October 28, 2010

Mystery Castle - Phoenix, AZ

On Saturday afternoon, Anna and I decided to take a break from horror movies for a couple hours and taking in some local roadside attractions. So we went to the Mystery Castle in Phoenix.

The Mystery Castle is a sad but beautiful story. Boyce Luther Gulley lived on the West Coast and always promised his little girl he would one day build her castle to live in. But when Gulley was diagnosed with tuberculosis and believed he only had a few months to live, he left his family without a word. His wife and daughter would never hear from him again until after his death. Gulley went to Arizona to spend his last few months building his daughter a dream castle. But he didn't live for a few months, he lived for years and built his daughter's dream 18-room castle of stone, adobe, automobile parts and petroglyphs held together by cement. This three-story castle, completed in 1945, is made of stone, adobe, automobile parts and petroglyphs and is held together by a cement mixture including goat's milk.

From his death bed, Gulley wrote to his daughter Mary Lou and told her about the castle. The teenage Mary Lou and her mother moved to her castle in the desert where Mary Lou still lives to this day. The castle gets its name from the "mystery" of the trap door. Gulley told his daughter not to open the trap door until 1948, three years after the house was completed. On New Year's Eve of 1948, Mary Lou and her mother opened the trap door to find a hidden room where her father had hidden gifts for her including the title to the house and gold nuggets.

The castle has 18 rooms, 13 fireplaces, a kitchen, a bar, and even a wedding chapel where wedding ceremonies used to be held! (Fun Fact: There are a collection of shoes left behind by brides in the wedding chapel for good luck). From the castle, you can see the whole cityscape of Phoenix and some beautiful landscape. It is truly a beautiful place with a beautiful story. If you are in Phoenix, be sure to pay a visit to Mary Lou Gulley's Mystery Castle.


1 comment:

  1. I have read that Mystery castle is open during Thursday to Sunday? Does that mean you can just show up any time to get a tour, or do you have to make a reservation in advance?

    Travelers never think that THEY are the foreigners. - Mason Cooley
    Jobs That Travel