Mysteries and secrets of the medieval castles of America

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 its share of spooky and unexplained stories. Here’s a look at some of these castles and their stories.

Sometimes the mysterious stories start long before the castle was built and these stories are probably an indication that nothing should be built in a particular place. This is the case of our first castle.

Bannerman Castle is built on an island in the Hudson River and that area of ​​the river had a long-standing reputation among Native Americans for being haunted. This reputation continued until the 18th century, when Dutch sailors firmly believed that the area was 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 gunpowder burst into one of its structures, destroying part of it. In 1950 the ferry that served the island sank. And in 1969 another fire damaged a large part of it. The island itself is the source of a legend about a woman named Polly Pell who was rescued from a broken ice floe on the island. She subsequently married her savior and the island was named after her.

Murder, infidelity, secret rooms, and broken mirrors are some of the prototypical signs of a ghost, and our next castle has all of these.

Gray Towers Castle is located about 25 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was built by William Welsh Harrison in 1892. A fire destroyed much of it in 1893, which should have been a sign. But Harrison rebuilt it all in the years that followed.

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 on their own side of the house. Mr. Harrison was thought to have had many affairs with different servants. A popular story is that Mrs. Harrison, discovering that her husband was having an affair, took the servant to 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 over the fireplace mantle had to be replaced due to a large crack. However, every time it is replaced, he cracks soon after. Today, many sections of the castle are sealed off, and there are many hidden passages behind chimneys.

Unexplained deaths are often the cause of a ghost, or so the legend goes, and our next castle has quite a few of these.

Franklin Castle, which is located in Cleveland, Ohio, was built in 1865 by Hannes Tiedemann and the tragic deaths began in 1881 when his 15-year-old daughter Emma succumbed to diabetes. Not long after that, her elderly mother died. Over the next three years, Tiedemann buried three more children, leading to speculation that there was more to the deaths than meets the eye.

Over the next several years, Tiedemann did an extensive reconstruction of the castle by adding secret passages, hidden rooms, and hidden doors inside; and gargoyles and towers on the outside. All these renovations gave the castle a very mysterious and sinister air.

These rooms and hidden passageways are rumored to have been used for smuggling during prohibition and one of the rooms still has a liquor still. Another of the rooms was found to contain at least a dozen baby skeletons. The medical examiner ruled out foul play, though how the bones got there is unknown. The castle continued to gain notoriety and there have been many rumors of sexual indiscretions and murders. The Romano family bought it in 1968 and reportedly had ghost encounters so bad they even attempted exorcisms.

An unhappy wife, an early death, and the curse of walking the halls of a castle he didn’t like. This is the direct story of the ghost of our next castle. It’s just an urban legend, but you never know. Maybe there is some truth in it.

Squire’s Castle is located in Willoughby Hills in Northeast Ohio and was built by Feargus B.Squire in the 1890s. There is an urban legend about it that it is haunted by the ghost of a woman carrying a red lantern who walks him at night The woman, Rebecca Squire, was a well-known socialite who reportedly disliked living in the country. She preferred to live in the city. Legend has it that one night, while she was walking through 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 did not pass away until 1929. However, there are reports of hauntings and of red lights at night within the castle grounds. And she still believes that she is doomed to wander the halls and rooms of the castle that she hated so much carrying the red lantern of hers and screaming.

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 have their fair share of spooky and mysterious histories.

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