Mysteries and Secrets From Medieval Castles in America Main Page Home
When we think of a haunted castle we immediately go to visions of a castle somewhere in Eastern Europe. But North
America has its share of castles and consequently it's share of spooky, unexplainable stories. Here is a look at some
of these castles and their stories.
Sometimes the mysterious stories start long before the castle was even built and these stories are probably a hint that
nothing should be built in a particular location. This is the case with our first castle.
Bannerman's Castle is built on an island in the Hudson River and that area of the river had a long-standing reputation with
the Native American's for being haunted. This reputation continued into the eighteenth century when Dutch Sailors firmly
believed the area to be haunted by goblins. While the castle itself doesn't claim a ghost it has been beset by a series of
unfortunate events. In 1920, 200 pounds of shells and powder exploded in one of its structures and destroyed a portion
of it. In 1950 the ferryboat, which serviced the island, sunk. And in 1969 another fire damaged much of it. The island itself
is the source of a legend about a woman called Polly Pell who was rescued from a broken ice floe onto the island.
She subsequently married her rescuer and the island was named after her.
Murder, infidelity, secret rooms, and cracked mirrors are some of the prototypical signs of a haunting and our next castle
has all of these.
Grey Towers Castle is located about 25 miles away from Philadelphia Pennsylvania and it was built by William Welsh
Harrison in 1892. A fire destroyed much of it in 1893, which should have been a sign. But Harrison had it all rebuilt in the
following few years.
There are many stories and myths surrounding the building and the Harrison family. According to legend, Mr. Harrison
and his wife did not get along very well and eventually each lived in his own side of the house. Mr. Harrison was thought
to have had many affairs with different female servants. A popular story is that Mrs. Harrison, upon discovering that her
husband was having an affair, took the servant into a room in one of the towers and beat her to death. To this day her
bloodstains cannot be removed from the floor.
In one of the third-floor bedrooms, a mirror above the fireplace mantle had to be replaced because of a large crack.
Yet, every time it is replaced it cracks soon after. Today, many sections of the castle are sealed off and there are
many hidden passages behind the fireplaces.
Inexplicable deaths are often the cause of a haunting -or so the legend goes, and our next castle has quite a few of
Franklin Castle, which is in Cleveland Ohio, was built in 1865 by Hannes Tiedemann and the tragic deaths began 1881
when his 15-year-old daughter Emma succumbed to diabetes. Not long after that his elderly mother died. During the
next three years Tiedemann would bury three more children, giving rise to speculation that there was more to the deaths
than meets the eye.
Over the next several years Tiedemann did extensive reconstruction on the castle by adding secret passages,
concealed rooms, and hidden doors inside; and gargoyles and turrets outside. All of these renovations gave the castle
a very mysterious and ominous air.
It is rumored that these hidden rooms and passageways were used for bootlegging during prohibition and one of the
rooms still has a liquor still. Another of the rooms was found to hold at least a dozen baby skeletons. The medical
examiner ruled out foul play, though it remains unknown how the bones got there. The castle continued to gain notoriety
and there have been many rumors of sexual indiscretions and murder. The Romano family purchased it in 1968 and they
reportedly had encounters with ghosts that were so bad they even attempted exorcisms.
An unhappy wife, an untimely death, and a curse to walk the halls of a castle she didn't like. This is the straightforward
story of the haunting of our next castle. It's just an urban legend but you never know. Maybe there is some truth to it.
Squire's Castle is located in Willoughby Hills in northeast Ohio and it was built by Feargus B.Squire in the 1890's.
There is an urban legend about it that say it is haunted by the ghost of a woman carrying a red lantern who walks it at
night. The woman, Rebecca Squire, was a well-known socialite who reportedly disliked living in the country. She much
preferred to live in the city. The legend goes that one night while she was walking in the castle, carrying a red lantern,
she saw something that startled her. She screamed, tripped, and fell breaking her neck. This story is not exactly
accurate because the family sold the castle in 1920 and records show that Mrs. Squire didn't pass away until 1929.
Nonetheless, there are reports of hauntings and of red lights at night within the castle grounds. And it still remains
believed that she is doomed to roam the halls and rooms of the castle she so hated carrying her red lantern and
The Medieval Castles in America might not be five hundred or a thousand years old like their counterparts in Europe.
But they are castles, and they do have their fair share of spooky and mysterious stories.
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