BERKELEY CASTLE

(Berkeley Springs Castle)

276 Cacapon Road, Berkeley Springs, WV

(304) 258-4000

Status: Former Residence; Former Summer Camp; Former Museum; Private Property (No Public Access)

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BerkeleyCastle WestVirginia.jpg


By Jeanne Mozier from the Washington Heritage Trail - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/photos/64759">http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/photos/64759</a>, Public Domain, Link


History

Samuel Taylor Suit built this castle for his third wife, Rosa, but never lived to see it’s completion. Rosa – 29 years younger than her husband – had the castle finished in 1891 and moved in.

Samuel began to pursue Rosa when she was just 17. She was daughter of a Senator from Alabama.

The castle was one of many “cottages” built by the wealthy of Washington DC trying to escape the sweltering summer heat in the city.

Samuel and Rosa actually met in Berkeley Springs.

They were married in 1883, the cottage was begun in 1885 and their “happy ending” ended prematurely in 1888 when Samuel died.

Rosa immediately moved into her new castle year round when it was completed and began to throw huge lavish parties – she even rented rail cars to bring her guests up from DC – that kept the dancing and debauchery up til dawn.

Rosa never married again as her late husband’s will stipulated she would lose everything if she remarried. She did, however, have a number of lovers.

Alas, with no money no longer coming in, with her former husband now deceased, Rosa had run out of funds by the turn of century. She attempted to recoup some of that money by renting out the castle and selling the surrounding land, but it too little too late, but the castle went up on the auction block in 1913.

Rosa – now destitute – ended up living out her days with her son in a small cabin in Idaho. One would wonder where all her wealthy friends went when she needed them most.

In 1938 the castle became a boys summer camp and remained that way until 1954.

From 1954 to 1999 the castle was open to the public as a museum. From 1999 to 2020 it was a private residence again before ending up on the auction block again.

In 2020 it was bought by a paranormal group in an attempt to use it as a paranormal research center. It is unclear exactly what happened but it was put up for sale again in June of that year and bought by a White Supremacist Nationalist Group – VDARE – and is closed to the public again.

 

Paranormal Activity

There are persistent rumors that Samuel Taylor died under mysterious circumstances – he passed soon after his will was changed to leave everything to Rosa – and many believe Rosa poisoned him.

Two of Rosa’s later lovers also died under strange circumstances in the castle; one was impaled on her parasol during a fight between them on a stairway and another somehow managed to fall off of the roof.

In 1993 in the office/drawing room several witnesses saw a quill pen rise up off of a table and twirl around before setting back down; all on it’s own with no interaction with anything visible.

The castle seemingly turns off it’s own power but is very particular about when it does it. Although the house is private property it does offer – as it has in past – booking for private events including weddings. The only time the power will suddenly fail is during actual wedding ceremonies; the castle does not seem to be a fan of marriage.

Furniture is often re-arranged in empty rooms.

Loud crashes are heard on the upper floors but when checked nothing has changed or been disturbed.

Other Reported Activity: disembodied voices; objects moving on their own; phantom footsteps; phantom laughter of children; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone and being watched.