the Victorian-style castle. His wife, Francis, died from cancer one month before he moved in. His only heir, Clarence, didn’t care to live in the house either. Wyckoff Castle sits on a small island near Cape Vincent, New York, by the St. Lawrence River and has remained uninhabited for six decades, the last owners being General Electric.
Evidence has been found within the walls of this beautiful castle to suggest a haunting. The words “Help me” appear on a ceiling in an upper-story room, too high for the average person to reach. Wyckoff Castle has been on and off the market for some time now, but remains abandoned. The windows are bare with no glass in them, and the floors, walls, and ceilings are deteriorating. Maybe you can get a discount?
8. Castle Mont Rouge
Hidden in the forest of Rougemont, North Carolina stands a marble and cinder block castle that looks like a Russian palace complete with copper onion domes and spires. The vision of sculptor Robert Mihaly, Castle Mont Rouge was supposed to be his country studio for creating works of art. Built on a mountain in 2005, the castle wasn’t quite finished when Mihaly’s wife died.
Since its abandonment, Castle Mont Rouge has attracted vandals and homeless people. The castle’s floorboards have rotted away, and many of the upper floor rooms remain unfinished, but there is one main floor room full of books, a bed and a small kitchen. There’s also a spiral staircase and unique crooked windows. It’s rumored that Mihaly’s wife haunts the castle. Mihaly occasionally visits his fairy-tale castle to sculpt, and while the sculptor has attempted to raise funds to restore Castle Mont Rouge he hasn’t succeeded.
7. Hearthstone Castle
Named for its numerous stone fireplaces, Hearthstone Castle was magnificent when it was built in 1897 by E. Starr Sanford. Located in Danbury, Connecticut, the medieval stone castle is now blocked by a wire fence, for the property is in such disrepair it’s considered dangerous by the city of Danbury. Sanford, a portrait photographer, built the castle as a summer home for his family, but they only lived there for five years.
By 1985, Hearthstone Castle became ownerless and started to crumble from top to bottom. The castle looks like it should be haunted considering its present state, and maybe it is: Sanford died in 1917 after an unusual set of circumstances. He went into shock from being on a ship hit by lightning in 1914, which eventually led to his death. Individuals brave enough to venture onto the property claim to see ghostly images of a man running on the ground, as well as a ghost dog.
6. Squire’s Castle
Squire’s Castle in Cleveland, Ohio, was supposed to be a caretaker’s house on the same grounds where a mansion was to be built in the late 1890s. Unfortunately, the mansion planned by Feargus B. Squire never came to fruition. Legend has it that Squire’s wife died alone one night in the caretaker’s house, tripping over a piece of furniture and breaking her neck. Squire sold the building in 1922.
Built of stone with Tudor elements, Squire’s Castle consisted of three floors which are now gone. The exterior of the castle is still beautiful, and it’s been used as a setting for weddings. It is said that Squire’s wife haunts the castle. The castle has been under ownership of the Cleveland Metroparks System since 1925 and is on public park property, so visitors can investigate accessible areas during daylight hours to determine the truth of the ghost for themselves.
5. Sibley Castle
Located about 45 miles northeast of Tucson and nestled in the Gailuro Mountains in Arizona, Sibley Castle was built in 1908 by E. Roy Sibley. In its heyday, the 3,000 foot stone castle contained 20 rooms, complete with oak floors, beautiful windows and ornate furniture. The Sibleys did their share of entertaining there, but moved out in 1910.
The property was sold to Martin Tew, a naturalist and poet. He lived in Sibley Castle as the town of Copper Creek deteriorated due to growing numbers of outlaws and crime, and the mining community was officially deserted and declared a ghost town in 1945. Tew stayed long after everyone else left the town and eventually died in the castle, which he’s said to haunt.
4. Bannerman’s Castle
Bannerman’s Castle was built on the Hudson River in New York City in 1900 by Scottish immigrant Francis Bannerman. Intended to be a warehouse for the businessman’s arsenal of military surplus goods, the castle faced deterioration and destruction due to explosions and fires over the years. A smaller castle served as a private home for Bannerman right next to the warehouse, where the Bannerman family lived until 1940.
The Iroquois who once inhabited the island considered it to be haunted thanks to all the bad luck it had over the last century. There’s also the story of a tugboat captain who died when his boat struck the rocky island where the castle is located, his cries for help ignored by Bannerman. In 1967, the castle was purchased by New York City, and while a trust has been established to preserve the remains of Bannerman Castle it remains abandoned.
3. Franklin Castle
Considered to be he most haunted house in Ohio, Franklin Castle was built on Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland in 1865. Built by Hans Tiedemann, the Queen Anne-style castle consists of four floors and is surrounded by stone walls with one major turret in the front. Gargoyles perch on corners of the roof, and there’s a carriage house on the property. All of Tiedemann’s children, along with his wife and mother, died in the house by 1895, leaving no one to inherit the building or his fortune.
Between 1908 and 1968, Franklin Castle was uninhabited until a man by the name of James Romano bought the castle and moved in with his wife and six children. Romano called in an exorcist, but that didn’t seem to help the castle’s atmosphere. Several more owners eventually sold the property, and fires in 1999 and 2011 destroyed much of the propery. As of 2014, Franklin Castle is being renovated to the tune of $270,000. Whether this renovation project will find owners willing to live and stay in the castle is another question.
2. MacFadden Castle
McFadden Castle in Dansville, New York was built in 1883 as a hydrotherapy spa where sick people could go and seek cures for their ailments. Originally named Jackson Sanatorium, this five-story Victorian style castle was built by James Jackson on the East Hill of Dansville next to a river of mineral-rich water which was believed to have healing properties. The spa closed in 1917 but was reopened in 1929 by magazine publisher Bernard MacFadden, who transformed the property into a hotel, spa and recreational facility. The facility remained in use until 1971, when it closed for good.
The abandoned MacFadden Castle since gained a reputation for being haunted. There’s the story of a teenage boy who died there after falling down an elevator shaft. The building has been vandalized and fires have been started in the basement, although most of the property has remained intact. Some renovation work has been done, with the possibility of the building being transformed into apartments for seniors.
1. Beta Castle
Built in 1904 on the grounds of National Park Seminary school for girls in Forest Glen, Maryland, Beta Castle was a clubhouse for the school’s Pi Beta Nu sorority. Beta Castle resembled a medieval English castle with a large crenelated turret and Gothic windows, and the style was later adapted by many Victorian homes during the early 20th century.
The seminary closed in 1942 and the land and castles are presently owned by the U.S. Army, with the buildings remaining in disrepair. Restoration to the exterior of the historic buildings has taken place sparingly. Beta Castle is reputed to be haunted by soldiers who spent time there when the buildings were used as a rehab center for those wounded on the battlefield during World War II.